Horror logo

Take Away

Always check your receipts... A short story told through pizza receipts.

By Addison AlderPublished 10 months ago Updated 10 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - September 2023
Image by MidJourney

The following receipts from a pizza restaurant were key evidence in the investigation of the disappearance of 9-year old Macie Adams in south London, in September 2023.

Images by author

Transcript:

Receipt #1:

1 x HAWAIIAN (XL) 9.99

-- EXTRA PINEAPPLE

-- EXTRA HAM

CUSTOMER COMMENT: HAWAIIAN EXTRA LARGE PLEASE. MORE EVERYTHING!

Receipt #2:

1 x ITALIAN MEAT SPECIAL 12.99

-- SWAP SALAMI FOR NDUJA SAUSAGE

-- ADD RICOTTA CHEESE

CUSTOMER COMMENT: PLEASE REPLACE ITALIAN SAUSAGE. ONLY NDUJA. EXTRA RICOTTA

Receipt #3:

1 x CHEESY GARLIC DOUGH BALLS 3.99

-- DIP 1: CHILLI SAUCE

-- DIP 2: PEPPER SAUCE

-- NOTE: EXTRA GARLIC

CUSTOMER COMMENT: GARLIC EVERYTHING, THANKS! CHILLI OR PEPPER SAUCE

Receipt #4:

1 x PEPSI LIGHT 1.5l 2.50

1 x EVIAN 1.5l 2.50

1 x FANTA ORANGE 1.5l 2.50

CUSTOMER COMMENT: PEPSI LITE ZERO BOTLE, EVIAN, FANTA AND STRAWS THANKS

Newspaper article:

MISSING GIRL, 9, SAVED BY PIZZA CHEF

Lewisham. A missing girl was saved from kidnappers thanks to an observant takeaway pizza chef.

Dean Francis, 20, noticed strange messages in a series of orders from a customer.

His boss alerted police who attended the customer's address, where they found 9-year old Macie Adams handcuffed in a basement.

The quick-witted victim had asked her kidnappers to order pizza for her 9th birthday. She even persuaded them to add comments on the PizzaPower delivery app.

Mr Francis, a 2nd year student working part time as a chef at the popular South London pizza restaurant, noticed the hidden acronyms [oops: acrostics!] and alerted authorities.

-------------------------------------

Thanks for reading this short story!

I wanted to work on some stories in unexpected formats.

The words are the kind of things that people type in text boxes and input fields on websites and apps. These are the kinds of spaces where we encounter text every day, but we see them only as functional or commercial or technical.

We don't think of them as spaces to find real stories.

But actually these formats lend themselves very well to linear plot structures.

They provide the perfect framework for sequences of events, scenes and minutiae, which in the reader's mind become woven into a single narrative.

Discovering a character's personal story in such an impersonal space – like online reviews or takeaway receipts (and more still to come!) – makes them all the more surprising, emotional, or even scary.

This concept first came to me with my story Top Reviewer where we learn about the disturbing events taking place in the protagonist's life through the product reviews she is writing on a shopping website.

Another thing about this concept which I find interesting is the idea that we are all unconsciously telling stories every day in the breadcrumbs of our digital lives.

This is also kind of worrying... What are we saying about ourselves that we're not even aware of? And who are the faceless strangers reading it? Are they friend or foe?

I'm developing more ideas in a similar vein, and I hope you will join me on more journeys like these in the weeks and months to come.

I only write 100% original, handmade, short fiction stories. No reviews. No opinion pieces. No filler. All killer!

(Seriously, there is quite a lot of killing in my stories...)

Here's a few highlights which other readers have enjoyed:

A is for Apple – A dystopian glimpse of how a family gets by in a world driven by advertising.

A Pox - flash fiction written in olde English about a plague in London.

The Truffle Cobs – A family's Mexican restaurant is struggling, until a mysterious new ingredient becomes a massive success. But what is this strange fungus? And where does it come from?

And please remember, for everything you read on Vocal: like, subscribe and share to support independent writing and thinking.

See you on the next one!

urban legendpsychologicalfiction

About the Creator

Addison Alder

Writer of Wrongs. Discontent Creator. Fully human author of quality original fiction.

No reviews, no listicles. 👋🏻 All handwrought in London, UK 🇬🇧

💸 Buy me on GODLESS and Amazon

🌐 Follow me on X, Insta, Substack and Medium

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For FreePledge Your Support

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

Add your insights

Comments (14)

  • Carol Townend10 months ago

    This is a brilliant way of writing. It makes a great story come to life. Well done on your top story!

  • Naveedkk 10 months ago

    Congratulations on top story,

  • Donna Renee10 months ago

    What a fun read! congrats on the TS :D

  • Rachel Deeming10 months ago

    Completely unique. I think you're right about the clues we provide for others in our everyday. This was interesting. I wonder if I ought to pay more attention to receipts.

  • Jessica Bailey10 months ago

    What a thrilling and insightful piece - love the format, and excellent piece!

  • Alex H Mittelman 10 months ago

    Great work!!!

  • Kendall Defoe 10 months ago

    Okay, my head is now officially messed with on a Wednesday! Genius TS! 🏅

  • Melissa Ingoldsby10 months ago

    This was exceptional writing I found your innovative and inventive style here refreshing and very creative 👌👏👏👏💓☺️

  • Sonia Heidi Unruh10 months ago

    Marvelous concept and so much fun to decode. And it had a happy ending.

  • Paul Stewart10 months ago

    This is incredibly clever and I had to read it a few times to work out the clues! Well done and congrats on Top Story! This means I am subscribing!

  • Excellent!

  • Susanna Kiernan10 months ago

    Clever clogs :D

  • Judey Kalchik 10 months ago

    What a great story! I would never have found these clues.

Addison AlderWritten by Addison Alder

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.