Shef wheezed as his ripped open the letter that had appeared outside his hut. It was six in the morning, and the streets leading up to the Eiffel Tower were completely empty, except for a few stray cats and rats.
As his eyes scanned the words, he began to jump up and down, shaking the whole hut in his excitement. He had been accepted to the most prestigious cooking school in Paris, El Cocinero Muerto. Shef quickly ripped the letter in half, but not before memorizing the address.
He began packing clothes, cooking pots, and packing them into his empty cauldron. After all of his belongings were packed, Shef whistled, and a large crowd of rats scuttled up to him. Shef pointed at the cauldron, himself, and read out the address of the cooking school. Instantly, the rats crawled under the cauldron, lifted it up, and sped off. Shef screamed as the rats clutched his gangly feet and started toward the cooking school.
A couple minutes later, Shef gasped in amazement as the rats began slowing. He was staring at a large, fifteen story building, with the words El Cocinero Muerto on the lobby floor. Shef grabbed his cauldron, thanked his rat friends, and entered the building. A blast of cold air hit Shef full in the face, and he fell backwards, shivering.
After his bubbly green skin had gotten used to the air conditioning, Shef opened his eyes. An astonishing display of food lined the hallway leading to a large main room. Shef carefully analyzed each food item he passed, before finally entering the elevator in the main room. Shef stumbled to the floor as the elevator whizzed upwards. Suddenly, it stopped, and the doors opened, leading him into a medium sized room. A class was taking place there, and everybody looked up from their small kitchens as Shef entered. Most of the students were girls, but all seemed to be bald at a closer look, even the boys. One student was crying, either from her shaved head, or from cutting onions. Shef waved his four-fingered hand, one finger lost in a bean explosion.
The teacher, standing at his own kitchen workstation, looked up from his cutting board where he was dicing tomatoes. Shef recognized him as Ibn Grandosy, the most famous chef in all of Europe. Shef dropped to the floor in a bow and the class snickered. Ibn Grandosy welcomed Shef. “Class, this is Shef, your new classmate.” Mr. Grandosy pointed at a workstation in the direct center of the classroom. “You can start preparing your meal there, Shef.”
Shef cackled with delight. He scuttled over to his small kitchen and pulled out his cauldron. “Some beans and relish would make a good appetizer…” he thought out loud. Shef began mixing every ingredient from his kitchen into the cauldron, not even looking to see if it was expired or not, dancing along to a tribal Indian chant. Shef turned around and grinned at the boy with a green shirt, who was turning a little green from Shef’s cauldron’s smell.
Shef heaved the huge cauldron onto the gas stove and lit the burner. He quickly snapped on some thick plastic gloves and airtight goggles. Almost immediately, huge blasts of murky smoke began pouring out of the pot, filling the whole classroom. The carbon monoxide alarm wailed loudly, but most students collapsed to the ground from taking a single waft. Shef screamed to nobody in particular. “YOU LIKE MY BEANS?!” Mr. Grandosy hobbled over, weak from the fumes, avoiding the bodies. “T-turn i-it off!” he croaked, holding his throat. Shef turned just in time to see Mr. Grandosy fall to the ground, twitching and shrieking.
Suddenly, the fire alarms began starting up. The contents of the cauldron had caught on fire, and it had spread to the ceiling. Ripples of fire shimmied down the walls. Shef was trapped! He desperately looked for an escape route, before spotting a glass window. With a something that sounded suspiciously like “Linebacker!”, Shef ran at the window. Glass shattered as his body flew through the window and he began to fall. Too late, Shef realized he was on the fourteenth floor. He gulped and knew that even a Gourmet Chef like him couldn’t survive the hundred-foot fall. He was right.
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