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Deal 1401 Preview

Lava:
The path: Neglect, Limited, sock, Support, Impulsiveness, Spatula, and Disguise

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Deal 1333: Forgotton

I walked for a time in silence, enjoying the sense of peace. Everything was quiet. Even the brook I was walking near was more whispering than babbling.

Then a loud “Snap” rang out.

I had stepped on a stick laying in the path and broken it. I had a sudden sense of foreboding, as if I really had done a great wrong. I could feel all the eyes on me, and everywhere I looked it seemed as if the small beasts were quick to look away.

I spun around quickly, and left the path heading straight for the water. That might not have been the smartest choice I had ever made since that led me straight towards the brook. You never know what running water here will do to you, but I was pretty sure this was not the headwaters of Lethe.

Slowly the foreboding faded and the peace returned.

I hopped from bank to bank, careful not to touch the water just in case. The last thing I needed was to find myself back at the start of my journey with no recollection of where I was going, or why. But no matter how careful you are, sometimes the dice are simply against you.

My foot hit a slippery patch of rock on the far bank.

And I landed in a stagnant pool of muddy water. Flat on my back. I could feel immediately that nothing was broken, aside from my dignity. I had little enough of that left. With a sigh, I pried myself out of the puddle, and shook the muddy water from my clothes.

I walked for a time in silence, enjoying the sense of peace. Everything was quiet. Even the brook I was walking near was more whispering than babbling….

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Deal 1263: Mastery

The scene laid out before me was a rush of sound, colors, flavors, and smells.

At the center of the storm was a man dressed in crisp chef whites. He hardly needed to speak as his kitchen operated like a well-oiled machine around him. As he reached for each part of the elaborate dishes he assembled, they were always at hand. The choreography perfect, the timing impeccable, and the finished presentations works of art. At the outer fringes, interns worked frantically, hoping one day to be noticed and brought into the inner circle.

Almost as an afterthought, the finished works of art were whisked away by the perfectly attired staff for delivery to the patrons.

No movements were wasted. Each player knew their part in the larger dance, and each arrived on their marks exactly on cue.

And yet, somehow, each managed to make room for the kitten that wandered from station to station as if inspecting everyone’s work, and who seemed to be giving the final approval to each dish served.

I knew without asking that no one would admit the kitten was there, that the kitten was the real master of this kitchen.

But of course, she was.

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Deal 1175: Hot.

The three foot square slab of stainless steel was hot, and stayed hot from opening at dawn until we decided to close sometime after lunch. It was hot and heavy, and was always the perfect temperature for a pancake or fried egg. It was decided not a good place to sit.

Unless you weren’t quite mortal, I suppose.

The kitchen was in a brief lull when she appeared, sitting on the flattop and looking like she belonged there. I just stood there for a moment, staring. I suppose I was waiting for the inevitable scream. It never came.

I gestured with my spatula, but she declined to be turned.

I looked around. My prep cook was in the other room, chasing after something in the walk-in. The wait staff were all out on the floor. In short, I was the only witness to her impossible comfort in the very spot that a full stack of cakes had occupied just moments before her arrival.

This was going to be a very interesting conversation.