"F@CK IT!" Clarence bellows, finally flinging his slightly-too-crooked spatula at the screeching smoke detector. The terrible, daily taunting of the wretched device: nullified forever more. Chuckling to himself, he turns back to the somewhat soggy French toast sizzling on his skillet.
The man continues cursing while he looks to the slowly shriveling pieces of bread in the soggy pan. Even though he's a terrible, terrible cook, one can't really blame him. He wants to get better. You can see it in his hazy, blue-gray eyes. You can see it in the way he always gets back up on his horse, even with a slightly-singed forearm or a charred toe. (He should have concentrated more while putting his spaghetti in the boiling water.)
Tonight, the stout little man had a guest, giving him much more reason to cook this meal. Every week this month, he'd pay the newspaper just enough for a tiny classified ad, hoping to bring in a new food taster. (Free food brings in many money-strapped souls.)
Looking at his chart he saw:
Guest # Human or animal?
This was the first meal in a long time to make it through animal testing without a disappointed call to the veterinarian. Fluffy IX (who, at the time, was approaching the end of her carrot) was alive for now.
Soon, he schemed, in his mind nullified by the effects of a broken education system with just a few too many teachers with unresolved anger issues, he'd finally have a guest not only survive, but enjoy, truly savor one of his meals. Finally, he'd receive his gratification for his years upon years of tolerating the whine of the blasted smoke detector while he slaved over that stove; the whole focus of his meager life.
He just hoped that he could bury the body fast enough if it turned out badly enough.