Cupcake Mistake

A short story by Glen Donaldson


This felt neither odd nor quirky, just wrong. Instinctively, even culturally, ‘sunglasses at night’ wrong. At the distinct risk of laboring the point, a hundred shades of wrong with counter-intuitive thrown in to match. In fact, a degree of wrong on such a scale Glorbert Fletcher’s personal amber alert had had no choice but to go into immediate car alarm mode. And now the most ill-fated and far reaching of consequences were set to follow.

Moments before, unsuspecting Glorbert had been forced to watch, in something approaching mouth-gaping horror, the sight of his fiancée of precisely twenty-six and a half weeks, the love of his life Taliqua Clancy, use her privileged right index finger to separate, in one sweeping, seemingly well-practiced motion, every last butter cream-based molecule of the St Patrick’s Day-green icing from the cupcake she had held poised ready to eat in her hand. Incredibly, for Glorbert, she then inserted the denuded mini sponge into her open mouth and flicked the discarded icing into a foot operated trash bin resting in the far corner of the room.

‘Freakshow’ was the ungracious pronouncement that filled Glorbert’s head with the force of a judge’s gavel smashing down on a wooden sound block. He’d been somehow able to overlook Taliqua’s past series of offbeat indiscretions, those such as serving milk with dinner or fried chicken with waffles and syrup. He’d managed to convince himself to almost-but- not-quite accept her regular purchase of bizarrely apportioned three liter wine bottles. And recently he’d been worn down to such an extent he’d even bowed to her habit of pouring milk into a bowl and adding the cereal last. But this?

A travesty of this magnitude caused the whole delicately poised pack of personal-habit playing cards to come cascading down in spectacular fashion, coming to rest in a scattered heap at the base of his feet. He felt an ancestral chill run down his spine, for he knew what it all meant. The preference for cheese from a squeeze can, the deep fried oreos, and the spam, especially the spam, had all been little red flags trying to gain his attention with an unsavory message he hadn’t been ready to hear. Separating icing from a cake like this meant there would be no cake. Separation yes, but definitely no cake.

He chanced a final look at the dented silver trash bin that now contained the cast-off green icing, before having his gaze come to rest once more upon his once-beloved Taliqua. He regarded her now, for the first time, as a stranger he’d once known. Glorbert’s mind began churning, like the milk-eggs-flour-butter-mix-covered stainless steel blades of the blender he’d used so lovingly to make those very cupcakes not the day before. Words fell out of his mouth like vapor, though he’d intended them to land in Taliqua’s guts like shrapnel.

“I’ve never seen anyone do that before.”

“Do what?” she replied innocently, her expression advising she was unaware of the unfolding
calamity.

“What you just did.”

“Oh that? That’s what those bins have a pedal for, isn’t it?”

This was the trouble treating people like fools, thought Glorbert to himself as he began scanning Taliqua’s face, this time rapidly, from eye to eye, as though she were a magician’s ball-under-which-cup game. You had no way of knowing whether the other person was doing the same thing back to you. How is it possible, Glorbert wondered, to know you are in denial and yet snuggle into the feeling anyway? It was clear to him she had retained her talent for being completely unaware of what was bugging him.

But now, now it was time for him to get serious with Taliqua. Time to descend upon her from the rafters with a full roll call of all her exasperating, maddeningly eccentric ways. Carrying out his own little prenup, pre-decided exit strategy would follow. There was just one thing he had to do before any of that though. He simply had to retrieve that precious abandoned icing from the trash bin. Scooping it out lovingly as though it were some precious, about-to-be memorialized baby placenta, and placing it in the fridge on a china plate next to a plastic wrap covered container of asparagus gave him comfort and made breathing easier. Relationship-destroying idiosyncrasies might be one thing, but to the unbending mind of Glorbert Fletcher, sheer waste was plain unforgivable.


Glen Donaldson’s writing style has been described as “an intriguing combination of Tolkien, Donaldson and Abercrombie”. This is astonishing to him on precisely two counts.

Glen blogs at SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK.

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“Bill O’Reilly Officially Endorses Sanders, Vows to Emigrate If Sanders Elected”

A satirical article by James Brooks


Taking several of his fellow commentators by shock, noted conservative media figure Bill O’Reilly has formally declared his support for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders by promising on a live January 14th television broadcast that if Sanders is elected to become the President of the United States in 2016, he will leave the country for the Republic of Ireland.

“I’m fleeing,” said O’Reilly on air. “If Bernie Sanders gets elected president, I’m fleeing,” citing the candidate’s progressive tax policy as the main reason for his feelings. When reached for comment, he declined to elaborate on why he chose to go so far as to offer his own expatriation as a reward for the American people electing Sanders, simply repeating thoughts he vocalized on his  television broadcast: “I’m not going to pay 90 percent of my income to that guy.”

The announcement came as a surprise to many on the right wing, who have considered O’Reilly an eminent figure in the field of American conservatism throughout his career. Many are left questioning his motives for suddenly choosing to incentivize voters to elect the self-described ‘democratic socialist’ Sanders in the 2016 election cycle.

“I just don’t get it,” remarked fellow conservative commentator Sean Hannity, regarding O’Reilly’s sudden, unexpected support for senator Sanders, whom both men have previously harshly criticized. “At first I thought it was a joke, but… when someone like him makes a statement that strong, there’s no way he’d back down.”

As of press time, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has not released any information on whether or not they have already been contacted by O’Reilly, nor has O’Reilly released any update on the status of his visa application.

Regardless of the confusion surrounding this development on the trail, this news was welcomed enthusiastically by many in the Sanders campaign. Kelly Moran, an aide for Sanders, said, “as a person of Irish ancestry myself, I’m glad to see that Bill has not only had a change of heart on Bernie, but chose to invoke our shared ethnic background to celebrate it!”


James Brooks is an American musician and student currently living in Montreal, Canada.