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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2171321
Writer's Cramp entry for Oct 6th.
The delectable aroma of burnt butter mingled with the meaty fragrance of the striped cuts drifted from the stove top and permeated throughout the kitchen, as flames crackled beneath the skillet, and the meat on top sizzled.

“Mmmh,” Alex breathed out a satisfied sigh, feeling pleased with how his bacon was cooking. The pieces had shriveled to about two-thirds of their original size, their edges charred golden brown, while the liquefied fat filled the surface of his teflon pan. At this point, Alex pushed the meat onto the edge of the skillet, and cracked two eggs into the bubbling oil. He scrambled the yolk once the whites were no longer transparent, sprinkled a pinch of salt and pepper, and continued to stir until the eggs turn into yellowish fluff.

Once his food is nearly cooked, Alex quickly turned off his stove. The leftover heat should be enough to complete the finishing touches, and while he waited for the bacon and scrambled eggs to simmer down, he opened the kitchen door that led to the back yard and fanned out the smoke, so that the house wouldn’t smell like cold oil once he’s done with breakfast.

Alex turned his attention back towards his cooking, and decided that his food is ready for serving. He loomed over the pan and inhaled deeply. “Aah,” already he could savour it on the tip of his tongue, the crispiness of the bacon, the softness of the eggs, and the rich succulence of butter harmonising the dish into a heavenly blend of saltiness. That may be the most exaggerated description one could make out of a greasy meal, but for Alex, it’s also the most accurate, especially if he’s the one cooking it himself. After all, he’s practically a Master Chef when it comes to bacon and eggs, considering how he’d cook the dish whenever he could—whether breakfast, lunch or dinner.

He walked towards the plate cupboard and, on his way, stopped by the refrigerator to grab a tub of yoghurt and some carrot and celery sticks. Yeah. Grease may be his all-time favourite thing to eat, but being a Nutrition & Dietetics student, he’s also learnt too much about the adverse health effects of poor diet to solely subsist on junk food. He’s still far away from healthy living, of course; but, then again, it’s only been a year since he’s made the decision to improve. Baby steps, okay?

Just as he was rummaging around the cold box for his dose of fibre and probiotics, Alex thought he heard a pitter-patter echo from the nearby road. As this is the time of day where several of his neighbours would be doing their morning jog, Alex thought nothing of it at first. Until he heard the foot falls rustled against lawn grass, accompanied by the jangles of metal tags clinking against one another. The noise grew louder, and louder, and louder …

Oh, no!

He jerked back too late from the fridge to stop the large mass of black fur from dashing past himself, across the kitchen, and onto the stove to reach the meaty goodness resting there. The skillet flipped, commotion ensued. Clang! went the metal pan as it hit the wooden floor. Splat! went the eggs as it rained gold all over the place. Woof! Woof! the Labrador barked happily, before it gobled up the debris of food that Alex had put so much care to make.

His eyes were wide, and his jaw were still hanging open, when the dog decided to jump on him and lick his face, as though in thanks. Still too stunned to do anything else, Alex awkwardly stroked the beast’s black fur.

Then came a high-pitched voice, calling frantically, “Lucky! Lucky!”

The dog immediately bounded off to answer the call, and Alex warily chased after it. He assumed Lucky was the dog’s name, and how fitting was that—the dog was certainly very lucky to be able to enjoy his divine cooking. As he strode outside, he savagely wondered if its owner’s name was ‘Careless’.

‘Careless’ turned out to be a pretty gal with long, black hair and warm, hazel eyes. Her freckled skin glistened with a thin layer of sweat, and her shapely figure accentuated by the form-fitting sportswear.

“I’m sorry!” she exclaimed with a deep bow, before Alex could get in a word of reprimand. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean for Lucky to bother you. Please let me make it up to you, somehow.”

“Well yeah, about that…” Alex began uncertainly, as his voice trailed away with his anger. A stiffening silence formed between them, and he quickly changed the subject, “You new around here, by the way? Don’t think I’ve seen you before.”

The girl blinked in surprise at this sudden shift in conversation, but was quite happy play along, “Oh, yes. My name is Clara…I just came yesterday. I don’t know my way around this neighbourhood yet, so I thought I’d let Lucky take the lead this time, but well…” her gaze shifted towards the dog, who was unapologetically thumping its tail against the sidewalk. Clara quickly added, “Lucky’s not usually like this, though...he’s trained to wait before eating. He must’ve smelled something really good to go nuts like that.”

Alex smiled at this flattery. “He got my breakfast,” he informed his new acquaintance while glaring at her dog in mock-anger, but it quickly dissolved into laughter, “Tell you what. If you want to ‘pay for damages’ or whatever, you pay for my food. There’s a nice café just around the corner, and we can get something there. I can show you around afterwards, if you don’t mind,”

Clara didn’t mind, so the pair (and dog) spent the next hour dining and chatting at the Coffee House. Alex ordered Bacon and Eggs, of course, with a side of toast, hash brown and baked tomato. It’s not as good as his own cooking, but he’s never felt more satisfied.
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