Foodie, Chapter 12

written by Catnip

Evan sat on the waiting room floor. The pain in his leg and shock of seeing Malorie collapse kept him glued to one spot. He watched helplessly as nurses and doctors swarmed around her and quickly took her away. A small puddle of her blood coagulated and darkened on the tile where she had lain. He’d heard someone say something about her arm bleeding where her IV had been yanked out.

None of it seemed make sense to Evan. What had she been doing out of bed? They hadn’t even let any of us see her yet and now she was up and walking around? What the hell was happening?

Evan had just hung up with Mal’s mother to give her directions to the hospital when Mal stumbled into the room a few minutes ago. Mrs. Shawe was only an hour away now. When the nurse at the front desk told that they needed to talk to family first, he took it upon himself to start digging around in her purse. He found her cell phone and scrolled through. Thank god Malorie was organized and her mother’s number was easy to find. Mrs. Shawe was calm and collected both times he’d talked to her, but her voice was so much like Mal’s it gave him the chills.

The silence of the waiting room was broken by the sound of footsteps in the hall. The four visitors appeared to turn as one, expecting to see a doctor with an update on Malorie’s condition. Instead, a uniformed police officer filled the doorway.

“I’m looking for Celine Richelieu. If the rest of you are here for Ms. Shawe I’m going to need to you stick around. I’d like to get everyone’s version of last night’s events.

Last night? Evan glanced at his watch as the pair left the room. It was morning. It seemed like the night had stretched forever, that had time had stopped. For the rest of the world, time had marched on, but for Evan, it was shocking to realize a new day was dawning.

Slowly, he picked himself up off the floor and looked around at his companions. The smugness was wiped off of Jack’s face. That arrogance had set off alarms in the back of Evan’s brain, but he couldn’t put his finger on why. Jack showed his concern with a furrowed brow and by mechanically tapping his heel, but only since Celine had disappeared with the officer, not, apparently, out of distress for Malorie.

Evan shifted his gaze to Professor Talbot, who looked exhausted and terribly upset. Waves of anxiety seemed to roll off of him. Was he just worried about his student or was there something more to it?

Evan sighed and rubbed his hand from his forehead down to the stubble on his chin. I need sleep; the paranoia is getting to me. He took the closest seat and closed his eyes. Waiting. Sleep wouldn’t come until he knew what was happening next. What was going on with Mal? When was Celine coming back? The questions spun in his mind, whirling in all directions and never stopping.

The footsteps came again, and this time Evan knew it was the cop returning. Celine wasn’t with him. “Ms. Richelieu has been taken to the station for further questioning. I think the rest of you will need to do the same. She said some things to us that were rather disturbing.”

Two more uniforms blocked the exit as the officer fixed a steely gaze on Jack.

“Jack Finnigan. You’re under arrest for conspiracy to commit murder…”


The room was dank, and dimly lit. Evan finished his hand written statement and waited for someone to come back. Events were only beginning to click into place. Clearly Jack and Celine’s familiarity went far beyond these last few days. Evan was curious, but more than that, he was enraged, burning with anger. They tried to kill Malorie. A conspiracy. But for what?

Through the little dirty window in the door, he could see the room where he knew the Professor was writing his own statement. Did he know something? Why had he been at the Culinary Institute so late last night? What was Celine doing there with him?

Evan knew that the Institute stayed open as long as the Professor was there. Security was always on the premises and they allowed students to come in to practice and study as long as at least one teacher available. He’d been there late himself once in awhile, using the culinary library to study for exams or playing around with new herb and spice combinations in the kitchen. But after midnight? It seemed odd but he’d never been there that late, so he didn’t know if it was unusual or not.

Thinking of the school, Evan tried to use a mental exercise to calm his mind. All his life, cooking something, anything, had always been his panacea. Now he combined ingredients in his mind. Flour and butter, milk, and a dash of nutmeg, his brain created a béchamel. Slowly he added cheeses, of all kinds, and his mouth watered. He could taste the sauce, and his arm lifted, as if with a spoon in hand. “Taste this Mal, tell me if it’s right…”

He woke with a start, his cheek mashed into the cold metal table. The crick in his neck told him it had been some time since he’d fallen asleep, and dreamed of Malorie. Malorie.

The door banged open. “Hello, sleeping beauty, time to go.” The officer from this morning ragged on him and waved him out of the room. “We came in and got your statement earlier, but you were fast asleep. Seemed like you needed it so we let you stay awhile. We need the room though, so you gotta go now. We have everything we need from you but stay around town, in case we have further questions.”

Evan got up and hobbled down the long hall, only the sound of his crutches reverberating against the closed doors and blank walls. He arrived at the front door and saw Professor Talbot sitting on the steps outside. Talbot turned and crushed a cigarette on the concrete as Evan come toward him.

“I took a taxi back to the hospital. I checked on Ms. Shawe before I came back to get you. Her mother let me go in to see her…she’s awake and she’s asking for you.” Talbot continued as he looked down and smeared the cigarette into dust with his shoe. “I haven’t had a smoke in twenty years…but last night…I just can’t believe all of this. Anyway. She asked me to bring you back to her. She said she has something to tell you.”

13 Responses to “Foodie, Chapter 12”

  1. August 14, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Holy left turn, Batman! I love the way you used details from previous chapters to build the suspicion and tension. That was excellent.

  2. August 14, 2008 at 4:53 am

    AGAIN with the out of left field twists & turns! Brilliant!
    I really enjoyed this chapter… very well written.

  3. August 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Augh! Don’t stop now! What happens next?

  4. August 14, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Whomever has the next chapter, write faster!! This was fantastic! I love that you wrote from Evan’s POV and left us with yet another cliffhanger (or two or twelve). You have me so completely sucked in to this story. Brilliant!

  5. August 15, 2008 at 5:30 am

    This chapter is pure GENIUS!!! LOVE the new twist! I’m totally on the edge of my seat! Glad you could fit this in between penguins!

  6. August 15, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    I don’t typically curse.. but I almost did!

    AMAZING… seriously…

    Ah. MAZE. ING.

  7. August 15, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Attempted murder? Sure didn’t see that coming!

  8. August 18, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Hey, Catnip! I don’t know if this blog accepts these or not but I nominated Chapterbytes for the E is for Excellent award! See here.

  9. August 18, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    OMG I’m totally loving this story! I can’t wait for the next chapter!!!

  10. August 19, 2008 at 1:53 am

    .. picking myself off my chair. Love love love that Jack and Celine are in cahoots.. awesome!

  11. 12 Krista
    August 20, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Wow – that was fantastic. Murder? Seriously? Damn.

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