The Silence Of The Donairs
By: Devin J. Meaney
Inspired by: L Lorne Tompkins
The aromatic wafting of herbs and spices permeated the air within Silencio’s Pizzeria, a “mom and pop” shop located in North Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The fragrance of pizza, garlic fingers, chicken wings, burgers, and the famously known Cape Breton donair was prominent in the shop’s dining room as dozens of patrons heartily ingested the delicious offerings brought forth by Bill Silencio and his highly adored recipes that kept many an islander happy and well fed.
It was coming to the end of a busy Saturday night and Bill was working in the kitchen preparing an order of the “special” donair that was Silencio’s main menu staple. One of his most valued customers, known only to Bill as Clarice, was waiting patiently at the counter for her much anticipated blast of flavour and freshness. She had just gotten off work, and she was as famished as a plant worker after a large shipment of shrimp…a feeling known to many blue collar men and women in North Sydney and surrounding areas.
When the order was finished, Bill brought the donair to the counter in a cardboard box and happily greeted Clarice with a smile.
“Why hello Clarice…nice to see you again. A long day at work, eh?”
Clarice just nodded and made some casual banter. Just before vacating the shop, she looked to Bill and shot him a beaming toothy grin.
“I’d like to know what you put in this stuff. The men at the station go screaming mad for it. And the sauce is absolutely to die for!”
Bill chuckled and waved a final goodbye, but he was soon back to work in the kitchen. The shop would be closing in under an hour and he had a few more orders to complete before Saturday night came to an end. After three more orders of garlic fingers, two dozen chicken wings, and a meat lover’s pizza, Bill flipped the sign on his door from open to closed. After about twenty minutes, the last patrons of the night exited the building, and he was once again all alone in the dimly lit pizzeria. He quickly did a final cleanup of the kitchen, washed the last remaining dirty dishes, and sweeped and mopped the floors. Just after finishing up in the kitchen, he went down into the basement to check on his “food supplies”...the well kept secret that Bill Silencio aimed to take to the grave. After close inspection, he deemed Sunday’s supply fit for sale…and the sound proofing of the walls and basement ceiling made damn sure that nobody heard the screams.
The shackles that were strung up in the basement hung as a symbol of a wealth of nefarious deeds, and the faint whimpering coming from the back corner was but a mere tip of the iceberg when it came to the truth about Silencio’s. Rita MacNeil could be heard (or “not heard” due to the sound proofing) pulsing through Bill’s speakers as he started his ghastly work, and the mumbles of Steve Murphy were present in the background…but Bill was not paying attention to the T.V. He was preparing a donair spit for the coming day…and the whimpering from the back corner would not last through the night.
Just before going back upstairs, Bill yelled as if he was about to start singing a song.
“It puts the sauce upon its skin or else it gets the spit again.”
But the spit was inevitable. The whimpers were destined to go as silent as the donairs Bill served, and the patrons of his shop would be none the wiser about the grisly truth surrounding the delicious and spicy delicacy. The secret ingredients would remain a mystery and Silencio’s would prosper for many years to come.
Clarice was right. The sauce truly was to die for...