Third in my series of story openings. Is your mouth watering yet? 😉
The first I knew of it was when the cake – all twelve fabulous layers of luscious cinnamon-spiked lavishness – came out of the oven smelling like roses and rain water and rich garden loam.
Hello? A rain-scented garden is all very well in its place, but! Not as the centerpiece for a midnight ritual tea!
My nose twitched and I sneezed.
It was supposed to smell of vanilla and nutmeg and sweet. That bitch of a witch of a sister of mine! She’d cursed me! All because I’d snitched great-gran’s earrings from her stash – my sister’s, that is, not my gran’s; great-gran’s dead! – to wear to the coven’s festival of the harvest moon, blast her. She’d no right. Those earrings are mine as much as hers.
Or maybe it was the perfume bottle I spilled on her bedroom drugget? Her fave perfume, she’d said – all lilac and violet and lavender and bowery. And her favorite rug as well. (Sad moue.)
Or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was because I’d told Benvolio – gorgeous Benvolio – about the time she’d mistaken a vial of dog poo for cleansing mud and massaged the goop into her hair and scalp. Pew! She’d stunk for three days before the funk wore off. But whatever it was – I could think of at least five more reasons – she’d cursed me! The rat!
I’m Callie, by the way, and I’m good at charms and talismans and rabbit’s feet and any kind of good luck conjure you care to name. Which made it all the more galling that a curse got through. Sisters are special that way.
It took me forever to re-do the cake. When it finally emerged – a second time – fragrant and chocolatey and lovely – yes, I switched recipes – the way a dessert of special awesomeness baked by moi is supposed to be – hah! – I thought that was the end of it. Hah, again! Of course you know it was the beginning. But I didn’t. Not then.
For a science fiction sample, see: