We left the story at Hans Leiter confessing to the murder of his brother.
“Oh Hans! Don’t say that! You know it’s not true,” said Emily.
“You’re right Emily,” replied Hans. He gave Jared a forced smile. All of them ate their peanut butter cookies in silence. Emily frowned. Jared looked down at his shoes. Hans’ eyes were distant, then he looked at his watch.
“Oh my, look at the time!” said Hans. “Would you mind if I took this human with me to my house Emily? It’s been so long since I’ve talked with one of my own kind. Your peanut butter cookies are delicious as always, but it’s almost dinnertime. I’m sure he wants something more substantial.”
“Go, just go!” shouted Emily. She turned away from both of them.
When Hans and Jared walked outside, Hans said, “Sorry about that. Emily doesn’t like hearing about anything unpleasant, especially if it’s true.”
Jared shook his head. “I don’t know what to say. I think I should be getting back to my snowmobile.”
“You’re in no danger from me, I promise,” said Hans. “Besides it’s much more dangerous at night out here than during the day time. Just come with me and I’ll explain.”
Jared didn’t see that he had much of a choice so he allowed himself to be led to Hans’s house. It only took a few minutes but Jared stepped back when he saw it. Hans Leiter lived in a step pyramid made of gigantic snow blocks.
These snow blocks also surrounded the compound, making a tall wall. Hans Leiter entered a key code on a hidden panel on one of the snow blocks and one of the blocks moved to create an opening.
“Come in, come in,” said Hans. “Dinner will be ready in about 10 minutes. In the meantime, make yourself at home.”
Jared walked into the igloo and was almost blinded. Everything in the igloo was white – the walls, the furniture, the appliances, the cabinetry, even the knick knacks on the shelves and countertops. Jared sat down on a stark white circular sectional and closed his eyes.
“You said you were going to explain,” said Jared.
“Yes,” said Hans. “Do you mind if I finish getting dinner ready while we talk?” he asked.
“Of course not,” Jared replied.
“You know Mina is a siren,” Hans began.
“I don’t believe you,” Jared replied. “Her song was compelling but it didn’t compel me to kill myself or dash myself on some rocks.”
“How do you think her message carried three hundred miles away?” asked Hans. “No normal signal would travel that far.”
Jared realized that was true. “Well how come I haven’t killed myself?” he asked.
“Only the insane ones drive you to your death,” replied Hans. “Odysseus heard the insane sirens. They are the ones forced to live on the deserted islands in the middle of oceans.”
“So sirens live among us in the human world?” asked Jared.
“Yes, they usually make their living as cabaret singers or something similar. They don’t want to attract too much attention to themselves because their lifespans are much longer than human beings.”
“Oh, so how long do they live?” asked Jared.
“500 years,” replied Hans. “And they normally don’t marry either. It’s hard to hide your age when you have a spouse who grows older while you stay young.”
“That makes sense I guess,” Jared replied. “Somehow though Mina and your brother married.”
“Yes, they broke the rule.”
“You knew what Mina was then. How could you tell?” asked Jared.
“I studied all sorts of monsters for my book. Mina sang at a hotel in Las Vegas during the afternoon. I realized what she was because of the number of people who came to listen to her sing, unusual for a lounge act during that time of day. She couldn’t dampen her singing powers completely.”
“That’s where your brother met her?” asked Jared.
“Yes, I flew to Las Vegas to meet Mina and be my brother’s best man at his wedding. I immediately recognized her for what she was but when I told my brother he wouldn’t listen. They were married in an Elvis chapel the day after I arrived.”
“It was a year later, when I saw my brother again at a family gathering. He told me…” Hans broke off his story, staring at the wall.
“He told you what?” asked Jared.
“My brother told me he and Mina planned to have a child. I just couldn’t let that happen.”
“Why? What’s wrong with that?” asked Jared.
“It’s an abomination!” shouted Hans. “A half monster, half human child could not be!” Jared saw Hans banging pots and pans around in some kind of effort to control his anger. After several minutes, Hans continued.
“I apologize Jared. I told you I would tell you the story.” After a few moments of silence, Jared heard a bell ring. “Dinner is ready,” said Hans.
At first Jared did not know what to think of his dinner. The meal sat in a white bowl. On the bottom it looked like a circle of white rice surrounded by clear broth. On top of the rice sat shredded daikon radish. On the top of the daikon radish, was some kind of white fish. We will call it “The White Meal.” Here is the recipe.
Total Time: about 40 minutes (includes 30 minute for cooking the rice)
Special Equipment: some type of ring like a set of biscuit cutters
2 cups of rice
1 daikon radish
1 teaspoon of white miso paste
4 filets of white fish, like Talapia
1 teaspoon garlic powder or two crushed garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Soy sauce (optional)
Red Pepper (optional)
PREPARATION AND COOKING
1) Cook the rice
2)Then using a shredder with large holes, shred the daikon radish into a bowl.
3) Cut the white fish into bite size pieces. Dover Sole is probably the thinnest and will cook the fastest, but it’s not that tasty. I prefer Talapia or this new boneless fish from New Zealand I found at my local grocery store, Hoki.
4) Place the fish into a bowl. Coat the fish with the olive oil. You can either use a spoon or your hands but using your hands works best then add the garlic and pepper. For the photos to keep it more white, I used garlic powder, and that’s easier too.
5) Turn the burner on medium, place the marinated fish in a wok and saute until done (about 10 minutes).
1) Take a white bowl, place a biscuit cutter in the center. Fill the biscuit cutter with rice using a teaspoon. If you want the shape to be really cylindrical, you should pack the rice in by pressing the rice into the biscuit cutter with the teaspoon.
2) Gently lift the biscuit cutter off the rice. The stickier the rice, the more difficult this will be. Use the teaspoon to press down on the rice if you have to, if you’re crazy about perfection that is.
3) Add a layer of the shredded daikon radish on top. Depending on how flat the you got the rice, the easier it will be to keep the daikon radish on top of the rice.
4) Place the white fish on top of the rice. The easiest thing to do to keep it on top of the rice and daikon radish is before you place the cooked fish on top of the rice, place it in a bowl and flatten it out with a fork.
5) Pour the white miso broth into the bowl.
6) Oh, but wait! We are not forced to eat a totally white meal like Jared! I myself prefer to add red pepper flakes. You can add soy sauce too if you want.
Now back to the story.
As Jared and Hans ate their dinner, Hans continued his story.
“After our fight, my brother and Mina left. I sent an apology but the letter was returned with no forwarding address. I asked the rest of my family but my brother and Mina let no one know their plans.”
“Then how did you find them?” asked Jared.
“I hired the best private detectives to find my brother and Mina. One of them finally located them a few months later. I hurried to the small town where they lived to try to convince my brother to stop his madness,” Hans replied.
“So you weren’t sorry,” said Jared.
“Of course not. The apology letter was a ruse, a way to put my brother at ease before I killed Mina.” Jared shuddered.
“Anyways,” Hans continued. “When I arrived to confront my brother, I discovered Mina was already pregnant.”
“Then you could do nothing right?” asked Jared. “Your brother and Mina were going to have a baby.”
“No!” shouted Hans. “I would just have to kill Mina and the baby now. In my youth, I was trained as a sniper. It was easy enough to spy on them, study their habits, and get in perfect position.”
“But something happened, right?” said Jared. “Your plan didn’t work.”
“No, it didn’t. My brother and Mina were sitting on the couch. As I pulled the trigger, my brother reached over and I shot him in the back. I then quickly took a second shot to Mina’s stomach and scrambled out of there.”
Jared swallowed his last spoonful of miso broth and got up to leave.
“Where do you think you’re going?” asked Hans. “It’s very dangerous out there now.”
“Thank you for dinner,” said Jared. “But after your story I just can’t stay here. I’d rather take my chances outside. Goodbye.”
Jared opened the door by pushing a button on the wall and was pushed backward. Mina entered. “Finally, I found you!” she laughed, looking at Hans.