In Hot Water – Chapter Six

Last spamming session, I promise. XD

“Ah. ‘Tis my stupidest cook, Nicholas. He is always setting off ze fire alarm. He works in the meat and seafood section, you see him soon. In fact, let us visit there now!”

Leesh rolled her eyes at Augustus’s accent. Normally Leesh was the polite one and Keisha should have been the one tagging along, bored with her shoulders slumped.

The meat and seafood section was crazy. The sub-chef called out orders to cooks throwing meat in the air in a pan, chopping it, marinating it and seasoning it. On a rack hung meats of all shapes, sizes and shades of red. Everyone was sweating in the heat and pressure.

“Here is Nicholas, ze man I was talking about,” Augustus said.

The chef pointed to a short, skinny man extinguishing a fire coming from his frying pan. Nicholas sighed when he could see his blackened meat. The poor cook thrust it in the trash and grabbed another meat slice from the rack.

Augustus shook his head, disappointed, and showed the girls the seafood section. It was a little calmer there, and no fires or blackened fish were to be seen. There was a little group of several cooks working on a single lobster. Keisha wondered who ordered something that size.

“Dears, I haven’t shown you ze pasta and pastry sections, but I’m sure you have better things to do on the ship.”

Leesh agreed silently. Keisha smiled sadly, said goodbye and made her way out of the kitchen with Leesh.

“Where should we go now?” Leesh asked curiously.

“Let’s check up on Tess. I bet she’s done her nails,” Keisha said.

They found out soon enough that she had, in fact, done her nails. Both her toenails and fingernails. Tess had a fun time reading magazines, experimenting with her hair and “totally cooking expertly,” if you called putting a frozen meal form the fridge into the microwave. Which Keisha didn’t.

“Dude, we should totally look for a place to eat dinner. It’s like, five o’clock, since you spent two hours at that creepy-looking kitchen,” Tess chuckled.

“You didn’t even see the kitchen. how did you know if it was creepy-looking or not?” Leesh said.

“It looked creepy on the map,” Tess said as if it was perfectly logical.

Keisha rolled her eyes and flopped down on a chair. Leesh did the same.

“I’m tired,” Leesh said randomly.

“And you’re going to get hungry if we don’t find dinner,” Tess said, blowing her final breath on her fingernails. “We can sit down at a restaurant.”

“I remember the school’s site saying something about a dinner which everyone had to attend… It said it was on the top front deck or something?” Leesh said, straining to remember.

Keisha walked onto the balcony and leaned over, looking to the left. It was like she was trying to stretch her neck a metre and thought it would actually happen.

Keisha couldn’t see the top front deck. The ship blocked her view.

“We’ll have to check it out, then,” Keisha said.

“Oh, and bring your swimmers!” Leesh added. “It said that you’d go swimming after.”

“Aren’t you supposed to wait an hour after eating to go swimming?” Tess snorted.

“I dunno,” Keisha said from the toilet, already dressing into her swimming costume. She slid a loose, striped shirt over her swimmers and put on shorts with cuffs, then she waited by the door.

Tess didn’t move.

“Fine,” Tess finally sighed. “But I still would rather go to a restaurant, not some mandatory dinner.”

“Well, I’m all up for it,” Leesh said cheerfully, stepping into her flats.

After Tess finished dressing, the three found their way to the top front deck and saw that there was a dinner, after all.

An impossibly long wooden table was fixed to the ground, complete with chairs and vases of roses. Augustus and his cooks were placing platters in the middle of the table and empty plates in front of everyone. The seventh-graders stared greedily at the platters. Principal Ivory got a slightly larger plate with the mashed mix of crustaceans Keisha had seen earlier, also mixed with something else which was green and something yellow. The table was beside the huge, probably heated pool with crystal-clear waters and relaxed, silent swimmers.

The view was amazing. The sun was starting to set and colours of pink, purple, orange and yellow were painted across the sky. The colours of the sky also made the water beautiful. There were tiny waves in the sea of many colours.

Keisha, Leesh and Tess took a seat. Tess rubbed her hands hungrily, Leesh wondered how she was going to eat so much and Keisha looked enviously at Principal Ivory who was, unfortunately, right beside Keisha. He sat at the front of the table in his smart suit, a napkin over his chest.

He saw her staring at the mix hungrily and leaned close.

“Keisha, you know that I mean much respect towards Chef Augustus and his cooks. But I don’t find this mix particularly tickling my desires, even just by me looking at it. I’d be very grateful if we could swap plates,” Principal Ivory whispered, pointing at this plate of crustacean mash and Keisha’s empty plate.

“Sure!” Keisha whispered immediately and grabbed the principal’s plate.

Principal Ivory stood up, clinked his wine glass and made a brief but boring toast. He then sat down and scooped up food from different platters, as did everyone else.

Keisha licked her lips and dug into her mix like a starving lion. The many flavours overwhelmed her mind and caused her to be nothing but happy. She savoured the delicious taste of seasoned crustaceans.

“Oh, these prawns and crabs and everything are wonderful! Principal Ivory, you should have eaten this yourself!”

“Prawns… and crabs? I’m allergic to crustaceans!”

Author’s Notey Thingy: DUHNDUHNDUHN. Yeah, principals can have allergies. All great rulers have weaknesses.

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