Finish That Thought 3


One minute remained on the timer. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I pressed the relief valve on the pressure cooker and watched the steam billow out. I stuck my fork in and…ah, tender. Perfect. Dragon meat was notoriously tough to cook, normally taking days, so this was indeed a gamble. But I wanted that prize.

Dragon wasn’t the theme ingredient, but it went well with fairy dust. I’d had some when I visited the Otherlands, and I just knew that if I could pull it off here, I’d win my weight in mithril, and I’d finally be able to get that bounty ogre off my back.

The judges this time were the meanest I’d ever run across. The Goblin Lord’s eyes luminesced from under his helm as he tasted my dish. I didn’t know if that was good or bad, and we didn’t have any languages in common to find out. The Valkyries were beautiful, of course, and being twins, they were that much more intimidating. “Needs salt,” one said. “Too salty,” said the other. Apparently, they didn’t get along with each other any more than they did the rest of the ‘verse, because when they were done arguing about the salt, there wasn’t enough left of either for the doctor to do much with.

However, the worst experience by far was having her judge my food. She’d broken my heart for the first time when i was just an elfling. And then again when i tried to rescue her from the mines, and discovered that she wasn’t being held hostage by those dwarves. at least not how I’d pictured it. And then again. And again. And again.

I was her fool, and she was my sun – too hot to reach, but just try not to stare once you see her.

See smiled as she tasted my dish, and in that moment, if the ogres had eaten me, I would have died happy. But they didn’t, and the judging ended, and I won.

The bounty ogre grinned as I paid him. “Didn’t want to kill ya, not if I didn’t have to. Wanted the money. And I had a secret weapon. C’mere, honey.”

The smile she gave me was brighter than before, but I knew what it really meant. I was her fool, and the ogre had my fortune.

But, oh, that dragon. Tender. A depth of flavor no mortal could endure. And just the right amount of salt.

411 words


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