A new entry in The Road Back. Edward has moved into the kitchen away from the growing crowd of the lunch rush. He meets Alice who prepares meals as he watches. He also learns of Abigail’s own struggles and her restoration.
There is one more entry in this “short story” after this. Short stories are such an odd bird. In the web, short stories are almost micro stories and no more than 500 words. But in previous years, 5000 words or 10 pages would not be unheard of for a short story.
Thanks for your support. Look for the final entry on Edward on Thursday.
The Magic Kitchen
Abigail got up and said, “The lunch rush is starting and I need to tend to business. Follow me.” She pulled him up and led him behind the counter and into the kitchen. The second woman followed and he could see she had been preparing sandwiches, meat pies and other savories. Abigail said, “Alice, this is Edward Wayland. Millicent sent him here and he needs a bit of a break from his current situation. Take care of him while I get the customers under control. Maybe he can help you.”
Alice waved a rolling pin at a chair and said, “Sit monsieur. I would offer another cookie, but you need lunch no?” She turned to Abigail and said, “Go…I will feed him and make sure he waits for you love. But the crowd grows restless.” Alice explained what she was doing with each dish to fill the empty time. He watched her work and remembered the bustle of his family’s kitchen. The staff had always seemed happy and content as they prepared food, ironed, folded or cleaned silver. By comparison, his father and mother always seemed on edge.
Athena walked in with some orders which Alice filled quickly. Athena looked at Edward and said, “Your eyes aren’t as sad. I knew Tante’s Cookies would work.” She went over and gave him a hug that made him stiffen a bit. She then went and grabbed the orders and headed out into the main room. Alice said, “The child steals hearts…no?”
Edward said, “I am afraid I am a bit of damaged goods.”
Alice said, “Bah…we all are.” Edward simply nodded and let the smell of the kitchen wash over him.
He had a potato leek soup with the most exquisite rye bread and a rocket and cucumber salad and a glass of wine. Alice continued her work and spoke of meeting Abigail. “She was sad too…and angry. But that has changed, “ and smiled. She spoke of Athena and her lessons. She spoke of the move to England and the challenges of setting up the shop. He supposed the relationship was a poorly kept secret in the neighborhood as most people were still shocked by such things. Edward had many days in Millicent’s ship and he had grown accustomed to Eleanor’s and Simone’s relationship. He was hearing of the same thing now but with the added spice of 15 years of companionship. He could find no fault. They harmed no one. He could not say the same for Winfred Stanhope, Findley Brown or even himself.