TITLE: The Dealings of Benjamin Darkly
GENRE: Adult Speculative Fiction
Ben could say with pretty good certainty the cooking lessons he’d given his buddy the boogeyman weren’t so effective.
Merril was kneeling on a barstool across the kitchen island from Ben, humming an old Stones tune, grinding with his hands a pinkish-brown mixture in a glass bowl. Every few churns he glanced up and bared his teeth -- a smile, for Merril anyway. His eyes, a pair of cruelly unequal lumps of coal set close to his beaked nose, glittered with tremendous glee. Granted, his approach to baking wouldn’t fly at the barbeque shack Ben owned outside of town, but hey. They were home, and the thought was all that mattered.
“You know,” said Ben, “I’m not sure if you’re eating them, pocketing them for the lean times, or just dropping them on the floor, but there are a bit too many eggs missing from the carton.” He counted three remaining in the Styrofoam jumbo pack by Merril’s workstation, and could have sworn there were eleven a couple of minutes ago.
“Well, I’m not sure what you’re trying to insinuate, but this recipe happens to be really, really eggy. Good protein to balance out the butter.”
“Is that right?” He leaned over the counter to get a look at the quiet chaos surrounding Merril, but he shifted on his chair to block Ben’s view of the floor.
“I believe you can quote Paula Deen on that.” Merril’s cool, smoky voice brought rise to gooseflesh beneath Ben’s long-sleeves.