The Culinary Narrative (Part 2)

Michael Maman
2 min readNov 8, 2021

A thunderous knocking at the door was never a fun way to wake up. Xander shot up out of bed and when to answer. He checked the clock — it was 12:30pm.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

“Xander Oberon, agent no. 47896?”


“HQ sent me. Say your doppelganger is loose and causing havoc at your assigned unit. Open this door.”

Xander complied, slowly turning the knob to reveal a tall, imposing figure with a visible scar across his face. “Agent Phylo Rasalas, at your service” he said. “We need for you to gain control of your doppelganger and assume your position.”

“I can’t Agent Phylo. I just can’t take it anymore. I am tired of waking up so early and being judged three times a day. I am no cook, I don’t belong here.”

While Xander was talking, Phylo scanned the room to see strewn clothes and used cardboard boxes the floor. The kitchen sink looked to have its fair share of clutter as well.

“Look, I understand you’ve been having a hard time, why don’t you take a deep breath and have a seat?”

“I’m fine standing, I was just coming out of a nap.”

“We all have a slump every once in awhile. You just let your anger and frustrations consume and get the better of you.”

Xavier thought back to all of the times he tried to best his emotions — the negative images of his failures kept coming to the forefront. Tears starting welling in his eyes.

“I’ve tried Agent Phylo — I’ve really tried. It just seems like everything I do is not enough. Can’t you just reassign me - or better yet, get me a position back home?” The images of his repeated failures were too much for him, he had to seat himself.

Placing his hand on Xavier’s shoulder, Phylo spoke calmly, “You know that cannot be done until the duration of your assignment is completed. Especially if you can’t regain control of your doppelganger. You need to regain confidence in yourself, Xavier.”

“How do I do that?”

“Just because you were assigned as a cook does not mean you need to diminish yourself. Being a soldier carries its own share of drudgery. Danger that you may not return back from.” Phylo pointed to Xavier’s head. “First you need to control this.”

[To be continued…]