Weekly Challenge #597 – Cook

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This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

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Tinny sprawl



Ned was feeling the pinch one summer and decided that he had to become more self-reliant. He made bannock in his bachelor suite each day with nothing more than flour, water, salt, and sugar. The tasteless cakes were not leavened. They did not bake to a crisp finish. They were both dead and lead heavy – and the truth is, Ned really never had been much of a cook. I’d never seen dead food before. What possible benefit could come from consuming dried poster paste? I witnessed him eat his rations wordlessly on more than one occasion. Not once did it dawn on me that I was being shamed and that he expected me to don an apron. He was a survivalist in the making and I could not make heads or tails of the necessity of dead weight bannock. No berries, no fat, no juicy meat. We were just not “there” yet. Normally, I would enjoy stewing beef, or simmering potluck, or test tasting broth. But not for Ned.


The Mob Accountant
by Jeffrey Fischer

Brian was hired by the Giaccamo family to keep their books. Two sets of books, actually: one that the IRS got to see, one that only the Don and his closest confidants were privy to. This worked well for years, but Brian got greedy. He started to cook the books yet another way, disguising the skim he was taking from the Giaccamos.

What Brian didn’t know was that Joey Jr., the Don’s youngest, was a CPA, focusing on forensic accounting. When Joey discovered the discrepancies, Brian’s goose was cooked. As was Brian, screaming all the way as they lowered him into the boiling water.


No accounting for taste

Business wasn’t exactly booming – to be honest, it was taking a dive, but I reckoned I could save it, with the right investors on board.

I visited an accountant, who had a somewhat less than squeaky clean reputation.

My instructions were simple: “Cook the books!”

I realise now, I should have taken a little more care…

When I turned up to see the results, he served my accounts pan fried and with a delicious red wine sauce.

Top tip – always check you’re dealing with the accountant; not some random chef who happens to work in the same building!


I learned to cook at the Culinary Academy of America in upstate New York. Today, I cook for an Italian restaurant in town. We have a small menu, but large wine list. Most of my regulars are rich, and happy to pay for the over priced food and wine. I sprinkle a little something (Ketamine) in every entrée, and it seems to brighten things up for everyone.

Some do take out after their meal. The house specialty is a Philadelphia classic cheesesteak with Wagyu ribeye cut with foie gras and topped with truffled, homemade, fontina cheese on a sesame roll.


The executive chef was a big, sweaty Greek. Mr. Farentinos was an obnoxious bully. He picked on the weakest members of the kitchen staff and made some of them cry. He would smack the back of their neck with his tattooed forearm if any new staff that did not jump and answer with a “Yes, Chef !” when he barked a command.
One of the salad chefs, a fellow from Turkey, was a quiet man, but underneath his smile, he seethed.

The chef was absent one Saturday, and the braised meat appeared to have markings similar to the chef’s tattoos.


“Fresh,” said the farmer, his voice reaching an annoying pitch. “Check the pumpkins, miss. Fresh. Not that plastic-tasting garbage.”
The lady nodded and moved on. Everyone walked away quickly.
Only he knew how difficult it was to grow these darn things. The seeds became purple if he stored them for too long, the water made them blue, and painting each one with a natural food-coloring substance was hard work. Plus, after cooked, his pumpkins made people immortal, surely a bonus.
“Umm… Perhaps I should work on my marketing strategies,” he said, adjusting his voice to the perfect octave.


They say the more you cook something, the less nutritious it becomes; vitamins and goodness leach out, along with the most of the flavour.

I advise eating all your food raw – you can’t beat the healthy crunch of fresh vegetables, or the taste of a handful of fruit, plucked straight from the tree, full of goodness and exactly as nature intended.

No, there’s nothing better than fruit and vegetables, raw, unprocessed and without additives and chemicals.

At least, that’s what they tell me.

Personally, I hate them – I’m a carnivore, and I love my food raw, alive and struggling.


I can almost see steam.

Her face reddens a shade with each of my words. There’s an art to it. You must be patient. Heat it too fast, and it’s burnt. Temperature too low, and it’s underdone. You’ve got to take your time and apply the heat just right.

She’s almost ready; finger wagging, cheeks flaming.

One last dash of spice: “At least your sister’s a better lay-”

She boils over, reaching for the knife I placed nearby, raising it up as I pull the gun from my pocket and shoot her down. It’s self-defense.

My compliments to the chef.


A Well Kept Secret

Both Bligh and Vancouver pondered the motives of the Captain. Under the pretext of fur trade they put off to 50 degrees north up the Strait. Pressing into Salish territory puzzled Cook’s offices. They had pellets a plenty why cut inward? Further on the second day out the Captain directed the pilot to particular point heavily marked on Cook’s personal nautical chart. A chest was brought up from the hold, a line secured, and it was lower in the water with a care, that under scored the importance of the mission. He handed the chart to Vancouver, “keep this safe.”


Axelrod tore open the self seals of the pockets at thigh level on his jumpsuit. He slapped them closed again. If anyone shared the remote passageway with him, they might recognize his nervous behavior.
Asstrah said the delivery should happen before three-seventy-five and here it was 4:10, already. An agent was supposed to bring him a vial of die-ethyl-florocarbonate, one of the components used to cook up a batch of the popular stimulant called, ‘dust’.
To Axel’s surprise, a man entered the passage from the connective link wearing a uniform jumpsuit, identifying him as a Galactic Battle Base, security officer.



“Tarnation, Cookie. This is about the best stew I have ever tasted on any drive. It’s like that ambrosia the old gods were a eatin’, or some of that manna they talk about in the good book. I had me a stew in a New York restaurant one time and this stew just plain runs circles aroun’ it. Come on, Cookie, what’s your secret?”

“Well, alright. Ya know how I collect up them buffalo chips all day as make we our way down the trail?”

“Yeah, for stokin’ the cook fire, right?”

“Sure. Right. Who’s ready for seconds? Eat up!”


After the fire, I needed to replace my birth certificate.
So, I contacted Cook County’s registrar, and they told me to go to their website.
Sure enough, I could order a copy of my birth certificate online.
All I had to do was enter a bunch of information about me.
But what if I ordered somebody else’s birth certificate?
Or someone else order mine?
I mean, how could they prove I was me?
“Oh, that never happens,” said the registrar.
So, I got a copy of the registrar’s birth certificate.
And they’ll be buying a new car… a new house…

3 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #597 – Cook”

  1. Ah, Richard, once again you and I had the same basic thought and, once again, you took it in an unexpected (and better) direction. Curses! Foiled again!

    1. I guess there’s only a certain amount of logical directions that some stories are bound to go, we just happen to zone in to the same ones occasionally! I’m not sure it was a better direction – but it’s always interesting to see the subtle (and not so subtle) variations that everyone comes up with.

      Although… I do quite like the idea of being someone’s nemesis! Mwahahahah!

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