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Chef's Special

Some horror for my pal's...I mean...Paul's challenge.

By Kristen BalyeatPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read
Top Story - October 2023
Chef's Special
Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

Written for Paul's challenge, which you can read about here:


The restaurant was quiet, eerily so. After the string of murders occurring in this small podunk town, no one wanted to be out after dusk. "The Meat Mutilator," as they called the killer, was still on the loose and considered armed and very dangerous. Making matters more terrifying, no one had lived to give a description of the cold-blooded killer.

Debbie didn't care that the town was all locked away or that the news couldn't stop talking about the psychopath on the loose. She was craving Steak-n-More, and her fridge looked as barren as her innards. This was a craving that she couldn't ignore. Anyway, she rather enjoyed being the only customer in the restaurant. She'd be sure to get exceptional service.

"Hey there, dear, surprised to see a young lady like you out and about with all the craziness going on," the waitress said as she approached her table, "Every time the door opens, I get a wave of anxiety, even though there are police on every corner."

"Yeah, I hear ya, but I couldn't stay in my apartment another second," Debbie replied. "I've been craving this restaurant for days. I have this insane desire for steak, and all that sitting around made me stir crazy! A little fresh air on my walk over did me good."

"Well, you're a brave one. Not many people are risking their lives for dinner," the waitress chuckled, "I'm only working because I need the money to keep the heat on. Frankly, I'm glad to have a customer to make it worth my while being here. So, thanks for comin' in! Anyway, what can I get ya?"

"I'll have a nice piece of steak. Make it extra well done. I mean, char that slab of meat until there's not one single bit of pink left. Dark grey all the way through. I want you to grill that flesh so intensely that it looks like it shook the hand of the devil, licked his foot, and barely made it back from the fiery grasp of hell...and to drink I'llllll haaaavvveee..." she said as she ran her finger down the menu, "an extra-large glass of cold almond milk, on the rocks."

"Hmmm, interesting combo," the waitress said, holding back the shudder she felt inside as she choked out an inauthentic laugh. "Usually, people order a nice red wine with their steak. Never thought to pair it with almond milk."

"Well, you're missin' out on a pairing of the gods. An extra well-done fresh piece of meat, charred to the texture of a tire, chased down by a *thick, creamy, nutty milk alternative. I'm drooling already," she said, sucking back the string of spit that had seeped out of the corner of her lips. "Oh, excuse me," she laughed as she wiped her mouth with her sleeve, "Sometimes I get a little overly excited about food. You understand."

"Sure I do." The waitress forced a fake smile, noticing a few drops of blood on the cuff of her customer's shirt. She nodded, turned toward the back of the restaurant, heart racing, and hurriedly walked toward the kitchen, anxious to get away from this psychopath. As she swung open the kitchen doors, she screamed as her eyes met the cold stare of the beloved chef... lying on the chopping block.

"Hey, dear?" Debbie yelled in a cheery voice from the dining room, "Just remembered that I wanted to tell you which cut of meat I'd like. Could you make it...the chef special...please?"

The waitress frantically grabbed the phone off the wall and, with trembling fingers, mashed the buttons 9-1-1... but the line was dead.

The End.


*the almond milk description I stole from Paul's Almond Milk hate mail.

I am absolutely, 100% not a horror lover/writer. When I read unsettling stories, they plant themselves in my brain and begin to stir at about 3 a.m., so I thought I couldn't participate in Paul's new horror challenge. But then I remembered his absolute disdain for almond milk and overcooked meat and decided to chill him to the core. This is about as creepadelic as I can get. Haha!

Pal, I hope you were unsettled, if not by my lame attempt at horror; then I hope I at least gave you a shiver from the steak and almond milk descriptions.

Please take a moment to read about Paul's repulsions below:


About the Creator

Kristen Balyeat

Words fly to me on the wind, bump into me as I'm strolling the city, splash me in the face while I rest by the river, and shake me awake in the middle of the night– I’m humbly one of the many vessels they use to come to life.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (22)

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  • Phil Flannery16 days ago

    That was good fun.

  • Mother Combs16 days ago

    Nicely done!

  • JBaz22 days ago

    I new she was evil when she ordered her steak extra well done…..that is pure evil. This was a great read.

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    Why on earth would the restaurant be opened just waiting for trouble. I would surely have a shotgun with some silver bullets or something. Ah well. Girl, use the back door.

  • I had to wonder about your choice of charred meat. But I have to admit, those were excellent choices to get Paul unsettled, lol.

  • Rick Henry Christopher about a month ago

    Good one Kristen. Congratulations on the Top Story.

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    You made me drool with this story! I love Debbie! Gosh your story is so appetising, delicious and dark! I just wanna eat it up, lol! She ought to choose the part that has a lot of muscles. That'll give a nice rubber like texture. Don't ask me how I know that. I'm a vegetarian. Also, congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Paul Stewartabout a month ago

    LOL! Omg, Kristen. Many many applauds. This actually was very unsettling, with large helpings of dark humour. Also appreciate your special, despicable attempts to personally attack my dislikes and unsettle me to the very core by mentioning destroyed steak and almond milk. Well played, well played, Kristen. Seriously, though, so glad that I came back and this is a Top Story too! Awesomeness!

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    What a great entry, written specifically to horrify Paul! Not to mention an excellent foray into a new genre! I dare say, "Well done!"

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    I loved this story. Creepy, unsettling and humorous. Maybe this is a new genre waiting for you to explore. You definitely got your feet, excuse me, fingers wet. Congrats. Kristen!

  • Naveedabout a month ago

    Congratulations on achieving top story status! ❤️

  • StoryholicFindsabout a month ago

    Love it! ❤️

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a month ago

    Oh myy I’m drooling too lol What a fabulous idea and very well executed drama. Great character development too

  • Naomi Goldabout a month ago

    Back to say congrats! 🥂 I can’t wait to see Paul’s reaction. 🤣

  • Donna Reneeabout a month ago

    🤣🤣🤣 this was fantastic, Kristen! Agreed about horror lol


  • Jazzy about a month ago

    I cant read horror for the same reason! Luckily the comments said this was funny so I felt I could read this and feel good! ☺️ very well done

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Back again to say congratulations on the TS.

  • Grz Colmabout a month ago

    Holy shit! This was so funny !! For a second was like why is this character banging on about a steak so much and then it clicked! 🤣🤣 This is sure to give Paul a ghastly fright! Nice job Kristen! 😊👏👏

  • Naomi Goldabout a month ago

    OMG! 🤣 I’ll never forget Paul’s rage at almond milk and steak well done, and not just because I fully agree with his sentiments about both! It’s also because the sheer savagery was unforgettable. So I laughed so hard reading this. You couldn’t have created a story more horrific and unsettling for Paul.

  • Scott Christensonabout a month ago

    Nice Halloween story, the unlikely killer! Enjoyed the humor at the end "the chef special" !

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Haha. Poor Paul. This was great though. I like how you built the tension throughout. By her description of the steak, I was worried she was about tossed the waitress on fire.

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