by Mehve Rider
We all love stories in the kitchen of medieval worlds...at least I do. Here's an attempt.
|Skritch skritch skritch…
"Tyra, how much pepper do you plan to put on that roast?"
She stuck her tongue out at me, the insufferable wench. "Just because your pallet has the spice capacity of a robin's ladle does not mean that Lord Darrent does." Tyra twisted the grinder a couple of more times; I'm sure it was more to spite me than add any more flavor.
I turned away and resumed chopping apples with a renewed vigor. How dare she? Only a member of my Lord's kitchen staff for less than a week and already acting like she could pull miracles out of cabbage heads! I wasn't the only one; I had seen the looks Matthias and Sena gave her when she was getting too cozy near their positions at the pastry oven.
Things had been going smoothly until now. My Lord had once complimented every dish I made, and I now I lost my head on slicing potatoes. It was all her fault, I knew it. On that rainy day, she and the grim piece of savageness she called a hound appeared out of nowhere and demanded work. Pushy,rude...but good. So good that there were bitter rumors of her plated dishes being called for when Our Lord dined with more esteemed guests.
Tyra insisted on keeping the mutt right next to the delivery gates, and whenever I went to receive the days' ingredients and pay the toll, he was there, eyeing me like I should be the one chopped into flanks and placed in a crate.
"Master chef like ya' self should pay mo' attention." I shook my head, and gazed at Matthias. "I'm sorry, what?"
The bearded man shook his head, grinning. "I was on' y wond'ring if ya intended to use them apples for the cream fillet or if ya’d let me use ‘em for my spiced cinnamon twists?"
The knife was limp in my hands. Cream fillet? Was that what I was making? I let out a low stream of curses as I shoved the bowl of apple slices into his hands, and left the knife two inches deep into the wooden table.
Tyra was getting into my head, that was all. It was just because of the competition she presented, just another cook to compare dishes with. Not because her vegetables were arranged more aesthetically than mine, of course not. Or because her bread had a better crust and softer interior, or because her pies had beautiful designs glazed on top, or because my Lord no longer called for my dishes but now frequently called for Miss Tyra’s cooking. It was none of that. Of course it wasn't.
Tyra’s voice was the last thing I wanted to hear but there was little I could do when the words ebbed out of her mouth. "I want a word with you." Green eyes flashed to meet mine, and her smiled flashed prettily to derail any spectators. Dithering hag.
We strode to the delivery gates; her hound was otherwise occupied causing terror in some unfortunate town square. "I-"
"I'm sorry for the trouble I've been causing you," she interrupted. "I can tell that you've been under a lot of stress lately. I haven't been doing much to help you with that."
For the second time that day, I was speechless.
"Perhaps we could start over? Learn to trust each other." She held her hand forward. “There are so many recipes we could share, talents we could learn from each other.” Her eyes brimmed with so much hope and passion, I could do nothing but reach out and grasp her hand.
Tyra smiled and pulled herself closer. "First lesson: never trust a liar."
Cold steel rammed into my side, my final thought that her dog had got its wish.