Wilber stood before the gathered people.
“I will not,” he began, “talk as you think I should. This is not my day, despite my eyepatch.”
“Arrrrgh!” the crowd yelled.
Wilber held up hand, and they quieted. “Yes, I know what today is. I know you think I should do so. But I only came to get a loaf of bread, and I have an eye infection. I didn’t dress like this on purpose, and I – ”
Wilber couldn’t continue, though, as the crowd was shouting its “Arrrgh”s again.
“Please!” Wilber moved closer to the microphone. “Please, just, just, let me go. I want to go home with my bread!”
Wilber sighed. “Okay. Fine. Yargh. Matey.”
The crowd cheered a joyous “Arrrgh!” and applauded. Wilber waved.
The cornerstone of the building was laid on a sunny Monday morning.
Two years later, the building was up, over budget and under-constructed. People moved in. Businesses opened. Few stayed.
The turnover was high, but in a city of few options, there were rarely vacancies.
Five years after building, the whole thing collapsed. The builders shrugged, blamed the contractors, who blamed the architects, who blamed the builders, who in turn blamed city hall.
The debris was cleared, and a new cornerstone was laid.
The smell of cinnamon and raisins drew Aldo in.
The bakery had been open for some months, but was rarely visited. With their selection of robust, healthy breads, few people entered. In a bid to get customers in, then, they mixed cinnamon, sugar, butter, and raisins, and put this mixture in the oven. They opened the doors soon after.
People started streaming in. The whole day was filled with people coming in, buying bread. The bakery made back the entirety of its costs since opening in one fell swoop.
Now, as Aldo stood before the bare shelf, he was left to ask, “Do you have anything?”
“No,” the baker said. “We’re sold out now. We’ll have more tomorrow. Or we have some cinnamon-raisin sludge. It’ll harden to crisp soon, but it might be burnt.”
“Hmm,” Aldo said. “I’ll buy it for ten bucks. No more.”
“Sold,” the baker said.
Both walked away feeling a win.
Nat made a hat.
Nat’s hat sat on the rack.
The rack made Nat’s hat fat.
Nat patted the hat.
The cat ate Nat’s hat.
Nat made a new hat.
Two donuts sat in the display case. Only two, the rest already having been purchased and eaten.
The donuts were as different as they could be. One, plain, no glaze, no sugar. Just sweet dough, in a ring. The other, not a ring but a circle, glazed, chocolate topping, with whipped cream and a cookie balanced on top. Inside, a yellowish custard.
They were the same price. Made by the same maker.
Tammara opted for the plain one. It was the better-looking of the two, and proved the richer taste. The other sat alone, too much going on for it to be desirable.
Brice held the jar with one hand and twisted with the other.
His friends, all sitting around, carried on their conversation, not paying attention.
Opening the jar, Brice sniffed. The sweet briny smell was wonderful, and it quickly filled the room. The conversation stalled, but Brice didn’t notice. He stuck his fingers in, removed a pickle, and started crunching down on it.
When he finally looked around, Brice found everyone staring at him. He took another bite, then said, “What?” around the pickle. His friends just kept staring.
Lidia looked down at the dessert, knowing the end was near.
The dessert had peanuts in it. Despite the reassurances of the waiter, and the notes on the menu, it clearly had peanuts, because Lidia’s throat was closing quickly. She didn’t have much time.
Grabbing her fork, she cut off a large piece and shoveled it into her mouth. If I’m going down, she thought, I’m going down happy.
The chocolate cheesecake was delicious. Rich and creamy, not too heavy, but heavy enough. She chewed quickly, then swallowed, barely able to what with the closing throat. But it got through, to join the rest in her stomach trying to kill her, and she was left with a pleasant, if deadly, taste in her mouth.
She could no longer breathe, and her face was getting red. The waiter came by and asked, “Are you okay?” Lidia could only shake her head no.
She sat, enjoying the flavour in her mouth, as the darkness crept in around her. She could only dimly see the ambulance lights when they arrived, but the flavour of the chocolate cheesecake remained on her thick tongue, delightful. Then everything went dark.
One chocolate milkshake was all it took.
Three sips in, and Miranda started to vomit everywhere. She knew she didn’t deal with lactose well, but it was her first date in some time, a woman she didn’t know very well, and it had never been so bad before.
Now, though, there were chunks of things, tinged with a light brown, spewing everywhere. The woman across from her was horrified. Miranda was horrified. The people at the tables around them were sickened, some already retching.
Miranda ran for the door, trying to yell apologies around the vomit. She reached the street, and continued to spew, tears streaming down her face.
It wasn’t Miranda’s first date ruined by vomit, and it wouldn’t be her last.
Etha wanted to make her bed. The bed refused.
She didn’t know why it was so obstinate. It was normally a good bed, letting her rest, play, re-dress it. But today, it wouldn’t be made, and Etha was suffering for it.
Her mother told her, “No going out until your bed is made.” Yet, regardless of what Etha tried, it kept coming unmade. She would pull the blankets up, and they would flip down. She placed the pillows at the head, and they flew off. No matter what, it stayed unmade.
Etha sat on the floor, looking morose.
Her mother opened the door. “Still not made?”
“I tried,” Etha said, tears in her eyes. “But it won’t let me.”
“Aww, poor dear. Here, let me help you.”
With the authority of a mother around, the bed cooperated. They both left, Etha now free to play. The bed, free once more, threw itself into chaos.
Werner’s dinner sat on the little pop-up tray, cooling.
Werner, ever uncertain, browsed through the possibilities of what to watch.
Werner kept browsing.
And kept browsing.
And kept browsing.
An hour later, he had decided. The show started up, and Werner returned to his seat. The dinner was cooled to room temperature, and Werner frowned. Awful quick, he thought to himself, to cool. I should complain.