pizza in a box

The Pizza Box

This was supposed to be my short film and I remember how excited everyone was when I narrated this story. I couldn’t finish shooting the film, I lacked training then. But I decided to write it as a story for everyone that had supported me back then. I hope you like it. Modified and rewrote the story to fit current circumstances and technological advances.

Part I

Manish was pursuing his graduation, and it was common to live in a different city with a batch of friends. His roommates are always in a party mood, and they always crave for pranks and pizza. Their educational system was such, where the questions for exams were leaked a day before. And their assignments were written by their female friends with a bribe of costly chocolates. Manish, Tarun, Rajesh, Bhargav and Akhil had nothing to do but prank on people all day. They had the choice of bribing their lecturers for giving false attendance. All it took was a bottle of whiskey per month, and it was somehow arrangeable for them. They are buying chocolates and whiskey to finish their degree. It is no less than buying a degree directly. It is a hack they found in the system that values students with more scores than students with more wisdom. Back when they didn’t see the hack yet, they did go to the college. Not regularly, but they still did go. While students were busy listening to classes and preparing for exams, they used to draw dick faces on the walls of toilets. They thought themselves to be artists and wise men to enjoy life while they can. 

It was on the campus where they lit their first cigarettes, and it was on the campus they got caught drinking whiskey. They invested more time on making untraceable pranks than they spend on books. They did read good books, but nothing related to academics. They spent their evenings watching mystery thrillers and the nights flirting with their classmates. Bhargav the only guy who didn’t flirt any was presumed to be gay by the other squad. Yet they never opened up before him. Tarun claims he saw Bhargav oddly staring at their landlord, but Bhargav claims it was just anger and not lust. They started pranking their landlord by leaving love notes to him in the name of their neighbour’s housewife. They love watching the landlord giving blushy looks at her since then. Once they decided to do a grand con and fooled their classmates by sending a gif of spiderman dancing on the name of Important questions, the day before their first-year final exams. They always craved for more pranks and bigger cons; they never had enough. The next thing they love after pranks are pizzas. If you are to search for them, you need to check all the pizza places around their residence and the probability that you run into them is more than 90%.

It was just a regular Sunday, and it has been a week since they ate pizza. It had been more than a month since they pranked someone. They got drifted away with the pressure of exams. They couldn’t secure the questions that semester, so for the first time, they had to read their college books instead of thrillers and pornography. They still found a hack for it, with the practice of remembering lines from movies and books, they quickly memorise the lines form textbooks without even knowing what it means. They didn’t choose to copy, as they thought they were superior to it. They depend solely on their memory skills, and it was a stressful month. And now, they need to eat pizza! Their bodies were demanding it! They couldn’t afford a dine-in, and there were discounts on orders. So they took their phones out, dialled the nearby pizza shop and ordered a large pizza. 

The delivery boy knocked, and Manish answered the door, took in the pizza. Bhargav was curiously looking at the delivery bike which had a bag on it. “How many orders are you serving right now?” Bhargav asked the delivery boy. “Sorry sir?” he asked. “No just got curious about how well the business is running and how many are craving for pizza in the moment in this area” Bhargav explained. The delivery boy smiled “Business is booming sir six orders right now!” he said. “6 pizzas!” Bhargav exclaimed. “No, sir. 9 pizzas, not everyone orders a single pizza” The delivery boy left after Manish tipped him a 10. “What’s with the pizza talk?” he pat on Bhargav’s back as Bhargav was curiously looking at the delivery boy wearing the huge bag and riding away. “Crushing on him, or is it his job?” Tarun joked. “Fuck you!” Bhargav yelled as the roommates shared few giggles and slices. Bhargav remained silent and was thinking deeply.

“What is bothering you, Aristotle?” Manish asked Bhargav. “What if we steal the bag of pizzas the delivery boy left on the bike? We can have nine pizzas, and that would be a hilarious thing to do” Bhargav said, looking at Manish. “The pizza heist?” Manish laughed. “Come on! We can work on it!” Bhargav awaited Manish’s approval. “Well it is a childish fantasy, but we will be the first to suspect if something like that happened” Manish told him. “Not if we order it somewhere else!” Akhil joined in the conversation. Manish giggled, and Bhargav looked like it was a brilliant idea. “Are you serious?” Manish asked, puzzled looking at the expressions of Akhil and Bhargav. “You are telling me that you will call the fucker, give him a wrong address and steal his bag of pizzas while he knocks the door of some jerk?” Manish asked sarcastically. ” “If it is a prank and we will be gifted pizzas, count me in!” Tarun yelled from the bathroom. “Yeah bring me satellite phones and untraceable caller IDs. Dimwits!” Manish grew paranoid. “Do you think they would call FBI on a lost pizza box?” Akhil laughed, and everyone joined him in laughs. “The pizza heist it is!” Bhargav grinned.

Manish, still paranoid, kept searching on how to change his caller ID and IMEI numbers. Within a few hours of youtube videos and blogs, he made his phone untraceable as he wanted. Not for pizza, but it can be used for bigger pranks, he thought! He overslept and a loud yell woke him up! Akhil was yelling, screeching and jumping around like an ape. “The delivery is on!” Bhargav yelled, and Manish jumped up on his feet. “You fools, why didn’t you wake me up? I made my phone untraceable!” Manish cried. “Don’t sob, sissy. I have seen you do it at night, and I used your mobile. The FBI can’t hunt us down. The heist is on!” Tarun said dancing to tunes of goddess Lakshmi coming from a neighbour. “Where did you order it?” Manish asked. “The half constructed house two blocks away. Brush your stinky mouth, we gotta roll” Akhil pushed Manish. 

They went to the half-constructed building, waiting for the pizza guy to show up. They were wearing surgical masks, and they saw a pizza guy coming at a certain distance. Akhil threw his cigarette and wore his mask back. “Look, Guys. We…we can pay him. This sounds very dumb and stupid” Manish requested them to stop once again. “Why did you jailbreak the phone if you did not want to do it too?” Tarun asked him. ” I don’t know, man! I don’t feel fully in it. I’m half-hearted and paranoid” Manish held his shoulder. The pizza guy arrived at the location, looked around and was looking at the top of the building. “Why isn’t he calling us?” Manish asked.

“Who cares?” Akhil replied. The pizza guy took a few steps forward and yelled “Hello?”. Tarun grew impatient and started walking forward towards the bag. Manish panicked as Tarun walked towards the bike. Tarun lifted the bag and threw it at Manish. Manish held it and didn’t know what to do, threw it in the house behind them. Akhil, Bhargav jumped the wall of that house, took the bag and went to the house backyard to escape. Manish’s heart was panting, and he didn’t turn back. He followed Akhil, and Bhargav jumped the wall and hid in the backyard. Tarun jumped the fence of another house, and all of them met on the road behind that street. They were running with the bag and could hear someone shouting. They only stopped when they reached their house. They went in, put the bag inside, had a big breath and burst out in laughter. Akhil was rolling on the floor. Tarun impatiently opened the bag and put on a sad puppy face, as his heart broke. “What happened?” Manish asked and opened the bag. There was only one pizza!

Their jaws dropped, facepalmed and speechless they grew! “Let us at least open the damn box. It is still free right”? Manish boosted them. They opened the box to find a Margherita pizza, plain, cheese and nothing else. They couldn’t speak; they were heartbroken. Their heist was a dud. The bites they took off those slices were not even heartfelt. And the taste was horrible! They went back to sitting in corners, smoking and texting in silence while Manish watched TV for a diversion. His paranoia grew, and he was switching local news channels. “Like they are going to report lost Margherita!” he said to himself. He became impatient and started switching channels quickly, and suddenly he felt like he saw something familiar. He turned back to find the half-constructed building and reporters around it. “What the fuck? Isn’t it too much for a lost pizza?” He said and increased the volume. There was an ambulance and many people around that house.

“A pizza delivery boy was shot dead at this house, and this is the call the pizza shop received, the call of the order: *Yeah! I want a Veggie extravaganza and a Mexican chicken pepperoni. The address… Um.. 1-8-*

Manish just turned the TV Off. It was Bhargav’s changed voice; he could recognise it. “We ordered the pizza; it’s our call… Someone shot him, and we are framed! We are wanted for murder, and there is nothing to prove we didn’t kill him for a pizza!” Manish thought, and his anxiety kicked in. His friends went out for a smoke, half an hour ago, but there is still no-one around. Manish started calling each of them. No-one was responding. The lights turned off. And *Bang Bang* someone banged the door. Manish’s heartbeat grew faster, and it sounded like a bullet train. 

*Bang Bang Bang*

Manish looked through the peephole and saw someone wearing a pizza uniform. His heart peaked the beat, and the guy pushed the door open, making Manish fall. It started raining, the lightning and thunder the man’s face revealed to Manish! It was the delivery guy whom they saw when they stole the box! The man that was reported dead on the TV! Manish’s eyes, jaw were wide open as his bones felt a chill!

To be continued…

Published by

Manoj Sri Harsha

A filmmaker who's also a philosopher and I have always been a writer. My urge to tell stories have provoked and boosted me to write my thoughts out as words, sentences and essays! I treat storytelling objectively and would always try new things to tell any story in a different way. Big fan of the Avant-garde!

Leave a Reply