TNP2-06 "An Awkward Dinner"

TNP2-06 "An Awkward Dinner"

A Chapter by dw817

Despite trying to keep a straight face I couldn't. My eyes opened wide in dismay at the look of pleasure on her face and my nose wrinkled up, clearly trying to crawl back up in my skull case.


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© June 2014 Written by David Wicker
Please do not reprint without permission

* * *


We had arrived apparently on time.

I was smelling a curious vegetable casserole as we entered into the upstairs dining area. I noticed that all the doors were electronic, like mine, requiring a hand waved over the raised silver box showing the purple ring inside to open them.

Inside I saw several paintings, mostly fractals and mathematical images, some with numeric nomenclature written beside them, as if they were more functional than artistic. Tricia saw me and waved me over to sit next to her. Trudy sat to my opposite left and Judith, on my opposite side. Everyone wore the same robes, and apparently they were worn just for dinner.

While set for 4 people, there was room for 12 to sit down altogether. Then I saw Smithers enter and what at first appeared to smell appetizing didn't smell especially so now. Like some kind of seaweed, and lots of vegetables I wasn't very fond of. Including okra, brussel sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and purple cabbage leaves. And all boiled in their own natural juices without any seasoning.

Yuck !

Even Smithers looked a little green which I at first thought was because the tray he was carrying was glowing green, which could be the only logical explanation for the terrible smell, but no, he just wasn't happy with what he cooked. And neither was I.

"I hope this is to your satisfaction, mum." he said and showed her what he prepared by lifting the rounded metallic lid on the tray and if I thought it smelled bad before, my senses were suddenly flooded with an image of a backed up toilet. I looked and that was even worse, apparently the horrid ingredients were made into suggestive tapered brown-green sausage links.

I was clearly ready to throw-up my lunch now so I had to look away suddenly.

She looked at it and nodded, "You followed my recipe exactly, Smithers ?"

He nodded, "There - weren't any ingredients in the kitchen for anything else, Mom."

She smiled up at him. He tried to put on a comfortable pleasing expression but he just couldn't. He still looked quite ill. I felt sorry for him. While we might be endured to eat this - stuff, he actually spent hours MAKING it. Man !

I finally coughed to catch my breath from the overpowering pungent smell. "Phew !" I said forcing a smile to my own face, almost unsuccessfully, "Smells - umm - interesting. What is - what's in it ?" I felt if I was going to have to eat it, I might as well know what I'm poisoning myself with.

"You won't find any manufactured foods here," Tricia began with a twinkle in her eye, and picked up the tray to take a deep whiff of it. Despite trying to keep a straight face I couldn't. My eyes opened wide in dismay at the look of pleasure on her face and my nose wrinkled up, clearly trying to crawl back up in my skull case.

It - looks - like - crap, I told myself.

"Nossir." she assured me, taking the serving fork and skewering two of the 'sausages' for herself. "None of that processed junk you get from fast-food restaurants. This is all natural. Straight from the Good Mother Earth herself !"

"What part of the Good Earth is that ?" I asked and at once bit my tongue because I know I sounded pretty smarmy right then.

But Tricia was not put off, "In my own garden, of course, silly. And I have some personal aquariums on the lower levels growing sea moss, kelp, and algae additionally, to give it that extra bit of zest and flavor. And there's a few special secret ingredients I use to make it just right."

I looked down at my lap miserably, man I am so going to starve to death in here.

I then looked across to Trudy and Judith and they gave me clear expressions they, too, could both kill for a Big Mac with fries and a thick vanilla milkshake and I would be right behind them wanting the same.

"Say, I have a suggestion - " I began to say out loud hoping a vote for going out to eat at some place that didn't worship Neptune would work. Surely that would toss this 'meal' in the garbage but Tricia interrupted me.

She laughed politely, "Now David, don't tell me you don't like my home cooking ?"

* * *

I grumbled to myself, "Smells like you cooked the whole sea."

"What was that !?" she asked dangerously and at once I saw her curl up her fist threateningly.

"Umm - I meant," I stammered looking hard at her fist, now seeing the muscles pop out near the knuckles, "I said, I mean it smells like it cooked wonderfully."

She relaxed and let her palm open again and surprised me by patting me comfortably on my back. "Well you can thank Smithers for that. Few people follow my delicate recipes exactly and he did it - beautifully."

"Beautiful." I replied glumly. I heard some half-hearted praised from Trudy next to me and Judith across the table. Surely there had to be a way out of eating this mess.

"Grace." Tricia spoke and without waiting for a reply so started to recite a prayer, a weird one, having to do with underwater spirits caring for the Earth, and something about how we all return to moss in our afterlives. It was really quite beautiful but definitely not Christian by any means.

"Amen." she concluded and I repeated the amen as well as everyone else around the table.

... No-one made a move towards the serving tray. I certainly didn't.

I heard Judith across the table groan sickly for a moment and then bite it back.

Breaking the silence Tricia spoke, "Now, I KNOW this is new for you, but I'm quite certain you will ALL like it. You can eat these like hot dogs if you want," and she picked up one of the brown-green sausages and wrapped it in a cabbage leaf. "Or you can make-believe it's a taco-wrap !" she said squishing it up so the green poked out like molded chorizo.

"You decide !" and she greeted us with a pleasant indulgent smile holding up her mashed creation for us to see.

"My imagination will have to work overtime." I heard Trudy next to me murmur. Tricia sneered at her at which she immediately added, "I mean - I'm sure it'll taste just fine."

"Of course it will. Well, dig in everyone !" and - that was definitely not the word I wanted her to use. I already had enough suggestive imagery in my head without adding a shovel digging in wet mud to add to it. Clearly fresh MUD had to be the secret ingredient from the smell, I guessed that much. Then she handed the tray to Smithers who got up to serve everyone.

As he passed by me he whispered very quietly in my ear furthest from Tricia, "Sorry suh. I'll - get you something bettah latah."

He set one of the sausages on my plate and it oozed a thick oil around it. I took my fork and, wincing, skewered it to see it gurgle it's putrid greasy contents out of one puckered side of the tied end of the loose wrapping.

I coughed, clutching my throat and felt a warm wave of nausea wash over me. There was NO WAY AT ALL I could eat this now !

Trudy next to me, leaned over to whisper in my ear, "Crap cakes. Better enjoy them."

I nodded. It was bad enough they looked and smelled horrid, to top it off, Trudy had already named the disaster. And I finally had to agree, yes. Yes that is indeed what these were.

I hurriedly reached for my water glass and drained the contents. At least that wasn't tainted. I reached for the glass pitcher on the table and refilled my glass avoiding my dinner entirely, taking slower sips on it, appearing to be fascinated by the designs in the glass, which was rather ornate if the truth be told.

After a moment of silence, Tricia suddenly spoke from my right, "So how do you like it ?" I had a mouthful of water so I pointed to the glass in my hand and smiled and shrugged.

There was no sound in the dining room now as apparently everyone waited for me to finish my drink of water. I finally did, swallowing hard on it. Finally I spoke, "Well - uhhm - I can see this is a - uhm - very special recipe of yours."

Tricia nodded for me to go on. I reached for my glass but Tricia gave me a dangerous look. I set my glass down to continue my 'compliment.'

"But -uhm- unfortunately, I'm - ahh - still full from lunch ! Yeah !" I concluded proudly and grabbed my glass to drink a big swallow of water staring hard at the glass and avoiding everyone's looks at me.

"Phew !" I heard Judith across the table say, "Yeah, me too ! Couldn't eat a bite. Looks great though, have fun you three !" and without waiting for a reaction from us, suddenly got up from the table to run hurriedly back to her room, laughing out loud as she was clear of the exiting door.

Tricia looked like she could bite nails now, and I don't mean fingernails. She fixed a severe glare to Smithers who seeing he was on the spot suddenly and fearfully picked up a fork and knife to cut it and took a bite.


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© 2014 dw817

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Loved it, nicely written.


Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


5 Years Ago

Tricia Candy (Nancy) is a bit of a health nut. I remember years ago it was suggested I eat peanut bu.. read more

5 Years Ago

Oh ok. :-))

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