Rings and Fings Episode 5A: Time for Breakfast

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Time for Breakfast


Rachael slid back the heavy bolt on her bedroom door.

Thunk!

Purdey in front of her and cat behind; she kicked open the door and found nothing to shoot at. She crossed her short corridor and stepped onto the main landing, pointing the gun at each door in turn for a few seconds. They carried on like this down the twisted staircase.

Even though she hadn’t shot at anything, yet, she felt that the house was indignant that she was wandering around brandishing a weapon while being trailed by a fearsome feline.

Ignoring the farmhouse’s objections they checked the front two rooms and the ginger cellar. Then the aroma hit her like a coffee slap. She turned away from the ginger cellar.

She wondered why she hadn’t smelled it before. Now standing outside the kitchen door with the cat looking up at her impatiently waiting for the next room storming, the aroma hit her.

“This is the most important room,” mewed Legion as he head butted the solid door.

“Okay,” said Rachael. She rubbed her sore head, still wrapped in the bandage the ambulance people had applied to her. That was such a blur. Looking down at the big black cat, she turned the knob, opening the door slightly, and then kicked it open.

Legion ran in growling, ready to fight whatever was in the kitchen, just to add to the drama of the scene of a girl and her cat going to get some breakfast. Then she saw what was causing those amazing smells.

It was incredible, as though she had walked into a magical bakery that used spices from long gone provinces. There on her long kitchen table there were bowls and plates and hampers brimming with all kinds of food. There were eggs, many kinds of fruit, buns, shaped loaves, mushrooms, cooked and uncooked, and jars of glowing honey. The sun was embracing the table through the kitchen window.

Legion said ‘Wow,’ in cat language, and jumped up onto the ancient table.

Rachael just stood there for long moments, suspicion, along with amazement, had frozen her.

Then she realized that she had not eaten since yesterday, before being fired, before crashing, dealing with men at her door, drinking a lot of whisky and then shooting up her kitchen.

She rested her gun against the table and sat down at one end of the long wooden bench.

Again she did not move for a few seconds. “How did all this food get here? Was it safe?” She thought about just leaving the whole thing and marching off to the barn to find answers about how the greatest feast she had ever laid eyes on was spread across her kitchen table.

“Would he even be there?”

Suddenly she reached for a large bun which sat atop many others on a plate. It was warm, and she felt compelled to break it open. White steam escaped from the doughy centre and attacked her nose. Rachael felt as if her jaw was going to melt off, she literally shoved one half the bun into her mouth. Taste buds and senses, already on the brink of madness, let loose and unleashed a tasty heaven. Finishing off what remained of the bun, she noticed a huge silver platter that was weighed down with varieties of cheese. A jug seemed to be full of fresh creamy milk. A square chunk of melting yellow had to be freshly churned butter. Rainbow trout lay on an iron plate next to a ceramic container holding thick bacon.

Still chewing she turned to the large black range; things were boiling away gently in various vessels. One of them smelt like some kind of tea, another held a viscous brown liquid. She bent down and sniffed. Syrup!

Putting on the heavy black gauntlet which hung on the side of the range she pulled open the oven door. Big thick pancakes rested inside. Using the gauntlet she moved everything to the table, the cat was already devouring the bacon with gusto.

The next twenty minutes or so was a blur of melting butter, hot syrup and everything in-between.

Finally after feeling she could never eat again she moved herself to the wall bench so that she could lean back. She left the gun where it was, she couldn’t fight now even if she wanted to. Rachael poured the tea from the kettle into a large wooden tankard that had appeared in front of her. Adding honey, she drank it like it was the draft of life. It tasted like every harvest that had ever been and seemed to lift her off the bench and float her around the room.

The cat was attempting to lap up a dish of cream Rachael had poured for him.

He gave up and waddled over to a corner. He found his bed, an old pillow, and collapsed in a sleepy heap.

Rachael sat back and looked at the crazy feast, it seemed like she had been eating for hours and yet there was hardly a dent in the gastronomic overload.

“This was impossible!” If food like this existed in this valley surely she would have known about it.

How?


“Moley, that has to be the breakfast I have ever had,” she said to herself. Legion was busy sleeping.

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The noise of a loud tractor engine snapped her from the daydream. It was coming up her lane. Rachael could tell it was Len’s old tractor. She eased herself up and made her way to the front door.

She left the Purdey where it was, it was daylight and Len was a friend, sort of. He took care of the real farm stuff at Kelly Mill. He had dealt with townies renting this place since the war ended. And every year since there was less and less to manage. It had always made her feel guilty, even though she had been a kid when her parents moved into this place.

Rachael threw open the front door and saw Len wearing his faded black beret bouncing up her lane on his ancient green tractor. He was alternating looking ahead and back like he was dragging something. She walked across her small lawn and up the three stone steps to the stony road. She noticed a taut rope behind the tractor, and at the end of the rope was her beloved Volvo being dragged up the lane.

“Moley! It was really smashed up, how depressing, must have been some crash.” She wondered for a moment how she had been able to survive at all, let alone making her way back to the farm with just a bandage around her head to show for it.

The windscreen was shattered but still in place, looking through the webbed glass, she saw a figure holding the wheel and smiling like it was the first time they had ever driven, of course, it was the Traveler.

“Moley,” she said in her stuffed state, “now what is going on?”

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