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One Bite

Never two.

By Heather MillerPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
One Bite
Photo by Matt Briney on Unsplash

The sound of fingertips drumming against the unforgiving surface of the table was the only sound in the otherwise empty room. Jolie looked around, as if she expected someone to step out of the shadows and tell her what to do. What shadows, though? The room was stark white, blank in every corner, only shadowed where she sat upon a tall chair at an equally tall table.

Her legs didn't even touch the ground.

Heaving a sigh, she switched so she was drumming the fingers of the opposite hand and continued to stare. There were two plates before her: one containing a big, thick piece of cherry pie and the other holding an equally thick, sinful-looking piece of chocolate cake. The dark chocolate frosting on the cake gleamed, as if beckoning her to pick it. Jolie could practically hear its voice, rich and deep, tempting her with the dulcet timbre and a light purr.

She huffed out a breath and shook her head. She had to focus.

Beside each plate, there was a bottle. Much like everything else, the bottles were fairly non-descript. She'd had the idle thought when she first sat down that they looked old-fashioned but it was a fleeting observation. Jolie was more concerned with the ominous 'Wonderland' feeling of this entire setup. What would happen when she picked a dessert? Would a door open and let her free of this blank in-between-like space? Would it kill her? Would she shrink or grow as Alice had done?

She didn't like not knowing things.

Her only indication of what she should do was a small, white, card. Pretty script was written, or maybe typed, on the front. "Pick one. Take a bite. One bite only." That was it. The back of the card was blank, mocking her with its triangular positioning. It looked like there should be more, like it was simply the roof of a little paper house and more should follow.

Yet there was nothing. Not one single letter more.

Jolie shook her head and glared accusingly at the card. "You couldn't have said anything about what would happen after the bite? Or why the bottles are beside the plates?" Unsurprisingly, no answer came. Just as before, there was only the silence that was occasionally broken by some noise she made. Jolie huffed, blowing a strand of hair out of her face in irritation.

Lifting her head from where it rested against her hand, she studied both desserts carefully. Neither bottle is labeled, though there is a label on them. It's simply blank. Just like everything else.

Shaking her arms out as if shaking her muscles loose, she sighed again. With great care, she leaned in and....

"Come on Jo, just pick one!" Her girlfriend's impatient voice brings her abruptly back to reality.

"How?! They both look so good!" Jolie can't help but pout to emphasize how difficult the choice is.

"It's not life or death, boo." Reagan's answer, accompanied by a roll of the eyes if Jolie could bring herself to look away from the display and see it.

"Death by that's a way to go!" Jolie giggled and raised herself from the crouch she'd been in for the last twenty minutes. Reagan rolled her eyes again with an exasperated smile and wandered off to look at another display.

'Just one bite' The sign caught her attention before she could try and track down someone who worked there to finally make her choice. It even had the same script. "Excuse me?" her voice carried over the din of shop chatter and traffic, causing one of the employees to hurry over. The woman's light pink apron, depicting a delicate pattern of roses mixed with cakes, flapped in the breeze caused by her quick movement. It looked about to fall off, honestly.

"How may I help you?"

"Where did that sign come from?" Jolie pointed to the sign, so reminiscent of her daydream. The woman's gaze followed her finger, confusion replacing the smile that had been on her face moments ago.

"What sign?"

A long, slow, blink was all Jolie could manage at first. Reagan called it her 'judgey' face. She wasn't wrong. It was the expression Jolie made when she hoped someone would change their response without her having to point out how dumb they were.

"The sign? 'Just one bite'" she supplied, pointing, as if it pained her to have to actually point it out. "What does it mean?"

"Ma'am, I apologize but I don't know what you mean. That sign has always been there. It says 'chocolate cake-frosted' and then states the price." The woman looked concerned now. Jolie turned, still seeing the familiar words on an eerily-familiar white card set up like a triangle.

"Sorry. Maybe I misread. I think I need some water," Jolie murmured. Before she could turn and make an exit, Reagan appeared beside her again. She held out a bottle, just like the ones in her dream.

"You okay babe?" Her girlfriend was doing that thing where the space in the middle of her forehead crinkled as she frowned. It meant Reagan was worried.

Seeing the bottle, with its 'Drink this and find out' label, Jolie was too.

Shaking her head, Jolie took the bottle.

"I guess we'll find out."

Young Adult

About the Creator

Heather Miller

Just a girl with too many voices in her head trying to tell her what to write. Hopefully you like some of it as much as I like writing it!

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (2)

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  • Dawn Salois12 months ago

    Great story with great descriptions!

  • Babs Iverson12 months ago

    Wonderful story!!! Captivated from beginning to end💖💕

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