Happy weekend, all!
Exciting stuff – I’ve actually mailed out my first short story submission, so when that inevitably blows up in my face I’ll have a brand new, shiny short story for you! (One which I’m very proud of, actually – I almost hope it’s rejected so I can post it here all the sooner!)
In the meantime, though, have a silly little thing I wrote a few months ago for practice. This one doesn’t deserve the pretty formatted PDF treatment, I don’t think – it’s pretty funny though, if I do say so myself. This is from when I was playing around with third person POV for basically the first time ever. I had also just spent an entire day struggling to, you guessed it, bake vegan cinnamon rolls. It went great up until the baking part.
BTdubs, if anyone out there has any thoughts on that – assuming I’m not just screaming into the void here – do let me know in the comments if you prefer the pretty formatted PDFs or just straight up text thrown onto the page. I’m still feeling out this whole ‘blogging’ business.
Enjoy, and I hope your weekend is full of cinnamon rolls!
Apparently cinnamon rolls mean a lot to some people
by Indigo Haunt
How far are you willing to go for cinnamon rolls? The man asked himself. He was quiet for a moment, deliberating.
“As far as it takes,” he said to himself at last, letting his bus card beep against the reader and taking a seat towards the back. He situated himself in his favorite strategic position across from the back door. Bus drivers didn’t often like to stop for him.
The bus rattled down the road for a time, then came to its final stop. The driver pulled up to the curb and looked at the man quizzically.
“Last stop,” he announced briskly over the intercom.
The man sat still for a moment, almost as if he hadn’t heard him. Then, suddenly, awakening from a daze, he stood and stepped off the bus.
He was in front of a busy intersection, car horns blaring as their owners angrily sped by. Clearly they all had somewhere very important to be. The man only wanted cinnamon rolls.
To his right was a small supermarket. He went in.
The man walked purposefully up to the nearest checkout clerk;
“Do you have cinnamon?” he asked. The clerk looked at him like he was dumb.
“We only carry the essentials here,” the clerk responded dryly, sipping at a sport water bottle sitting on her till. It didn’t look much as though she had had a customer in quite a while, and seemingly she liked it that way.
The man grew frantic, losing control of his anger;
“Cinnamon IS essential,” he insisted, banging his fist on the counter loudly. The clerk jumped, and shakily she dialed a little phone beside her till and called for security.
The man anxiously left the shop before security could come, glancing this way and that down the street. On the other side of the road was a greyhound bus station. He waited for the light to change and aggressively crossed the crosswalk.
By the time he’d reached the ticket counter he’d broken a sweat.
“A ticket, please,” he said, tugging at his shirt collar. The man behind the counter just stared at him.
“To where, sir?”
“Wherever has cinnamon,” the man answered impatiently. “A grocery store, a farmer’s market, a spice shop. A bakery if you know a good one.” Before the ticket seller could answer he added hurriedly, “But, please, it has to be vegan. That means no dairy or eggs – “
“Sir – “
“No butter or, or – “
“Here. Just go to gate five, they’ll take care of you there.” The ticket seller hurriedly passed the man a bus ticket and sent him on his way, eager to be rid of him. Somewhat relieved, he turned away and made his way through the station to Gate Five. The bus he boarded had few other passengers. He was too lost in thought to hear where it was taking him. All he could think about was cinnamon rolls.
The bus grew emptier and emptier as it continued along its route, passengers dwindling until only the man remained; had he a mind to he would have noticed the driver growing increasingly uncomfortable with his presence. Finally, he pulled into a parking lot, and over the intercom announced they had arrived at the airport, last stop.
The man unsteadily made his way to the front of the bus.
“Do you know the nearest place to get cinnamon?” he asked him, holding the seats on either side of him for support.
The bus driver blinked at him.
“Ceylon cinnamon,” he said, not meeting the driver’s eyes. Then, quietly to himself, “it has to be ceylon.”
“Erm,” said the driver. He scratched his head for a moment, then said, “You feeling alright, buddy?”
“Just need cinnamon,” he muttered to himself, staggering on the last step off the bus.
The man made his way into the airport terminal. Hundreds of people bustled about him, some talking urgently on their cellphones, others pulling rolling suitcases and handfuls of young children behind them, all rushing from one gate to the next. In front of him a reunited couple tearfully embraced. He went to wait in line for a ticket.
The ticket line moved slowly. Eventually he reached the counter and made his usual vague request for a ticket.
“Anywhere in particular?” The lady asked him cheerfully, clearly amused. He shook his head.
“Somewhere that has ceylon cinnamon,” was all he said. She nodded in a way that seemed to him understanding, even reassuring.
He went through security and emptied his pockets; he had little save for his house keys, his bus card and a small folded piece of paper, on which was hastily scrawled a recipe for cinnamon rolls. The TSA agents didn’t bother him about this. He went to his gate and waited for his flight. He kissed the side of the plane as he boarded.
“Steven!” The man’s wife crossed the room in a few quick steps to put her arms around him, her face riddled with worry. She embraced him for a moment, then pulled back to look him in the eyes, and in an urgent whisper asked;
“Did you get the cinnamon?”
“Had to fly all the way to Sri Lanka,” he said, swelling with pride, “but I got the cinnamon.” He held up a small paper bag, and she took it in her small hands, gently parting the opening and inhaling deeply.
“Ahhh, yes.” Her eyes twinkled at him. “We can finally make cinnamon rolls.”
Alternate ending: his plane goes down in the atlantic ocean. His wife hears no word from him, and sees news reports of a plane disappearing that she never knew he was on. She replaces her wardrobe with all black and never marries again. No one ever has cinnamon rolls.