That WAS a hard time for me, Edna thought, leaning back
further in her chair. The orphanage was so nice, and she hated to leave it.
She never saw her mother again; but even back then, all she could remember of
her were vague scenes of colour and laughter. That temporary job was quite interesting
to me, she continued to herself. It led to her love of Spooky Foods; there she
made her first.
Edna put her pack in a corner where it wouldn’t
get covered in flour and began to work diligently. There was just one problem:
she didn’t know what an orange cake was.
“Let’s see… let’s see… well, what around her
The first orange thing she laid her eyes upon
was a pumpkin, and she smiled.
“There, a pumpkin… THAT must be the main ingredient!
Okay… now what… to make the cake… well, first I’ll cut up the pumpkin.”
She took the pumpkin and cut it into cubes, and
popped one in her mouth; it tasted acrid.
“UGH! That tastes awfully RAW! I better cook
the pieces a bit to soften them!”
So she brought out a big pot and put it the pumpkin
cubes in it, and put the pot on the stove. Pretty soon, it started bubbling,
and she added some spices, and all was going well until she realized…
“WAIT! Oh no, this is a stew! I’m supposed to
be making cake!” Edna hurriedly turned off the heat, and put the pot onto a
free space on the counter.
“Okay, okay, well, I could use this as the cake...
filling! Yes, filling!”
She hurriedly made some dough with some of the
copious amount of flour which was laying around.
“Well, I need a cake pan to bake this… now where
could it be…”
She searched through all of the pots and pans.
Clatter, clank, CRLCKNAKNK!
“What’s that racket?” yelled the shopkeeper
from outside the door.
“Nothing! Nothing at all!” said Edna hurriedly.
“Oh bother, I’ll just use a pie pan instead,”
Edna finally decided. She brought out the pie pan, coated it with the dough,
poured in the pumpkin stew for filling, threw some more dough on top of it to
make it look nice, and stuck the whole thing in the oven. A few minutes later,
the kitchen started smelling delicious, so she brought out her orange cake.
It was golden brown; finished.
“Mr. Shopkeeper, the Orange Cake is finished!”
Edna heard the sound of footsteps outside and
the Kacheek opened the door.
“Done already? Cake takes much longer to… wait,
that’s not an orange cake!”
“It isn’t?” asked Edna, eyes wide open.
“Uh… no… it’s in a pie pan, has a crust, and
what’s the filling…” the Kacheek procured a fork and took a taste.
“Oh… my… this may be the WORST orange cake I
have ever tasted…” he said. Edna’s eyes filled up, and she said “I apologi…”
“You didn’t let me finish!” snapped the Shopkeeper.
“As I was saying, this may be the worst orange cake I have ever tasted, but
it is the BEST darn Pumpkin Pot Pie this side of Neopia!”
Edna looked up. “Do you really mean it?” she
asked in shock.
“I really, really mean it! You’re no baker,
you’re a chef! I’m giving you to my friend at the restaurant a few doors down
as a sous-chef! Would you mind that?” he asked.
“Would I MIND? That would be a dream come true!
Thank you so much!” Edna exclaimed with joy.
The work at the restaurant was wonderful… at first. The recipes she was given
by the head chef weren’t too hard for her to make; in fact, she secretly put
some of her own improvements into them. The attendance at the restaurant steadily
grew in size until it had almost doubled; word of mouth had spread about the
rockin’ new chef. Admittedly, all the publicity and praise had gone a bit to
her head, and it made her head chef positively green with envy (which was no
small feat, since he was a red Meerca).
Edna’s changes to the recipes became more and
more daring and elaborate, until she thought less of the actually taste and
more and more of flashy presentations. By the time her “Sparkling Negg Flambée”
had set a good portion of the tables on fire, her dishes weren’t very good at
all. To add to matters, her head chef’s jealousy of her success had led him
to always search for Edna to slip up so he would have an excuse to get rid of
her. This last mishap was the last straw.
“EDNA! TO MY OFFICE!”
Those words reminded Edna of when she sat, incredibly
nervous, in front of the three supervisors right before she had left the orphanage.
Already, so caught up was she in the work, those memories seemed far away. With
the same sense of déja vu, she laid her paw on the doorknob of his office and
pushed it open. There was the head chef, babbling with fury.
“HOW COULD… WITH THE… FLAMES… FLAMES ON THE
SIDE OF…. AND THE… HOW DAREYOUCHANGEMYRECIPESFROMTHEORIGINALFSOIJOIRGO-EIRGOWHITEWEEWOOSTEWANDHTETSHOTISOSNSENTLSTKN!”
“Pardon?” asked Edna.
“FIRST YOU CHANGE MY RECIPES, THEN YOU STEAL
THE SPOTLIGHT AWAY FROM ME, THEN YOU SET MY RESTAURANT ON FIRE! EDNA, YOU’RE
FIRED!” he raged, specks of froth shooting out of his mouth at every word.
Edna ran out of the restaurant, crying; she had
no job, no place to stay… suddenly, Little Edna felt a little too little, lost
in a big, scary world. She ran up to the room which she had rented, scribbled
a note for the landlady, gathered up her things in her bandana, put on her roller
blades, and skated out of the town. Past the restaurant, past the bakery, past
the stamp store, past the snoring Jubjub guard, and out of the gates, into the
dark, dark woods.
To be continued…