Flash Friday 14/12/2012: Still Cooking Up Trouble
Godfrey held his head in his hands. Gourmet was dead, as far as he was concerned.
The well-built man from a week ago had been a man true to his word, much to Godfrey’s chagrin. His ‘mates’ had all decided to ‘pop over’ for a ‘spot of fish’ and left Godfrey with customers, profit, and a raging stomach ulcer. He didn’t go into the cuisine magicks for this bollocks.
He looked around the tables. Each one of them were taken over by the man’s friends, each as well-built and cuisine-challenged as the man himself. Knives and forks were making quick work of the various battered fish, accompanied by a boring and uninspired mound of chips. It had gotten so bad that the potato farmer he summoned his spuds from was having a mental breakdown, and the fishermen reported that, for the first time in their lives, they noticed the cod looking very nervous. He had to do something fast, even if it meant a little sacrifice now to ensure he didn’t become a ‘chippy’ or whatever these brutes called him.
A group entered through the door, part of this large group of friends. This was the moment he’d been waiting for.
The group of five lumbered towards the counter. Despite them all looking similar, there was a clear ‘alpha male’ who was centre of the group. He was currently relaying some very funny story about ‘one of his mates’ which gained an uproar of laughter from his group. As predicted, he was the one who leaned an arm on the counter first, a big smile over his face.
“Alright, mate?” the leader said. “Gizza fish’n’chips please. Make ’em like you do with them funny knives.”
“Are you sure?” Godfrey tried to emulate the charm and roguishness he had when he started up the business. His brain let him know that both were on short supply. “For you are the, uh…” Godfrey flailed his fingers like upside-down crabs, trying to think of a number. “Hundredth customer. Yes, let’s go with that.”
“Oh, really? Hear that lads? I’m the hundreff one!” His victory was met with a cheer. “Great. What do I win?”
“A free meal,” said Godfrey, pausing to let the “Ooohh” of the group pan out. “For you, I will serve the most spectacular meat you have ever tried. Fresh griffon from the Mountainlands, served with a red onion sauce and coupled with Darknight herb and peas on the side.” He clapped his hands twice, prompting the floating utensils around him to get to work on summoning and preparing the meal. In a matter of seconds, the well-tuned and highly-specialised cuisine magic had produced a fresh plate of griffon steak. “Go on,” Godfrey added with a smile, handing over a steak knife and fork. “Have a try.”
The man sheepishly took the utensils, faces all around him peering curiously at the meal. As if it were volatile, the man cut off a small piece of the steak and brought it into his mouth, chewing throughfully. Without changing his perplexed expression, he swallowed. Like a light turning on, a smile appeared on his face.
“Well strike me down,” he said. “That was brilliant.”
“Really?” Another one of the group piped up. “Let’s have a try.”
“Go on, get your lips around this.” The leader gave a piece on a fork over to the other man. “It’s bloomin’ brilliant, innit?”
“Sodding hell, you’re not ‘alf right. Grief, it’s so tasty and chewy. I could ‘ave this ’til the day I die, I could. I’ll ‘ave one as well, if you don’t mind,” the man said.
“If he’s having one,” another in the group said, “I might as well give it a try too. Smells a treat.”
“And me!” The last member waved a hand to be noticed. “I’ll have one too!”
The hubbub had obviously been contagious enough, as people who had finished their fish and chips were now at the counter, every one of them wanting to try griffon steak. The utensils used for the fish and chips slumped away as the meat-slicers and onion-mashers went into overtime.
Godfrey sighed and accepted payment from the first customer. It was a step in a direction; he just wished he knew which way it was going.