It’s time for the What Are They Eating post, and this month, I could answer that with one word – soup. I wrote Batshit Bassel for Soup It Forward Day, and the main thing in this story is soup 😆
Bassel is a psychic with no control over his powers and therefore he can’t do the kind of work psychics normally do – predict things and save the world and such. But he’s convinced he can make the world a better place by giving people soup. Soup is nutrition and love in a bowl, and it’s exactly what people need.
Every day, he sells two kinds of soups in his food cart.
A witch or psychic bonded to a shifter was a force to be reckoned with. They could achieve great things, borrowing power from each other. Shifters were strong and agile, fierce and protective. Psychics could see the future and help prevent crimes and catastrophes, predict the economy, and make smart business decisions.
Bassel could serve soup.
He didn’t turn his nose up at it. There were people doing big, amazing things, and there were people who affected the world in a more subtle way. His mission was a subdued approach, a gentle push in the direction of a better day and hopefully a better life—for his customers.
There were many lost souls, scarred souls, lonely souls who needed a bowl of soup. He’d never perform miracles, but he could give people something warm to eat and listen to their problems. He loved doing it. It was fulfilling knowing he’d touched a person’s spirit and made them feel better.
In the snippet above, they’re not eating any soup, so let’s have an excerpt of when they eat.
“Would you like some soup?”
The boy startled and looked a little afraid, as if Bassel had tried to lure him away with candy.
“I… eh… don’t have any money.”
Bassel shrugged. “Of course not. You’re a child.”
The boy glared at him, and Bassel turned the words over in his head. Were they insulting?
“When you have a job, you can pay me back. Now, do you want chicken soup or chickpea soup?”
The boy scrunched his nose at the mention of chickpeas. “Chicken.”
With a smile, Bassel filled a bowl. “I’m thinking about adding a hotplate or maybe one of those pans to have over an open fire. I could make skillet flatbread to go with the soup. I think people would appreciate it, and if I went with the open fire option, it would help warm people in the winter.” Spring was around the corner, but he was still frozen to the bone every day when he came home, no matter how many layers of clothes he put on. “Or maybe there are portable pizza ovens. Wouldn’t that be cool?”
The boy stared at him as if he was insane—he was.
“Come sit.” He grabbed the folding chair he had standing next to the food cart with one hand while balancing the bowl of chicken soup in the other.
Hesitating for a moment, the boy then slowly neared the chair.
As he sat, Bassel handed him the Styrofoam bowl and a spoon. “Did you have a good day at school?” Bassel assumed he went to school.
The boy nodded and looked away as an ache spread in Bassel’s chest—the boy’s. He had no idea what had triggered the crushing wave of grief washing over him, but something had.
“Oh, sweetheart. Eat your soup. Everything gets better with soup.” He was quiet for a few seconds before asking, “What’s your name?”
“Oh, you’re a bear?” Espen meant bear, rightDag nodded and blew on a spoonful of soup before putting it into his mouth. Warmth spread in Bassel’s soul—all his own. He loved feeding people.
There is a lot of soup, but at one point, Bassel is making pancakes, and toward the end, Dag and Thor are to spend the night in Bassel’s place, and then they’re having nacho pot pie.
Bassel was buzzing. Thor would come. Or he’d try to come. He looked across the table at Dag, who was staring at the nacho pot pie.
“What is this?”
“Nacho pot pie. You helped me make it.”
“I know, but…”
“Taste it. If you don’t like it, there’s always soup.”
Dag grinned and dug in as warmth filled Bassel’s chest. He couldn’t pinpoint the emotion, a mix of them, but he had a feeling he’d been tested. He wasn’t sure if he’d passed or not, but since Dag was content, he didn’t care.
“It’s good.” Dag spoke with his mouth filled with food.
“Don’t talk with food in your mouth.” The words were out of Bassel’s mouth before he could reflect on what he was saying, and he froze as he stared at Dag.
“My mother always said that to me. I never believed I’d say it to anyone.” But you didn’t talk with food in your mouth.
Dag paled. “My mom used to say it too. She’d ask if I’d had a good day in school and then tell me not to talk with food in my mouth when I replied.” The pain following his words had Bassel sucking in a breath. Dag’s grief was still raw.
“Perhaps it’s a thing mothers do?” And imbeciles, apparently.
Nodding, Dag took another bite, and Bassel followed suit. Normally, when he made this dish, he had heaps of jalapenos in it, but he skipped them today since Dag would be eating. It was much better with jalapenos.
“So, ready for a movie?”
Dag nodded and sped up his eating.
Some people perform miracles, others serve soup.
Bassel Uxium will never save the world. He doesn’t have the skill. He’s the product of his parents’ sin, a psychic with no control over his powers. But he can serve soup, and soup works wonders in its own way. He isn’t bitter about it. Some people create miracles, others give a frozen soul a warm bowl of love.
Thor Espen’s life changed in a heartbeat. A few months ago, his sister died, and he became the guardian of his nephew. His life isn’t fit for a child. He’s the owner of a nightclub, and his schedule doesn’t leave room for a cub. When his nephew starts spending time with the weird soup guy with the food cart outside his club, he allows it.
Bassel aches for the little boy who is cloaked in grief and tries to ease his sorrows with soup, one bowl at a time. He aches for Thor too, but in a different way. Thor should focus on work, but he can’t get Bassel out of his head. Can a bear shifter and a defective psychic have something together, or will the budding relationship turn to ashes, along with Bassel’s predictions of a fire?
Paranormal Gay Romance: 20,177 words