Note: Hey, all! Here’s my long-overdo Wrirate short story. That means this story features a Reedsy cast! A lot of my Wrirate friends have made this kind of thing (check out Zilla’s, B.W.’s, Amany’s, Rhonda’s, and Orenda’s!) so I decided to write one. Sadly, I can’t have as many main characters as there are close Wrirate friends, so there’s main characters, a secondary character (Bri, which is something B.W. has said I could call her [Hope is also a nickname, so there’s actually two props to my good friend B.W.]), and a bunch of mentions to other Reeders! This story was just for fun, so it’s not super serious or anything. Definitely not a solid attempt at the contest, lol. Enjoy!
It’s a beautiful winter day, and I’m bored.
The sky is a light cerulean shade, shattered into fragments of blue by the long branches of the oak tree outside my house. The air has a sharp chill to it, but the crisp scent of winter makes up for the cold. Trees are shedding the last of their multi-hued leaves, and birds are singing their final songs of the year. It’s a wonderful day, but nine months into quarantine, we’ve run out of stuff to do.
I roll off the bottom bunk of my bunk bed and glance around my room. I see Amany’s feet flopped over the top of my ladder from where she’s chilling in my top bunk browsing Pinterest. Rhondalise is curled up in my aquamarine poof, flipping through Reedsy plot generators for ideas for the next Afrassi installment (every time she says she’s bored, we have an unanimous chorus of “Write more Afrassi”! She knows by now not to complain about having nothing to do around Afrassi crewmates). Vayd is in the corner, going back and forth between reading a Percy Jackson book (for the gazillionth time), eating chips, and complaining about having nothing to do.
I wonder where Orenda is. She used to be seated at my desk, sketching (she was checking Reedsy until I took her phone to watch The Princess Bride for the millionth time), but then she had disappeared.
Apparently I (mentally-) spoke too soon, because that’s when I hear….
Ren’s eager voice slices through the blanket of bored silence hanging over my room. She races through the doorway of my room, skidding to a stop on my pastel carpet. She pauses to catch her breath, her black-and-purple hair escaping her ponytail.
“Look,” she says between breaths, “at this!”
She holds up a piece of paper. I couldn’t see what was on, if there was anything. It just looked...blank.
“What is it?” Rhonda asks.
“It looks like a blank piece of paper,” Vayd notes.
Orenda glares. “Dude. Don’t be a pessimist.”
“He’s not wrong,” I remarked.
Oreo sighed. “Guys! First of all, it’s not a blank piece of paper. The message is just hidden.”
“CODE?! VAYD BOND IS HERE!”
Vayd jumps up and sprints to Orenda. His excitement melts away as he stares at the paper. “How’s it in code if it's blank?” He pokes the piece of paper. At his touch, a flurry of white powder drops off the paper and drifts to the floor. The removed coating reveals a page with text written on it.
“Oh,” Vayd says. “That kind of hidden.”
“What is that powder, anyways?” Amany climbs down the bunk bed ladder and joins Orenda and Vayd in my doorway. She touched the white on the floor and sneezes. “Ugh.”
“It’s flour,” Orenda says. “Y’know, like for baking?”
I facepalm. “Guys! You’re totally trashing my room! Vayd, pick up the chips! Orenda, why did you bring a flour-covered paper to my room?”
Vayd glared at me. I pointed to the chips littering his corner. WE had a mini-staring contest, then Orenda broke in, “Aerin, can you at least read what it says?”
I peer at the page from where I sit on the floor. “Is that…” I say, eyeing the giant drawing taking up half the page, “a giant cookie?!” My frown melts and jump up, racing to Orenda. “Do we get cookies?” I squeal. “Canwecanwecanwe?”
Orenda laughs. “Did you read the text or just look at the picture?”
Amany clears her throat and reads the text on the post: “World Record Baking Competition. Bake the biggest cookie you had bypassing the previous world record, without telling others entrants the size. Judges will weight and measure each cookie. Winner gets $500 and a place in the new edition of Guinness World Records. Then a bunch of guidelines and instructions.”
“So…do we get cookies?”
Rhonnie snorts, pushing herself off my beanbag chair and joining us looking at the poster. “We can totally get some after this, but I think what Ren’s trying to say is that we should enter the competition.”
“But…we can’t bake.”
Amany smirks at Vayd. “Speak for yourself!”
“And even if we can’t bake well, the cookie needs to be big, not good,” Rhondalise reasons. “How hard can it be to make a giant cookie?”
“Plus, the reward sounds pretty sweet,” I say. Everyone stares at me. I nod enthusiastically. “Get it? Sweet? Baking completion? Haha????”
Vayd elbows me with a laugh. “Bad puns aside, breaking a world record sounds pretty nice. Plus, five hundred dollars? Wow.”
“That could buy a lot of Baskin Robbins…” Orenda says dreamily.
“No, it could buy a lot of Waffle House,” counters Rhonnie.
“I’m in for any place where we can get cookies,” I say.
Orenda smiles. “So…you guys are in?”
We all nod in unison. “Let’s bake a giant cookie!” I holler.
Three hours later, we’re $83 down, but insane-amounts-of-baking-supplies up. Rhondalise read the rest of the poster aloud, and it basically said that the cookie judging (well, weighing/measuring) and award-giving would take place on Sunday. Today’s Saturday, so we have the rest of today to bake our Mega Cookie.
We had split up to prepare for the completion. Rhonnie and Vayd went to the grocery store to get supplies (alas, the flour on my floor wouldn’t cut it), Amany had visited Abcde's house to help clear her kitchen (Abcde’s lending us her huge kitchen for baking during the five hours she and Afra would be at the movies and then hiking), and Orenda and I pretty much told a gazillion other friends about the competition if they wanted to enter. Bri, Avery, and Kylie formed a team, as did Zilla, Adrienne, and Ella.
Now, we’re all seated in stools lining Abcde’s island table. We have tons of flour, a dozen eggs, and a bunch of other ingredients.
Where do we start?
Amany, who’s by far the best at baking, leads the way. She pulls up a cookie recipe. I’m about to start measuring the ingredients, but she says, “No! Don’t!”
We all stare at her. She sighs dramatically. “C’mon, guys! We’re making a giant cookie! We can’t use normal measuring. If we roll together all the cookie dough we’d normally make to bake a dozen cookies, we’ll get a big cookie, but not a HUGE cookie. What do you think we should do? Double the whole recipe and make a humongous cookie out of that?”
“Go big or go home,” Orenda agrees.
“Nononononononono!” I argue. “For this, we’ve got to go giant or go home. Let’s triple the recipe!”
“I like that idea,” Vayd says, smiling.
Rhonnie noda. “And we definitely have enough supplies!” She pointed to the loooong line of ingredients she and Vayd had purchased. They high-five.
“Let’s make it!” Amany says.
“Do you think Abcde will be mad we trashed her kitchen?”
The cookies are finally in the oven, and we stand in a lime in from of the kitchen. Wow. The last hour was crazy—making a giant cookie was next to impossible when you had normal-sized bowls and ingredients. Mad chaos later, we have a big cookie, and an even bigger mess.
Flour dusts the floor and counters. Chocolate chips have rolled into impossible spots. Abcde’s dog Hope and Afra’s dogs Sky and Sunny (Afra had dropped her puppers off at Abcde’s house to play with Hope before Abcde and her went to the movies) had rushed in at some point, tracking fallen flour and sugar throughout the house. Oh, and Vayd dropped two eggs when Hope rushed by him, soo…a patch of the floor is a bit sticky.
“Knowing Abcde?” Rhonnie says. “Probably not. She’s too nice. But we’ve got to clean up anyways.”
“Dibs on not cleaning up the flour!” I shout.
“Same!” says Ren.
“Me too!” Vayd pipes in.
Amany smacks her nose with her hand. “Nose goes!”
I stare at her. “Whuh?”
“It means I’m not doing it.”
Rhondalise facepalms. “Guys, are you kidding me? The flour is like half the mess. C’monnnnnnnnnn.” When we don’t move, she sighs again, but then smiles evilly. “If you don't help me, there will be No. More. Afrassi.”
She had us at that. Alas, we’re loyal Wrirates. NO HARM COULD COME TO AFRASSI. Or Reo, if Amany threatens, or Muzcin, if Rhonnie threatens, or…honestly, there are too many amazing ‘fictional’ (or as I like to call it, ‘merely existing in another dimension’) ships to count.
I need to make a ship, I decide. Wrirates are way too vulnerable if they don’t have their own beloved ship to threaten with.
But you’re awful at writing romance, my mind argues back.
And so, the ridiculously long process of cleaning the kitchen begins. But at least we have the lovely scent of a giant peppermint-chocolate-chunk cookie hanging in the air.
“They should write a book about us,” I decide.
“One of those ‘We Survived’ novels,” agrees Vayd.
Rhonnie nods. “‘We Survived: The Great Cookie Mess’.”
“Yes,” Orenda and Amany emphasize in unison.
We smile at each other, then smile at the kitchen, then smile at the cookie (with a diameter of three feet!) cooling on the countertop. Almost an hour later, the kitchen is spotless! The puppies are spotless! We are spotless!
And our beautiful giant cookie looks awesome. The huge masterpiece lies on a piece of parchment paper on Abcde’s island. You can see the chocolate chunks and peppermint pieces (ah, how I do love alliteration) studded throughout the rocky tan flesh. It smells SO good.
I’m resisting eating it, though. Sure, we wanted to enter it for the contest, and sure, we could make a ton more of these with $500, but after all the hard work going into this dessert, I don’t want to give it up.
“What should we do now?” Rhondalise asks. “The competition is tomorrow and we’re done with our cookie, sooo...”
I nod. This was fun, but now we were back in square one—bored.
“I’m going to go play with the dogs,” Vayd says. Ren nods and they set off to search the house for Abcde’s and Afra’s pups.
“D’you want to go with them?” I tell Rhonnie.
She shakes her head. “I’ll go play with Hope and the others in a sec. But for right now, ima go call Abcde and Afra and see when they’ll be back from the hike and movies. Do you have Abcde’s contact?”
“Yeah,” I say. “Want me to tell you? Or you can just use my iPad?”
“Nah, it’s fine. I’ll go call Afra instead.”
She sets off to go find a nice place in Abcde’s home to call Afra.
That means I’m alone in the kitchen.
What should I do?
Then I remember we aren’t the only friends entering the contest. Bri, Zilla, and a couple of my other friends are too! I decide to check on their progress. Just call Bri (who’s partnering with Avery and Ella) and ask about her cookie and tell her about ours.
It’ll be fun!
Plus, I have literally nothing else to do, sooo….
I retreat to the doorway of Abcde’s house, where my iPad is lying on her table. I don’t have a phone, but I usually don’t need electronics outside of the house anyway. I had decided to bring my iPad here because, y’know, I needed pictures of the cookie!
I open my iPad and go into Messages. Bri’s contact is there under, well, Bri. I FaceTime her.
Please pick up, please pick up, I think as my iPad rings. A couple moments later, Bri’s face graces the screen. I grin. “Hi, Bri!”
I flop onto the couch and stare at my screen as I hear Orenda and Vayd playing with the dogs on the second level. “Hey, Aerin!” she says. “What are you up too? Where are you?”
“I’m at Abcde’s house,” I explain. “With Amany, Vayd, Rhonda, and Orenda. What are you up to?”
“I was writing,” she says. I nod. That makes sense—B is a super prolific writer like Zilla. “Why are you at Abcde’s house? Is she even there?”
I laugh. “Nope. She and Afra are having a day at the movies and mall. Abcde’s lending us her giant kitchen so we could make our mega-cookie. Speaking of, we just finished baking our cookie. As in, it came out of the oven fifteen minutes ago. What about you?”
“Really, you’re still making the cookie?” Bri seems surprised, which surprises me. Did that mean her team had ditched the contest? B wasn’t the kind to give up.
“What do you mean? Aren’t you?”
She snorta. “Heck no. It seemed fun at first buuuut then Avery looked up how big the world-recording breaking cookie is. And in order to beat the world record, we needed to make forty-one-thousand-pound cookie! So, yeah, no. We ditched the competition before we spent thousands on cookie ingredients alone.”
I mentally facepalm. Oh. My. Gosh.
HOW DID WE FORGET TO LOOK UP THE WORLD RECORD FOR GIANT COOKIES?! We just went right ahead and baked a big cookie. But it wasn’t NEARLY big enough! There was no way we could enter our miniscule cookie in the competition.
“Okay, well, Bri, nice talkin’ to ya, gotta go!” I hang up on the call. Oops. I’ll make it up to her later. For now, I’ve got to go find my friends. We’ve messed up big time.
Five minutes later, Amany, Vayd, Ren, and Rhonnie are all seated in Abcde’s living room with me. I’ve told them about how we definitely fell short of what the cooking contest required. It’s to set a new world record for the largest cookie, but our dessert isn’t even close to the current world-record holder.
“Ugh,” Vayd sighs. “I can’t believe we didn’t remember to check this! We’re so stupid. Well, not me, but…actually, yeah, we’re all stupid.”
“C’mon, dude, what happened to Confidence Level 1000?” Amany elbows Vayd playfully.
I choke back my laughter. “Alright then.”
“But seriously, he’s got a point,” Orenda continues, her face the epitome of ‘crestfallen’. “We just wasted hours of our weekend and we can’t even enter.”
Rhonalise glances at me. “Hmm, Aerin?”
“We didn’t waste our time!” I say. “At least, this wasn’t pointless. Because now, we have a giant cookie to share. And it’s gonna be delicious.”
My friends grin and we race off to the kitchen.