Warm, moist scents of buttery, baked goods permeated every nook and cranny of the kitchen. The steady sizzle and pop of oils, and clinking of pans and utensils created a assiduous atmosphere. They were the only signs of life in the Slenderman mansion. Such an early morning was introduced by you alone. During this time, you were able to witness the sunrise through the kitchen window; admittedly, you had to briefly walk away, but the sun seemed to wait for your return before continuing its slothy climb. The island counter top was a major convenience for you, offering plentiful room for your cooking and baking clutter. Eggs and sausage in a long skillet, drop-biscuits in the oven, fruit-based syrup simmering in a sauce pan, and grits steaming in another. As soon as the syrup was condensed enough, you would use the burner to start on pancakes. The impatient whisking of your batter was an obvious clue to your perturbed state concerning that some foods would get cold before the rest were done. Maybe you could talk Slenderman into replacing this dingy, four-burner stove with something larger. From the stained and rusted exterior, you were certain the appliance was long overdue for retirement.
A month ago, you wouldn't have even considered the generous offer of cooking for the entire mansion. Waking up at this hour was the most atrocious thing, especially for someone who was, for politeness sake, not a morning person. Not only that, but you had to prepare supper each night. Lunchtime was mostly a break for you, though you often prepared light snacks; otherwise, everyone was to fend for themselves if they wanted some sort of midday meal. With all of the kitchenware that you had to use just to make enough food for the mansion residents, there was no way to have it all cleaned in time to start cooking all over again. You had to admit, at least the cleaning wasn't up to your exhausted self each time. The Proxies were made to deterge your mess, which you still helped a little, if only by wiping up small splotches and spills that you made along the way.
Getting into the career of "Kitchen Maiden" wasn't your initial idea, but when the same old sandwich or cup of ramen every damn day grew stale to your taste buds, you broke down and cooked a real meal; one that you had long missed from your days before the Creepypastas. This, of course, was your first mistake. The second was when you allowed the prying eyes and nose of Jeff the Killer to try a taste of your dish. The last mistake was when you didn't kill Jeff before he could tell every single soul in the mansion about your "godly" ability to cook. From there, you would receive requests, which you ended up cooking in large portions before you turned the kitchen into some sort of free labor cafe. The more meals you served, the more praise you received; the more praise, the more your ego swelled; until, eventually, Slenderman made you an offer: Prepare meals every weekday, have the weekend to yourself, and be guaranteed a safe place to live.
At first, you weren't sure if you wanted to accept, but there simply weren't any downfalls to Slenderman's proposal. The weekends were available for you to go about killing or chilling as you pleased, and the only reason you moved into the mansion was due to the cumbersome attacks on your meager home by Zalgoids and ferals. Having to defend the place time and time again was exhausting on your own. At Slenderman's mansion, you were able to relax such anxieties - in return for assigned duties.
When you initially moved into the mansion, you had agreed to help scavenge and provide necessities. Most other duties were covered by veteran residents, and the more scavengers, the better. As you brought in fresh supplies, you began to notice that no one else would bring back foods of your quality. Jeff and Laughing Jack would bring back ramen, boxed mac-and-cheese, canned food, breakfast bars, old lunch meat, alcohol, cigarettes, and copious amounts of sweets. Eyeless Jack brought back medical supplies and, much to your antipathy, human kidneys. The fresh supplies ran out quickly, and not by your doing, which irked you further. Thus, you were commonly stuck with poorly preserved and malnourishing foods. Slenderman wasn't much help when you tried to complain, saying that supplies were free game in public spaces. Living with mentally unstable horror beings was part of such a lifestyle, and this you couldn't deny. Instead, you fought back, bringing back just enough fresh supplies for yourself, then cooking them as soon as you got home; the canned and dried goods were for the rent. It only took a few days before you were caught with delicious food half-shoveled into your gullet.
Now, here you were, the mansion's chef; getting up early in the morning and getting to bed at a relatively decent time to do it all again. You wouldn't have it any other way, though. It was a nice feeling to put in so much work, enjoy the smells, and hear the joyful fruits of your labor. It would start with muffled bumps from opening and closing doors upstairs. Hurried footfalls thumped down the staircase, accompanied by telling squees.
"She made the syrup! I knew those fruits were for something special!"
"Is that bacon?"
"Cold butter on hot biscuits, here I come!"
It was their job to set the table. It was your job the smack any hands that tried to steal an early bite. Typically, you finished everything in time for the residents to be seated. With each repeated meal, you were able to get a system in your head to prevent hook-ups or cold food, but there was the occasional misjudgment. Cooking for those with special diets, such as Eyeless Jack, was challenging on a small stove, but you found new ways to prepare his single-ingredient meal. Some techniques didn't even require a stove, which you often used when you ran out of room. This particular morning, you decided to puree a raw kidney, bake two others that had been squeezed of its blood, use the puree as a stuffing, and the blood as a drizzle. It was a shame that you couldn't add some sort of seasoning, but EJ was content with your creativity. Laughing Jack preferred the sweeter parts of breakfast, but he balanced it out with eggs and sausage on the side.
First served was Slenderman, himself, followed by the Creepypasta residents, and lastly, the Proxies; technically, you were last, but you didn't count yourself, since you would sneak little bites, or "taste tests", whilst cooking. With everyone seated at the long dining table, you always found yourself watching them with a smile as warm as your food. This moment was your favorite, and it happened twice a day; to watch your misfit family join together and eagerly dig in to the gift you created. You loved to watch them dine in harmony, knowing that any other time, there was arguing, fighting, and utter chaos. The kitchen and dining room were the two areas of the mansion that held peace, and no one had to enforce rules to make it happen. There was an understood truce here among the mansion residents; unspoken, radiating from their very being. It was as though your cooking cleansed ill will, driving away the evil that humans saw in these Creepypastas. If it was some sort of light magic, you weren't sure, but that would mean you were surely no Creepypasta.
Maybe, you didn't have to be one; a murderous being, dark and riddled with ire that could only be temporarily tamed. Such thoughts lead you further down a rabbit hole of self doubt and philosophical wonder over what it meant to be a Creepypasta. Did such a title require some semblance of evil? Did it mean that one could posses no pure desire? Where was the line drawn between good and evil?
"How do you consistently season these dishes with perfection," Slenderman queried with a hint of admiration. He broke your spiraling train of thought, bringing you back to the only reality that mattered.
Seeing the vague muscles in Slenderman's lacking face shift into a gentle smirk, you realized that he had caught you in deep thought. Most likely, he had pried into your internal monologue, but you forgave his intrusion. With a modest shade of pink dusting your cheeks, you flashed a broader smile and returned his question, "Just practice, I guess."
"I need more grits!" Sally's voice chimed in from further down the table. "Um," she vocally stumbled when she came to know her poor table manners, "Please pass the grits pot, please." The small girl wiped away a smear of said food from the corner of her mouth. Jeff the Killer passed Sally her requested dish, helping her scoop another generous serving of the ground corn. Sally's first bite of the fresh dollop forced out a pleased moan of satisfaction, "____ always puts in just the right amount of butter."
Near the end of the long dining table, Eyeless Jack daintily cut his dish of kidneys with a fork and knife. "I didn't realize there were so many flavors and textures that could be created with one ingredient," he awed aloud.
The compliments continued to weave and meld together throughout the meal. No one had directed their praise toward you, but you heard them all the same. After a month, you'd figured that it would become nonchalant by now, but your heart continued to flutter with excited butterflies and sunlight. If you ever had to miss a day of cooking, the entire mansion would mourn such a loss, even if ephemeral. The idea that you had every resident in the mansion spoiled to your talents sent giggles bubbling into your throat.
For most others, these were cold-hearted killers. For you, these were your gentle giants; easily tamed by a home-cooked meal.