Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 24 of the 52 week writing challenge!
The prompt for 18th June is ‘Cakes’:
This week, the prompt is related to my inability to bake anything ever… I also tried to use a few of the words from the #FlashficHive word cloud prompt for this week.
Word count history: 895/1043/1010/934. Final count: 937.
Sunlight beamed on golden sands. The red fleece blanket a sharp contrast, covered in decadent foods. The family dog strained towards the goodies, held back only by the leash in father in law’s strong hand.
Layla lay on the sand, eyes covered with sunglasses to block out the bright assault on her eyes. They roamed the blanket. A tantalising aroma wafted towards her, but the smell made her sick with jealousy. Mother in law placed the twenty cupcakes with intricate swirls of icing onto the blanket. Layla’s mouth watered traitorously.
‘What did you bring, Layla?’ mother in law asked with a smile, as she straightened and brushed off her dress. Never arrogant, never smug. Just a bloody good cook, and everyone knew it.
Layla shook her head, pursed her lips, and glanced away towards the sea. Her mother in laws cakes were the best she ever tasted. Her own? Well, you’d have to force-feed them if you wanted people to eat them. Four attempts last night, but still Layla failed to recreate the legendary cupcakes.
Attempt one was memorable. Flour covered the counter, her hands, the floor, and, despite baking powder, her cakes turned out flat and hard. May as well have been a discus in the Olympic games, and her perfect teeth could not make a dent in them. Attempt one, failed. Relegated to the garbage.
Attempt two was better, if you could call cakes that collapsed in the middle like a deflated bouncy castle better. A foul taste assaulted her taste buds when she tested one, and Layla had dashed for the sink to spit it out. A quick glance at the milk confirmed her suspicions. Out of date. She tossed the buns in the garbage, the milk down the drain, and brushed herself off to head to the store.
Attempt three wasn’t started until later that evening, and this time, Layla had help. Her fantastic fiancée, Steve, cracked open a bottle of red wine, and they shared a glass before they got to work. He smacked open the eggs and beat the mix into submission.
The buns rose in the oven, and Layla grinned. They looked like they had been mauled by a tiger, cracked, crooked, but that was easy to cover. Layla iced the cooled cupcakes with delicate precision. If there was one thing she could do, it was make icing. They looked perfect. Plenty spare to taste, too.
Teeth sank into soft icing, but crunched when they collided with the bun. Layla scrunched up her face in disgust. ‘Steve!’ Layla yelled. ‘Buns are full of eggshells!’
‘Was just tryin’ to help!’ Steve insisted, hands up in front of him in defence.
‘Get out!’ Layla yelled with a glare. Steve slunk from the kitchen, tail between his legs.
Layla poured herself another glass of wine, and flour peppered her hair as she tied it back with a tired smile. She still had to make something for the picnic tomorrow.
Attempt four was started after midnight. Layla yawned as she tipped the baking powder into the bowl. Gently… gently… Her eyes slipped shut, and only opened again when the tub clattered into the bowl.
‘Oops,’ Layla snorted. She glanced at the flour, eggs, milk, shrugged, and added extra of everything else too.
This time, Layla spooned the mixture into a tin. Cake it was. Cake or death. She giggled helplessly and downed the rest of her wine. Reached for the bottle. Tipped it. Frowned when not even a drop appeared. Layla shrugged and turned the oven on. She slumped into a chair, and her eyes slid shut.
A loud bang startled her awake. Layla flew to her feet and eased open the oven door. Smoke poured from the small gap. It steamed up her glasses and assaulted her nostrils, and Layla spluttered helplessly. When the smoke cleared, Layla gasped.
Cake lined the walls of the oven and obscured the tin. She reached out her hands, but dropped them back to her sides a moment later. There was no getting the cake out.
‘The hell happened?’ Steve asked from behind her. He leaned against the door with a smug smirk. ‘Thought you had it handled?’
The oven roared in protest. Layla wrenched the knob and turned it off. She glared at the cake. It deflated with a wheeze.
Layla scowled. ‘Can’t take that to the picnic.’
‘Could buy some cakes on the way?’ Steve offered.
‘She’d know. She always knows,’ Layla shuddered. ‘Better to be empty handed. Come on, let’s go to bed. We’ll sort the oven out after tomorrow.’
And that was how they left it.
Layla blinked as a sharp voice penetrated her daydreaming.
‘Surely you could’ve baked a few biscuits. Doesn’t take long,’ her mother in law trilled with a raised eyebrow.
‘Lies, all lies!’ Layla’s inner voice cried. Baking took forever, and even then she had nothing to show for it.
‘Oven’s broken,’ Layla shrugged and stared at the cupcakes. It wasn’t a lie, not really. It would take days to scrape her failed attempt from it’s walls.
‘I see. Go on then, I know you want one,’ mother in law grinned when she noticed Layla’s hungry gaze.
Layla sighed and staggered to her feet. She adjusted her sunglasses and grabbed a cupcake. Mouth watered. Teeth sank in. Taste-buds exploded with flavour. They were the best cupcakes ever. Maybe once the oven was sorted, attempt five would be the one…
‘Don’t even think about it,’ Steve nudged her side. ‘Leave the baking to the experts.’
Layla scoffed. ‘I’m no coward, Steve. I’ll try again, and this time, I’ll get it right.’
Thanks for reading! I can’t bake cakes, and this is a nod to that. I’ve tried, but they really do end up collapsed or like a discus! My mother in law does make the best cakes ever, and I wish I were that talented!
This was fun, and I got to make an Eddie Izzard reference: Cake or Death?
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for 25th June is ‘Chicken.’
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 25th June, and leave a link in the comments below this post so that I can read it 🙂
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂