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Story

"What's Cooking?" is the tenth and final short story from the book More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps.

Plot

Robert and his cousin Diana flunked Math and are now forced to spend their summer at Mill Road School. Unfortunately for them, this is the same school where according to legend, a cook by the name of Susan Chopman worked. Given the nickname "Chop Suey" for her terrible Chinese food dish, Susan apparently went mad and attacked children in the cafeteria with a cleaver until she was arrested, and later, died in a factory accident. Arriving at the school, Diana decides to see if the story could be true. She says the name Chop Suey three times, and as she does, all of the faucets turns on at once. The two run off in terror until they discover it was actually a plumber. However, strange things continue to happen after Diana's chant, and it seems Chop Suey has come back to life. First, Robert discovers his sandwich has been replaced with raw liver, Second, the two discover a canvas that appears to have been attacked by a cleaver. Lastly, a large woman calling herself Aunt Sue begins appearing in the kitchen, serving "meat surprise", just like the legends said Chop Suey did.

When the two go to school the following day, they are confronted by Aunt Sue, angry that they refused to eat the lunch she served. Aunt Sue becomes enraged once they begin to call her Chop Suey. She chases them down the hall, attempting to slice them down with her cleaver, saying they'll be tomorrow's meat surprise. The two begin to work out a plan to defeat her, and in a last effort begin chanting her name backwards. This ends up working, and Chop Suey is sucked back to the afterlife.

At home, Robert discovers his mother ordering Chinese food. She begins complaining that his father again ordered Chop Suey, repeating the name three times, despite their cries. A ring is heard at the doorbell, and she asks Robert to get it.

Trivia

  • The scene where Diane and Robert say Chop Suey's name three times in succession to summon her is an allusion to the folklore legend of Bloody Mary, but could also be a reference to either the 1992 film Candyman or the 1988 film Beetlejuice.
    • Alternatively, the method of saying her name backwards to defeat her is an allusion to the method of defeating Mister Mxyzptlk.
  • Mill Road's name is similar to Mill City, the setting of the previous story in the book, Mirror Mirror on the Wall.
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