The blowfish chef whetted her fugu knife. For the first time in three days a customer had ordered the dish, which was among the most delicious in all of Japanese cuisine but could be lethal if not properly prepared.
Naoko first eliminated the fins, then severed most of the fish’s head. She’d gone through the routine thousands of times. So often in fact that it had become second nature. After removing the skin the knife disembowelled the animal. With surgical precision toxic organs, some as tiny as a pinhead, were quickly discarded to avoid contamination of edible parts. Preparing the dish took up to an hour and a single second of oversight could spell disaster. But Naoko didn’t break a sweat.
Five minutes after the dish was served a hubbub arose from the dining room floor. The maître d’ stormed into the kitchen to dial emergency services. Curious chefs left their stations to peer through the round windows in the kitchen door at the poor soul that had fallen victim to the fugu curse.
Not Naoko however. As methodically as she’d filleted the blowfish she removed her apron and stepped out the back door. Through the alley she advanced to the restaurant front, where – right next to the entrance – hung a small blackboard. ‘674 days since last blowfish poisoning’.
As she sank to her knees, holding the fugu knife, she was determined not to miss any vital organs this time.
Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.