Luisa browsed the menu again. She'd been ecstatic last June when she'd found this exclusive little steak house tucked into an alley off Manhattan's East 67th Street. Bored with the standard fare of beef, buffalo and venison, the restaurant promised gastronomic riches. Tattooed waiters and waitresses of several nationalities catered for the high-class clientele.
She'd picked and chosen for the first few visits. It was expensive but the rarity of springbok, kangaroo, giraffe and zebra was worth the expense. She was more methodical after that, working her way through the menu one visit at a time, every steak cook black-and-blue, just how she liked it, with sauces on the side, never on the meat.
After thirty visits her palate was jaded and she sat at her customary booth flicking listlessly through the menu. Peter, the only waiter still working there since she'd found the place, stood poised with his pencil and pad. "I want something different," she said, "something really unusual."
"I know just the thing," Peter said. "A chef's special, Yes?"
She smiled and handed back the menu. "That sounds divine."
It took a little longer to prepare but every morsel was worth the wait. Tempted as she was, she left the strip of fat and the edge of skin.
She'd recognised the tattoo.
Rachel Green is a forty-something writer from Derbyshire, England. She lives with her two partners and three dogs. She was the regional winner of the Undiscovered Authors 2007 and her novel An Ungodly Child was published in 2008. When not writing, Rachel walks her three dogs, potters in the garden and drinks copious amounts of tea. Her website www.leatherdyke.co.uk acts as a portal to her daily-updated blogs