Secret Cake

With the rest of the family at the gym after downing their pre-workout plant protein smoothies, the coast was clear. She couldn’t cook her favourite treat in the house. As soon as they got back in they’d pick up the delicious scents that had wafted from the oven. Instead, she grabbed a set of house keys from the dresser drawer. They were house-sitting for the Khan family, who were away on a twenty-eight day Caribbean cruise.

It was there in the Khan’s freezer that her secret stash resided. Letting herself in through the side door, she turned the oven on before giving the place a cursory check. Everything was where it should be, including the cardboard box she had hidden in their fridge-freezer.

After ten minutes of preheating, and twenty of baking, the smell had her licking her lips as she took the cake out to serve on a plate. Firm, golden-brown and moist. The first bite was heaven, full of rich flavour. Try as she might to savour it, the morsel melted away in her mouth. She lingered over each delicately seasoned mouthful. Each comforting, zesty, meaty mouthful.

Her husband and the kids had stuck with the Atkins diet for a month. As she whittled away at the fishcake with her fork, she could only hope their vegan vitality plan would be abandoned before the Khans returned.

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It Tolls For Tea

Her sword arm ached from the raging battle she had been fighting for the last hour. Blows were carefully parried, strikes avoided and thrusts countered. The sun had just started to set when a mighty bell tolled. The warring warriors looked up and around at each other as the sound hung in the air.

Sheathing her blade in the scabbard, the knight pulled the helmet from the top of her head. “The queen needs me.” She declared, before departing the field and heading for the castle.

There was no cowardice in her actions.

Even the mightiest knight could not resist the call of pizza night, and no plastic swords or rubber helmets were allowed at the royal table when it was time for a feast.

Night-time Snack

Lakes of guacamole. Rivers of salsa. Nacho trees and kettle-chip petal flowers. Shrubs lush with roasted nuts of so many varieties dotted the land. Dips, snacks and nibbles as far as the eye could see. She smiled brightly as she wandered the salty world, partaking of a bite here and a chomp there.

“At last,” she sighed happily as she ran her hand across a puddle of yeast extract, “savoury dreams.”

Leftovers

He set his utensils down with a satisfied sigh, finishing off the last of his ginger ale with a slurp. Leaning back in the chair, he gave a smile to the polite young man in uniform as he came to collect the plate.

“You didn’t eat all your main course.” The man said gently, his hand hovering near the plate. “Are you sure you don’t want to finish it up?” There was still plenty of fries and fried chicken on the plate, as well as a side of green beans that were barely touched.

“I’m all right, thanks. Save the leftovers.” He replied with an easygoing wave of his hand.

“And what about your dessert?” Came the next question, pointing to the tasty looking slice of lemon meringue pie sitting on a separate plate.

All he could do was chuckle. “Save it for later, for me.” He winked, watching the now pale-faced man leave before two more in uniform came in.

“It’s time.”

Nodding, he pushed back his chair and rose up, the chains around his wrists and ankles jangling, even as the ankle chains dragged on the floor. Each guard took one of his arms, leading him out of the cell.

“Dead man walking!” One of his guards called out, his voice echoing down the corridor and through the other cells.  “Dead man walking, here.”

He turned his head to the jailer who had served him his last meal, grinning as he fixed him with a long, intense stare. “Make sure you save my food, man. Gonna be -real- hungry in a bit.”

An Extra Cupcake

It was when he was clearing up from dinner that he noticed it. The smart new dustbin they got earlier that day from some Swedish store in the city came packed with enough features that it needed to be plugged in. From odour neutralisers and leak detection to ‘change me’ notifications and recycle tips. The messages were delivered on an LED screen built into the top of the chrome cylinder that occupied a corner of the kitchen.

The bin displayed a message as he scraped the scraggly remains of the Chinese leaf salad off the plate, too little to warrant taking it out to the compost bin.

[Thank You!] The message went. It was actually thanking him for using it. Shaking his head in amusement, he mentioned it to his partner and moved on with the washing up. Still, over the days and weeks following the purchase, it nagged at him. Every time, no matter what it was, it would always thank him for the rubbish.

It all came to a head one Sunday afternoon when he was doing some baking, his choco-fudge-frosted choccy chip cupcakes. A rare, but delicious, treat. He’d always make six. One for him, one for his partner, and one each for their parents.

Except this time, he made a seventh.

“Is there someone I don’t know about?” His boyfriend joked, strong arms wrapped around his waist as he finished the frosting on top.

“Nah, it’s just… you’ll think I’m crazy for what I’m about to do.” He replied, looking rather sheepish as he picked up the extra cupcake. His partner regarded him with a curious look, an eyebrow arched as he watched him put the rubbish in the bin.

To the boyfriend’s horror, he put the seventh cupcake in afterwards. “You are crazy, wasting a perfectly good cupcake!”

“Look at the display.” He smiled.

[Thank You!]

Looking between the bin and his lover, he just shook his head. “You are a weird, strange man.” He sighed, before just having to chuckle. “You’re also very sweet, though.”

 

Author’s Note – Inspired by Jae Rose’s 3WW entry, Trash

Turkey

It all looked so enticing. The plump, golden-brown skinned bird sat on the large plate on the table. The crispy roast potatoes piled up in a bowl. Dishes of neatly chopped carrots and mountains of peas. She could even see the gravy boat just peeking out from behind the bird.

She didn’t know where to start.

Gripping the top of the packet, she opened it up and pulled one of the roast turkey-flavoured crisps out, inhaling deeply. It certainly smelt like turkey, from what she could recall. Each bite of baked potato chip came in small nibbles, savouring the flavour as she thought hard on that image, the feast presented by the front of the packet.

It just wasn’t the same though.