She was going to be home soon, and he was starting to sweat.
It had seemed so simple, at the time.
Just make dinner.
A nice meal. A little candlelight. A little romance.
He’d already dusted and swept… well, as much as you could sweep a floor that was entirely composed of dirt and rock. He grunted, releasing a small spurt of smoke. He just hoped she appreciated his effort.
She was always complaining; about how he never cleaned up after himself, about how he always tracked mud home.
‘I got that stupid welcome mat for a reason,’ she’d say. ‘And it’s certainly not because anyone else is welcome here.’
She’d complain about always having to do the cooking, and how he was constantly leaving his things all over the place.
Today she’d gone out with the girls – getting a mani/pedi. An utter waste of gold, if you asked him. Of course, she hadn’t asked.
‘I’m going out,’ was all she’d said. He’d heard the irritation in her words and known better than to argue.
He was in hot water, he knew. But it would go from hot to boiling if he didn’t have the place cleaned up and dinner on the table by the time she got home.
Speaking of hot, it was a good deal harder to get the fire started than he’d anticipated, even for one of his particular skill set. With a half-grimacing, toothy grin, he turned away from the fire and started getting dinner set up – that fancy French word – what was it? Mise en something?
He’d actually been decent at French in school… You know, once upon a time, before he’d gotten hungry and eaten the French teacher.
That was another thing she always complained about – he was too impulsive. Sigh. Admittedly, he had a ways to go toward being the perfect husband. But he was bound to keep trying as long as she was willing to put up with him.
Arranging things on the counter, he heard a clattering noise behind him.
Dammit. Not again.
With a sigh, he turned around and shuffled over to where he’d left dinner. Not surprisingly, dinner had made a run for it.
Dang humans. Always trying to escape.
He thought he’d tied the guy pretty tightly, but the little man, still in his armor, was apparently pretty resourceful, although not smart enough to take off the suit before trying to make his getaway.
There the little man was, clanking towards the cave entrance.
He rolled his eyes and caught up with him in a moment.
The cave was not a terribly large one – she was always complaining about that as well. How they should save up the gold, instead of spending it on all of the little gadgets he was always buying. She wanted a bigger cave. Then, she said, they could have children. There was no room in this tiny little space. Now that he was thinking about it, she was right.
As if to reinforce her point, he managed to trip over a pile of gold he’d left off to one side of the cave, cracking a claw against a particularly sharp ruby.
He ignored the pain and grabbed the human in one big paw.
“I thought I told you to stay still,” he said, walking back into the cave to tie the little man up again. “Won’t do any good if you run away…. You’re dinner, you know. Without you, all I’ve got is garnish. And I don’t need to be in any more trouble than I already am.”
He wasn’t sure why he was explaining himself to dinner, but somehow, saying it out loud made him feel better.
Not that dinner had anything helpful to say in response. The little man was shouting something about sparing his life, pleading and such. Not terribly interesting.
Absentmindedly, he retied dinner to the spit, tighter this time, of course, before turning back to his preparations. He should, he thought, do this more often. She deserved it.
He hummed a grumbly, growly, indistinct song as he began chopping the carrots.
Sometimes, he reflected, it really is important to show the people that you care about how much you love them.
250-300 words * A Mythical Creature or Idea * cooking
(exceeded the word limit, but there you go…)
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