Making Jelly

Making Jelly


Rivergirl is not unaware of her shortcomings. She is not unaware that people wonder why her Beloved Employer retains her services as his personal assistant. "Hey," they ask, "you're a smart guy. Why do you keep her around?" Even Osiris, before his unfortunate transformation into the birthday wraith* was known to ask similar, though more elegantly phrased, questions.

Rivergirl, of course, knows the reason Himself cannot bring himself to terminate her employment. It's the brownies; Rivergirl, dotty though she may be, knows her way around the kitchen and makes the best #$%^&*&^%$# brownies Himself has ever tasted**. She has come to recognized the sad puppy look her Beloved Employer
adopts whenever he is particularly anxious for more brownies, and she now sees him entering the office with that look conspicuously present on his normally reasonably attractive face. "Rivergirl," he purrs (I know, I know. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed. How can a sad puppy purr?), "do you approve of my prime objective? Then please, please, please bake some brownies for me."

Rivergirl, being both devious and dotty, has her own agenda. She has heard of a serious problem with the catering services on the Andromeda set. Apparently, Someone Important feels there is not enough jelly for the cast. Rivergirl is not exactly sure how more jelly will help define relationships between the characters, but she is always eager to do her part to further her Beloved Employer's career. And,
since it is Fall, there is fruit in abundance. Rivergirl plans to make jelly, and thereby solve this particular problem on the set.

The request for brownies, rather than being a hindrance to her plans, is rich with possibilities. Jelly making is hard work, and Himself is really rather strong. Rivergirl decides to get him to do the heavy lifting in exchange for the brownies. "Sir," she says, looking at him with feigned innocence in her dark blue eyes and all over her kindly face, "I'd love to make brownies for you. I'll start them right away, if you would be so kind as to go downstairs and bring up the vat of grape juice I have been
pressing in the basement." Her Beloved Employer, his intellect weakened, no doubt, by visions of brownies dancing in his head, runs down the stairs to do her bidding.

There is a terrible crash and Rivergirl can hear the sounds of someone struggling to come back up the stairs. Suddenly, standing there at the cellar door is a small, brown-haired person completely covered in dripping purple grape juice, holding a sodden towel that looks strangely like a severed prehensile tail. Rivergirl is stunned; her Beloved Employer has been changed into Nep. "My pail," she wails, "my beautiful pail is gone. Now how will you make jelly?"

"Never mind, dear," soothes Rivergirl. "I've got some peaches in the cupboard, and I'll just make peach jelly instead. After all, Someone Important wasn't very specific... he just said there was a problem with the cast's jelly." Nep and Rivergirl set to work preparing the fruit while the brownies bake, and between them they get quite a large pot of peaches perking. (Another writing tip: always avoid alliteration.). Just as they're about to lift the pot onto the stove, the timer goes off, and Rivergirl jumps to take the brownies - even more precious now that she doesn't know if she'll ever see her Beloved Employer again - out of the oven.

Unfortunately, in the chaos, Rivergirl has forgotten that Nep isn't as strong as Himself, and the whole pot of peaches falls onto the little purple one, covering her in orange/gold streaks of pulp. Rivergirl is stunned as she watches Nep change before her eyes - growing taller, stronger, and more rufous. Nep has changed into Captain D who immediately runs from the room crying "Let me out of the kitchen. There is a con coming, I have t-shirts to design.

By this point, Rivergirl is seriously wondering whether the brownies are the most appropriate use for the small batch bourbon. She is about to turn her considerable culinary talents to the invention of a new 'salad' when she sees a bouncing ball of energy over in the corner of the kitchen. That's surprising enough, but wait! There's more! The bouncing ball of energy begins to chortle gleefully. "That's two down. One more and my plan will be complete. All the fruit will be gone and I - I alone - will control the supply of jelly making liquid. I will flood the market with Sparky Cola jelly! Hahahahahahaha! That'll teach Someone Important to take me for granted - always worrying about the other two - never thinking that I might not be a slave to his Prime Objective. Eat that jelly, boss. Sparky Cola rules! It's all about me! Me! Me!

* Rivergirl would like to point out that she has a birthday this month, and she is hopeful that the birthday wraith will brighten her day with his greetings.

** It should come as no surprise to regular readers, given her definition of 'salad,' that the secret of Rivergirl's brownies is the small batch bourbon applied in quantities great enough to make even the most morose employer happy.


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