This is a work in progress, unedited and raw.
Just like with Heart Full of Stars, which I wrote just to get some slack from the very demanding Legacy books, I have no real ambitions with this story. A fun project, one might say, but if I can afford it and it holds up (and I finish it!), it will be published. So:
The New Chef
“So... This is it.”
Rabbie eyed them both, his fingers, frantically tapping the table, revealing his feelings all too well. Darcy placed a discreet hand on Aidan's arm. Feeling the tautness of his muscles, she knew what he was thinking, and pleaded, silently in her mind, for him to go easy on the boy. Maybe he felt her plea, or maybe he was too overwhelmed to express any greater emotions, for he said, blankly:
“What... is it?”
Rabbie straightened his back. “Deconstructed haggis with deep fried green kale and swedes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I'm not so sure about the vinegar,” he
added, his eyes narrowing. “Maybe a whiskey sauce
would have been better."
“Maybe it would.” Aidan's voice was deep, curt. He took the offered fork and poked, hesitantly, in the strange blotches of presumed haggis. “It's supposed to look like this, then?”
“Aye. It’s deconstructed. Deconstructed haggis.”
Aidan shot him a quick glance. “Isn't haggis deconstructed by default? Why make it look like a road accident?”
“Aidan...” Darcy touched his arm again, and Aidan relaxed.
“Ah well. Let’s have a taste.” He took a bite, chewed it carefully. Darcy watched his face go from sceptic to surprised. He uttered a low hum; a sound she recognized as one of pleasure. She plucked a fork from the table, dipped it in the brown-grey mess and tried to ignore the fact that it looked and smelled just like dog food. Closed her eyes and put it in her mouth. And—
“It’s not bad,” she said and opened her eyes. Rabbie smiled at her surprised face. “I can't describe the taste…” Dog food. But in that case, at least it was the better kind of dog food; at least as she'd imagine it. “But it's nice. And that salty crispiness of the kale is a great addition. Not that I know how it's supposed to be, because it’s the first time I try it. I like it.” She glanced at Aidan. “What do you think?”
“A whiskey sauce would make it better,” he grumbled, “but I suppose it’s a fine attempt.”
Rabbie bowed. “Thank ye, Mr McAllister. I’m glad to hear it.”
“Hm.” He shook his head. “Another thing is that I’m not sure about this way of serving it. This deconstructing thing. The guests will be wanting traditions. The dirk and dram ceremony, ken?”
Rabbie rolled his eyes. “Nobody serves haggis that way anymore.”
“Aye? And ye ken that for sure, do ye? Or have ye read it in some fancy magazine?” Aidan's mouth turned into a thin line. “Why don’t ye just serve it as a patty between two pieces of bread instead? Call it a McHaggis?”