flash fiction. Prompt: 300 word story that includes a duck, telephone pole and a map.
I couldn't sleep. The thought of eating 'Shabdeg' was pumping adrenaline in my body. It is a Kashmiri delicacy made of Duck meat, slow cooked all night, specially to be served early in the morning. Restless, I woke up at 4 am. Regardless of the freezing temperature of Srinagar, I was ready by 5 am, wearing my favorite white shirt.
I jumped down the staircase of my lodge onto the street. All I knew was, there is a small cafe on Ring colony road that serves authentic shabdeg, but only from 6 to 7 am. I was in the town for a day, and couldn't have missed it for the world. With some help from Maps, I was on Ring colony road by 5:20. I was surprised to see the street bustling with energy at such an early hour. Taking some help from the locals, I reached to the cafe, only to find out it's closed shutter. I leaned on a telephone pole besides, eagerly waiting for the clock to turn 6. Soon, it was 6:05, I could see no signs of the shutter going up. While anxiously staring at the shutter, I noticed a faded leaflet. It read--'New location of Good Luck Cafe is 45, Hazrat Ali chowk, Srinagar.' For a moment, I blacked out. Next thing, I was asking for directions to Hazrat Ali chowk. I started running, covering the 30 minutes distance in 22. I reached there by 6:35. The cafe was full, with mostly locals sinking in the comfort of familiarity. Finally, the wait was over, I picked up my dish from the self-service counter and squeezed into a chair. I dived right in. So much so that the saffron gravy was dripping from my fingers on to my shirt. I wasn't worried a bit, I finished it to the last drop of gravy. Till date, I cherish that stain, it takes me back to those intense flavors of Shabdeg.