jonathan rodriguez

The Chef Surprise

jonathan rodriguez

My wife was a busy woman, always tending to her work before her duties as a spouse. She worked for a rather large finacial corporation as the ceo, where as I was just a stay at home writer. We both were constantly consumed by our work and as you can guess, we hardly ever spent time with each other anymore, let alone had a home cooked meal but this was the ever growing norm in our lives.

She went to work and I stayed home, growing more annoyed at how she cared more about her damn job then she did about her own husband. We fought on and off about the subject of her taking less hours and spending more time at home with me, but that went in one ear and easily out the other. She would always say something along the lines of:

“These numbers won’t simply calculate themselves” or “A business isn’t run efficiently without it’s Ceo.”

She always made sure to remind that she brought home the money, what with me only having ever published one book. It was evident that she cared very little for me, so I was surprised when she suggested that I hire a personal chef to cook for me. I guess she didn’t want to find me dead from starvation one of these days. Now don’t get me wrong I can cook, but I don’t personally like to eat burnt things. So I took my wife’s advice and began a long tiresome search for a personal chef for hire.

I had come across a few mediocre ads, these weren’t too bad but the amount of money wanted as pay was astronomical and I could barely afford it. I was about ready to give up on my search. It seemed almost impossible to find anyone who would cook for a low price and my sense of defeat was growing stronger with each passing ad. Not to mention I hadn’t heard from my wife in a few days. Something about an important business trip, she seemed stressed when she called and told me about it. I love my wife but she’s always been stressed about her job so I shook this off as one of those moments, told her I loved her and wished her a safe trip. The warm thoughts of our wedding day and how happy she was when I placed the ring on her finger and said I do filled my head and sort of gave me a boost of determination to find a chef. It’s kind of cheesy but for the little amount of love my wife shows me I show her it in ten fold. I grabbed a highlighter off my desk and began looking once again, highlighting several ads that peeked my interest then going back over and reading them. Yet still none of these seemed to work out for me, They all wanted a price that I alone couldn’t afford. I took a few seconds to get up from my desk and went in to the kitchen to grab a drink. This was starting to feel like an all night task, writing a book was starting to seem easier then this.

After several hours of searching I had finally lost all hope and decided just to place a small ad in the paper. It read as such, “Semi-wealthy man looking for a personal chef for hire. Must have prior training in the kitchen and relatively well culinary skills. Seeking out someone that will work for low pay. If interested please call…” I leave my number out for privacy reasons but looking back on it now, it seems ridiculous. Tired and defeated I made myself a light dinner and headed off to bed. Normally I would have stayed up into the late ours of the night working but I just wasn’t feeling it.

The night passed like any other, a lonely bed filled with sorrow as I stayed up looking at the ceiling thinking of my wife and what she could possibly be doing at that moment in time, but eventually I dozed off. While I was a sleep I had the most horrendous nightmare. I was in the kitchen of an old style restaurant. You know the one’s that had the black and white checkered flooring and the bathroom tile walls.Yet this one some how seemed darker and much more sinister like it was something of pure evil. I laugh at it now because it seemed too much like one of those Freddy Kruger movie sets with the boiler room but in this case it was a kitchen.

Anyways I began slowly walking around, fear slowly grabbing me with it’s ice cold fingers causing the hairs on the back of my neck to rise to attention. My body was telling me to turn back not to go any further, That the things I would see would haunt me forever. Yet being a rational man I shook this off patted down my neck hairs and continued all be it stupidly forwards. It was at this point that I began to hear a voice, it sounded almost distorted and grainy. Sort of like when you’re searching through radio stations and you just can’t get the dial right and the voices seem inhuman.

What I heard was someone mentioning parts of….meat. “Slowly slice away the sirloin, gently severe the shoulder cuts from the body-” The voice stopped as if having noticed my presence. Now at this point one would expect me to say that the most horrendous things happened, dead bodies appearing everywhere screams of pain and the such. But no this didn’t happen at all, in fact maybe it would have been better if it had happened.The voice requested that I come find it. “Welcome to The Chef’s Surprise I’m in the back, why don’t you come…find me.”The more cautious of men would have turned away and never looked back, however I am a writer and curiosity is what helps put bread on the table so to speak. Putting caution to the wind I advance and eventually I came upon a single room in the kitchen which looked like a butchery, slabs of meat hung off slowly swinging rusty hooks as fresh blood slowly dripped down from the slabs. I slowly walked into the room, brushing up against several slabs of meat getting blood of what ever animal they were on my clothing. As I made my way further into the room the lights died out and one dim light shot on in the middle of the room.In the center of this light was a single chef, with his hair slicked back to the side and wearing a white jacket covered in blood. I assumed the blood was from whatever he was butchering and thought nothing strange of the situation.

Slowly I made my way up to the chef and spoke softly.

“H-hello sir?”

I didn’t get an answer I found this strange, was I not loud enough? I spoke again but louder this time.

“Hello sir, can you tell me where I am?”

I waited and watched carefully as the chef raised the cleaver he was using to butcher whatever was in front of him high into the air. He then abruptly stopped and brought it heavily down severing the neck from the rest of the body. I had expected an animals had to fall onto the ground but as I watched a human head bounce off of the ground, terror filled my mind and my very breath was taken from me. I slowly and painstakingly turned my attention back to the chef. He had turned around to completely face me and the look…the look he had was inhuman. I can’t even begin to describe his face… because it wasn’t his face…it was my own. I don’t know how this was possible but on this demented chef’s face was my very own flesh. I was so terribly caught up in the idea of him wearing my face that I hadn’t noticed in his hand was a news paper and in plain view was my ad for a chef. He smiled and spoke well licking his lips.

“I’ll be tasting you real soon.”

What did he mean by this?! Was this man…no this thing crazy?! I shouted at him both in fear and anger.

“Stay away from me you cannibalistic freak!”

My fear and anger had blinded me of my surroundings and I failed to notice him raising that damn cleaver high above his head. What brought me back to reality was him speaking in a demented ton.

” Bon appetite.”

The clever came swinging down at a lightning fast speed completely severing my head from my body.

I woke up instantaneously screaming in a sweat drenched terror. I slowed my breathing and looked over at my alarm clock, it flashed 9:00 am. I figured that the nightmare was from over working myself and got up. I made my way down to the kitchen and fixed a pot of coffee. I had just finished turning it on when my phone started ringing, I answered it and asked for who was calling.

“Hello you have reached the Browning residence may I ask who is calling?”

“Ah yes I am The Chef, I saw you were in need of a personal chef and I would like to offer you my services.”

I found it slightly strange at how this person addressed himself as “The chef” but shrugged it off.

“Ah well this is wonderful news, what can you tell me about your cooking?”

“Well sir most of my clients tell me my food is…to die for.”

The last part of is sentence sounded strange, almost sinister. However I just simply played it off as my imagination over reacting because of my nightmare. We continued our conversation and agreed on him coming over tonight for a trial basis.

“Wonderful sir, I will be over to treat you soon.”

Strange his voice almost sounded distorted with that last word, no it must have simply been my imagination. I waited with excitement that day I could hardly imagine the food he would cook for me. Perhaps a braised pork loin or even better filet mignon, the thought of all the delicious food that would tickle my taste palate was enough to cause me to drool.

At around 7:00pm there was a heavy knock on my door, I quickly assumed this was the chef and answered it allowing him to enter.

“Good evening sir.”

“Ah good evening to you as well, I hope you found the place easily.”

“Wasn’t a trouble at all, a place as lovely as this sticks out very well.”

He was a well mannered man and wanted to get right to work.

“Now sir I am here to cook so if you would.”

he gestured for me to show him to the kitchen and without hesitation I did just that and asked him if he needed any ingredients. He answered me with a polite tone.

“No I have everything I need in this sack.”

Strange I hadn’t notice him bring in a sack, but then again I was too excited to notice very much anyways. I excused myself and left the kitchen, deciding that it would be best if I got the dining room table set.

The long oak table brought memories of my wife to mind, I was beginning to miss her and our large home was beginning to feel empty. I hadn’t cleaned in a while so this allowed the cobwebs and dust to build up making our home a horror fans dream house. I could probably throw up some cheap decorations this Halloween and charge a small fee to allow people to enter and get scared. Maybe I could even get the chef to help out. I stopped and shook my head laughing at my outrageous idea,I hadn’t even hired the man yet. I quickly finished setting the table and decide to take a sneak peek at the chef working. Quietly I tip toed over to the kitchen and opened the door ever so slowly as to not gain any unwanted attention. The aromas coming from the kitchen were heavenly the smells combined with each other in such a perfect way it almost brought a tear to my eye. I looked around for the chef and spotted him cutting up some meat, he must have spotted me as well. For he raised his cleaver and shook it speaking in a voice as if scolding a small child.

“Sir no peeking I like to have my clients wait in surprise.”

I felt embarrassed and apologized as I made my exit.

“Do forgive my arrogance I had no idea.I am the same with my books.”

Defeated I sat down in my chair at the dining room table, allowing my mind to wander freely for the first time that day. It was at this point that the nightmare from last night came back into view and things began matching up. For example the way the two chefs spoke was very similar.The way they cut their meat as well slowly raising their cleavers then quickly with grace bringing them down on their targets, however what really struck me as odd was that clever. It was an exact copy of the clever in my dream, how was something like this possible? It was to odd to be a coincidence yet it was all a dream, right? It had to be, yeah that’s all it is. My brain is just making connections to seemingly odd things that slightly line up with each other, nothing to be worried about. I slapped myself a few times across the face to get the idea out of my head, all I wanted to focus on was eating the delicious meal prepared for me. I listened to the kitchen door creak open as the chef wheeled out my meal, His face was hidden from view.I just played it off as the lighting in the room casting a shadow on him. He elegantly took the lid off the dish and placed it in front of me, I can barely describe the meal to you. Everything glistened with it’s own juice the meat had a tender touch to it and the vegetables weren’t soft but weren’t to firm either.Everything seemed… too perfect, I picked up my fork and cut off a chunk of the meat. Slowly I brought it to my mouth to savor the look and smell of it. I put the meat in my mouth and began chewing, Savoring the awe inspiring flavors. As I chewed I bit into something hard, Something that probably got left in by mistake. I quickly assumed it was a bone, not everyone is perfect and mistakes are made. I simply opened my mouth and pulled out the item.

I looked down at it and was immediately stricken with terror, A ring was sitting in my hand. I…I was eating a human being, that was the only logical conclusion my brain could muster up, why else would there be a ring in my food. I quickly took my napkin and spit out the rest of the meat and glanced over at the ring. I couldn’t believe my eyes, no I didn’t want to believe them that ring I knew that ring very well. I had placed it on my wife’s hand on the day of our wedding.

Everything was making sense now, the reason why she sounded so stressed when she called me wasn’t because of work, no it was because this sick manic had her…a…and the reason she hasn’t called me yet is because…s..she’s dead.

I turned my now angered gaze towards the chef at the same time reaching for my knife. Only to realize…I was to late. For he stood in front of me, apron stained with what I could only assume was the blood of my wife and his cleaver raised high into the air. My last images will be of her skin on his face. With a lightning fast speed he swung the cleaver down severing my head from my body and spoke those same words as the chef in my nightmare.

“Bon appetite.”

They say that your head can survive for a small amount of time when it’s removed from your body. I guess they were right for the last thing I thought and heard while staring up at that demented chef was a distorted demented laughter and…The chef’s surprise really is to die for.

Slowly the chef bent down and picked up my head. Then this inhuman being made his way into my kitchen… no it was no longer my kitchen The world around us slowly began to shift and distort into that terrifying restaurant. The black and white flooring tiles were withered and cracked, the walls were stained with blood and chunks of human meat.

This creature placed my head on a cutting board and grabbed a flaying knife and began slowly painstakingly cutting my face away from the bone, that was when I noticed the sound of a ringing phone.

“Hello and thank you for calling The Chef’s Surprise where every meal….is to die for, I’m The Chef how can I serve you.”