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© Rachel Devassy


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“Welcome, Marilyn! Thank you for joining on such a short notice!” the chef said smiling. He was a tall and lean man with a brown moustache bigger than the width of his face; magnificent hazel eyes that stared at Marilyn through horn-rimmed glasses and a fringe of hair that hung out from his chef hat making him look younger than he actually might have been.

Marilyn was a student attending a university right across from a French restaurant. So she had decided to take up a part-time job as a waitress at this restaurant with an ever smiling chef.

“Oh I’m not anything but lucky to have an opportunity of working here.” Marilyn replied managing a smile even when she was tired to the bone from studying. The chef started leading her into the main dining area of the restaurant and started instructing her, “so there is a total of seven tables. Three of them are for families and large groups while the other four are for two to four people. Remember to ask the details while taking orders from the customers, like- if they want the soup hot or warm or if they want the drinks with or without ice. And yes, ”he turned to look at her and she noticed that his smile had vanished “you will not ask more than what you need to know.” As he finished, the smile reappeared on his face.

Marilyn began working and time flew by so fast that she hardly realised when the clock struck 10:30 p.m. - the closing hour of the restaurant. She wiped the tables and cleaned up the chairs and entered the kitchen to say goodbye to the chef when she remembered that the bottle of ketchup in the kitchen had been oddly light in weight when she had lifted it up to clean the marble platform on which it was placed.

She went out of the kitchen and checked the bottles that were placed on the dining tables. They were as heavy as a bottle of ketchup should be. “Then what on earth is wrong with the one in the kitchen?” she wondered aloud. As she said this, she saw a thin, almost translucent drop of ketchup fall on the table.

She turned and found the chef standing right in front of her. He pinned her on the table with a knife to her throat and as he slowly killed her, she realised that the bottle in the kitchen was not of ketchup.

“Human blood is the key secret of my recipes.” he said and Marilyn saw that he was smiling.

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