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The Cake Thief
My little sister Cameron talks to cake. I caught her once with her nose in the refrigerator, talking to the cake my grandmother had made especially for me. See, my grandma makes these delicious chocolate cakes with her own secret marshmallowy frosting recipe. We only get to see her once every few years, so this was the Porsche of Cakes.
Last year when Grandma was over for Christmas, she asked me what I wanted.
I didn’t even have to think about it.
“I would like you to make me my very own white-frosted cake,” I said, already salivating over the deliciousness that would soon be mine.
Grandma smiled, her face glowing.
“Then that’s what you’ll get!” squealed my grandmother. She never had much money, but she loved making us happy.
All day, Grandma worked on creating me a perfect cake. She spent 45 minutes spreading the special icing over the top. When she was finished, the white icing was perfectly swirled over the cake like a sweet hurricane.
She presented it to me on a white-porcelain platter, the glass dome the only barrier between me and happiness.
“Thank you, Grandma!” I exclaimed, throwing myself into her arms.
She chuckled, and I inhaled the scent of dusty scarves and Early Gray tea.
“You’re welcome, darling! But are you sure you can eat the whole thing yourself?”
I gave Grandma my best are-you-really-asking-me-that look.
“I think I’ll eat half of it now and half of it later,” I decided, whipping out a spoon and a tankard of milk. I never ate cake without milk.
Savoring every moment, I removed the glass dome and let my spoon dive into the spongy surface of the cake. It swam into the white frosting lithosphere and into the mantle of my chocolatey world. I brought the spoon up to my lips, the familiar scent wafting into my nostrils. It brought me back to my childhood at Grandma’s house in Oklahoma, when my cousin Rainy and I would run through Grandpa’s flower gardens clutching our paper plates full of Grandma’s cake. I slid the spoon into my mouth, letting the frosting swirl over my tongue.
I gave my Grandma another hug. Her gift was about more than just the cake—it was about the memories. I felt like I had the entire cake to remember my childhood, and when the cake ran out, so did the memories. After I had finished half of the entire cake, I put it in the fridge, with a little sticky-note on it that said: ‘DO NOT TOUCH. MACALL’S CAKE! CAMERON, THAT MEANS YOU!’
I had just come home from school on a gloomy December morning, carrying my backpack, brick-full of homework and projects to be done. My hair was balled up in a rabid-looking poof, and saliva was practically dripping from my mouth. I had had a TERRIBLE day at school that day, and what I needed most was a piece of that delicious cake to sweeten my mood.
I hop-stepped into my kitchen, only to find the fridge door open. Cameron was bending over MY CAKE, licking her lips and gazing at it hypnotically, her fork lifted…
“Hello, my Royal Chocolatey Deliciousness,” she purred. “You look so lonely in there…I think you want me to keep you warm—”
Dead midway through her sentence, she stopped. She could hear my heaving breaths, ravenous and vengeful like an angry cougar getting ready to pounce.
“What…are…YOU DOING?!” I roared.
“Um…nothing…just…talking to the carrots…” Cameron stuttered.
“‘Hello ‘my Royal Chocolatey Deliciousness? You need me to ‘keep you warm?’ Those are things that could only be said to THE CAKE THAT GRANDMA MADE ME!”
I trembled. My lips were turning white with anger.
“No…um…it’s not what it looks like! I swear,” Cameron mumbled, pulling the fork behind her back, but not before I noticed that it was covered with chocolate crumbs…
“Back away…from the cake,” I said venomously.
“I think what you mean is ‘back away from the plate’…” she said, trying to break it to me softly.
I just stared at her. She started running.
And that’s when I saw it: my cake was gone.
I grabbed a giant meat cleaver sitting on the kitchen counter.
“Yeah, that’s right! You better run you little cake thief, you miserable chocolate gremlin, you little…UGH!”
“Mommy, mommy! MaCall’s chasing me with a meat cleaver!”
I raced around the corner, socks sliding against wood. The Cake Thief was only a breath away, and I could almost taste her. Suddenly, as I rounded a corner, I was forced into an abrupt halt. I was standing face-to-face with my mom. She did not look happy.
She was holding Cameron by the collar of her shirt.
I quickly whipped the meat cleaver behind my back.
“Why are you running, Cameron? I was just trying to give you a hug!” I cried innocently.
My mom didn’t laugh.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?”
“—running around with kitchen knives. I know, Mom, I’m sorry,” I said, my voice dripping with false contrition.
“I don’t care about that. I can’t believe you ate Grandma’s cake, Cameron. I WANTED A PIECE OF THAT!”
My mom and I chased after Cameron, me proudly wielding the kitchen knife.
Just kidding. We weren’t really going to stab her. If anything, we were just going to give her a tiny scare. That way, if Grandma ever made a cake again, Cameron would think twice before sinking her fangs into it.
After all, I could use some Royal Chocolatey Deliciousness.