My response to Trifecta Writing Challenge which is to use the third definition of manipulate in a story 33 to 333 words. This is based on a true story which happened about forty years ago to me. My time does fly.
Cook a pot of noodles, stir in a can of tuna, English peas, chop some celery. pour into a buttered casserole dish, top with corn flakes, cook awhile. Bringing the piping hot tuna casserole out of the oven, Ginny hurriedly ladled a big scoop in a bowl.
The casserole needed something. She chopped an onion and stirred in mushroom soup to manipulate the casserole.
Ginny's roommate Constance enters the apartment, “Oh that smells good.”
"I thought I would make a tuna casserole."
Ginny located unused flavor packets for ramen in the silverware drawer. She picked a green packet and an orange packet. She stirred them in to manipulate the mixture more. Getting a second bowl for her roommate Constance,
“Something must be wrong with these noodles Constance. They are so gooey."
"Noodles are noodles," Constance blew a bite cool and placed it in her mouth. Her eyes got fairly serious. "What kind of casserole is this?"
"I'm not a tuna person."
"It's OK, I don't know what went wrong."
Someone knocks on the door. "Oh Eric's here, we're going to the library."
Eric walks in, smiles, gives a wave, walks over to the casserole and gives the serving spoon a skeptical lift. "Whatcha cooking Gin?"
“A tuna casserole. I haven't quite got the blend right.”
Ginny adds the can of corn as Eric and Constance leave the apartment. Ginny takes a taste. It's bad. Looking through the kitchen window, there is the starving cat who is looking for a home. She dips the cat a big serving.
The cat purrs loudly as the casserole is placed before her. Taking a curious sniff, she declines.
Ginny goes back in the apartment to open a can of tuna for the cat. Tuna casserole went in the garbage. Cat found a home.