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How to Bake a Cake
I rummaged through the refrigerator, looking for something to eat. I didn’t see anything I wanted; just plastic containers of things too healthy for enjoyment. I sighed and glanced at my homework on the kitchen table. The cat sat upon it like a throne, his tail swaying softly. “No.” He said. I looked up at the top of the fridge and considered the boxes of baking mix that looked down on me.
“You’re horrible at baking.” The cat told me. I closed the fridge and peeked outside through the dirty window. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and children were gallivanting through the fields. “I would like to gallivant.” I said aloud.
“What about the murderers?” The cat asked. I glared at him. “Or the last time you went running in a field? Blood everywhere. Maybe you recall the children laughing, or the stains on your sneakers that you could never get off?” Tears began to find their way down my face at the thought of the unpleasant memory. I finally mustered up the courage to speak. “I want to go outside, though! I can’t live in fear forever!”
“No.” The cat told me. “You’re baking a cake.”
Step 1: Take a box of cake mix from the top of the refrigerator. Frown and realize that you grabbed some brownie mix on accident. Fumble about until you find the cake mix in the very back, covered in dust that was gathering back when your parents were getting married.
Step 2: Read the back of the box. This is an important step, so make sure you repeat it until you are a bit less worried over screwing everything up.
Step 3: Preheat the oven a degree higher than specified because your oven doesn’t play by the rules.
Step 4: Read the instructions again. Gather your arsenal of eggs, canola oil, water, and cake mix. “Arsenal? You’re not going to war.” Your cat tells you. Ignore him. Read the directions again.
Step 5: Place them all in a large bowl. Stare at it until you are sufficiently sure that you did not drop any eggshells in. (“They give it character.” The cat says.)
Step 6: Read the back of the box. Take out the electric mixer and briefly panic when you can’t find two spinners of the same and shape. Use them anyways.
Step 7: Mix until smooth. Continue to mix a couple minutes afterwards just to be sure. Panic when you realize that you forgot the cake pan, and venture under the sink until you find one. Coat it with non-stick spray. Don’t forget that. You know what happened last time.
Step 8: Pour the cake mix into the pan and let it settle accordingly. Throw it into the oven as fast a physically possible.
Step 9: Read the directions again. Sit at the kitchen table and try to speak to the cat. He decides he doesn’t want to talk anymore, and hops off the table and sashays out of the kitchen.
Step 10: Don’t forget to procrastinate on your homework!
The sun had decided to play hide and seek. The clouds had been searching all day, and finally started to weep when they realized that they could not find her. The wind whipped through the treetops, and the children who were once gallivanting in the fields were now hiding under their beds. Emily’s mother stepped inside her home, battling her umbrella as she tried to force it closed. She gave up and dropped it onto the floor, shedding it alongside her other dripping apparel.
“Emily?” She called. She heard no answer. Worried, she walked slowly through the house. Eventually, she came into the kitchen and saw her daughter sitting upon the counter. She was frosting a cake unhappily, muttering to herself as she did so. Her mother could no discern what she was saying, but it didn’t all that pleasant. “Emily?” she asked quietly. Her daughter looked up suddenly. “Mom!” she shouted, obviously surprised. “I made you a cake.”
Her mother looked at it. It was sloppy and lopsided, with red frosting haphazardly smeared across the top, but she smiled at the sentiment. “What’s the occasion?” She asked. Emily grew visibly nervous. She placed down the butter knife as her hands began to shake.
“It’s okay, Emily, you can tell me.”
“The cat told me to.” She said quietly, fear evident in her voice. “Oh.” Her mother said, surprised. There was silence for a couple seconds.
“Emily?” She asked. Her daughter said nothing, but she looked up at her mother anyways. “We don’t have a cat."