Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: Always a Bridesmaid

Yes, I have a lot to catch up on including reviews of Wednesday's beer dinner at The Grange and, finally, my review of the Iberian Pig, but it's Friday, so that means it's fiction time!

You know how sometimes you have a first line bouncing around in your brain, and it won't go away? As you read below, you can see why I resisted, but once it turned out to be a paranormal mystery, I was okay with it. Just to warn you, it takes place in a bachelorette party venue, a classy one, but yes, there are potentially offensive objects mentioned. You've been warned.

This is the first part in a serial. I blame @TechTigger on Twitter for inspiring me to the form. :)

Always a Bridesmaid

"Who wants man-cakes?" Tiffany brought out the plate of penis-shaped pancakes.

"Strawberry, huh?" the bride Lydia asked as she speared one right through the testicles with the serving fork. "This should help to banish the ghosts of any boyfriends past."

The hairs on the back of Tiffany's neck stood up, but she smiled and continued serving the bachelorette breakfast guests. Each girl took a pancake with the fork, grinning a little, likely imagining spearing an ex or someone who had failed to notice her, cherish her, be there for her, or any of the other multitude of sins that men routinely committed against women.

"Yep, hit 'em where it hurts, ladies," Tiffany encouraged. "I'll be right back with some bacon."

"Bacon!" came the chorus.

"Bring on the meat!" Lydia said and cut off the tapered tip of her pancake.

Tiffany smiled at the bride's feistiness. She liked that. It was easier for her to work her magic for a woman she felt deserved it, although she got paid well for all of her parties.

"Be right back," she promised. She ducked through the bead curtain that separated the front of her shop from the kitchen, workroom, and storage area. Besides the usual penis- and man-shaped baking molds, it held other interesting objects such as rose quartz crystals that Tiffany gifted each bride, dried herbs for "smudging" the store clean after each party, and books that went well beyond the typical wedding party planning guides. She didn't know what Miss Manners would think of her manuals and didn't care. Since a certain little rumor had started – not by her – she had been fully booked and had started taking Sundays and Mondays off as a weekend because she needed them to recoup her energy and restock her shelves.

Lacey wasn't in the kitchen, and Tiffany wondered if the cat sensed another impending health inspection. Then she felt it: the presence of something else in the kitchen hit her full-on like a wave of garlic-dirty feet-sulphur smoke. Apparently Lydia hadn't been kidding. Even worse, it stood between her and the bacon, which needed to be taken off the stove before it went from perfectly chewy-crispy to burnt.

"Get away from the food, Spirit," she said and grabbed the clear crystal quartz-tipped wand she kept by the door.

It only laughed at her. Great. She decided to try a different strategy.

"Who are you, and what do you want?"

It moved across the room at lightning speed, away from her, thankfully. Most nasties didn't like to give their true identities away. She rescued the bacon and put it on paper towels to drain.

"I'll be back for you in a second."

In the main room, she served the bacon from its flowery plate and poured a second round of blood orange mimosas just in case things got interesting.

But when she returned to the kitchen, the ghost was gone, and Lacey the white Persian cat had reappeared.

"Some help you are," Tiffany said and picked up the cat. Lacey rubbed her soft head against Tiffany's chin. She only did that when something had really disturbed her.

"Yeah, that was some nasty." She walked to the blueberry punch-bowl cake. Lacey lifted her head, squirmed out of Tiffany's arms, and dropped to the counter. Before Tiffany could even shriek, the cat knocked the cake on to the floor with a splendid crash!

"Oh, Lacey!" Tiffany bent to pick up a large piece of what had been her favorite small crystal punch bowl, but the smell assailed her again. She swiped a bit of the whipped cream off the glass and touched the tip of her tongue to it. The cream, which had been fresh the night before when she'd assembled the cake, had gone beyond spoiled to rancid. Lacey twined against Tiffany's calves.

"I would've served it to them, and oh, you're a clever kitty!" Tiffany got as much of the mess up as she could quickly and washed her hands.

"Now what?" she wondered. She looked around the kitchen for quick inspiration and poked her head into the breakfast room, where the bride opened her naughty presents, the ones that her friends didn’t want to give her in front of elderly mothers and aunts.

"Is everything okay?" It was Amber, the one who had set up the party. With her fair skin, black hair, and green eyes, she likely had some of the Blood in her.

"Fine. Just had a little kitchen accident."

Amber arched an eyebrow. "That tends to happen around Lydia."

"Well, whatever it was ruined dessert." Tiffany didn't mind being short with the girl, who she now sensed was hiding something.

"Got a backup?"


"Good." Amber nodded toward Lydia, who blushed at receiving her own purple vibrator. "I'm going to try and convince her to talk to you later."

Tiffany pondered that cryptic statement while she whipped cream cheese frosting for the chocolate cupcakes she'd baked for a later party. They were easy enough that she could make another batch quickly.

Amber and Lydia stayed after the party to organize gifts. Tiffany cleared the dishes, her long blonde hair tied back and out of her face. The kitchen always got hot when she baked.

"Lydia," Amber said and inclined her head toward Tiffany, who pretended not to hear.

"It's nothing, Amber."

"Then why don’t you tell her what happened with dessert, Ms. Chiffon?"

"You can call me Tiffany. Ms. Chiffon makes me sound like a stripper." She stacked plates while she talked. "My cat knocked over the punchbowl cake."

"Oh, I'm so sorry!"

Tiffany looked up. The words had slipped from Lydia's tongue like she had apologized for random things her entire life.

"It wasn't your fault."

"Oh, but it probably was. Stuff like that happens around me."

"But not always," Amber said.

"Right." Lydia looked down with a flush in her cheeks. "But not always."

"Why don't you tell me when it started?"


Dana said...

Yikes! Girls are scary :o

Neat and quite funny. I particularly like this line, "Besides the usual penis- and man-shaped baking molds..."

Anonymous said...

I can see why that first line wouldn't leave you! This is funny and interesting on so many levels, but your creativity stands out most. Thanks for sharing it. ~ Olivia

Amy J Taylor said...

Interesting stuff! And funny. I'd love to hear more about the bride's supernatural tendencies!

Cecilia Dominic said...

Thanks, Dana, Olivia, and Amy! I'm glad you found it funny. Yes, more about Lydia's problems in the next installment.


Laura Eno said...

And now I'm sucked in to hear this interesting story coming up! I like the setting!

Marisa Birns said...

Very, very clever and funny. "Bring on the meat" while she cut off the tapered tip of the pancake made me laugh out loud.

Yes, I'm captured and want to read on!

Weezel said...

Sort of a Ghost Busters meet Practical Magic take on this story. Glad that there's more coming!

Eric J. Krause said...

Good start. It really draws the reader into the mystery to come. I'm looking forward to seeing who or what the spirit was, and why this stuff always happens around Lydia.

Donna Carrick said...

OK, you got me hooked... I'll be back for sure. Great story!
Donna Carrick

Tony Noland said...

"Man-cakes"? Clearly, I have led a sheltered life.

This was great, especially the spoiling of the cream. Nice touch.

mazzz in Leeds said...

The tapered tip - ah, straight to the head of the matter!

I agree with Tony, the cream spoiling was a good touch!