“Cooking”

This is a draft of a story that never came to be. I wanted it to be a short, humorous story with a lot of slap stick but I just could not bring it together in a way I was happy with.

	With the tapping of her sharp fingernails on the wooden table, Svetlana stared into her tea. The silver haired kikimora had very little to do at the moment. Like with all in her species, she had an innate desire-- no, a need to clean and help. But at the moment, she had almost nothing to do. Her best friend and employer, Maxine Hamilton was currently working as the Hamilton Manor’s only maid due to a punishment enacted by the witch’s husband. Svetlana could only imagine how her mother was holding up, a fifty some year old kikimora who knew nothing other than her duties as a maid. Unlike Svetlana, the elder kiki had no child to take care of. Even if she had a child, her husband was insisting on her having a vacation from putting up with the Hamiltons and was currently keeping an eye on their child for her. The kikimora sighed and looked away from the steaming tea.
	“That bad, huh?” Her friend mimicked her dejected sigh. The small kobold, Daisy, had light brown fur on her arms and legs with matching long hair, “Sheesh, you’re looking like a recovering alcoholic or smoker. Maybe some of the hard stuff too.”
“Please do not correlate me with drug addicts, Daisy,” Svetlana shuddered, “I am bored is all.”
	“Bored? Bored people don’t keep glancing at their broom closet and shaking!” Daisy laughed.
	Svetlana wondered why she invited the kobold over rather than any other person in her friend group. Unfortunately, most of them were currently busy except for the kobold. The two were sitting at her dining table with a hot pot of tea nearby and a cup of fine china in front of each of them, “Am I really that bad?” Svetlana asked as she thought about her house. It was on the Hamilton Manor’s grounds off to the side along with the house her mother lived in and one that belonged to Maxine’s bodyguard, Kimiko, a massive jinko samurai from Zipangu. Svetlana unfortunately couldn’t think of a single place to clean that Maxine hadn't already gotten. The witch was a surprisingly hard worker, perhaps she would get out of her sentencing sooner.
	Daisy stared at the spacing out kikimora and looked her up and down, “Well, you look kinda like one of those new age hipster kikis,” She teased, pointing to the sweats, graphic band t-shirt, and the oversized husband sweater she was wearing.
	Svetlana recoiled in abject horror, “Do NOT compare me to them! I am a pure blooded, hardworking, and dedicated maid! I do not need… ROOMBAS or technology to clean!”
	“But you use a vacuum?”
	“Work smarter not harder. While that may be technology, admittedly, I have an entire manor and three houses to clean. Besides, unlike the hellspawn, or roomba as you may call it, it is not automated and requires my effort to function,” Svetlana stopped her rant, feeling foolish now.
“Uhuh,” Daisy smirked and shook her head, “Lemme ask you something as someone who lets her husband clean; why do you want to clean up after four families?” 
	Svetlana didn’t hesitate at all, “I enjoy helping. Cooking and cleaning are how I help here. I… I have this innate desire to help people,” She admitted, “I still have a week of Maxine cleaning for me. And my husband and mother are both taking care of cooking. Daisy, I am going mad!” She put a hand on her forehead and slouched in her seat, “I need something to do, Daisy.”
	“Helping… helping… Oh! I know!” Daisy’s eyes lit up, “Ruth’s been asking me to teach her cooking, I know how to cook but I’m not nearly as good as you, maybe you could put together a whole cooking class! I’ll help you too! We could get our friends in on it! And if it goes well you could open it to the public for profit!”
	The kikimora rubbed her chin, “That… I could do that. Do you know anywhere nearby that could host it? Perhaps Maxine’s family would cover it. Lady Hamilton is always looking for new investments.”
	“The community college? If we set it up for this weekend we should have free reign over it. Lemme get their number for you…”

	Svetlana’s heart pounded as her nerves started to get the better of her. What if no one came? She wondered. She was in her usual frilly maid’s outfit so that gave her a tiny bit of confidence. Next to her was Daisy at the front of the room who was also wearing a maid’s uniform that Svetlana’s mom had put together for her. The kobold felt very cute in it and was very excited to show her husband her new uniform when she got home. The class room that the two had booked for this Saturday afternoon was specialised for cooking. It had little closed off kitchenette areas with a little stove, oven, sink, and bowls, knives, and anything else you might need for cooking. At the front of the room was a big table where Svetlana and Daisy could do demos for the class. As the clock hit one and the community college’s bell rang, “Time to unlock the door,” Svetlana nervously said as she made for the door. She unlocked it and pushed it open. She was surprised to see a small crowd waiting for her, “Welcome!”
	“Hi, Svetlana!” Bridgett shouted as she hurried into the room. The young green scaled dragon was wearing a cute blue dress with a duck on the chest along with an apron that she hastily put on.
	Next in was Maxine. For once the witch wasn’t wearing her magicking robes. She wore faded designer jeans, a short sleeve black shirt with a gold colored design depicting a few crossed lines, she also wore gold rimmed sunglasses on her soft face. She put on a black apron as she entered, “You would not believe how much talking it took to get Gwen to agree to let the little dragon come to this,” Maxine sighed as she took her glasses off and put them in her purse, “She did spend her wish from me on making this class happen.”
	“Yes she did,” Svetlana chuckled, “Is she not resistant to cuts and wholly immune to fire?”
	“Of course. There is a reason I am always buying the scales she loses,” The witch said before pairing up with Bridgett at one of the kitchen areas.
“Hello, Svetlana,” Next was the jabberwock Susan, a new hire at the Hamilton estate as a gate guard, was wearing a purple polo and black pants. Susan of course had a purple apron and her magenta and lavender hair was done up in a bun.
“Hello to you too, Susan. Class should start as soon as everyone files in,” The kikimora gave her a smile.
	“Sup, Svetlana,” The gruff voice made the kikimora turn.
	“Good afternoon, Ruth,” Svetlana gave the tall, short haired, and muscular hellhound a little nod. She was in a hot pink shirt that showed off her midriff and tight yoga pants. She put on a black apron with ‘KISS THE COOK’ on it. 
	“Yeah, nice and hot today,” She smirked, “Oh, this is my friend, uh, Princess,” She was a little embarrassed using her friend’s nickname. 
Svetlana froze as the hellhound gestured to a just as huge werecat with cream and brown fur colors akin to a siamese cat. Her green eyes stared intently with a permanent intense look on her face. She was in torn up khaki shorts and a black muscle shirt, “H-hey…” Princess gave a little nervous smile as she was given a plain white apron. The name ‘Princess’ did not seem to go along with the woman’s form, in Svetlana’s opinion at least.
	A harpy squawked as she rushed into the room, “Hi, Svetlana-friend!” 
	“Hello, Eve!” Svetlana smiled as she saw the eager black harpy. She wore a striped red shirt and a set of overalls. 
	“Other friends came too!”
	Last in was a duo. A grey gargoyle named Tera and an equally grey medusa named Cleo, “Did we make it on time?” The medusa asked. She wore a simple white dress with a few white bows in her snake hair. The gargoyle had jeans and a red shirt. Both had grey aprons that they put on. The medusa’s said ‘ASK ME ABOUT MY ROCK SALT’ while the gargoyle’s said ‘STONE COLD GRILLER.’
	“You made it right on time!” Svetlana said, “I thought you two were married? Yet you keep the rock puns?”
	“They’re our brand at this point,” Cleo shrugged as the two found their spot.
	“That seems to be everyone,” Daisy called.
	“You look like a nerd, Daisy,” Ruth teased.
	“SHUT IT!” The kobold growled loudly which just made the hellhound chuckle. 
	Svetlana gave a nervous look at Eve as the small harpy loudly snatched up a knife in the little talon on the ends of her wings and started waving it around, “It's like those sword-stabbies in those fun-games my love-hubby plays!” She screeched.
	Susan, who had paired up with her, took a few big steps away. Ruth chuckled, “I’ll keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn’t hurt anyone.”
	“Thank you, Ruth. If only Kimiko were here so you could focus on the lesson,” Svetlana grimaced, “Susan, partner up with… Princess, please.”
	The jabberwock mostly looked relieved to get away from the armed and dangerous bird brain. Svetlana looked around and nodded, she didn’t know Eve or the Stone Sisters very well, but she knew some of her friends drank with them. She still found the name ‘Princess’ attached to such a large and dangerous looking cat girl to be quite jarring and she unfortunately didn’t know the woman at all, but that thankfully didn’t matter much to her. She was just glad she was here to fill out the class. Maxine and Bridgett were paired together, the young dragon was excitedly telling the witch how she wanted to start cooking burgers. Susan and Princess gave one another uneasy looks. Ruth had disarmed Eve and put the knife away despite the harpies whining. Cleo and Tera explored the kitchenette, unsure what they were looking for, but still excited to be there.
	Svetlana took a deep breath and stepped to her spot at the front of the room, “Welcome, class!” She put on a big cheery grin as she looked around.
	“Hi, teacher!” Bridgett shouted back.
	“Welcome to my first ever cooking class! I hope that we have a smoothly running class for this maiden voyage!” The kikimora excitedly said with her feathery tail wagging slightly behind her, “My name is Svetlana, and this is my assistant, Daisy. I know you all have different skill levels in cooking, but we all agree, the fastest way to your husband or future husband’s heart is through his stomach! For our first class, I thought we would do something relatively simple,” She reached below the desk and snatched up an old and stained cookbook, “Beef and vegetable stew!”
	“Beef!” 
	“Yes, Bridgett, I know how much you like meat. I believe everyone here likes meat. For now, we will work on your knife skills!” Svetlana announced as she pulled out some onions, potatoes, and carrots from beneath the desk, “First lesson. Cleanliness. We are starting with vegetables due to us having one cutting board each. Does anyone know why?”
	“We’re too lazy to wash it?” Cleo asked with a little grin on her face, making Tera chuckle next to her.
	“No…”
	Bridgett hazarded a guess, “Maybe it makes the meat taste bad?”
	Ruth raised her hand, “You don’t want the meat juice on the vegetables?”
	“Exactly! Cross contamination is why. We will dice the onion, cube the potatoes and the carrots will be cut into coins. Then we can move onto the beef. We will cut those into coins or cubes. 

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