Fiction logo

Death by Chocolate Cake


By A.R. MinhasPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 10 min read

Weeks had gone by since Omar had a good night's sleep. His bloodshot eyes felt heavy as he tried to concentrate on the empty country road. It was still too early for traffic. His head yearned for a pillow even though he felt comfortable in his gray hoodie. There were an obscene amount of coffee cups lying around in his car. He was trying to stay awake but his body was betraying him: dozing off at the most inconvenient of times.

There was some quiet for a while and then, a dark cricket appeared on his windshield. He awoke and saw it fluttering away. He had dreamt past the dangling red light and a blue truck was coming towards him in his periphery. His feet frantically slammed the brakes, his body screeched forward. The truck swerved past him bellowing a loud horn.

"I can't do this anymore." He repeatedly struck his head on the steering wheel.

The recurring nightmare clawing its way out. He can’t tell what’s real anymore. He tried escaping but it was always there: the dark, long-winged insect from his nightmare still haunting him.

The red light turned to green and he crossed the intersection with urgency. He needed to find the nearest stop. He continued to drive; his eyes darting around trying to be aware of everything. He passed yellow deer crossing signs. His heart raced still thinking about his near-death experience. He wants to rest. The sun finally came out and then he saw it in big, bold letters:

Welcome to Laura’s Inn

Next Stop

He sighed with relief, and he turned towards the graveled road. The driveway cut across the forest until it led to a large clearing, and standing on top of a hill was a dainty-looking place. If he didn't know any better it looked like a repurposed white chapel. There was a small patio at the side, brown benches littered across the front yard, and a tire swing connected to the branch of a weeping willow which moved as if it was only recently used. There was a small body of water towards the other side of the property.

He continued towards Laura’s Inn and he parked underneath the large sign. He got out of the car, his legs felt like jelly. The grogginess had crept into him and he didn’t even realize it. He walked further to regain balance. He noticed that there were only two other cars.

“Excuse me, can I help you?” An old man asked. Omar didn’t notice him sitting in the corner of the porch.

“Hey, is this place open?” Omar scratched his beard.

“Yeah, well who’s asking?!”

Omar was getting annoyed, and he knew what people in the countryside were like.

“Listen, you old--”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” A tall, middle-aged woman wearing a kitchen apron came bursting through the door. “Please, forgive Uncle Dee, he seems to have forgotten his manners.” She gave him a sharp look.

“Everyone’s so sensitive.” Uncle Dee struggled to his feet making his way inside. He slammed the door.

“I’m very sorry about that, Sir.” She smiled, her black hair was in a bun and her eyes were eerily blue. “I’m Laura, by the way, and this is my inn... please come inside.”

“No worries, I’m sorry about that… I might’ve misheard what he said,” Omar replied.

“No, you didn’t,” She said. “He doesn’t like your kind.”

Omar was taken aback, and didn't know what to say.

“Ha-ha. The look on your face, all country folks are not like that, y’know? He’s just... protective. Come, let’s fix you something.”

Omar thought about turning back but he knew he wasn’t in any shape to drive. He rubbed his eyes and entered the inn.

The inside felt oddly large, the high ceilings arched down and were painted red. The floor was covered in black and white tiles like a chessboard. There were small rickety tables around and some booths in the corner. The windows were open but protected by mesh.

“Sit wherever you like. I’ll be back soon,” Laura disappeared behind the counter.

Omar didn’t see any other customers but decided to find a table in the corner. The menu was vertically placed between salt and pepper shakers.

“We’re still serving breakfast, so let me know if you want eggs or anything else.” She yelled from the back.

“No thanks… I just want coffee. Dark-roasted with three creams and three sugars.” He yelled back.

“You got it!”

Omar had a few minutes to reflect. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He was still trying to make sense of what was going on. Everything seemed broken.The nightmares were getting worse, and he was beginning to think his old life may never come back. All he knew was that he needed to keep moving forward. That was the only way to escape his terrible dreams, and the insects that haunted him.

He looked around his surroundings; except for a few buzzing flies the place was relatively clean. Although, it probably helps that Laura doesn’t have that many customers coming to her place. Laura’s Inn was relatively secluded and unless someone was coming from his direction-- no one would have noticed this place.

“Ding! Ding! Order up!” Laura appeared carrying a tray.

"Oh, thanks!" Omar was startled as Laura placed the piping hot coffee mug right next to him.

"And since Uncle Dee was a bit mean to you I got you some chocolate cake...on the house!"

"Hey, you didn't have to do that," He said.

"Shh! It'll be our little secret," She winked, and she placed the slice right in front of him.

"Oh by the way it has some whole nuts in it. I hope you don't have any allergies?"

"No, I don't...thank you...I really appreciate this." Omar replied.

"You're welcome...and please call me, Laura." She placed her arm around his shoulder and squeezed it with firmness.

"Well, then, thank you… Laura," Omar obliged.

"You're welcome." She went back to the counter.

Omar started stirring his coffee absent-mindedly and then dug into the cake with the dessert fork. He liked the crunchiness of the chocolate cake. Then he felt her presence again.

"Hey, do you mind if I sit here?"

"Umm sure," Omar gulped his coffee but felt uncomfortable. Laura shifted the seat and sat facing him.

"What are you running from?" She asked.

"Excuse me?”

"I can see your eyes, you're clearly sleep-deprived." She said, " Please tell me the truth, maybe I can help you?"

"I'm not running from anything,” He said, and he noticed that things were becoming blurry again. "You won't believe me, anyway." He blurted out.

"I've lived near these woods my whole life. Trust me, I've seen a few things."

"I've been having the same nightmares over and over. They're not ordinary nightmares, I dream of these weird figures, and they feel real.” He can't believe that he's said those words aloud.

“So you’re just getting recurring nightmares?” She asked.

“That’s the thing when a nightmare ends you can wake up in bed and convince yourself it’s not real but right before my nightmare ends a cricket comes, and then when I wake's there... it's there reminding me the nightmare is real.”

“Hmm… you’ve been touched by Tinthu,” Laura spoke but her voice changed.

“What?” Omar said, and he was losing control of his limbs. The fork fell on the ground with a loud ring.

“Their trilling led you here, didn’t it?”

Omar now heard chirping, and he looked at the chocolate cake and the crickets emerged out of it.

“What are you doing to me?” Omar slurred his words.

“Shhh! Sweet child, you must rest...your awakening will come soon.” Laura stood up but now she wasn’t just tall, her head was nearly touching the ceiling. The features of her face changed and her smile was the last thing he remembered before he finally slept.


He awoke suspended in midair on a totem pole wearing a straitjacket. It was a starry night above, and below there was chanting. Omar noticed figures wearing purple robes carrying torches. He noticed a large figure appear as if they were on stilts. They walked towards him, at his eye level.

“Are you comfortable?” Laura had a hideous smile.

“Of all the ways, I thought I would go…” Omar spat and it fell a fair distance.

“You’re blessed,” She said, “Tinthu has chosen you as his vessel. He was marking you and then he told you to come to us.”

“I guess he did,” Omar fidgets in the jacket.

“Sweetheart, please, don't struggle… it looks unsavory.” She said as she made her way back to the crowd. “It will all be over soon.”

“Aagh!!” Omar continues to struggle. He knew that at this height he would smash an ankle or two but he would rather limp his way across. The small pool of water was behind him and he thought of a possible escape route.

He needed more time to think but the chanting was getting louder and so were the sound of the crickets.

“He has heard us….he is coming!” Laura yelled and the followers below hailed.

The sound of the crickets was getting unbearable. The ringing was hurting his head. He could feel the sweat trickling down his forehead and the saltiness was burning his eyes.

“Fire burns from above, Water drowns from below!” Laura yelled.

The once clear sky now turned red, and then came the roar of thunder.

Omar was struck by a flash and then the totem, along with him, fell into the pool of water.

Once he fell beneath the water he started drowning. He tried getting out of the straitjacket but it was no use. He closed his eyes and accepted his fate.

“Open your eyes!” A voice bellowed inside his head.

He ignored it, still thinking this was all a dream.

“Open your eyes, mortal. Tinthu commands it!”

Omar obliged and he saw the dark figure with red eyes. He doesn’t know what to do. He felt powerless in its presence.

“Mortal, do you want to be free?” Tinthu asked.

“Yes,” Omar said in his head.

“Good, then accept me.”

"Yes!” He yelled.

“Say the words!”

“I accept you! I accept you! I accept you!”


“Ding! Ding! Order up!” Laura appeared carrying a tray.

Omar was somehow back where he started.

“Oh! Hell no!” He bolted as fast as he could avoiding Laura’s long reach. As soon as he came to the door Uncle Dee was coming in.

“Oh hey! I’m sorry about earlier…”

Omar shoved him aside. He ran further and stumbled but then he was able to regain his balance. He got to his car and struggled with the door. There were screams coming from the inside. He managed to get in and he floored the accelerator. He screeched his way out of there and he yelled with joy. However, he didn’t notice an orchestra of crickets following him.


About the Creator

A.R. Minhas

Self-published author of 'June is Dreaming'. Voracious reader. Watcher of weird entertainment.



Artwork on Redbubble.


Private queries: [email protected]

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.