Flash Fiction: The Discerning Chef

Today’s post comes to you from Val Muller, author of the spooky chiller Faulkner’s Apprentice, available for just $2.99. The prompt for this month involves the use of three of the following words in a story. Leaned, adjusted, clustered, entitled, smirk.

The Discerning Chef

By Val Muller

He’d gone through seven years of culinary school and training. So what if he had to take a job as a driving instructor? The economy of Dry Mills was suffering, and the yahoos of the town had no inclination to spend their money on the exquisite delicacies Marvin Miller could prepare for them.

No—those fools were thrilled when a franchise of the Frying Fish opened up on Main Street Imagine that. White fish of unknown origin—if it was even fish—coated in preservatives and deep fried in dirty oil. His mouth salivated at the thought of a delicate rockfish sautéed in butter over coconut rice and a spicy apricot reduction with three sprigs—exactly three—of fresh thyme. He leaned to the left as his student took a turn too quickly, and his gustatory dream evaporated into reality’s nightmare.

“I told you,” he spat, “to ease into the turns.” He looked with disgust at the student in the driver’s seat. The acne on the boy’s chin testified to a greasy, unnatural diet, and the remnants of deep-fried breakfast from Burger World hung in the air.

The car reeked. Marvin cracked the window and adjusted his seatbelt.

The boy—David, was it? Or Frank?—smirked. “Don’t be scared, Mr. Miller. My dad taught me to do donuts in the parking lot. I can handle a sharp turn.”

At the mention of doughnuts, Marvin licked his lips. The pastries of his musings, however, were not the pre-made sugar snacks of the franchise they had just driven by. No, these were delicate and puffy, filled with air and talent instead of empty carbs. These were crème-filled with clustered candied raisins atop them, a mix of subtle and savory sweets and spices. These were more sophisticated than the entitled teenager next to him was capable of appreciating.

But just before Marvin could fall into a reverie of marzipan and chocolate, a blasting horn jolted him once more into unfortunate reality.

“Damn it, Johnny,” he squealed, remembering the boy’s name. “How many times to I have to tell you: red means stop!” Johnny’s face turned red, the color of a perfectly-seared, medium-rare steak, almost an Ahi tuna. “I’ve got dinner reservations in the city tonight, and I’d like to stay alive long enough to enjoy the meal!”

* * *

The Spot Writers–our members:

RC Bonitz: rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzi: http://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/


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