Mingwei Gu

writings on business, meditation, technology, markets, sci-fi, organizations

04 Oct 2020

Hot Muffin

Veena fills the last muffin cup with batter. Halfway through the morning’s prep. She opens the commercial oven, and puts the tin of thirty muffins inside. As she closes the oven door, she wipes her brow with her forearm.

Working in a bakery has been the most fun she’s had in witness protection. But sometimes, she wishes she could get back to the action.

Veena’s dressed in a white pastry chef hat and a white apron. Her hands are greased and have a dusting of flour, as typical for bakers. But her poised and alert posture hints at her past as an assassin.

A wooden creak breaks the silence. Veena grabs a rolling pin from the kitchen counter.

Veena steps carefully toward the rear exit. A small object bounces on the ground in front of her. Smoke hisses out of it. A smoke grenade.

The bosses finally found me. My lucky day.

She takes a cutting knife from a knife block, turns around, and heads for the front of the bakery.

A silencer bullet fires from her 8 o’clock, misses her, and hits the kitchen door. Another comes from her 5 o’clock and strikes the wall. Veena ducks next to a counter top. They sent two goons. I’m flattered.

She leans over to see smoke everywhere. She sees the outline of one figure, and throws the cutting knife at it. The figure stoops down and moves out of view. Down but not out.

A bullet fires at her, and it strikes her in the left shoulder. She kneels next to the counter. Another bullet fires and hits the wall above her. She waits.

Footsteps approach. She smells the scent of old cigarette smoke. She charges from her hiding spot with her rolling pin.

Veena taps the assailant’s arm holding the pistol. He takes a step back as Veena charges again and whacks the man on top of the head.

Her attacker stumbles back. All the way to the oven she’d used earlier. His friend fires a shot at her but it misses.

She rushes the man next to the oven. She opens the oven door to slam him in the head. And he collapses onto the floor. Using an oven mitt, she grabs the not-yet-done muffins in the muffin tin.

With two hands, Veena holds out the tin in front ot her like a shield, and run towards the other man. Hot muffin mix globs onto the floor, and fly out behind her. The man fires at her, but the muffin tin takes the damage.

Veena arrives at the already wounded man with a knife still in his stomach. She throws the tin of muffins at him. The globs of hot muffin goo make contact with his face, oozing into his collar. The man drops his gun. And his screams echo in the empty bakery.

She kicks the knife in his stomach, and he tumbles forward unconscious.

Veena leaves the men where they are, and takes their guns. She goes to the bathroom to clean up and change.

She hangs up her apron and looks at it fondly. She’ll miss the baking. And so she leaves behind one identity and onwards to find another.