Graveyard Shift (Vig)

Xanadu Weyr - Kitchens

The kitchen is large and well-stocked with technology as well as those with culinary skill. State of the art equipment has been brought in from the various crafts to be used - stoves and large ovens replacing the hearths that used to be in here. Three baking ovens are usually going full bore half the day, from early morning through to mid-afternoon. Large windows take up the entire of the western wall, generally open wide to the mountainous landscape beyond allowing the cool breezes in to keep the kitchen's temperature to a desirable level.

Tables, cabinets, and counters take up the remaining spaces and walls. Various spices, herbs, and other foodstuffs are found here, and what's not ready at hand is tucked away back in the storage caverns or the massive cold-room large enough to walk inside.

The night hearth beside the door to the main caverns has been kept out of a sense of nostalgia, but the smaller stove set beside it is what's actually used to prepare late-night food. This is where you find late night meals of stew and soup simmering in pots, and pitchers of klah and tea in their electric units to be kept warm.

Curfews serve for many purposes. In some cases, it’s to ensure the youth are under the watchful eyes of adults instead of being miscreants in the later hours. It’s to ensure the safety of the elderly, to keep workers well rested for highly essential tasks. Though, curfews being unnecessary for Candidates can create unique circumstances. Such as crafter-turn-candidates working late into the night when sleep fails to find them. The kitchens themselves, often bustling with activity to keep the weyr fed, have their own peaceful moments of silence. In this peaceful silence, is one such crafter-turned-candidate, a butcher specifically.

Percival takes a deep breath and sighs, standing with an apron tied neatly over his clothes. He isn’t working with food at this midnight hour, no, he’s working with the tools necessary to clean, portion and process the weyrs meat. Seems a simple task, with no one else in the kitchens to bother him. The butcher works in smooth and rhythmic motions, sliding the blade of his current knife across the whetstone. Amber eyes keep watch on the oil and the motions of the blade, not wanting to ruin the freshly sharpened edge. The rhythm is even like a metronome and even Percival sways a little bit with the beat, shifting his weight from one foot to another…

*creeeeeeaaaaak clink!*

He turns, glancing down the length of the kitchens and across the darkness peering back through the windows but there’s no sign of movement. Still, Percival takes a step back from his work, knife still in hand, and he slowly makes his way across the room to the direction of the sound. Amber eyes sweep from side to side, and he breathes in slowly, tilting his head to the side to listen… but nothing. Finally, the oven door catches his attention and he huffs, quickening his steps towards the heavy door and it’s firmly shut. “Stupid thing,” he mutters, turning back in the direction of his tool sharpening.


“Oh, for crying out loud. Better not be any of those damn lizards.” Percival reaches the counter and steps back into place, reaching across for something that was once there and suddenly… isn’t? The butcher blinks in confusion, placing the knife back onto the countertop, then sliding his hands across his apron. “Where the fuck did it…” No sign of the whetstone anywhere. No signs of debris from outside or crumbs from previous food items. No smudges or tiny footprints showing over the glistening countertop. With an exasperated sigh, Percival turns around and moves to the cabinet to get another. As his hand reaches out, the same noise he heard earlier sounds again, this time louder. He pauses, turning to glance down the way with his hand still held in the air. He listens, quietly, waiting, but there’s nothing but silence in the kitchens with the man. A shake of his head, and he’s glancing back at the cabinet. His fingers wrap around the handle and then there’s a sudden bang where the sound echoed a moment before.

Percival turns, pissed, reaching for one of his recently sharpened knives and he moves with a purpose across the long countertops, pass the preparation tables. Fuming, his face turning red with irritation as he turns the final corner and stops before the oven with it’s door wide open once more. He turns the knife in his hand, taking a deep controlled breath as he slowly steps over to it. The whetstone is inside. “Alright, who’s in here fucking with me!?” he yells, turning around on heels as his knuckles turn white from the force of his grip. Nothing but the sound of his own voice echoes in return. As he reaches in, fingertips brush against the stone but it’s just out of the man’s reach. Percival places the knife in front of him, on the oven floor, and he removes the rack in the middle, placing it off to the side. With shoulder room now available, he leans in farther, fingertips sliding across the top of the stone-


That sound. He’s heard it before… It could’ve been the broiler, one that he would have to crawl in time and again to retrieve his things tossed towards the back by the older apprentices. Hearing the door slam behind him and the clicking of the devices firing up as he yelled and slammed clenched fists against a blocked door. Kids being idiots, he was told. A lifetime ago. Only this time, there’s no Journeyman to watch out for him. Not when he is the Journeyman in this posting. Alone in the middle of the night when no one is supposed to be working at this hour.

Eyes wide, he staggers back, eyes quickly looking up at the controls and he reaches up, turning the oven off. Confusion. There’s no way the butcher turned them on by accident, they’re above his head. The knife is quickly collected and the stone shoved into his apron pocket. Percival’s color lightens a bit, as he takes a step back. Trying to collect his thoughts and listen,quietly watching. Waiting. Not another sound. No more movement late in the dim lights of the kitchen. All he can do is shake his head again, and move once more back to his work station. This time the irritation mixed with nightly calm is replaced with suspicion and the tiniest hint of fear. “Could’ve been worse,” he mutters, slowing his steps as he approaches his tools. Everything is where he left it…

Except the perhaps oven rack he removed just moments ago. It made it there in front of the man first.

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