Devin in a chef's hat, Vincent looking glum, holding a mixing bowl and a dishtowel

Cooking Up a Good Story

Vincent couldn’t believe his ears.

“Devin … you … a chef?”

“Yeah, in France. A rather sought-after one at that. Of course, I looked more the part back then. 

“See? Here’s a photo I had taken.

“Hey, don’t look so surprised, Vincent. You’re not the only one with good hair. And after all, I have mad knife skills. My carnival days? Sid, the knife thrower, remember?

“I even had a book published. An Alcove for Two – Romantic Dinners by Waterfall and Candlelight. Used that photo on the dust jacket, by the way. Here, I brought you a copy. Thought you might find it … ahem … useful.

“You know … when you’re planning a special evening with Catherine …”

Vincent mulled Devin’s offer, silent for too long. 

“Something wrong, Vincent? You need some cooking lessons?

“Well, I’m just the guy to teach you the moves. William’s long gone to bed. Whatta’ya say we hit the kitchen?” 

I need more than cooking lessons, Vincent muttered to himself. But he pushed out of his chair and followed Devin out into the corridor, down the passageway, and into the candlelit pantry.

“So … what kind of food does Chandler like?”

Vincent sighed. “I’m … not sure.” 

“Not sure? You gotta be kidding. What does she like for supper? She a take-out Chinese kind of woman? A fan of the coffeeshop? Diner food? Tell me she likes street vendor hot dogs and I’ll eat my chef’s hat. No, I’m betting she’s more the champagne type. Raspberries and cream, lobster under a silver dome?”

Vincent grew glummer with every memory Devin’s questions stirred. Particularly the last one. Grrrrrrrllggh.

“So …” Devin persisted. “What does the lovely Catherine – the love of your life – like … to … eat? I don’t want to be pushy, but you gotta  be able to answer that, little brother.”

Vincent took the mixing bowl Devin handed him – handed him rather hard, he thought, letting out a surprised cough at the force of it into his abdomen. A dish towel came sailing his way. After a bit more morose mulling, he had an answer at last. “Well, I know she likes …

… soup.”


Devin reached out, a look of brotherly love on his face – half-truly concerned, half-about to burst out laughing. “Vincent … you know soup is for … starters … don’t you?”


Well, actually, yes. He did know that.  


Back in his chamber, after Devin had departed for his next adventure, Vincent found the cookbook on his desk. He opened to an inscription on the fly leaf: For Vincent. Happy Winterfest from your big brother, Chef Devin. 

When he picked up the book, a note on a scrap of paper fell out, a note addressed to him, signed  “D”. Trust me, it read. Turn right to the last chapter. 

So, indeed, he did just that. 

And what followed – a private and, no doubt, a sweet occasion – is a subject for fan fiction.  🙂   


This ficlet was part of the Crystal Rose Lending Library’s WFOL 2015 Treasure Hunt activity.






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