A child ran across the open yard of a Victorian house. Ecstatic emotion enveloped the child’s face, running across the field, bolting by towers of bodies, nudging into a few legs along the way. One towered figure held a hand out to the child in an attempt to slow their progress. There was no slowing down for the child. The child finally reached the end of their destination–a table strewn with gifts of all shapes and sizes, colors and even textures. However, the child’s eyes rested on the pièce de résistance; the cake.
A three tiered cake, each tier separated by pillared stands. It sat alone in the middle of all the child’s other selfish pleasantries. Staring for a while, focusing only on the cake, darkness began to engulf everything else around it, allowing the only light possible to shine from the ground image of that masterpiece. The child knew that the exterior was vanilla, even the pinks and the blues giving the cake definition and design would be vanilla, but the child hoped that the interior would be a sweet strawberry. The child stood, only yards away, imagining it melt in their mouth. Taking a step toward the cake, the child felt that they were committing a wrongful act. That there was a velvet rope holding those back with temptation, and the child was crossing it without permission. There wasn’t a rope holding anyone back, but the child felt that there should. With each step closer to the cake the child’s heart pounded harder, looking back and forth among the bodies much taller than they making sure they wouldn’t be caught. The child stood just before the cake. Eying its features once again, the child noticed all the divots in the frosting made from quickened, sloppy work by the bakers, the grease that the icing secreted, and the highly detailed work with the flowers and wavy borders in multitudes of colors. The child loved it more so, for all of its beauty and imperfections.
A noise erupted from beside the child, breaking concentration. A large woman, wearing a full dress that covered her entirely, from wrist to shoulder and shoulder to ankle, dropped or knocked something, allowing for the oddly placed presents to avalanche. The child found her dress hideous, but beautiful at the same time, with many complementary colors colliding like a war of fruits and vegetables. The child ducked underneath the table, disturbing the cloth that hung over the side. The child sat cross legged underneath the table in the darkness for a while, wishing they had not retreated underneath, longing to look at the cake for much longer. As the child sat, the hunger to look at the cake grew stronger. It grew until the child came to a conclusion. If I could reach the cake from underneath the table, then I could EAT the cake! The child positioned to the back of the table where it met the bushes bordering the yard, and where no one ventured to stand. The child reached out and up to the top of the table. Luckily, the child’s searching hand was hidden by the cake and all the presents spread across the table. The child’s hand grazed across something not even with the table top. Something elevated only a few centimeters from of the table surface. The child knew that it was what the cake rested on. Reaching farther up, the child’s hand touched a cool, soft surface. One finger rested on the icing of the cake. The child felt as if they could already taste the cake, with only a finger on the brain-chilling, sweet frosting. Without imagining any longer, the child drew a finger full of vanilla frosting and savored it. Knees rocking up and down, shoulders swinging side to side, the child enjoyed every bit of its flavor.
The child believed they could take more without anyone noticing. This time, the child drew a larger clump from the cake, filling his hand up to the first knuckle. As the piece retrieved was eyed, the child noticed that the center of the cake was indeed a light pink. Strawberry! With one wide mouthed chomp, the handful was gone. The child, without deliberation, continuously pilfered the dessert. The child failed to realize that with every handful the cake teetered backward, toward the place of the child’s thievery.
With one last swipe at the cake, a dull and empty thud splayed behind the table. A yard full of gasps emanated from where the bodies stood. The child retreated their hand back into the hiding place, underneath the table. The child’s hand, as if injured or displaying withdrawn guilt, was placed in their mouth, still savoring what cake was left on the fingers. A single foot blocked a bit of light that shone from underneath the table cloth, where the cake ruptured. An adult, the child’s father in fact, knelt down at the cakes demise and inspected the mess. Without hesitation, the backside of the table cloth lifted constricting the child’s pupils. Light forced itself into the darkness, under the table, from above the fathers head. The father and child looked at each other. The child held a face like a deer in headlights, a stunned stoical surprise. The child believed they were to be punished. All the father did was hold out his hand, palm upright, and smirked at the child.
Memories were dear to Elden. It kept him glued to the past, with all his cherished childhood memories.