Iced Chef! - M. L. Buchman - ebook

-a Dead Chef thriller story- When ice-fishing becomes a lethal sport! Minnesota’s Annual Lake Winnibigoshish Ice-Caught Fish Chowder-Off. Ingredients: * Hamilton Waring - Chairman U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee * Marvin Maxwell - Chairman U.S. House Armed Services Committee * Lew Llewellyn - State Governor They all want to cook the best chowder. They all want to win the White House. And they’ll do anything to take both. Anything! So who will be the next ICED CHEF!

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Liczba stron: 50


a Dead Chef thriller story

by M. L. Buchman


Rikka Albert shouldered the eighty thousand dollar Panasonic Varicam video camera, which then tried to freeze to her cheek. It was stupid. Her beautiful camera was designed to turn the everyday world into television art. Where was “television art” in the middle of a frozen Minnesota lake? Featureless white to the west. And also north, east, and south just to spite her.

She’d come out a day early to do the pre-shoot planning and all of the B-roll shots before tomorrow’s Annual Lake Winnibigoshish Northland Chowder-Off cooking competition—ice-caught fish only allowed.

It was another episode of Kate’s Kitchen Raids and Rikka was glad to be here. She really was. And if she kept telling herself that often enough she might actually believe it someday…like in spring maybe.

“You people really do this for fun?”

Senator Hamilton Waring, who had nothing to do with blenders but had a lot to do with a massive chunk of iron ore money and the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, looked completely at home in this sub-Arctic world. Tall, blond, and broad-shouldered even before he’d hauled on his parka. He looked down at her five-feet of Asian sass as if she was an alien bug.

“I’d say that we Minnesotans are a hardier stock than the rest of the country. We’ve had to be.”

Rikka resisted the urge to point out that driving out onto the ice in a tricked out crystal red Cadillac Escalade SUV didn’t exactly constitute hardship. The thing looked like a blot of blood in the middle of the winter wonderland. Try trudging through yet another New York City slush storm and see how you do, blender man. But she kept that thought to herself and looked for something, anything to focus on.

They were well out on Lake Winnibigoshish. Nearer the shore were numerous fishing shacks set in neat rows. It looked like any small shanty town with street-wide lanes on which SUVs and snowmobiles were parked in equal numbers. A line of dark green pine trees marked the shore, which was close by the lines of shacks.

But Hamilton Waring had not stopped there. He’d driven almost a mile out onto the ice; ice that shot unnerving snaps and crackles at her like a gun battle in the South Bronx. They’d proceeded north across the sixty-nine thousand acre lake farther and farther from the shore that she kept eyeing longingly in the passenger side rearview mirror. The tiny words written there—Objects may be closer than they appear—made the disappearing shoreline even more achingly distant.

As they’d driven out, the number of shacks diminished, but their designs became rapidly more elaborate. They passed a lone cute cottage and beyond that, off by themselves, were three ice “shacks” far grander than anything around them. They were arranged in a triangle with perhaps a hundred feet between them.

He circled most of the way around one of the shacks before parking in front of a mansion on ice. Like Elsa would have built if all of her capital hadn’t been Frozen.

It was one of those “tiny houses” that were all the rage, looking like a big house that had been shrunken by being run through a couple too many dry cycles on high heat. Waring’s mini-mansion was fake Edwardian, with imitation stone siding, numerous bay windows, and a burnished copper roof. The second-story glassed-in cupola surely offered a commanding view over the vasty nothingness. The thing reeked of money, and of no taste whatsoever.

They clambered out of the Cadillac blood blot, but he didn’t head for the door. It didn’t take Rikka’s trained eye to see that he’d been careful in positioning both his SUV and himself. The man knew his camera angles.

What the hell, time to stroke the man’s ego.

Rikka stepped back, ignoring the gunshot ripple of “ice just adjusting itself a bit” and flipped the camera to record. She started with an opening set-up shot of the distant shacks clustered in the distance, panned across the sparser, and clearly far richer, neighborhood out here on the offshore ice. Slowed as she passed over on of the two equally ostentatious ice “shacks” next to Waring’s—one that boasted Bavarian white walls, dark wood angular trim, and massive porch beams—and finally to the man, his SUV, and his own “humble” shack.

He wore a deprecating smile, that was probably meant to express an approachable billionaire who welcomed you to his playpen, but instead said, “I could be your next President and there ain’t shit you can do about it.” Man seriously needed an image consultant to kick his ass around the ice a few hundred times. But the election was still a ways off, he had time.

Bet this clip gets cut. Unless he lost tomorrow’s Chowder-Off, then maybe she could slip it in as the “before the fall” shot.

In addition to being handsome, rich, powerful, and totally full of himself, he was also the reigning champion of the Lake Winnibigoshish Annual Northland Chowder-Off for three years running.

“So, Senator, how are you feeling about your chances in tomorrow’s competition?” Give him a leading question and maybe he’d drop out of smarmy mode and give her a decent image to use.

“Well, you betcha there are some fine cooks out here on the ice. Congressman Marvin Maxwell is good,” he pointed off-screen toward the Bavarian ice house that showed even less taste than blender-man’s if possible. “He uses too much pepper, but don’t let on.”

“Scout’s honor,” Rikka prompted him knowing she could edit out her comment later.

“Over there…” he pointed the other way.

Rikka would have to remember and shoot some footage of the hideous affair to the east. It was white on white on ice. Fake Corinthian columns under a carved portico complete with naked gods and goddesses, all painted in faux marble.

“That’s Governor Llewellyn’s place. He’s placed second to my chowder twice now, so I’ve got to watch him close.”

“Not enough pepper?” Rikka guessed.

“Manhattan style,” Hamilton said grimly.