Zach Randolph was awakened, not by a loud noise or a sudden flash of light, but by a familiar smell entering his nostrils. The smell of a Krispy Kreme donut.
Wondering if the scent was just a trick being played on him by his sleepy brain, he reached over and switched on the light on his nightstand. It was no trick: there was a single, glazed Krispy Kreme donut sitting there next to the lamp. Feeling his heart rate elevate at the sight of the delectable, but forbidden, treat, he reached out to grab it before stopping himself. He wasn’t supposed to have Krispy Kremes anymore, he reminded himself. Krispy Kremes always got him in trouble, and he was done with them. He ate only Dunkin Donuts donuts now – not as addictive, not as tasty, but much less likely to cause him to do things he would regret later.
But what harm could one donut do? He would eat it and enjoy it, and there would be no way for him to get anymore. Just a one-time reward for dutifully sticking to his plan to drop Krispy Kremes completely from his diet.
Sparing no more thought on the subject, Zach grabbed the donut and took one large bite out of it. The familiar flavor, the succulent texture, the decadent aroma, all of it washed over him as he was transported into a blissful state. One more bite and the donut was finished. Zach licked his lips happily and was preparing to return to sleep when he noticed a small, hand-written note that had been underneath the donut. Confused, he unfolded the message and began to read:
“There’s more where that came from. Meet us outside.”
Even though this message was suspicious, the prospect of getting more Krispy Kremes was too exciting for Zach to turn down. He pulled on a pair of sweatpants, a hoodie, and slippers, then walked out the front door of his house, wondering where he was supposed to meet up with these donut suppliers.
It wasn’t hard to find them. There were two of them, leaning against a car that was parked in the street. One of them held a Krispy Kreme-branded box under his arm. Both were wearing sunglasses even though it was the middle of the night. Zach walked over to where they stood. “You have some donuts for me?” he asked quietly, not wanting to wake up neighbors who were likely to call the police over even the smallest noise disturbance.
“We sure do, big guy,” said the man who held the donut box.
Zach reached out to grab the box. “Give ’em here.”
The man pulled the box away from Zach’s grabbing hands, chuckling. “Not so fast, tubby. We need to work out your payment.”
Expecting just a small markup over the retail price of a dozen-count box, Zach pulled a crumpled ten-dollar bill out of his wallet. “Here. Keep the change. Just give me the donuts.”
Now the other man spoke. “Money’s not enough. We need something else too.”
Zach wrinkled his eyebrows in confusion. What more could these men want for just a box of donuts? “I got some bags of chips in the kitchen if you want those,” he said, getting frustrated that he had not yet had another donut despite them being just inches away. “Sounds like a fair trade to me.”
“Typical fatty, always thinking about food,” said the man holding the donuts. “We want your phone number, dummy. We might need you to do some favors for us in the future.”
“Fine, fine,” Zach said with annoyance, vaguely concerned about this mention of “favors” but craving the donuts too much to refuse. He recited his cell phone number, then held out his hands impatiently to receive the Krispy Kremes.
“There you go. Knock yourself out,” said the man, giving the box to Zach. “We’ll be in touch.”
Zach sat down on the curb and immediately began to shove donuts into his mouth. The onslaught of sugary glaze was overwhelming him, and when the starting of the car blasted a cloud of exhaust right into his face, he barely noticed it. He had Krispy Kremes. That was all he needed, and he trusted that the two men would resupply him when the time came.