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Gaslight Gourmet

Sarah Totton's work has most recently appeared at McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Belladonna, and in the Infinite Lives anthology (Third Flatiron Publishing, 2019). She received an honorable mention in the 2019 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest.

"Yes, hello, sir! I am here at your home to cook you a gourmet meal. Why? Because when our eyes met at the grocery market, you made a remark about my milk-producing organs and intimated you would like to make my further acquaintance. I am therefore here to make you dinner. Yes, really. If you had not wanted me to come over, you should not have broadcast your thoughts so freely. It is too late now, in any case. I am here. Please show me to your kitchen.
"What? No, you must have hit yourself on the back of your head with that Lagostina stainless steel copper pot. I was nowhere near you. My, this pot is blunt. Are none of your pots sharp? What kind of cook are you? No wonder you need help in the kitchen!
"You must be confused. The rock hammer I am holding is for opening this coconut, not your skull. Not to open your skull and collect your brains into this ramekin. It is not even a hammer. It is a doorstop I found in your kitchen. You seem disoriented. Perhaps you should sit down at the table until you are feeling more coherent. I will finish preparing your food.
"Here is your food. No, it is perfectly normal for bearnaise sauce to fizz on my planet--our planet. Which is Earth.
"You vomit quite freely. Is this normal for you? It is not my fault that you have a faulty esophagus. No one else I have cooked for has ever vomited.
"Please lie down in the capsule over there--I mean, the peach pavlova. Please arrange yourself in the pavlova. No, it is not difficult. It is human-sized. You have folding bits. Fold them and you will fit. It is perfectly beneficial when one is feeling queasy to lie down in a pavlova. How have you attained the age of human maturity without learning this life skill?
"No. I am not building a wall. This is merely the croque-en-bouche we decided to build between you and freedom--I mean, to enclose the pavlova. Don't you remember? You were going to pay for it. Please provide me with a sample of the local currency.
"Please sit still while I finish applying the pastillage to the top of the croquembouche. No, this is not a sheet of drywall. Do you know nothing about pastry? This is crisp, gourmet pastillage to complement the flavor of the petits choux. Really, you are fidgeting like a small rodent. One would hardly believe you were a mature human specimen at all.
"Now, I must cover the drywall pastillage with a layer of white chocolate plaster. I am really spoiling you. Not many humans enjoy transport in a custom-made capsule--pavlova.
"Please stop screaming! You are hurting my sensitive ears. You are so self-centered. Try to think of the comfort of others for once. Not every human has a guest over to their house to make them a gourmet meal. All this effort I have gone to on your behalf and you are so ungrateful. This is the last time I collect specimens on your planet--our planet. Which is Earth."
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, February 24th, 2021
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