Prompt: June 26th, 2020

Write a story in the fairy tale genre. It’s about a chef and should include a spoon. Also use the sentence ‘This means war.’ Bonus prompt: Civilization has come to an end.

Once upon a time, in a world almost like ours, a young boy was born into the midst of a horrid war. His father was a soldier, his mother a nurse, both serving on the frontlines by the time he was six. By his eighth birthday, they, and the rest of his people, were gone. His whole world, in fact, had been destroyed, leaving him with an uncle. The two of them wandered a while, then found an abandoned inn and tried to build their life anew.

Years flew by and the boy became a man. He and his uncle learned the ways of their inn, repairing it and experimenting with different dishes. The place was repaired, new sheets and covers sewn, and their culinary skills greatly improved long before they saw their first guest. But what an important first guest it was, the new king and his son, traveling through the war-torn world to check on their people. They’d traveled with their men quite a ways before stumbling upon the inn an hour or so before dusk, shocked to see fires burning and smell bread baking.

They strode in, finding the uncle seated at the old reception desk, sipping a warm cup of tea his nephew had just brought him.

“Is this your inn?” The question came from the youngest in the king’s guard, whose lack of caution was balanced with his supreme swordsmanship.

“In a manner of speaking. The Finders’ Inn was deserted at the end of the war; my brother’s boy and I found it completely empty. You’re the first passersby since. I’m Henry Cobb, by the by, but y’all can call me Hank if’n it suits you.” The old man answered.

By this time, the voices had lured the boy from the kitchen and into the foyer, where his uncle greeted him heartily. “Ah yes, there you are, m’boy! Gents, this is my nephew Seamus, he’s the chef here at Finders’. Mind you, the only one he’s been feeding is me.” This last was said, and met, with a warm chuckle as the innkeeper patted his stomach and stood. Meanwhile, the king and his men took in the newcomer, surveying his tall stature, callused hands, and even catching the silver spoon affixed to a chain around his neck.

“You look more like a soldier than a chef, boy.” The captain of the guard spoke, meeting Seamus’s grey eyes. The depth of them, the weight of the young man’s soul, stunned the old soldier.

“Come now, sir, we’re all soldiers now that the world has gone. We’re simply fighting for survival now.” The words settled on the shoulders of every man in the room, leaving them staring after the chef, their eyes following him as he turned a strode back to his kitchen, to his home.

Published by K. E. Diller

Young adult attempting to do a million things at once, including write books and follow my dreams.

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