Toadstool

Mushrooms, why’d it have to be mushrooms? Today started off so well too. My mother used her usual secret technique of luring me down stairs with the sweet smell of bacon. Dressed in just a gown and slippers with the bed hair of the Wicked Witch of the West. I was in no mood to find my plate devoid of pig. Instead of breakfast I found an envelope. I willed my stare into a pair of daggers and aimed my weapon directly at my mother. “Woman! Where is my bacon?” I said with deadly intent.
“Open it.” she said a bemused smile upon her lips. My fingers were already working.
“Another rejection? Let’s hope it’s from the Origami University. Then I’d know what to make of it.” I replied. My mother just scoffed at me as I read aloud.
“Dear AMELIA FINN, We invite you… Interview… apprenticeship… at Oddity?” My eyes widened and I read on. “The interviews today! It’s in two hours. What the frick mum!” I said.

“You better hurry then.” My mother said. I scrambled. Snatching the grizzled pork from my mother’s outstretched hand with my teeth. Like a hurricane I ran to my room throwing objects in every direction. I found the only smart blouse I owned, some reasonably serviceable pants and hung them up to ‘self iron’ as I showered.
I was ready in record time. A personal best! My reflection in the mirror showed me as presentable. My eyes shone hazel instead of the ‘I’ve been up all night playing computer games’ look they usually bore. My hair however made me look a relative of cousin IT from The Adam’s Family.

I ran downstairs to find my mother by the door waiting patiently. We hopped in the car. My mother graciously driving as I used what little time I had to prepare for the interview. You see I’ve only recently got out of college. For the last few months I’ve been applying anywhere and everywhere for a culinary position. Lots of rejection letters, few interviews.

A nervous wreck I frantically searched for interview tips online. My mother obviously reading the look upon my face rather than watching the road laid her hand on my arm. “Relax hun, you’ll be fine. Just be yourself”
“Be myself? That’s the problem” I retorted.

The car slowed as we pulled up outside the restaurant. “You are awesome Em, now keep that shit up.” She said with a sober look. My lips couldn’t help but draw into a smile. She was good at that. I took a deep breath, paused for what seemed like an eternity and got out of the car.

Oddity is an upmarket restaurant with its name displayed on a canopy out front. I stepped into the building. They hadn’t opened yet. Everything was ever so still and quiet. As I waited; I inspected the interior. The dining room was split into four sections, each representing a motif of an overarching theme. Which as far as I could tell was Fairytales. Cool. One of the quarters looked like Jack & the Beanstalk. Another; Little Red Riding Hood. My favourite, Hansel and Gretel, had a giant gingerbread house where diners would sit. I was trying to decipher what the fourth one was when a voice called over from a nearby doorway. “Hello, can I help you miss? We’re not open yet.” A hostess said as she approached me.
“I’m here for the apprenticeship” I continued.
“Oh right!” she exclaimed. “Please come join the others in the back. Kenneth is about to start the interviewing process!”
“Kenneth!?” I gulped as I followed her lead. Kenneth is the owner & head chef I remembered. Well known for his quirky cooking ‘odd but delicious’ was the restaurant slogan. I was both excited & nervous. I didn’t think he’d be conducting the interview himself. The hostess led me into the kitchen.

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