She watches the cheery faces from the shadows. Jealousy curls like a python around her heart at the chocolate-smeared faces laughing as large hands pull them into equally large hugs.
Hidden from sight, she wraps her scrawny arms around herself. It doesn’t fill her lonely ache.
“Are you lost?”
The concerned voice is accompanied by equally concerned eyes, then a crack as the old man bends his knees to crouch to her level.
It’s always been her wish to be picked up by someone who can love her the way her parents didn’t. But she hasn’t survived the streets by indulging in her fantasies. The man could be her saviour or her waking nightmare, but she wasn’t going to stick around long enough to find out. She scrambles to her feet with a muttered, “No.”
Before the man can say anything else, she runs away into the cold shadows.
Check out the related story Skirting the Edge.
My response to the prompt bespoke.
Genre: humour, slice of life
He was waiting for a friend in the chocolate cafe when a girl walked in and made a beeline for the counter. As he had done for all the customers who had entered while he waited for his friend, he tried to guess her order.
She was a small little thing, with cute accessories in her hair and bag. Maybe she would go for the little handmade chocolate treats.
The cashier turned and spoke to someone in the kitchen.
Maybe not the little treats then. She could be going for the chocolate fruit platter. Girls liked fruit and healthy stuff.
The chef walked out with a chocolate statue of a muscled bodybuilder. The girl nodded.
The cashier packed the chocolate figure into a box and handed it over to the girl. The girl smiled and left.
That things wasn’t even on the menu, so it had to be a special order. That girl…
He rubbed his hands in his hair.
Girls were weird.
Bespoke. Another word I’m not very familiar with. One of the meanings given for bespoke was items that were made to order. I was thinking about chocolates when I was brainstorming ideas for the story, so I put the two together and came up with this. The chocolate body builder is inspired by the machoco (macho-chocolate) in Tanaka-kun was Itsumo Kedaruge (Tanaka-kun is Always Listless).
He placed the bowl of chocolates before her.
“You have one hour to finish this.”
“One hour? I only need ten minutes.” She grabbed a chocolate ball and threw it into her mouth.
She opened her mouth and let the half-chewed chocolate roll off her tongue onto the table with wet plop.
His smile never wavered. “That’s disgusting.”
“Your chocolate’s disgusting,” she shot back, “Is this really chocolate?”
“My student made it. That’s his best batch.”
“Kick him out. He has no talent.”
“That’s my problem. You worry about finishing all this chocolates, or you’re hosting my graduation ceremony this year.”
Her face twisted at the thought of those chocolates in any place other than the rubbish bin it belonged in.
“Bon appetit.” His smile grew.
She picked up the disgusting ball of poison. Could she really take another bite?
She shoved it into his mouth instead.
The best thing about Easter is that the price of Easter-themed chocolates drops like crazy right afterwards.
(It’s also cool that Jesus died and came back to life on Easter day, but that’s either old news or something that you don’t really care about. If you actually don’t know how Jesus is related to Easter, why not drop by a church this weekend? Most of them would have special performances or topics that are more visitor-friendly than usual.)
Anyway, back to Easter chocolates price drops.
For some people, it’s unthinkable to celebrate Easter without a fun chocolate hunt. And all kinds of business are ready to milk that need for all its worth. But for me, chocolate is chocolate, even if it’s bunny-shaped. And after seeing how much prices drop after Easter, I just can’t bring myself to buy chocolate at full Easter price any more.
Maybe one day, I’ll be one of those people who have to organise Easter egg hunts. In that case… homemade chocolate bunnies?