Maroon Bread

“It won’t be a minute!” She shouts to her guests in the dining room, they’re growing impatient for the main course, she had thought the starter she had prepared would keep them preoccupied at least for a little bit, but it only seemed to make them hungrier for what they came for. She could hear the passive aggressive comments, the tapping on the table, the repeated checking of their watches. She knew their annoyance would grow into something far more frightening if she didn’t hurry up. She wasn’t good at much, not particularly bright or talented, but there was one thing, she had recently discovered, she was an incredible baker, and her signature dish, her magnum opus, was her famous maroon bread.

Soon after she discovered her talent for making this one of a kid dish, strange people had begun to appear at her door, she didn’t know who they where or where they came from, all She knew was that hey would do anything even for just a slither of marron bread. She started to host little dinner parties for them, she even rather enjoyed them, special treats every not and then, after a long day of meaningless work she would look forward to hearing her guests sitting at the table chattering with a slow building excitement waiting for her fabled crimson loaf.

But as the dinner parties became more and more frequent the guests became less
pleasant. By this point they were nightly, every single night without exception the door bell was would ring and she would have to begin the process all over again.

The guests had become rude and impatient and their love for the bread had mutated into something a little more shall we say ‘intense.’
At this point they were now shouting at her from the dining room she caught a
glimpse of one of them through the kitchen door, they were staring at her with a ravenous look in their eye. Just as she began to allow herself to panic, the egg timer went off shocking her back into action.

She opened the oven just a little at first, smoke filled the room followed by the scent of her speciality, she fully opened the oven and kicked open the kitchen door allowing the smell to escape the kitchen and reach the guests, as this happened she felt all their impatience turn to complete overwhelming excitement, pure unadulterated hunger.

But the came the key part of the process that all bakers must go through, she
needed to cut everyone a slice. The guests went completely silent, even they knew she needed to concentrate, she pulled out her favourite cutting knife from the drawer, and takes a moment to just stare at it, she turns it in her hands admiring the craftsmanship. Considering the god like power a blade this sharp gives its holder, then for a split second she sees her reflection, she’s almost intimidated by her own clinical dead eyes, but she forces herself to look away, it was time to make the cut.

She cuts with absolute precision, the knife gracefully slides through the loaf like skates on ice until one tasty slice is ready, she repeats the process over and over, tears start to well up in her eyes but she’s not even sure why anymore. She tries to ignore her audiences beady eyes watching her as she places the slices on a plate and slowly picks it up.
She dons fake confidence and then walks into the dining room placing the plate in the centre of the table like an artist unveiling their latest piece. There is quiet for a second, the calm before the storm, they stare at it, with frothing mouths, then they dig in. The way they tear apart the bread is terrifying, they’re like a horde of vultures, the sheer euphoria they are experiencing fills the room like miasma, the suddenly it’s gone. Because they are finished now, all that for under a minute of fine dining. They lean back with full bellies and tired smiles plastered on their face, one by one they
shake her hand or hug her, a big round of applause for the chef is followed by them all scurrying out of her house one by one.

Suddenly she is alone, standing in the centre of the dining room, she feels nothing but that all too familiar sense of drained apathy, all she wants to do is go to bed, but she can’t…

She has quite the mess to clean up.

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