Friday Fictioneers – Backstage

dinner-table-prior
Photo Prompt © Priorhouse

Through the glass doors I watch one, his head tipped back, just so, in companionable mirth. Like the moon, he pulls his sea of acolytes forward. They lean in with appreciation. The laughter is measured, not brash enough to disturb the serenity of Chez Raymond.

Out there in the ceremonial arena, waiters glide soundless across the marble floor. Deals are quietly made and liaisons arranged. Back here in the kitchen, we are the swan’s legs, a frantic paddling below the surface.

Chef calls “service”. I spit in the tournedos before carrying it out to the charismatic man.

 

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here 

87 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Backstage

  1. The resentment from the waiter to me was a kind of inverted humour, I gaffed rather than laughed. There was also a smidgen of hypocrisy from the character, after all without the wealthy clientele – Would he have a job? I am sure there could be more involved, clearly he detests his job and is looking to get fired – me I would send in Villanelle to take the waiter out, or perhaps the religious guest. Which one?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm Envy is a good word for the waiter, I was thinking along the same line, I just assume that if the food warranted spit the rich guest either was a pompous ass, or stole the waiter’s lover from him. I liked the imagery here, I could definitely see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good story. It reminded me of a similar scene I wrote in my first novel:
    “I sat down and looked down at the plate of stew placed before me. It had been voluminously spat in, the phlegm curling around the carrots and potatoes like a diseased oyster. After that, I made a practice of coming to the mess at the last minute, after the dishes of food had been placed on the tables.”
    Never miss a chance to gross out the reader!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So Neil, I don’t know if this method of direct reply will get to you, but I just want to say: You’re a poet! Paula

    On Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 1:11 AM, Neil MacDonald Author wrote:

    > neilmacdon posted: ” Through the glass doors I watch one, his head tipped > back, just so, in companionable mirth. Like the moon, he pulls his sea of > acolytes forward. They lean in with appreciation. The laughter is measured, > not brash enough to disturb the serenity of Chez R” >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now that I work in the service industry, I see the clash that goes on between the kitchen staff and the service staff…
    Now as to why one would spit on another’s food (soooo gross) it shows a lack of everything. Not sure who did the spitting or why… the person seems to feel some sort of anger towards the one to receive his “gift”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was lucky for I only recall the comradely of the team with whom I worked alongside in a fine hotel. However as a child I call seeing a chef spitting in the frying pan to see if it was hot enough!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bjorn, i think it happens more than we would think… and I had it happen to me in 1990 – on a road trip and i was driving through Georgia and ordered a take out coffee at a place –

      Like

  7. Some beautiful images here, the head titlted just so for an insincere laugh, the paddling legs of the swan kitchen staff, the “ceremonial space.” You make it all new again, Neil! Nice work, and the spitting seemed perfectly justified.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, I know this guy. He probably never acknowledged the waiters, no thank-you, barely a glance, from him. Too rich, too busy, and they just earn minimum wage. A little spit does well. Do the bubbles of spit disappear? (Just curious. 🙂 )

    Love the image of the swan’s legs and all the unique phrasing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yikes….
    chilling end.

    and recently I walked away from having a coffee at a coffee shop because the guy was turned around with my beverage for a Long time and it just felt off. Paranoid – maybe- but not taking any chances.
    It just felt off (and I did have someone spit in my take out coffee back in 1990 down in GA – and it was horrible)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a serene and companionable scene you paint, with the heart of the operation kicking madly underneath – wonderfully done. Great line, ‘Like the moon, he pulls his sea of acolytes forward.’ I’m wondering if the cook has personal issues with the charismatic one, or just took a dislike to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This story is bigger than the word count. There are so many possible interpretations. Why is the waiter so resentful? I’m wondering if there is a history between him and the ‘charismatic man’? Loved the wonderful imagery of the middle paragraph. Excellent stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. we are the swan’s legs, a frantic paddling below the surface ~ I needed to read this twice, evidently, I’m rather dull today. It became my favorite line. It says so much about what happens in a kitchen before the wait staff glide soundlessly across a marble floor.

    Like

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