Manon Boucher

by Lewis

She lowered her eyes, avoiding any contact, placed the dish in front of him and backed away slowly. Her heart was as calm as her actions, slow, sure. She paused at the exit as expected. No further demands came, so she slipped though the fabric curtains into the hallway and headed back to the kitchen. Every place has its own eccentricities that only the rich can get away with; this one had no doors in his mansion. Quietly she packed her things. Carefully. There was no rush. Everything has to appear perfectly normal. Besides it would be weeks before there were any symptoms.

Tomorrow it was onto another city, another client. Of course only certain people could afford Manon Boucher. She wasn’t just the best, you simply must experience her, they said, it’s so much more than food. They had no idea.

She supposed she should feel bad. Some remorse, a hint perhaps of what some less informed would describe as guilt. But nothing. Not for this one. She remembered him from a restaurant she worked in on 34th. The Soup has been ‘too dry’. He’d demanded to speak to the chef and of course his outrage grew when he saw it was just a woman. “No wonder it’s so fucking awful”, he’d spat at her. In front of the staring restaurant. “I wouldn’t be seen dead eating your shitty food. Stick to waitressing and baking love and leave the cheffing to the men who know what they’re doing.”

Now of course he was paying $4000 a night for her shitty food. And he was right. He wouldn’t be seen dead eating her shitty food. But sure as shit he would be seen dead.

Normally it was so simple, most of them were either out of shape, or overindulged in a little something they shouldn’t. All it took was the right extra ingredients and sit back and wait. Heart failure, drug overdose, a sexual provocation gone wrong, there were so many ways to make it look accidental. She had to choose wisely. But sometimes, like this one, they chose for her.

She heard her name being called by the maid, almost nervously. “Ms Boucher, Mr Harper, wishes to see you”. Manon slipped one of her knifes into her apron pocket and sighed. Moments later the dining room curtain swished silently apart as she entered.

“Your food is meant to be extraordinary, an experience”, Mr Boucher said, as his eyes crawled over her body. “Well I rather like my experiences more hands on.” There were only four of them in the room. A private dinner, though she knew there would be girls waiting upstairs for them. That just left the maid, a shame she thought. She had been nice.

“Hand’s on?” She asked. “How funny.” Her eyes flashed wildly. The men laughed at each other, keen to get their money’s worth.

“Sometimes that’s exactly how I prefer it.” She purred, smiling happily to her-self.