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Fettuccine for Four
Snow begins to fall lightly adding to the inches already on the ground. An owl hoots loudly shattering the still silence. The snow covered path is surrounded by tall trees bare except a lone bird’s nest. A young girl enters the forest and begins to run. Her feet kick up snow as she sprints along the path; tears streaming from her eyes. The girl suddenly stops. Panting, she leans against a tree and slides down, sitting on the frozen wet ground.
Meanwhile: At the other end of the forest enters a robust Italian cook fuming with anger and muttering under his breath. He walks fast with a purpose, his long apron flapping in the wind. How could that heartless soul complain against his cooking? Thirty years of hard work and never one complaint. And tonight one person complained - one person - and he was fired. The cook reached his house in the middle of the woods. His late wife chose the spot because it was; as she called it - set away from the rest of the world. When the cook was inside he turned the heat up a dial. At another end of the forest entered two boys who happened to be brothers. One was older than the other. The brothers had been wandering for a few days now they had been camping nearby with their family. One afternoon while they were hiking, the two boys had become separated from the rest of their family. The brothers walked on and on trying to find their way. Now they stumbled through the forest, shivering.
“That, over there by the tree?”
Charlie bent over the limp unconscious body.
“It’s a girl.” He reached down and lifted the girl in his arms.
“Start yelling for help James.”
“Again? I’ve been yelling all day.”
“Yes, do it.”
“Help, help, someone help.” James called not very enthusiastically.
Inside his cottage the Italian cook sat. He was just about to eat his dinner; when he heard a child’s voice cry out for help. Jumping up he grabbed his flashlight along with his coat and raced out.
“I’m here,” he called out to the darkness, shining his flashlight all around.
“Where?” responded the voice.
“I’m holding a flashlight.”
A few minutes later Charlie, carrying the girl, and James escorted by the cook entered the small house. It was the Italian who first spoke: “My name is Antonio, and may I ask yours, and why you’re wandering the forest with a freezing girl in your arms.
“I’m Charlie, and this is my little brother James.” Charlie continued his story up til when Antonio found them:
“So, this girl, you don’t know who she is.”
“Well, I suppose we should do something for her.” All six eyes turned toward the girl who was wrapped in blankets near a fire Antonio had but for the occasion.
“Thank you for making us dinner,” said James breaking the awkward silence.
“Yes, it was quite delicious,” added Charlie as he set the bowl Antonio had handed him while he was sharing his story.
“Thank you” said Antonio. “I’m a cook you know; or used to be. Antonio then shared his story, as he found spare toothbrushes and sleepwear for the brothers.
“Well,” wrapped up Antonio. “I guess you guys will have to sleep here tonight. The guest room is in quite a disarray.”
“We’d love it thank you so much for welcoming us into your home,” exclaimed Charlie.
“You’re quite welcome. Good night.’
“Good night,” echoed James. Later that night when the fire embers were just a faint glow; the young girl awoke. She yawning, looking around, she thought to herself: warm blankets? Comfortable couch? I must be dreaming, there is no other answer. Her eyes then fell upon Charlie; cute guy? She was defiantly dreaming. Rising to feet she felt her stomach growl. Maybe there was food in this place. She walked into the kitchen, yawning as she went. If this was a dream why was she so tried and so hungry? Seeing the loaf of garlic bread she pushed all thoughts from her mind. There was about a fourth left, she ate it all. After quenching her need of food she wandered from room to room. All tough the rooms were small and simple there was an air about the place a feeling of peace and something else she couldn’t quite put her finger on. She was about to turn back into the room she was sleeping in when another door caught her eye.
To be continued…