Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)
TITLE: Cupid's last shot
By Paul Servini
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He flew speedily down to earth and scoured the streets in search of someone needful of his help. His first stop yielded nothing. That couple were so observed in each other that they needed no help from him. Shouts were coming from the house next door. But a quick glance in through the window persuaded him that any help in that house had come too late.
On he went fluttering from house to house when he heard sobbing coming from a house in a somewhat forlorn looking street. A faint light was visible from a back passage and quick as a flash Cupid was in through the keyhole. In the kitchen he saw two women at the table. The elder of the two was trying to console the other who was sobbing bitterly. Cupid listened and discovered the latter had been married on New Years Eve last year. Her husband was a widower and reasonably attentive. But every evening when he came home for dinner, all he said was: “Why can’t you cook properly? This is not like my first wife cooked.” The poor woman was so distraught after such mistreatment, she didn’t know what to do.
Cupid’s eyes darted around the room and he soon found the wedding photo he was looking for. Now all he had to do was seek out this inconsiderate husband. One fateful arrow and he would be cured. Off he went and he soon found the husband on his way home from work. In a flash the arrow was on his bow but in his excitement he fired too soon and the arrow just glanced off the man’s shoulder. Cupid was in despair. No longer did he think of the disgrace of relegation. His only concern now was this woman he had let down so badly. True, the arrow had touched the shoulder, so some of its magic may just have rubbed off on the man.
He darted back to the house where the woman would be putting the finishing touches on this last dinner of the year. But even before arriving in the kitchen he was aware of the disaster awaiting them both. The dinner smelt decidedly burnt and the poor woman was trying her best to put on a brave face, both on herself and the dinner. But even if she managed to make it reasonably presentable, the eating of it would fool no one.
The husband came in and expectantly went up to his wife giving her a peck on the cheek. As absorbed as he was in his own thoughts he didn’t even notice the redness of his wife’s eyes.
“I’m starving! I hope you’ve made something good for dinner.”
It took all the inward force his wife could muster to stop herself bursting into tears and running out of the room. She placed the dinner on the table and lit the candles she had bought to celebrate their first anniversary. Fortunately, her husband was so hungry he served himself, sparing her the ignominy of what was bound to happen. Her eyes followed the movement of his hands as he raised the fork to his lips. She braced herself for the torrent of words that was to follow. But her husband’s face lit up. “At last! This is exactly how my late wife used to cook.”
On his way back to the heavens that evening Cupid couldn’t help peeking in at their bedroom window and was assured that everything was in the best of order. But he decided he would stick to his decision nonetheless. He would resign as chief sprite. He was obviously losing his touch.
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