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A Cake for Washington

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“Charlotte! Go get a dozen apples, or so, from the cellar!” Miss Belle called down to me. “Yes Ma’am!” I hollered back, and traipsed down the steps of the porch to the cellar. It was a beautiful day out, the clouds were white and fluffy, looking like the tails of bunny rabbits, and the sun was shining down, like God was smiling down on earth. I opened the door to the cellar and paused a minute as the cool, musky air washed over me. I trotted down the stairwell and gathered as many apples as I could in my apron. Just as I was about to turn around and make my way up the stairs, I felt a rough hand cover my mouth from behind, cutting off my yelp, and a strong arm circle around my waist. Then I felt cold hard metal against my neck. “Be yeh a patriot?” growled a low, gruff voice. I nodded yes, even though it was a lie. In a girl versus man with a big knife situation, man pretty much always won. Without releasing me, he somehow managed to stuff something in between the apples in my apron. Then, he sprinted out of the
a fresh envelope, between the layers. I covered the cake with as much frosting as I dared, hoping it would hide cellar door, stowing his knife in the folds of his black cloak. This was his fatal mistake. As he stepped into the bright sunlight, two British soldiers on horses came galloping around the corner, immediately spotting the man. The man sprinted away, weaving through the crowd in the street. I never saw him ever again, and I still wonder whatever became of him. I had come out behind him, but the two Britians didn’t even glance down at a small, blonde girl with a scrap of white parchment stuffed between the apples cradled in her apron. I knew the man was a spy for those trouble making patriots, because who else would be chased by two British soldiers?
The next morning, I dressed to go to my aunt’s house for my birthday. My aunt was one of Miss Belle’s closest friends, and she was the reason I had my job for Miss Belle. I had to remember to thank her for securing me this job after my mother had died, about a year ago. I’m afraid that when I saw her last, maybe two weeks after my mother’s death, I wasn’t exactly thankful to anyone. I considered the paper that the spy had given me. I hadn’t opened it, because I was all but drowning in chores yesterday and hadn’t had even a spare minute until it was time for bed. Impulsively, I plucked the paper out from under my mattress where I had hid it, and slipped it in my shoe. I would ask my aunt what I should do with it.
“Ahhh, daaarling!” cried my aunt, enfolding me in a warm, sweet- smelling hug. I grinned as I was squashed against her, savoring the scent of her expensive perfume. She held me at arm’s length, inspecting me. “Oh Charlotte! Aren’t you the prettiest blossom in the bouquet! I didn’t think those blue eyes of yours could get any prettier, but my goodness, they have!” she gushed. I blushed and said, “Thank you Auntie. I just love that new perfume of yours!”
Later that day, we sat down to my birthday tea. “Honey, I’m terribly sorry, but with the tax on the tea getting so high, it was either tea for your birthday, or that necklace I gave you.”
“Oh it’s alright Auntie, I like the necklace a lot! I don’t need tea. The water with lemon slices is perfectly wonderful, I don’t expect you to spend a small fortune on tea!” I said brightly. But in side, I was disappointed. Personally, I was a loyalist. But, sometimes I wondered if those patriots had the right idea. The king was pushing the taxes a little too hard. I didn’t really know what to think. That is, until a couple days later.
When I came home after a morning of shopping around in the local farmer’s market, I walked in the door, and was immediately hit by a mixture of the smell of body odor, earth, and horse. It was awful! I held my nose as I placed my basket on the kitchen counter. I walked towards the parlor, where I heard voices. I stood by the closed door, listening. I could hear my aunt’s voice, sounding slightly shrill, which meant that she was irritated, but trying to hide it because she had to talk with respect. “Of course, General!” she was saying, “I would be, ahem, honored to quarter your, er, men in my home. Just as long as they bathe!” She laughed, too high- pitched, and the General responded with a grunt. Footsteps started to stomp towards me, and I backed away from the door, just in time to be missed by the door swinging open. Half a dozen British soldiers tromped past me and up a staircase to the spare bedrooms. Meanwhile, my aunt escorted the General out the front door. As my aunt walked back in to where I was standing, I asked, “What in the world is going on?” My aunt’s face flushed, “The nerve of those British, prancing around here like they own us!” I just sighed. I had heard of the British forcing colonists to quarter soldiers, but I had always thought they were rumors.
The soldiers were the rudest most disrespectful men I had ever met. They never cleaned up after themselves and ruined some of my aunt’s treasured possessions. I was at my wits end after only a week. After one of them had wolf-whistled at me for the third time that day, I was done. I opened the letter I had been given to by the patriot spy. I tried to read the scribbled handwriting, then realized it was written in code. I wondered whether I should keep the paper or give it to someone. The only problem was I didn’t know yet who that someone would be.
The next day, one of my friends, Andrew, came to my aunt’s house, wishing me a belated birthday. After chatting for a bit about who knows what, he finally asked me what he had been obviously burning to know. “Charlotte, what are you?” At first, I misunderstood, and begged his pardon in a rather snotty voice. When he elaborated, I certainly felt a little embarrassed, and responded a bit meekly, “Well, I thought I was a loyalist, but now I’m not so sure. I mean, look how the British soldiers treat us. Like we aren’t even important enough to respect, that they are better than us because they are from Great Britain.” Andrew nodded, “I know what you mean. My mother was forced to give up my bed to some soldiers while I was staying with my uncle, and two of them just laughed when I asked why I was sleeping with our horses out in the barn my first night back.” I knew that Andrew had hated it, not just by the way he said it, but by the fact that I knew Andrew was an extremely proud person who hated to be laughed at and ridiculed. So, I decided to tell him my secret about the spy. After telling my story and showing him the letter, I learned that Andrew also had a secret. Apparently, Andrew had been going to some of the “Sons of Liberty” meetings, and had even taken part in some of the patriots’ efforts. Needless to say, he was extremely excited about the letter and glad it had been put in my hands. Seeing my chance, I asked, “Would you mind being the messenger?” “Oh yes, pardon me, of course I wouldn’t mind! But how would we sneak it to them?” That’s when I got my brilliant idea.
I asked my aunt if I could bake a cake to send to Andrew’s mother. “Of course, darling, while you’re at it, would you mind baking one for us too?” After reassuring her I didn’t mind, I got to work. After the cakes were done, I used a knife to slice one in half horizontally, then slipped the letter, stuffed inside the uneven split in the cake. As Andrew walked away with my masterpiece, I realized with a jolt that I was a Patriot. I just prayed the cake would reach Mr. Washington in time.



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EnnaGirlThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:18 pm
This was really good!!! i think you should work a little more on the time period. maybe a little more backround. but i loved your story!! keep up the good work! -a very very good friend who eats wayyyy to much chocolate
 
Caesar123This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm
Not a bad story, but I think it definitely needs more room. If you wanted to extend it into a novel, I’d say go for it! If not, just a longer short story would be alright. Plus, I did get a little lost at times, especially when that one paragraph ended so abruptly. I’m guessing that some of that was just a technical error with the copy and paste, but either way you should fix it up. And if you do get a revised copy, why don’t you show it to me some time? I thought this story wa... (more »)
 
PuppyLove16 replied...
Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm
Thanks so much for your feedback! You're right, the paragraphs ARE a little weird. I think that next time I submit something, I'm going to do waaay more editing and not hurry myself :)
 
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