• Published 14th Nov 2016
  • 2,796 Views, 360 Comments

Canterlot Cooking Calamity! - MythrilMoth

CHS holds a fundraiser bake sale and cooking contest.

  • ...


The harsh sun beat down on a barren stretch of rough, dry land with sparse crabgrass and the burrows of numerous small underground animals. Rocks littered the terrain.

A battered old RV sat in the middle of a field on the side of the road. Three dirty, sweaty teenage boys sat on steel folding chairs, gulping cold drinks from an ice chest that sat nearby as they watched smoke billow into the sky from a dented old grill that had seen better days.

"Dude, I can't believe you got a fifty on that test," Skunk said to Beats. "Seriously, it wasn't that hard a test!"

"Yeah, I got an eighty-four on it," Flash said. "There were some hard questions, but it was pretty easy for one of Mr. Phylum's tests."

Beats grunted. "I dunno, I just can't get all this crap about bugs straight," he said. "All I need to know about bugs is how to squish 'em. Why do I gotta know how many hearts they have or what they're made of and stuff?"

Skunk rolled his eyes. "Well, yeah, none of us care about this stuff, but all you gotta do is memorize some shit from the book, man!"

"Yeah, but how am I supposed to keep all those long messed-up Latin words and stuff straight when they don't make sense to me?" Beats protested. "I mean, it's like...I don't care which bugs are turdivores, or which ones—"

Flash let out a bark of laughter, interrupting him. "Wait, wait. Turdivores?"

Beats frowned. "Well, yeah. That's what I put for question seven."

Skunk laughed. "Oh my god, you actually wrote that on your test?!"

"Well I couldn't remember the word for it!" Beats said, his face red. "I figured Mr. Phylum would know what I meant!"

"Good grief," Flash said, shaking his head. "Turdivores. Dude."

"Shut up," Beats grumbled, crushing his soda can and getting up to check on the grill.

"I still don't get why we had to come out to the middle of nowhere to do this," Skunk said.

"Because you live in an apartment, Beats' half a dozen little brothers would've bugged the crap out of us, and we don't wanna be anywhere near my place right now," Flash said. "Remember my grandpa?"

Skunk shuddered. "Yeah, it's hard to forget." He frowned. "But couldn't we have gone to like, the park? I mean, dude."

Beats snorted. "Flash is worried about spies," he said.

"No, I'm worried about my grandpa finding us," Flash said. "I'm pretty sure he can't get out of the city."

"Okay why isn't he in a home or something if he's that big a problem?" Skunk asked.

Flash shook his head. "We can't afford the lawsuits. Hey Beats, how's it lookin'?"

"I think we're good to grill," Beats said.

"Sweet." Flash got up and headed for the RV; Skunk joined him. They hauled out a large ice chest and brought it over to the grill. Working together, Flash and Beats spread several pieces of chicken and half a dozen bratwurst on the grill. "Okay, so we gotta let this stuff cook a bit, then we'll brush on the sauce and let it finish," Flash said.

Beats frowned. "You know, somethin's been buggin' me all week," he said. "We're not gonna just do meat, are we?"

"Well, that's the idea," Flash said.

"Yeah, but...we gotta have somethin' to go with it, right?" Beats pressed. "I mean, we could roast some potatoes or corn on the cob, we can do it right on the grill, or we could do some baked beans..."

"Baked beans are kitchen stuff," Flash said. "The whole point of this grilling thing is so we don't have to do kitchen stuff."

"Making the sauce is kitchen stuff," Beats pointed out.

"Yeah but that's easy kitchen stuff," Flash said dismissively. "You weren't there at the Friendship Games, man. I tried to bake a cake and ended up with a loaf of bread. With sprinkles!"

"Okay okay, so no kitchen stuff," Beats said. "We can still throw some potatoes or something on the grill though, just to have something to go with the meat."

Flash sighed. "Yeah, I guess. Besides, you're probably right, the judges'll probably be more impressed with that."

Skunk walked over. "I gotta take a piss," he said. "Want me to bring the sauce out of the RV when I'm done?"

"Sure," Flash said.

"Why'd we have to keep the sauce separate from everything else again?" Beats wondered as Skunk headed for the RV.

"Because you can't let the sauce get cold," Flash said. "It can't sit for more than twenty-four hours and you can't get it cold. You also have to make it at least six hours before you use it so it has time to set just right."

Beats shook his head. "This had better be the best damn sauce ever, man."

"Oh dude, you haven't had barbecue till you've tasted this, trust me," Flash said.

Skunk emerged from the RV, holding a glass jar full of a reddish-brown, slightly murky fluid. "Hey dudes, got the sau—"

He tripped over a rock.

Flash and Beats watched in horror as Skunk fell, as though in slow motion.

The sauce jar flew from his hands, shattering on impact with the rocky plain. The sauce soaked into the ground.

"Gah," Skunk said as he rose to his knees, wincing. "Oh...oh dudes. Sorry."

"You dropped the sauce," Beats said listlessly, staring at him.

"Dude, it was an accident," Skunk said as he stood up, dusting himself off. "It's no big deal, we can—"

Beats stomped toward Skunk, fists trembling in rage at his sides. "I drove my dad's busted-ass old RV for two hours," he said. "Spent two hours sweltering in the heat. No cell reception. Nothing to do but sit around waiting to get my grill on. And now that we're at the most important part, YOU. DROPPED. THE FUCKING. SAUCE?!"

"It was an acci—"

Beats let out a roar of rage and grabbed Skunk by the face, slamming him to the ground. Skunk flailed against him; he managed to sweep Beats' legs. The two rolled around on the ground, clawing at each other. Beats managed to get up first, picked Skunk up, and slung him lengthwise across his shoulders. "HELICOPTER, BITCH!" he snarled as he spun in place before suplexing Skunk to the ground.

"GUYS!" Flash cried, running over and pushing Beats back. "Guys, cut it out!"

Skunk picked himself up, coughed, and spat out a little blood. "Dude," he grunted, "what the fuck?!"

"Dude, we've got meat burning over there!" Beats roared. "We all wasted our whole Saturday on this stupid-ass trip to the middle of fucking nowhere to grill some damn chicken and some damn sausage, and you go and DROP. THE. SAUCE?!"

"I said it was an accident!"

"YOU'RE an accident!"

"Well what the fuck was the oh-so-important almighty sauce doing in a glass jar in the first place?!"

"Ask Mr. Grandson of the Scary Sauce Man!"

"Okay, ENOUGH!" Flash yelled. Running his fingers through his hair, he looked back and forth between his friends. "Look...accidents happen, alright? We'll have to be more careful with the next batch. And it was in a glass jar for a reason."

"Oh yeah? What reason is that?" Beats asked.

"Because it's on the recipe," Flash said. "When someone like Grandpa writes something very specifically on the recipe, it's important. Just trust me."

"Oh, just trust you," Beats said, throwing up his hands. "Well, that helps us out a fat lot when we've got no more sauce to work with!"

"Actually, we do," Flash said. "I...kinda thought something like this might happen, so I had a backup ready. But it's not gonna turn out as good as if we'd had the jar of sauce Skunk dropped."

Beats blinked. "Wait. A backup?"

Flash walked over to the cooler they'd brought their drinks in and pulled out a metal camp thermos. "The two things you don't do with the sauce," he said, "are store it in metal and get it cold. But you usually don't have to carry it out into the middle of nowhere just to do a test cook anyway, so..."

Skunk lowered his glasses. "You mean you've got more sauce?"

Flash shrugged. "Like I said, I had a hunch."

Beats frowned. "Dude. You coulda told me that before I beat the shit outta Skunk!"

"Yeah, Flash, what the hell?" Skunk asked.

"Look, dudes," Flash said, "we can stand around arguing all day about who let who beat up who, or whose fault it is, or whatever, or we can put this sauce on the meat and get our barbecue on." With that, he headed for the grill and grabbed a brush.

* * * * *

The RV crossed the city limits as long shadows of late evening stretched across the city.

"Okay, so we'll need to be extra careful for the contest," Flash said, "and we'll need two or three jars of the sauce, just to be safe."

"We should put it in something," Skunk said. "Like a cooler. Lined with towels."

"Yeah, good idea," Beats agreed. "And we'll need like...corn. And potatoes."

"And we need to decide what meat we'll use in the contest, that's important," Flash said. "No cheap meats, we need to get good stuff."

"What we had today was pretty good," Beats said. "Dude, you were so right about that sauce."

"No, the sauce was off," Flash said with a grimace. "I don't know if it's because it was cold or because I didn't make it right, but the sauce was off. I'll need to get it right before the contest and we absolutely can't let it get cold like that next time."

"Dude, if you call that a bad batch, I can't wait to see what you call a good batch," Skunk said. "I can still taste it."

"Dude, yeah, that kicked ass!" Beats said.

"Trust me, the real thing is even better..."

None of the boys noticed as the RV drove past a tall, yellow-skinned old man in an outdated mortician's suit, who glared at them in passing with his one good eye.


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