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Bad Influencer

Cooking For Clicks Is Murder

By Jo HilderPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 6 min read

When the knock came Sandra was ready for it. She knew there would be consequences, and she’d counted the cost. It was just a dog, after all, so how bad could it be? A fine? A criminal charge? Whatever was coming, she wouldn’t deny what she’d done. That bitch fucking had it coming, she thought to herself, as she took the chain off the door. But what happened next she could never have predicted, despite knowing she was guilty as hell.


Lissandra picked up the widely distributed fragments of the smashed remote control from the carpet and threw them into the bin. She was trembling with rage. How dare she. How fucking dare she. The gloves are off. She has to pay. Now, to come up with a revenge both sweet and catastrophic in its delivery. And if there’s anyone who knows how to exact delicious catastrophe where it’s most needed, it’s me.

Lissandra wasn’t her real name - it was the fancy name she chose for herself when she launched her specialty cake brand, Bake It ‘til You Make It.

Pivoting from her data analysis job due to COVID19, and plain boredom, Sandra decided she needed a more influencery name for her new venture. It suited her. She looked like a Lissandra, with her ample bosom stuffed into low cut, vintage-style fashion and bright red lipstick. She’d even dyed her hair black rockabilly style and cut her bangs super short like all the glamourous Instagram influencers were doing now. She had an image to maintain, and Lissandra perfectly encapsulated her female firebrand look perfectly – sweet but strong, cute, but perfectly capable of crushing anyone unlucky or silly enough to cross her.

Lissandra’s days were the all the same, and she rarely ventured further than her front door, or opened it to anyone who wasn’t delivering parcels. Days consisted of rising early to paint her face and choose an outfit, before setting up the kitchen for a few hours filming. Then the selfies, status updates, and obligatory photos of Cat needing to be filtered and posted. After that, she was ready to begin shooting today’s video, a task which would take about eight hours. Afternoons were for editing and posting the finished product, then she would eat todays creation - the entire thing in one sitting. Batches of fairy cupcakes, three-layer sponge cakes, or plate-loads of brownies. Cocoa dusted mousse cakes, towering buttercream and vanilla bean kuchens, six-layer gateaux loaded inches high with cherries and clotted cream. For Lissandra, these served as breakfast, lunch and dinner. With so much time to herself to build her business and influence online, her subscriber database grew, as did her income, and her dress size. Last time she weighed herself she was fourteen stone. The scales went in the bin that day. She had bigger, sugar-glazed cake donuts to deep-fry.

The only fly in her fluffy yellow batter was fellow baker and influencer Coco. Coco also had a YouTube channel, and a huge following across social media. This drove Lissandra absolutely crazy, compounded by the fact Coco was rake thin, with long, tousled blond hair and a cute little messy bun scraped up on top of her head. She wore perfectly ripped, off-the-shoulder tee shirts and cut off, frayed denim shorts with worn patches revealing the fact she wore no underwear. Her perky nipples always stood at attention, her unmade-up face gleaming with Byron-Bayesque good health and outdoorsyness. She tossed her wanky pomegranate-laden salads and flipped her stupid vegan pancakes whilst smiling wanly and chattering away in that maddening vocal fry. Everyone loves Coco. Nobody ever trolls her about her weight on social media. Nobody questions Coco’s diet or leaves laughing emojis on her selfies. Coco is perfect. Coco has it all. And Coco, it was patently obvious as far as Lissandra was concerned, needs to be brought down a notch, or ten.

And now, to add insult to injury, rumour had it Coco secured a spot on a morning television show to promote her channel and upcoming book. Lissandra watched the interview before crushing the remote control in her bare fist and throwing it at the TV. You fucking bitch. This was just unfair. Lissandra had worked so hard for so long, against all the odds, the trolls and the haters, to get where she was. What was Coco up against? Fucking nothing. Talk about your skinny white privilege. What does she have I haven’t got? It wasn’t enough to get the same number of followers anymore, Coco must pay.

She rolled the little balls between her palms and smiled to herself, before stuffing another forkful from a slice of chocolate cake she'd cut herself for breakfast into her mouth. A peace offering, congratulations even for the recent TV appearance. Perhaps a sign there was no animosity between them. Cat watched on with interest. Not for you, my pretty, Lissandra told Cat. These are puppy snacks. Lissandra knew Coco loved her dog more than anything else in the world. She carefully drizzled a peanut butter glaze over the tray of rat-poison laced, cacao-laden dog treats and left them to set. What the chocolate didn’t do, the poison would. Now, to box them up and send them to Coco, along with a little card of support. She’d be found out for poisoning that stupid dog, she knew it, but it would be worth it to see that moll suffer. Cat, your mama is a goddamn genius.


“Sandra Magee, do you understand the charges being brought against you?”

“I do.” Lissandra looked down at the desk between her and the police officer opposite her. She glanced at herself in the two-way mirror behind him, and a raccoon-eyed, dishevelled woman stared back. Her favourite cherry-print dress was filthy from the police van and the cell she’d been in for two days.

“Murder, as I’m sure I don’t need to explain, is a serious charge. Do you deny you sent the box to Ms. Devine?”

“No, but it was for her bloody dog. The card even said they were doggie treats. How was I to know she’s so dumb she wouldn’t read the card first?”

“The fact remains Ms. Devine consumed the contents of the box believing they were a goodwill gift from you. You’re responsible for her death.”

Lissandra imagined Coco opening the box and tossing the card to one side before placing the toxic treats, one by one, into her damnable mouth. She imagined Coco writhing in pain, the uncontrollable internal bleeding, her organs shutting down one by one. She imagined her exquisitely, excruciatingly painful death, and despite herself, and the inevitability of the murder charge and incarceration, smiled a warm, self-satisfied little smile to herself. Death by chocolate, mused Lissandra, a warm, fuzzy feeling coming over her. Of all things.

**Like Lissandra's shirt? Purchase it here on Etsy.

Short Story

About the Creator

Jo Hilder

Jo Hilder is a writer, artisan, an experienced speaker and author of four books, most recently the author of Small and Pure – A Cautionary Tale, released in June 2016 by Rhiza Press.

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