The Thyme-Travelling Chef: Part 5

Look, an update! 😀

The tone of Jason’s voice silenced everyone in the kitchen. About forty faces of all ages gazed at him in awe. Jason gulped. These people respected him. They were ready, he realized, to follow all his orders. They viewed Jason as their saviour – his plan would send them back to wherever they had come from.
But Jason didn’t have a plan. Now he had to think on his feet, which was exactly what had got him into the mess in the first place.
“Follow me,” he said shakily, and everyone lined up behind him. The most sensible thing to do, he decided, was to get everyone out of the kitchen. On his way in to the studios, Jason had walked past a large conference room with many comfy chairs and a water cooler. He figured that the MustardChef participants would all be safe in there for however long it took Jason to get things back to normal.
They strolled down the corridors in silent single file. They were an odd bunch, all wearing the clothes of whatever past generation they’d been swept up from. Only Stephen, in true old-man style, remained wearing almost the same outfit as his present day self: a suit that looked as if had been stored in a 1950s time capsule. Weirdly, it was Jason, in his crisp white apron, who stood out.
“Right, here we are,” he declared, stopping in front of the double doors to the conference room. “I’m going to have to ask everyone to wait inside this room for a while, for your own safety. I trust you’ll find it comfortable enough. Please, whatever you do, do not leave the room… or else…”
There was a synchronised “Ooh, aah” as Jason left the room and tied together the door handles with his belt. He didn’t trust several of them not to try to get out.
“Right,” he muttered to himself, strolling down the corridors, “think Jason, think!”
He had to coordinate a lot of factors. The kitchen was the present-day version so that had to stay constant, as did the exact time – to the millisecond – to stop the Beef Wellington from burning (again). The age variation of the contestants and crew had been restored, Jason assumed, but everyone had been plucked from the past, hopefully the same year! Jason figured though that it was good enough to go ahead and just age everyone a bit.
But how? Time travel was not an exact science. It was, to quote Jason’s favourite TV character, ‘wibbly-wobbly’. Sure, Jason could choose how far back or forward he wished to go, but he always changed everything. This time, he had to leave the universe at the current millisecond whilst aging a room full of people.
He returned to the kitchen and wandered around for a bit, his mind wondering too. Head in his hands, slumped against the fridge, almost ready to give up, the invigorating scent of Beef Wellington, Salmon En Croute, Steak and Ale Pie and Stephen’s ‘Posh Pasties’ invaded his nostrils. Jason breathed deeply, inhaling the rich aromas of meat and pastry. It was heavenly. It was homely. It was all the inspiration he needed.
Jason fired into action, running through the corridors of the big studio building, examining every office, every person, every dated picture on the walls and every second hand of every clock. He was determined to achieve the same perfection with time travel as he had with his dish.
Eventually, Jason found a comfy sofa facing a clock to sit on while he did his work. He shut his eyes tight and watched as sparks of rainbow light crept into the blackness. The sparks turned into majestic fireworks, swirling and exploding and soaring through his mind in every colour imaginable. It was an awe-inspiring sight. Jason squeezed his eyes tighter and the lights and colours intensified. Then, the image began to fizzle out. The fireworks collapsed in on themselves and slowly faded to white, grey, black until they were no longer there. At this point Jason opened his eyes.
He blinked several times, readjusting to reality.
Then he peeked at the clock, which displayed the exact time he had left at. Jason smiled, but he wasn’t out of the woods yet. He felt sick with excitement and anticipation as he began to roam the corridors, increasing in speed as his hurry to check on the MustardChef people grew.


Next (last?) part coming soon!