It is death by chocolate.
a sweet, sweet tale.
‘This is all for you’
I tell myself as I allow my eyes to glance over the ingredients on the table top. I thought about us in the restaurant that night. Checkered table cloth with spits of red wine. You, holding my slightly glazed palm as the diamond you were placing on my finger winked up at me. The moment itself was heavy, and clung onto my mind like syrup, slowly dripping down my temple.
Sweet, sweet, syrup.
My hands start sieving the flour into the mixing bowl and soon follow up with the cocoa dusting. Little granules cascading down from the skies, like snow or ash I cannot tell, but it gives me an unsettling feeling nonetheless. This cake is going to be marvellous, no, decadent. As if an angel had placed a burning kiss upon your mouth but then forced you to swallow it down, so you burn from the inside out.
You will be home by seven it is now 5.26. Plenty of time to prepare the sponge and have it sitting there waiting for you as you get in the door. I cannot wait, you have always loved surprises.
I crack the eggs into the bowl using one hand. Both times do the collapsing of the shells catch me off guard and I leap to the surface of my skin. The two yolks stare dumbfounded at me like goggly eyes, its difficult to tell what they want. My eyes cast themselves back to those hollow shells that used to contain something whole and my fist tightens, white and red knuckles rising to the surface like ciphers.
You like your eggs sunny-side up, so I keep making them that way. It’s become an unquestioned practice as you lay there on a Sunday morning, paper not quite in your hand and glasses not quite on the bridge of your nose. Orange juice on the bedside table, me coming through to deliver your breakfast in bed as the smell of slightly burned toast bites both of our nostrils. You smile fondly and kiss me on the forehead. It burns.
I long for the same kind of heat now. The one that lets you know that the fire is still burning and drapes a blanket around your shoulders.
The kitchen counter is cold and I shiver lightly.
Furiously I start whipping the ingredients together, the wooden spoon beginning to chafe the space between my thumb and index. Everything in the bowl becomes a blur. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m mixing so fast or because the tears are now settling in my eyes.
The oven calls me to let me know it’s ready.
Your phone on the table. White screen flaring light into the sordid room. I couldn’t help but look. I couldn’t help it. Text message from Vicky reads ‘Wish you were on another late work meeting ;) Bed feels empty without you x’. Dry mouth, throat tight. I might as well have been a pheasant caught in the mouth of a terrier. Helpless and silently writhing. My mouth cracked as you came back from the bathroom.
I ache from the memory. Staring at my cold shaking hands I pour the mixture into the cake tin and shove it into the oven. Setting a timer for 30 minutes. It is now 6.04.
With nothing left but time I carefully set the scene. Divorce papers on the table sneer at me and I sneer back. Picking them up in my hands I start cutting away at them with scissors. The need for mania only suppressed by my stronger need for perfection.
There they are, these perfect paper dolls. Holding hands, again and again and again. The cycle never-ending they choose each other every day. The dolls don’t have an option. Maybe life would have been simpler for us that way. But you chose her, a doll not in the chain, and by God you are going to pay.
I drape the dolls around the room and place a bottle of wine onto the table. The same wine from that night. The night that you proposed. I pour you a glass and leave it there before desperately swigging from the bottle myself. It stains my mouth a black cherry red.
I jolt as the silence is intruded upon. The cake is ready. 6.34.
I extract it from the oven and place it on the counter. Staring at it it’s hard to believe that everything is going to end with this; a slice of chocolate cake. I picture your mouth slowly opening and closing down over the cake, your tastebuds dancing at the decadence. Many temptations are hard to resist, I understand. I hope this cake is none the different.
This cake needs something sweet… some icing maybe? Can’t be missing out on the finishing touches. However, everything sweet needs its bitter. My hand rolls around the tiny bottle of cyanide. Powdered dust. Dust is all it’s going to take. Dust is all that’s going to remain.
I sprinkle the poison over the cake, like snow in spring, and finish it off with the icing sugar. My chocolate baby now complete I breathe more slowly through my nostrils. You never liked Victoria sponge, which is ironic because you certainly liked her.
My mind races. How has it come to this? Is this really the only way to end things? Am I really so petty for revenge?
Yes. Yes, I am.
I’m running out of time. These perfect seconds are in my grasp and I must seize them before they run away, run away like so many precious things of mine.
Using a knife I cut a delicate slice of chocolate cake and hold it tentatively in my fingers. Pausing for a moment to take in the slowing patter of my heartbeat, I shove the cake into my mouth, pushing it all in and swallowing it down until there’s hot tears streaming down my cheeks. My mind flashes red and then back to you. It’s so sweet.
My body starts to feel cold and I am overwhelmed with the sensation that things are anything but sound. My mind rings heavy with panic but I fall to the floor, unable to do anything to help myself. My hand reaches out but only succeeds in tearing one of the paper dolls, right down the middle. The chain is broken.
The darkness starts to engulf my body and for once I feel safe. Like nothing is ever going to harm me again. I feel like I’m right back in your arms and you’re shielding me from every evil in the world.
This is my final thought as I hear the key in the lock.
About the author
I'm a 21 year old from Scotland who loves to write! I mainly enjoy writing poetry, but after discovering vocal I have been much more inspired to start writing prose again. I hope you'll enjoy my stories the more I upload :)