She thrust a dainty finger into the batter, pulled it out and licked.
Melodrama in spades: wailing wives watching sailors set to sea; three-legged dogs with no master; mothers at their daughters’ weddings.
An eyelash. No, two. Stir the egg yolk-yellow cream into frothy mounds. Another delicate finger.
Disheveled courtesy: hoboes taking off their hats for pretty ladies and not asking for a penny; young men leaping up, naked, from rumpled sheets to put on coffee for smiling young women.
This was not her day. Frowning, she plucked an earring from one satiny lobe and dropped the antique silver with rosy cabochon in.
Ah, there. Haunting glimpses of mirrors ten years ago, reflecting taut stomachs and smooth throats. Tantalizing peeps of the future: were those horses? On a beach? A fringed shawl loose around a paunchy, but tan, waist?
Bake. Set. Dust with powdered sugar, blow a kiss across the top.
She delivered it under moonlight, the beams silvering the top of the cake. “Happy birthday,” she said.
He peered up at her from his chair, the first gray hairs peeking shyly from his temples. He removed his glasses – a new thing, no longer an affectation, but just for reading, for now.
“Is it my birthday?” he asked, all innocence and blankness.
She cut a slice and sat on his lap, fed it to him with elegant fingers that wiped the sugar from the corner of his mouth. He winced, then, after a long moment of chewing and swallowing, leaned his head against her shoulder. “Yes,” he said.
“Yes,” she said, and tried a piece herself. The earring. She spit it out, and the flavor left in her mouth was this: a chest of wiry gray hair pressed against hers, a Sunday newspaper lying in forgotten sheaves on the floor, coffee going cold on the bedside table. Two pairs of glasses.
She gave him his birthday kiss and closed the curtains in a house still warm from her grandmother’s oven.
This week's words were: dainty, haunting, tantalize. And I did it in 300(ish) words! Whew. That's a miracle. Thank you for reading, and please, get thee to Three Word Wednesday and play along.
To see a very cool Tetris cake, click here. I couldn't upload the pic for some reason! Very bummed. It's awesome.