Sort of delayed in getting this one live, but, as it turns out, being locked in a cottage with my nieces doesn’t exactly foster an environment conducive to intense writing sessions…
I had a bit of trouble thinking of inspiration for this one — and a whole seven days into the month, I think that’s a new record! In the end, it’s kinda-sorta a sequel of my previous writing exercise that featured all of the Lyte Brigade except Matilda being grossed out by tongue casserole.
What can I say?
Matilda likes tongue.
The Lyte Brigade crowds around the plate that Tancred lays on their table in the corner of the inn.
“It’s a cake!” Nolan exclaims.
“It’s a pie!” Matilda counters, jockeying for position against her brother.
“Actually,” Pela interjects. “It’s a quiche.”
Nolan and Matilda stare down at her.
“What?” she asks. “My Dad’s a chef.”
“So is ours,” Nolan notes.
“Well, yeah. But I don’t hate helping out my dad in the kitchen,” Pela says.
“It is indeed a quiche,” Tancred says, positioing the thing in the middle of the Lyte Brigade’s table.
“The Countess-Dowager Dirigible was quite insistent that a reward was in order for escorting her to her summer house. She had this baked for us by Estevanico Martin, famous Torrean chef who’s since set up shop here in Porthaven.”
“The Estevanico Martin?” Falcata asks.
“You know who that is?” Matilda asks the Amazon.
“No,” she admits bashfully. “I simply wished to be included in the conversation, and that seemed like the proper reaction to somebody mentioning a famous chef.”
“Let us all take a moment to appreciate this,” Amara insists.
“Estevanico Martin doesn’t just personally bake a quiche for just anyone. He is one of the most sought-after chefs in all of Realmgard. It takes months to get a table at his restaurant! Why, this one lone quiche is probably probably worth more than the Lyte Brigade makes in a year.”
“But it’s a pie!” Nolan protests.
“Yes, yes — and The Constancy of Styracosaurus is just coloured goo on a piece of paper, and yet it still drives men to tears with its beauty,” Amara counters.
“It’s a painting, Nolan,” Amara explains. “Goodness, I may just have to haul you over to the Art Gallery to learn you some culture.”
Nolan blushes. “Alone? Together?” he murmurs. “Y-yes, please.”
“Shall we?” Tancred asks the others, taking the knife to Estevanico Martin’s culinary masterwork.
“You know,” Matilda says through a mouthful. “I wouldn’t normally go for some weird, hoity-toity egg pie, but the crust is so —” She gasps. “There’s tongue in this!”
“I’m full,” Nolan declares immediately thereafter.
“Yes, Miss Matilda, Estevanico Martin is quite famous for his audacious use of unconventional ingredients,” Tancred says. “He is something of an acquired taste.”
“Are you kidding? I love this!” Matilda exclaims. “This is the best tongue since Pela’s dad cooked for us!”
“Yeah,” Pela says contritely. “Sorry about that. I think that was Dad trying to be, you know, audacious and unconventional.”
Matilda glowers at the others. “I refuse to feel bad about myself just because I like eating things that are delicious,” she declares. “You all just need to grow up and get over yourselves.”
“But it’s tongue!” Nolan protests. “Like from a cow’s mouth!”
“Actually, Nolan,” Tancred says, “I do believe Estevanico Martin sources most of his tongue from only the choicest ducks.”
“I’m definitely full,” Nolan says, pushing his plate as far away from himself as physically possible.
“Fine. More for me,” Matilda declares. “You’re missing out, Nolan!”
Today was rough but, hey, I got the job done. Hopefully, at least the latter will be true of every other day in August.
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