Captain Crazy Eye

Captain Crazy Eye looked out across the sea. He didn’t like the look of the looming storm. It gave the sea an eerie glow. The ship would have to stay in port for the night.

“Aargh!” he said. “Ye have the night off.”

The ship’s crew roared with applause. They had not had a night off since last Halloween. Everyone ran to their bunks and put on their spookiest or most mysterious costume for a little trick-n-treat with the local children.

“Now,” Captain Crazy Eye bellowed when the crew returned on deck. “There be no lewd behavior this year, and if ye taste any good pies, well, get recipe. Old cook needs a little help.”

The crew laughed and promised not to get into any nocturnal mischief.

By dawn, Captain Crazy Eye had finished bailing everyone out of Mystic County Jail.

This short was written for the M.M.H.B Challenge. Required words are in bold.


The Food Critic

“We must be ready for him when he arrives,” the chef said to his assistants. “That critic likes to eviscerate chefs with his pen.”

“Yes, chef.”

His staff set about their assigned tasks. Julia pulled a large case of blowfish out of the walk-in refrigerator and selected six perfect specimens. Patrick set about washing and preparing the eight ackee fruit that would go into the critic’s salad. Mary Beth, the prep cook, pulled a large basket of leafy greens off a shelf in the cooler and selected the finest leaves to line the bowl. Howard worked on rubbing off the large bag of deadly webcap and death cap mushrooms for the entree.

The chef watched as his assistants performed admirably under this pressure. He was very happy to have them in the kitchen with him.

Marco, the youngest prep cook in the kitchen that night, was relegated to preparing the rhubarb and cassava appetizer plate with accompanying stink bug, mopane worm and rabbit dropping puree for dipping.

The chef tasted Marco’s dipping sauce and scrunched up his nose. “It needs a little something extra.”

He grabbed a horseradish root and ground it over the dip. “Mmm, perfection.”

Gloria peeked her head into the kitchen and announced the critic had arrived and ordered the seafood special.

The chef sighed. It was make or break time for his restaurant. Gregor, the diswasher, fetched a new pail of water from the rubbish strewn stream that ran by them and put it in a cauldron over the campfire out back for the chef.

Brandishing a large pair of tongs, the chef walked down to the river and pulled out a large, mutated squid that appeared in these parts after the chemical plant opened upstream and dumped it into the cauldron.

Within minutes, the critic’s meal was ready. The chef sprinkled on curry powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper as each bite size morsel was poked with a pointy chopstick. Gloria took out the first round, then the second, third, and forth rounds of food to the critic. The chef didn’t know where he was storing it all, but more importantly — or more curiously —  was where the chopstick were going. They were certainly not going back into the kitchen.

Finally after all one hundred tasty morsels were served, the critic simply stood up and walked out. All he left behind him was a five-star review and one dollar tip.

This was written for the M.M.H.B Challenge. The required ingredients are in bold.

Employee Picnic

“I can’t believe you were so stupid, Darren!” Maggie flung the paper sack filled with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cabbage on the picnic table. “How am I supposed to prepare lunch for twelve people with this lot! I don’t even work with you guys and yet I’m the one that will look like a complete and utter brainless idiot!”

“I know…I know,” he said, trying to hug his wife and calm her down. “I’m sorry. What can I do?”

“What can you do! What can you do! What do you think you can do!”

Darren looked around at the trees and secretly pleaded for help. “Um…go to the store?”

“Dang right, you can go to the store! Right now before I do something you’re really not going to like!”

Darren looked at his watch. One hour. He had one hour to run to the store and get back up the mountain before his wife would divorce him. He could do it — if he really tried.

He sped down the mountain and nearly got in three accidents, but he made it to the store in less than fifteen minutes. He grabbed the first spot he saw and stole a shopping cart from a little old lady who was left screaming obscenities in the parking lot as he ran into the store.

First stop — meat counter.

“I’d like five pounds of tripe, a dozen tuna eyeballs, and six snails, please,” he wheezed.

“Ah, shucks, I’d love to get those for ya but we’re fresh out. I could –”

Darren ran off to hit the aisles rather than waste time explaining to the meat clerk that he didn’t have time to decide on alternatives. Cereal aisle yielded nothing, as did the bread aisle. He scanned the signs over the aisles and hoped a revelation would come to him.

“Aha! Deli!”

He sprinted to the deli and barged ahead of other customers who were waiting patiently. “Sorry. Angry wife,” he panted. “I’ll take two fried spiders and a bucket of your finest fried grasshoppers.”

The look on the deli clerk’s face said everything he didn’t need to hear. Time was running out, so he left his cart and sprinted like a mad man through the store grabbing whatever he could hold in his arms.

He was extremely thankful the store had installed self-checkout stands because he was in and out of line in moments. Whatever the clerk was yelling at him for would have to wait. He only had twenty minutes to get back up the mountain before his co-workers were set to arrive.

Driving like a madman got him back up the mountain in under ten minutes. He raced from the car holding a single paper bag and made it to the campsite before his coworkers.

“Here.” He threw the bag on the folding table and collapsed on the ground.

Maggie looked in the bag and screamed, then took a deep breath and started pulling the items out of the bag. “What on this good Earth am I supposed to do with a box of four Japanese wasp crackers, a jar of honey, a ten-ounce jar of Witchetty Grubs marinated in Soya Sauce, and…oh, good lord, you didn’t!”

Darren’s eyes opened wide. Didn’t what? Didn’t what? What did he do? Did he dare ask? He took a deep breath and held it. “Do what?”

Spam!” She held up a container by the campfire light. “You brought a can of spam!”

Darren’s coworkers started arriving and began laughing immediately at the sight that greeted them.

“Everything okay?” Jackson asked, watching Darren get up off the ground.

“Uh…yeah. Lunch will just be a little late.”

Lizzie looked at the items on the table and giggled slightly. She joined Maggie at the table who was too embarrassed to look at anyone.

“It’s okay,” Lizzie said. “Let’s see what we have to work with.”

Within minutes Lizzie had worked a miracle and whipped up a bowl of communal salad topped wtih spam, cracker croutons, drizzled with honey, and topped off with grubs.”

“May I have your attention please,” Lizzie said. ” I would like to thank Maggie for the great lunch we are about to receive and that I am so happy to be working with all of you.”

As she walked toward the clapping group, she tripped on a rock and sent lunch spreading across the dirty ground. Maggie gasped, Darren ducked, and the rest laughed.

“Hey,” Gregg said, “zombies are picky. Grab the grubs before they all run away.”

This was written for M.M.H.B hosted by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip. The ingredients required for this challenge are in bold. *Note: I cheated with this one and gave them a bowl.

The Annual Witches Camping Trip

It was time again for the annual witches camping trip and it was Hattie’s turn to cook for everyone before they took their annual ride across the moon to start off Halloween. Fern and Hilda were already a little tipsy from too much witches’ brew, but they were always fun to watch as they sang and danced by the campfire.

“Can I give you hand, Hattie?” Medusa looked into the bubbling cauldron and saw only boiling water. She was getting hungry. “Would you like me to cut up the pumpkin?”

Hattie was busy combining brown sugar and caster sugar together in the mortar and didn’t hear Medusa. It didn’t help that Hattie was nearly a thousand years old and deaf in one ear. No one brought it up anymore; especially after the little pastry incident. Three years ago, Hattie was asked to bring the 500g of shortcrust pastry for the pie, but instead she brought a very sweet little girl. Patsy was her name, and she was as delicious as the pie would have been, but if word got out that witches still ate children, well, you can imagine the chaos that would cause.

“Oh, Medusa, dear! I didn’t see you standing there,” Hattie said as she turned around to grab the softened butter. “Would you be a dear and help me?”

“I would love to, Hattie.”

“Will you please gut the pumpkin for me?”

As Medusa reached into the large pumpkin, she chuckled at how squishy the innards were. They reminded her of the cats she used to kill as a child.

“Here you are, Hattie.” Medusa set the cleaned-out pumpkin next to the mortar that was now filled with a sugar, brown sugar, and butter cream. “Anything else I can do for you?”

Medusa’s stomach growled.

“Not right now dear, thank you.”

Medusa sighed and returned to the campfire where Fern and Hilda were now declaring their undying love for each other while Vest and Aenwyn cackled their heads off. After a few minutes, Medusa’s stomach was demanding food — any food, and she started thinking what inebriated witch tasted like. She decided it would be better to return to the camp kitchen to see if she could hurry Hattie along.

When she returned to Hattie’s side, the large pumpkin was now filled with her butter cream and, judging from the shells scattered on the ground, six eggs. Hattie was struggling with the wooden spoon as it kept getting stuck in the side of the softening pumpkin.

“I can stir that for you, dear,” Medusa said, reaching for the spoon.

“Oh, thank you. My arm is about ready to fall off.”

Hattie threw in a dash of salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon while Medusa stirred. Medusa looked at the mix and immediately thought of of the gingerbread cookies she used to cook in the old country, but she could not believe that Hattie would serve cookies for dinner at the annual camping trip. At least she hoped she wouldn’t.

All purpose flour flew everywhere as Hattie picked up the bag and poured it into the pumpkin. Medusa tried to keep her cool as she tried to wipe the flour off her black dress.

Hattie stood by the bubbling cauldron and looked at the night sky. “It’s almost time.”

Medusa looked up and sighed. She was hungry. A quick glance over to the campfire also suggested she was the only one still sober and so it was up to her to kick-off Halloween.

“I’ll grab my broom,” Medusa said.

“I’ll have dinner ready for you when you get back,” Hattie said as she threw the filled pumpkin into the cauldron.

Medusa took to flight and stopped at the first drive-thru before flying across the moon. She promised herself that next year, she would go to Drac’s party in the islands rather than hanging out with the girls. At least Igor knows how to cook.

This was written for the Halloween Recipe Challenge hosted by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip.  The challenge requires a list of ingredients be included in a creative work (in bold).