It was not a good start to the day.
The head cook for the entire castle yawned hugely as he plodded down the corridor on the way to the kitchen; it was just before sunrise, and he needed to get started on breakfast. Some of the royals were very particular about what they would eat, and managing to satisfy their appetites while also keeping his head (and those of his under-cooks) was a full-time job.
That was bad enough, but lately there had been trouble with the food supplies. Earlier in the week, twenty tuna vanished from their pens in the moat, a half-dozen banana trees were completely stripped of their fruits, and the vegetable garden had been raided, with the chief victims being the carrot and leek patches. There had been some frantic scrabbling to find replacements, and no sign at all of the thieves… or their ill-gotten foodstuffs.
With another bellowing yawn, the head cook cracked open the main door to the kitchen, pushing it open and standing there with his mouth agape for several seconds before he managed to notice that the kitchen was darker than normal. He blinked blearily into the gloom and grunted in confusion, his eyes sliding over to the window where the first hints of sunrise should have been creeping in.
Instead, a massive, round black eye filled the window, peering inside. There was an oddly muffled sound that reminded the petrified chef of laughter, and a long, thick pink shape slithered its way through the window, groping along the floor towards the cook. It hadn’t even reached halfway across the room when the man gathered his wits, took a step back, and slammed the door before running back down the hallway.
“A MONSTER!" he bellowed at the top of his lungs, drawing the attention of soldiers on the opposite side of the castle. "THERE’S A MONSTER IN THE KITCHEN! SOMEBODY HELP! OH GODS! A MONSTERRRRR!”