a patriot in the kitchen

our protagonist uncovered

Growing up in a military family meant hard work, and a lot of rules. It also meant the strict discipline and integrity that made me the woman I am today. Despite my upbringing, I've always had a seriously creative side to my personality and ended up in art school for college. Like most struggling creatives, I ended up picking up a few jobs in the service industry to make ends meet until my career took off. As an undergrad art student living in the city meant that weight had slowly melted off my body, despite working in fast food. (Seriously, by the end of sophomore year I had lost 100 pounds!) Plus living in California meant my diet of fried everything was replaced by fresh everything unless I could afford to eat out. Nothing fit except my sweats which were all baggy, and I could not really afford a new wardrobe. After a rocky start in quick service, I desired something more sustainable. Fortunately there was a Marines Memorial Club across the street from my dorm, and I figured that my military family might give me an in.

Thinking back today, I must have looked awkward. A tall girl wearing flip flops and sweats about three sizes too big walking into a private club for veterans. A generous person at the desk welcomed me after I entered, and suggested that I talk with one of ladies in human resources. I smiled and said thanks after being directed to the elevator. Already impressed by the gilded building, I confidently walked straight into the office with a little trepidation. Sitting down, an older woman asked about my connection to the military and record of service. I shared my story about fleeing a war torn country as a refugee, and then as a child whose parents both served to keep us free. She offered to give me a chance as a server, but said that I'd need to work on my appearance. Fortunately servers all wore uniforms, so they'd take care of me.

I started later that afternoon on my first shift. The clientele were incredibly sophisticated, and even more polite. Other servers immediately welcomed me into the club family and before long I found a new adventure in the city. My life swiftly became a mixture of classes, work on my art and then my work at the Club. Over the holidays they were strained in the kitchen, and I was invited to work a few shifts. My creative side showed clearly, and before long I was working both in the back and the front of the house. This eventually attracted the attention of some of the club leaders, and they made me an employee of the month shortly before my graduation. I was invited to share lunch with the Club President who asked what I'd do with my "ink still wet" degree. I shared my ambitions, but let him know that I'd love to continue working until my art career took off. He suggested that I might be able to help the Club, and our country, with a unique opportunity that had been presented to him. It sounds like our government was looking for someone who could blend in as a civilian from a former Communist country, and work for some crazy dictator. I guess the adversary had a love for food, and they thought that with the right talent he might be convinced to eat like a Duck fattened up to make foi gras. As a recent art grad looking for adventure, this sounded right up my alley. Plus---not knowing where my art career would go, it would offer great benefits and an early retirement.
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Great writingóbelievable, wonderful opportunity for some kinky twists...got me hooked...again :-)
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Allegra 2 weeks
Intriguing writing so far - I'm super eager to see where this goes!