Sunday, February 17, 2008

Father-Daughter Fiction Collaboration #1

(Creating using a stripped-down version of Universalis.)

The Cat In The Kitchen

Once upon a time there was a chef named Nick who had a cat. The cat lived in the kitchen with Nick, which is against The Law, but the cat was very clean and Nick's restaurant was very popular.

One day, while Nick was cooking spaghetti for a customer, a health inspector named Catherine knocked on the door.

Nick opened the door a crack, saw that she was a health inspector, and sputtered, "Um, just a minute. Let me pick up in here a bit." And he slammed the door in her face before she could say a word.

While she knocked again, more and more loudly, Nick went to his cat, and said, "You must hide, kitty! The health inspector is here." And he put her in the cupboard under the sink.

Then he let Catherine in. She was not pleased. She took her clipboard, and started inspecting the restaurant - making sure the pantry was clean; that an "Employees Must Wash Hands" sign was posted by the restroom; that the proper health and safety notices were properly displayed.

As Nick watched her inspect, he realized how pretty she was, and he fell in love with her.

Then she went to the cupboard under the sink.

"Um..." Nick said, not knowing what to do.

She reached for the knob.

Then, a little girl named Sofi burst into the kitchen. "Our tablecloth is on fire! Our tablecloth is on fire!" she shouted. She had been eating dinner and she had knocked over a candle.

Nick grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran out to put out the fire.

Catherine shook her head and opened the cupboard. There was Nick's cat, looking at her sheepishly.

Nick came back in, after extinguishing the blaze, and saw that he had been caught.

"We're going to have to shut down your restaurant," Catherine said. "It's the Law."

* * *

Some time later, Sofi was watching a "Hello Kitty" show on TV about restaurants and she wondered what happened to Nick and her favorite restaurant. So she went there, and saw that Nick was sitting on the curb in front of the entrance, looking morose.

"What's the matter?" she asked.

"I'm in love with Catherine," he said, "but she shut down my restaurant."

Just then, the Mayor walked up. "Hello, Nick," he said. "I'm pretty hungry today, what are your specials?"

Nick said, "I'm afraid the restaurant is closed. Catherine shut it down because I have a cat in the kitchen."

The Mayor got red and said, "Catherine works for me! Surely we can make an exception." And he stormed off to the town hall to do some lawmaking.

* * *

The next day, Nick re-opened the restaurant and started serving customers again. The first customer in the door was Sofi, and he made her some spaghetti.

But soon after, Catherine stormed in. "You went over my head," she said. "I'm in trouble with the Mayor now. I'm mad at you."

Nick stammered and said he was sorry.

Sofi whispered to Nick, "You should make her some lunch."

So he said to Catherine, "Wait right there." And he brought her some spaghetti.

Catherine ate the spaghetti. "Wow," she said. "This is the best spaghetti I've ever had."

"Can I tell you something?" Nick said. "When I met you, it was love at first sight."

Catherine said, "Me too."

And they lived happily ever after.

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