Tag Archives: Cute Cook

The Cute Cook 03: Encounter

03 Encounter

I blankly watch clouds crawl across the canvas of the blue sky. This scenery isn’t too different from what I’d see back where I used to live. So peaceful.

On the other hand, the plant and animal life all around me is completely different from anything that would have existed back home. Also there are two suns in the sky, but I’m pretending not to see the second one.

If memory serves me, I died in an unspeakably stupid way and got myself caught up in one of those otherworld rebirth things. From the look of things, I think it’s safe to say I’m not just here to visit. I mean, getting teleported somewhere from slamming into an electric pole, and then getting my time reversed to end up in a younger body? Sounds like it would be a crazy SF novel, but I doubt that’s what happened here. If I was a comedian and my partner used that kind of story as the set up for a joke I wouldn’t give him a playful slap. I’d backhand him across the face.

Setting that aside, for now, the fact is I can’t think of anything more dangerous than a little girl walking around in such a wild place alone. I hope I’m just a normal lost kid.

However, there’s also the possibility that the child who owns this body experienced something so traumatizing their mind couldn’t take it, which then awakened the personality I think of as ‘me’. Or maybe I’m just wearing the body of some kid that just died?

That’s horrible. I mean, these are just things I’m thinking up, but either possibility is pretty dang serious.

Then again, there’s something that looks like a name carved into the bracelets on my arms, and it seems to read ‘Yuuri’, which is pretty close to my actual name. The letters are in some kind of cursive writing I’ve never seen before, but I can read it so it should be all right.

Honestly, the more I think about the situation I’m in now, the worse it’s looking. One mistake could cost me my life. After all, I don’t know the first thing about any of the flora or fauna around here.

First and foremost, I can’t tell what’s edible. I got lucky earlier and stumbled on some food, but I’m going to need more to eat soon. And I’d prefer that it not be poisonous.

Second, I’m fine running into an herbivore, but if I run into a carnivore without realizing it that’d be the end for me. I’d be dinner.

To top it all off, things are going to get bad once the sun goes down. It’s going to get more dangerous, obviously, but the big problem is I won’t even be able to tell how dangerous things are around me. I’m sure there are plenty of nocturnal animals, around here. Can a single person from modern Japan survive a night here without even a fire?

All that said, I’m not going to just curl up and die, and I’m definitely not going to give up and off myself either. Logically it looks like an impossible situation, but I can’t give up so easily.

After all, there’s still so many delicious things out there that I haven’t tasted. And I just became a professional chef, finally at the level where I could start creating my own original flavors. Plus, since this is an otherworld, and all the stuff living and growing here is new to me, I imagine this whole world is full of new flavors for me to experience.

Plus, I mean c’mon, in this body I’ve still got decades of youth left in me. No way am I going to give up on this life without a fight.

What’s that? I’m obsessed with food? Well thank you, I take that as a compliment!

As I let my thoughts run wild, the clouds drift by and the sun(s) move steadily toward the west(?).

I didn’t want to do anything rash, so I decided to conserve and recover my strength.

 

“… man I’m hungry.”

I sighed, hugging my knees to my stomach as it began to send some fairly terrific noises echoing off the trees again. I’ve been here for half a day by now, and I still haven’t seen a single person. Normally I wouldn’t care so much about being alone, but I think my unease at this whole situation is making it impossible to ignore. The sky is already turning orange with sunset, so night can’t be too far off.

Mmm, the orange of the sunset kind of reminds me of orange jell-o, with lots of fruit in it. Man I want to eat some. Crap, just thinking about it has me drooling. *slurp*

I think fate decided to punish me for my stupid thoughts.

“Wait, hold on. That’s just not fair.”

Something appeared, just as the sky shifted from orange to dark blue. My eyes are still adjusting to the darkness, but I can tell in a single glance that this something is dangerous.

It’s quite a bit smaller than the ones I’ve seen in movies, but it’s still a giant compared to me. It’s eyes are shining in the darkness, as they stare directly at me.

“Ahahaha…”

I laugh dryly. Really, all I can do is laugh. I mean come on…

It’s a dinosaur!~* Yay!

Also, the probability that it’s already sized me up as being delicious prey: 100%!

My athletic abilities are pretty bad.

I can’t really depend on my tiny little girl legs to outrun this guy.

I’m unarmed.

I’m seriously out of ideas. I never in a million years thought I’d get to experience dinner from the perspective of the main dish. Thinking about it is just making my head hurt.

How the heck am I supposed to clear this death flag?

Ah, crap. He’s getting closer, and it’s pretty obvious he’s all for gulping me down.

“Uuuuhaaaaaai!”

What the hell was that un-cute, moronic scream that just went past?… Oh, it was me.

Well whatever, I guess it’s alright to run, but it’s chasing me. I can hear its feet going *whump whump* and the sticks and stuff behind me going *snap crackle pop*. That’s probably the sound my bones will make when he’s chomping on them. Yep!

Is my new life, born from that idiotic memory, going to end already? It’s too soon!

*wheeze, crap I’m already running out of breath. My heart’s pounding, both metaphorically and literally. I could use a little help here!!

I try to shake him by adding a little zig-zagging to my dash, but…

“It’s not working!!”

Hunger pushes us all beyond our limits. I’m talking about the hungry dinosaur, of course.

It’s dark I’m scared I’m falling!!

Wait is that another one coming from in front of me now? Someone wake me up, this has to be a nightmare!

My tank’s on empty, I’m done for…

“~~~~!!”

Okay. Guess I’m dinner.

“—”

Right before I passed out from terror and starvation, I thought I saw something sparkle in the darkness.

The Cute Cook 02: First of All, I Need Food

02: First of All, I Need Food

I was overwhelmed with depression at the stupidity of my own memories. I collapsed into what folks online commonly call the orz pose. Whatever, let’s move on.

I’d say it was about twilight, and no matter where I went I couldn’t find another living person.

*Guuuuu~

… give me a break, stomach. Things are super serious right now!

I mean, if our luck is bad we could be walking right into one of those ‘otherworld adventures’ that are so popular among a certain group of people. We may never be able to return to the modern world. Actually, considering that I’m pretty sure I died during that stupid memory, this could end up being one of those ‘reborn in another world’ situations!!

*Gyurugyurukuuu~

“…”

Fine. Let’s go find something to eat. Sigh.

With my stomach sounds as BGM, I look around for some water to see if I can find edible things nearby. I find some nuts that look sort of like walnuts, and some berries that remind me of mock strawberries. Some birds (?) were eating them, so I assume they must be edible.

C’mon! Ladies gotta have guts!

I grabbed a leaf from a nearby bowl-shaped plant that looked sort of like something you’d see used in home decorating, and filled it up with as many of the fruits and nuts as it could hold.

I tell myself these things are ‘sort of’ like walnuts or mock strawberries, but they’re definitely nothing I’ve ever seen before. Plus, there are tons of bizarre-looking plants and bugs around here, so I think it’s safe to say I’m not in Japan anymore.

The weather isn’t too hot or cold, and I’m wearing three-quarter sleeves.

Actually, while I’m looking at my clothes, I realize I don’t remember ever buying these.

Plus I’ve got these expensive-looking gold bracelets on both of my wrists, and I’ve definitely never seen those before.

… actually, wait a second…

Why am I tiny!?

Up to now I just thought all the trees around me happened to be really huge. Like, they were all mega-size or something. The fruits and nuts I had collected had all been close to the ground, so I guess I just hadn’t thought about it until now.

I’ve been shrunk!!

My breasts, which weren’t amazing or anything let’s be honest, were gone!

Instead, it was my round stomach that was poking out. Just like a Kewpie doll, I am the very model of a little girl.

“… wait, don’t tell me…!”

<Please hold. Checking.>

“… thank God. It would suck if I got turned into a boy on top of everything else.”

But there was nothing Down There. Thankfully. That would have been awful.

Still, this was pretty bad. The reality that I was in an otherworld was becoming more and more apparent.

Between the growing stress of my situation and my empty stomach, I gave up on thinking. Can you blame me? Thinking would just make me hungrier. For now, I just need to find some water so I can eat. I let my animal instincts take over and walk around listlessly.

Honestly I just wanted to scarf it all down right there, but the part of me that was still thinking rationally wanted to at least wash the fruits and nuts off, since I didn’t even know if they were safe to eat in the first place. You can probably chalk that up to my training as someone who works in the food industry.

But, if it comes right down to it, I’m totally just going to eat them like this. Yep.

Quite some time passed while I wandered around lost.

I’m an atheist normally, but I seriously started praying to God. I think the last time I prayed this hard was when I came down with a nasty stomach bug and spent hours praying on the toilet. My Seirogan ran out and I couldn’t make it to the hospital. It was pretty horrible…

What? I should give God more respect??

Oh crap. I’m seeing a light and hearing voices calling out to me from afar. This is getting bad.

The moss on the ground is really moist, too, so it’s easy to slip if I’m not careful. Come to think of it, maybe I should eat some of that too…

Wait. ‘Moist’?

“Then there must be water nearby!”

I drew on the last of my power and pushed forward until I saw a small lake stretching out before my eyes.

If I hadn’t found a place to wash them, I was about to throw down all that food raw. Including the moss.

God, thank you! I promise I’ll start praying to you even when I’m not stuck on the toilet!!

I managed to resist rushing in immediately, and instead waited until I was absolutely sure there was no danger before stretching out my hand to touch the water.

The temperature feels good on my hand.

I wash my hands, then scoop some up (away from where I had washed my hands) and sniff it. No scent.

It doesn’t look dirty.

I hesitantly sip some, and nothing seems wrong with it. It was just plain water, but it tasted sweet to me. Apparently, I was more thirsty than I realized. I steeled myself, then gulped it down.

It was just water, but it tasted better than any top-shelf alcohol I had ever drank in my life. I gulp several hand-fulls.

After slaking my thirst, I took my leaf full of food, which I had set aside in my hurry to drink, and pulled it over next to me. Then, one-by-one, I washed each nut, fruit and piece of moss and popped it in my mouth.

Nothing amazing, flavor-wise, but there’s no spice like hunger. In just a few seconds I had gobbled the lot.

With my stomach full, and my nerves a little calmer, I suppose it’s finally time to think about my situation, which I’ve been pointedly ignoring.

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The Cute Cook 01: The Beginning

01 The Beginning

… howahh? I could have sworn I threw down some chazuke this morning, so why am I this hungry??

Actually, wait a minute

“Where the heck is this? Why is there a jungle here…?”

I want to make that question a yell, but I’m too hungry to shout.

Setting that aside for now, is my memory messed up or something? The bag I should definitely be holding right now is gone.

Okay, let’s just calm down here. Take a deep breath. Don’t do the whole ‘breathe in, breathe out’ thing, though. That’s too cliche. Okay, looks like I’ve calmed down a bit (?). Now, let’s just remember one thing at a time.

First of all, I remember my name. Sato Yuri. I’ve met four other women in my life with the exact same name, and one even used the exact same kanji. I guess you could say it’s a pretty common name.

Age… around thirty. I remember the specific number just fine so I don’t really need to say it.

Job: cook. I work at an old Western-style restaurant about 20 minutes walking-distance from my house.

I’ve worked there for about 10 years, and have finally gotten to the point where everyone has started to respect my skill.

Boyfriend: none for the last 4 years.

In my mind men<food and alcohol, so my lack of a love life isn’t exactly surprising. Plus, I’m just not interested in men. Thinking back on how the men I used to know looked and acted, would anyone really expect me to get all lovestruck? On the other hand, my interest in fashion is on the low side, and I’m fairly middling as far as looks and body go, so most of the guys never had interest in me either.

… woah there. Got a little sidetracked.

Anyway, my hobby is eating while walking. My specialty is judging the quality of alcohol. I remember myself just fine.

My last memory is… probably leaving for work.

I woke up late this morning. I had about 10 minutes until I was supposed to be at work.

I set some water boiling while I got myself ready, then made chazuke with some cold rice and tossed it down. I left the dishes in the sink, threw on my down coat, put my cell in my bag, and took off out the door. Outside everything was covered in snow.

In fact, it wasn’t nice, soft snow. It was all half-frozen.

Wait, isn’t this starting to sound a little dangerous? Um. Right, what happened next…

Here and there I saw folks headed to work or school falling over on the ice, so I told myself to be careful and started walking as quickly and carefully as I could. Then, suddenly, I heard a scream from behind me. Looking back to see what was happening, I saw a person who had fallen over and was sliding along the street, taking everyone who got in their way with them as they slipped along.

I didn’t even have time to try to avoid them before I, too, was swept up by the sliding wave of people, and suddenly there was a telephone pole right in front of my eyes. And that’s the last thing I remember.

What the hell. What is this, some kind of comedy sketch?

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