Glorious Cuisine

Gloria strolled through the park carrying a large, red-leather backpack. It was a bright Sunday afternoon; sizzling sounds filled the air with the delicious smell of cooking meat. Dozens of the park’s grills were cooking meat in one form or another. She saw steaks, ribs, chicken, and sausages in different combinations on almost all the grills as she wandered by. Then she saw the reason she was there that day. A young male elf with light brown hair sat in the shade under a tall oak tree. He stared at the grill of the closest family with deep hunger. Gloria shook her head to herself and smiled.

It never fails,” she thought. She adjusted her course and approached the distracted elf boy at a wide angle to sneak up behind him.

“Hi,” she said suddenly.

“Whaa?!!” The elf tried to run away and see who was behind him at the same time. Instead, he tripped over himself and ended up in the dirt. He looked up at the older woman with forest-green hair. Gloria smiled at the boy and offered him up.

“You okay?” she asked. The boy accepted the help and stood up to dust himself off.

“Yeah, fine. Do you always sneak up on people?” Gloria nodded.

“If I want to surprise them,” she smiled and slid her backpack off her shoulders. “And I’m here to surprise you.” Gloria set the bag on the ground and knelt on the ground next to it; then, she opened the flap and rummaged around.

“Surprise me?” The elf asked. He took a step back. Gloria nodded and pulled out a plastic lunchbox with cartoon characters on it.

“Okay,” Gloria said. She pushed the lunchbox at the elf. “Surprise.” The elf looked at the lunchbox with doubts in his eyes; but, then they both heard his stomach growl. “It’s okay, it’s food,” she said. Gloria loosened the latch at the front of the container and opened it to show him the food inside: a large hamburger with a side of fries. The elf rushed forward to accept the box. Instead of sitting down and eating he closed it and cradled it protectively.

“Thank you,” he said and turned to leave.

“Wait,” Gloria stood up and hefted her backpack on in one motion.

She pointed at the nearby family. “They never eat,” she said. “They’re NPCs that are here the first Sunday of every month,” she looked at the elf to make sure he was paying attention. “They’re not cooking real food, it won’t give you any nutrition.” The boy looked down at the lunchbox in his hands. “I’m a Chef; we can turn nanos into real edible food,” she nodded at the box in the boy’s hands. “That’s just to have something ready, but I can cook more. Enough for your other friends too.” Gloria guessed he was taking the food to share with someone.

“Really??!” the boy asked. Gloria nodded.

“Wait here! I’ll go get them!”

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