Day 6: Write a story involving a set of Twins, a 12 layer cake, and a house that seems haunted but isn’t . . .
“Mary Brown’s Bakery, how may I help?” Jonathon answered what was his first phone call, ever. He and his twin sister Johanna have officially opened their first bakery. Johanna waited impatiently as Jonathon listened to the person on the other line.
“What do they want?” Johanna whispered, nudging Jonathon on the sleeve. He turned to her and slowly raised a finger to his lips. She frowned.
This was a big day for both of them. They had been an online business for the past two years, which was a big accomplishment in itself, given the economic times. But for the past six weeks they’ve been renovating this store perfectly situated at one of the busiest intersections in Kingston. Today they officially opened store but their Opening will be done on the weekend.
“Hmmm, 12 layers?” Jonathon interrupted Johanna’s reverie. 12 layers? Johanna’s eyes widened at that. They’ve never done a 12 layered cake before. The closest they’ve gotten was only 4 layers.
“Uh-huh. . . by Sunday. This Sunday?” Jonathon asked, incredulously, almost laughing to himself.
Sunday?! Johanna shrieked inwardly. Today was only Thursday. They’d have to work over time on this one. And they can forget about the opening this weekend. That’ll just have to wait.
“And where would you like it delivered, Mrs. Connolly?” Jonathon asked, grabbing a notepad and pencil. Jonathon hmm’ed and huh’ed while taking the directions, occasionally repeating a piece of the description. “Turn left on Delaware Avenue, by the lime green wall . . . uh-huh . . . big orange shed . . . across from the open lot . . . turn right . . . mhmm . . . second left, past a vacant house . . . number 57. Ok I think I got it. If we get lost, will I be able to call you for further directions?” He paused, waiting for the affirmative. “Ok Mrs. Connolly, we’ll be there by 3 p.m. Thanks again Mrs. Connolly, have a good day.” He hung up and released the long-held breath he didn’t know he had.
He sighed and looked at Johanna “Well baby sis, we got one tall order to fill.”
“12 layers?” She exasperated. “Who in their right mind needs 12 layers?”
“Mrs. Connolly apparently. Some Bar-Mitzvah or something of the sort” he replied.
“How on God’s green earth are we gonna do this?” Johanna started to feel overwhelmed by the tall order but secretly thanked God and her parents for the go-getter of a brother she was born with.
“Don’t worry about it Jo” he simply said. “There was no way I was gonna say no to this offer. Our first call in customer? No way!”
Over the next two days, Jonathon and Johanna researched, experimented, and developed their first ever 12 layer cake and remade it specifically for Mrs. Connolly’s event. It was a marvel, and Johanna had to make conscious efforts not to gorge herself on the icing.
That Sunday, Jonathon and Johanna set out at about 2:30pm to make the delivery making allowances for the directions, which to Johanna, were anything but clear. Jonathon drove.
They turned onto Delaware Avenue by the lime green wall which was actually teal. The bright orange shed posed another problem as there was neither a bright orange, red, yellow or even brown shed anywhere along the road as instructed. They found several open lots and tried one of the many right turns, then the second left, drove past a dilapidated house which wasn’t vacant by the way, and drove past number 57. When they got to lot 69, Jonathon realized they had passed the house they were looking for. He turned the car around and headed back down the road, cautiously looking out for number 57. When they finally found number 57, Jonathon paused the car as both he and Johanna stared at what seemed to be the Haunted Mansion, if there ever was one. Maybe it was the air, maybe it was Johanna’s need to see an optician, but it seemed as if the mansion swayed slightly in the wind.
“Ah . . .” Johanna started.
“Does it look like it’s swaying to you?” Jonathon finished her question reluctantly knowing how stupid his question would seem.
“Oh thank God” Johanna breathed and that was all either of them needed to hear. If the house really swayed, both Johanna and Jonathon could not be going mad at the same time. Then again, twins share a lot in common.
“Are we sure we want to go in there?” Johanna asked, looking over to her brother, the brave and mighty Jonathon.
He picked up the phone and dialled a number. “Ah yes, Mrs. Connolly, its Jonathon from Mary Brown’s Bakery . . . yes, we’re outside, I think . . . oh you see us. Sweet.” He hung up. “This is it” he said, shutting off the car with a grin.
He got out and went to the back seat where he had set up a holster for cakes and any other pastry they delivered. Johanna got out as well still eyeing the house suspiciously.
There was an ominous feel to it. The house was dark with all kinds of shadows cast about it. Even the sky above the house seemed overcast and almost ready to burst with rain even though the day had been sunny and hot and the rest of the neighbourhood was cheerful. The mansion was old. Parts of the roof discoloured from various attempts to re-patch it. All the windows were dark; Johanna couldn’t tell if there were curtains on the inside or if the windows were just tinted. On the front porch there was a rocking chair that rocked with no one sitting in it. The garden around the house had been overgrown with weeds and creeping vines which covered the fence as well. On the pillars of the walk-in gate there were two creepy-looking gargoyles which made Johanna’s skin crawl to look at them. She jumped when an elderly woman dressed in all white appeared in the doorway of the mansion but the old lady waved at them pleasantly, which put Johanna at ease, but only a bit.
“Jo, come get the rest of the stuff” Jonathon brought her back to the reality of the job at hand. She waved and smiled at the little old lady and went to the trunk of the car to gather the utensils and equipment.
The twins slowly approached the house. Jonathon carried the cake carefully watching his step along the cracked path with Johanna in tow carrying the rest, still eyeing the house. It didn’t seem to sway so much up close, she thought. The front steps creaked under their feet and once they were on the porch Johanna nervously stepped along the floor boards which looked to give way any minute now. She was careful not to follow in Jonathon’s footsteps for fear the boards couldn’t handle both their weight today.
“Mrs. Connolly” Jonathon brandished his ingratiating smile at the little old lady at the door.
“Come in dears” she chimed, standing aside to let them in.
“Where would you like the cake?” Jonathon asked.
“Right this way” Mrs. Connolly slowly shuffled through the house, past a common room to the right and the living room to the left, past the stairs that led up to the second level, past the dining room and two other rooms on either side of this passage, into a massive kitchen with stainless steel everything. It fascinated Johanna to see such an updated kitchen in a house or rather mansion this old. Johanna chanced a glance at Jonathon who was equally amazed at the impressive kitchen. He then looked at the cake in his hands and must have thought how inadequate their little 12 layer cake seemed in a kitchen this big.
“Put it here dear.” Mrs. Connolly tapped the grand kitchen island as she walked past.
Jonathon carefully placed the cake on the counter top. “Mighty fine kitchen you have Mrs. Connolly.”
“Oh this old thing?” Mrs. Connolly smiled over her shoulder at Jonathon as she went to a drawer on the kitchen counter by a door that led to another room. “This house has been in my family for generations. When it passed to me in the 60’s I just had to do something with the kitchen. I love to cook, you see” she fished something out of the drawer, “and couldn’t stand the old kitchen”. She stopped for a minute and contemplated the room like it was the last time she would see it. “It really is beautiful isn’t it?” She asked returning from her thoughts.
“That it is, Mrs. Connolly.” Jonathon replied examining the kitchen himself. Mrs. Connolly handed Jonathon the envelope she withdrew from the drawer.
“It really is lovely Mrs. Connolly.” Johanna chimed in. “Wish we had a kitchen even half this beautiful.” Johanna brushed her hand along the stainless steel stove and admired the white counter-tops and the back splash.
“Mrs. Connolly, might I ask a question?” Jonathon asked reluctantly.
“Sure dear” Mrs. Connolly smiled as she leaned against the island.
“Well, I don’t know how to explain this, but … when we drove up to the house, it seemed to . . .” Jonathon paused searching for the right words.
“Sway with the wind?” Mrs. Connolly finished the question. “I get that a lot. I don’t know why it happens, and I’ve never actually witnessed it myself. Some even go so far as to say they didn’t see the house from one particular direction and when they came from the opposite direction it seemed to shimmer, yes, shimmer is what I hear the most.” She smiled at the twins.
“But . . . nothing’s ever happened?” Johanna felt silly for asking but she wanted to make sure.
“No dear” Mrs. Connolly chuckled. “This is the safest place I’ve ever been. It groans a lot, I’ll give it that, but it’s expected with age. I groan even when I don’t intend to.” The three all laughed at that.
“Well, thanks Mrs. Connolly” Jonathon sighed, stretching out a hand to Mrs. Connolly.
“Thank you both” she replied shaking Jonathon’s hand.
Johanna, being a hugger and all, gave Mrs. Connolly a great big hug. “Hope you like it.” Johanna smiled and Mrs. Connolly walked them back out.
So, tell me. What do you all think so far? This is my favourite so far, I dunno why. It was a lot easier to write this one than the others before it.
Thoughts? ? ? ? ?