I wanted to experiment with two versions of a story. This is version A, version B to come next week
Heddy bought a cake.
She chose the finest looking cake that she could see in the window.
The frosting held a thick, smooth matte finish.
Three layers, was the cake, each a cylindrical piece that fit, one on one top of another, in three filled sections.
The lowest layer was her favorite. With filling of hard brown chocolate fudge, the frosting on the bottom layer was blue, the color of the sky in her childhood memories when she would hide under the deck in her parents’ back yard in the summertime.
The next, second layer, was covered in a dark, ugly yellow frosting, the kind of yellow that penetrated one’s eyes with its absurd, burnt, egg-yolk shade. Worse still, the filling was a powdery vanilla cake, which Heddy knew about because she’d requested this specific.
On top of the yellow layer, which was itself on top of the sky blue layer, was the brightest white that could be pasted on frosting. This top layer was unique in that it was all frosting. Six inches high, a diameter of 4 inches, the frosting was packed tight yet ready to crumble at the first prick of a knife.
The cake had to be kept in a cool room with a temperature of not more than 65 degrees, nor lower than 45 degrees. Fahrenheit.
Heddy picked up the cake in the middle of the night, the manager of the bakery quietly standing by the back door while she entered and carried the box by herself. The box was two feet high and a foot wide, just big enough to hold the cake. She didn’t ask for help, and the manager didn’t offer. Instead he counted the money in his hands and ignored Heddy. Couldn’t stand to look at her face.
No one could.
Shame, really, because if he’d bother to look at her tonight he would’ve seen two bright rows of pearly white as opposed to the rotted gums and few eroded teeth that actually sat in her mouth, corroded from years of sugar at every meal — and only sugar.
Driving home, Heddy looked forward to sleeping at dawn. Dawn was the best time of day, to her, as she would slowly drift to sleep in the morning after a long night of restlessness. Or, in this case, a sugar high.
When they found Heddy four days later there were no more crumbs or smatters of frosting on her chin. Just an empty dish on her dining room table and the empty cake box in the corner, her two cats canoodling inside the box, licking each other with white-frosted tongues.
Heddy’s face was all smiles, eye looking to the sky that was painted on her dining room ceiling, a sky of bright blue. She wore a burnt yellow dress and died in it, while her brand new dentures were pearly white.
For her last birthday, Heddy ate a cake.