The only thing vaguely Russian about Kasha was her name. Nonetheless, she took to dressing in 18th century Russian peasant clothing, and plaiting her flaxen hair into a long braid. She was fey, to be sure. Living in a house designed by and built for a surreal artist in the pacific northwest, among other things, she was a master code breaker and encrypter. She figured she inherited these talents from her great-aunt Enigma, and a distant forebear with the last name of Hieroglyph, plus her family’s perchance for analytical though scattered minds. She held degrees in logic, technowizardry, and the culinary arts.
Secretive by nature and profession, she had all her mail arrive in brown paper wrappers delivered by Fed Ex drivers who only turned left. So it was one Thursday, she received a package marked Top Secret FYEO*. She shook her head. Her latest client watched too many 1960s spy movies and read too much John le Carré – he gave her the code name “Goldlocks” – and ran his business as if he were M, or some other spy master. Considering he sold marshmallows, this was all pretty silly. But Mr. StayPuft paid well, so Kasha went along with his spy-fueled cloak and dagger games.
A cryptic note – Kasha broke Mr. SP’s handwritten scrawl first try – hinted this was the big time. She wondered how the tattered folder and yellowed piece of paper came into his possession. She knew he trolled yard sales, e-bay and shadowy internet ephemeralabilia sites  for all manner of coded items. Having vanquished the photo surrealism gremlins+ for a time, she fired up her multilayered intranet. Decoders were a secretive lot – even their facebook page featured encrypted selfies and Instagrammatical shots.
Comparing the code to known variables, and playing with her decoder ring, Kasha wrote out: North Korea, nuclear, secret weapon. OMG, what had StayPuft got her into this time? One venture had the EPA, Department of the Exterior and Homeland Insecurity showing up. Before contacting her friend, the secretive Mr. G., to consult, she played one more time with the last string: &%DL. She burst out laughing. Her employer was in possession of a top secret alright. A 1950s North Korean and Chinese plot to flood the Free World with exploding marshmallows. The code contained the recipe.
Feeling a cooking binge coming on, she baked trays of Rice Krispie treats to send to her friends at various known and secretive government agencies. She hummed Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov as she made her marshmallows from scratch.
*FYEO = for your eyes only
Kasha is the newest “pigment – as a friend would say” of my imagination. Born for +Jane Doherty’s Strange Sunday # 3, her surrealism bedroom appeared in last week’s Tale Weavers #109: metamorphosis. She is still undergoing “analysis” for mlmm’s A World Apart 5 character study. Tonight, she is breaking code for Michael’s mlmm Tale Weaver Making Sense of Nonsense: The Secret Code. Busy woman.

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