Cupcakes by O' Scratch

Submitted into Contest #228 in response to: Start or end your story in a bustling street food market.... view prompt

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Fantasy Teens & Young Adult

“Hey! Thanks for making it.  Don’t you look dapper.” 

A gorgeous brunette in a red trench coat called to a balding man in a wrinkled business suit.  He sat on a park bench about to read a newspaper.  He turned around looking for whom this beauty could be speaking to in the crowded food court.  She looked like a model straight out of Victoria Secrets.  He pointed to himself. 

“Yes, I’m talking to you. Cliff, right? Don’t you remember me? It's me, Demona.”

Cliff cleared his throat and secretly removed his wedding ring. He gave her a quizzical look. 

 “We chatted online last night.  I sent my pictures.” She displayed one of her photos. “I recall your pictures were from NYC.”

He put the newspaper away and grinned.

 “Now you remember, so sweet.  You agreed to meet me here, at the Markets of Hartford, the best street food in Connecticut.”  She sat next to him and crossed her legs. “We have everything your soul could desire.”

 Cliff was about to speak, when Demona interrupted. 

“It’s so busy here, but it’s never too late for street food.”

Cliff looked at his watch. She looked at his watch.

 “It’s only 9 am?  I lost track of time.  I was up so late with you.” She winked at him. “How about a breakfast burrito? I know the best place.” 

She grabbed his hand and they ran across the tumultuous courtyard.  They stopped in front of ‘Hellfire Burritos’.  She ordered for him and within seconds his steaming hot meal was ready.  He took a bite as she watched.  The amazing flavors nearly burst his taste buds.  Cliff moaned in culinary pleasure. 

“I knew you would love it.  Best burritos in the business.  I have connections.  I used to manage this whole facility.  Now I work in culinary education and promotional distribution.”

Cliff devoured another bite and then pointed to himself.

  “You work in education right.  A teacher? No, I remember a principal.  Fascinating.” She grabbed a napkin and invaded his personal space. “You got a little salsa on your chin.  I’ll get it for you. There you go.  I know, so amazing.” 

He snapped off another bite staring at her.

“How about a coffee?  Excellent.  Be right back.” She touched her cheek. 

He enjoyed watching her walk away.  

In a flash, she returned with a large hot coffee from ‘Witches Brew’.  He sipped the dark elixir.  It tasted better than the burrito. 

“Do you like the java?  Fresh ground Colombian.  I drink it all the time.”

Cliff pointed to the logo of Juan Valdez on his cup and then to his hostess. 

“Juan Valdez? No, I don’t know him. You are funny.”

He shrugged his shoulders, smiled, and devoured his breakfast.

“So tell me about your school.  Last night you mentioned, let me guess, Daniel Webster Middle School?  On the other side of town?  I love that part of town, so quiet, simple, and quaint.”

Cliff agreed with her.  He took a sip of coffee and placed it on a round table.  He pulled out his school ID badge. 

She slowly removed it from his hand.  “Wait a minute, it’s Monday morning.  Shouldn’t you be at school?  Are you being a little devil and skipping just to meet me? You are so cute. You’re turning red.”  She rubbed his arm. 

The blushing principal pointed back to the ID and then sipped more of his beverage. 

Demona examined the back. “Oh, I see, the assistant principal, Mrs.Carpenter, opens on Mondays.  Perks of the job, am I right?  So how long can you play hooky with me?” 

With his coffee hand, Cliff lifted three fingers.

“Until noon? That is fabulous.” She put her hand around his elbow and smiled.  “Let’s sit down in a private cozy spot. Over there.” She pointed to a restaurant called ‘Wolf’s Den’. “It’s my favorite little hangout.” They walked together.

Cliff grinned, finished his meal, and followed her like a lamb.

They walked into a dimly lit bar and grill.  Demona went directly to a secluded booth near the back.  She removed her coat revealing her skin tight dress and knockout figure to Cliff.  He plopped down in the booth and she slithered up to him.  She caressed his pasty hands. 

“How about a mimosa?  Great.  I love these in the morning.”  

She waved her hand in the air.  Cliff couldn’t believe she wanted to be with him. Her beauty hypnotized him.  

Three morning cocktails appeared before them.  He noticed one was red instead of orange.  He pointed at the different one. 

She smirked, “After a mimosa, I like to drink a Bloody Mary.” 

Cliff raised his drink to her.  Demona copied him. They clinked glasses and drank.  He barely sipped while she downed it all.  

“Aww.  So refreshing.” She boasted. “It cleansed my palette.” She stared at Cliff and ran a finger through his hair. “So tell me about your school.  Any interesting students?” 

He shrugged again and unsuccessfully chugged his cocktail and spilled some on the table.  She wiped it up with a napkin.  She cleaned his chin and then brushed her lips on his. 

“You had a little pulp on your lips. Your lips are so soft.” She eyed him. “You’re probably wondering why I keep asking about your work.”

Cliff raised his eyebrows and drank the remaining mimosa.  

Demona pointed to an outside window. “I used to work at a shop out here, with a business partner, making and selling cupcakes. ‘Cupcakes by O’ Scratch’. You can still see the sign by ‘B. Elze’s Butcher Shop’.”

Cliff strained to see through the darkness and then his focus switched to her body.

“Would you like to try my cupcakes, Cliff?”

He grinned from ear to ear. 

“You are such a bad boy.  Here you go.” She twirled her left hand and a luscious cupcake with black frosting and red sprinkles appeared before him.

Without hesitation, he devoured the entire pastry.  He had frosting all over his face. 

She continued, “My partner and I did not want to be a small-time operation, so we pitched our ideas of worldwide distribution on Death Tank.  It’s like Shark Tank, but if the judges don’t like your idea, they mutilate you in front of the other demons. Very entertaining for the audience, but high stakes for the participants.”

Cliff, for the first time, realized his surroundings and his precarious position with a dangerous beauty.  He stood up but Demona, with one finger, pulled him down to his seat. 

“Not time to go yet.  I have to finish my story. You don’t want to be rude, do you?”

He shook his head and nervously smiled. 

“Cliff, you seem anxious, so I will get it over quickly.  Put you out of your misery, so to speak.  My partner, Lou, and I got a contract with Death Tank and it has been an extreme success.  We changed the name to Scratch Cupcakes.  We have been selling cupcakes and gaining souls by the millions.  However, the only stipulation of Death Tank is that we control all the school districts in Connecticut, before we go nationwide and then worldwide.”

He listened politely, but his eyes tried to find an exit. Any exit. 

“Are you tracking with me, Cliff?” She grabbed his pasty face and shoved her phone into it.  “You see that tiny blue dot, in the sea of red? Can you guess who’s school that is?” 

Cliff shrugged, but could not break her grip. 

“It’s your school, you dolt. Do you know a kid named Joshua Carpenter? Think Cliff! Think!” She screamed. 

He realized the other patrons ignored her screaming.  He nodded in agreement. 

“Did you know this little punk won our cupcakes for the whole school, but rejected them.  Any reason why, Cliff, what makes this stupid kid so special?  You like my cupcakes, right Cliff?” 

The principal began to whimper and cry.

“You are useless and pathetic.”

 She snapped her fingers and two burley shadows lifted him from the booth. 

 “Take him away and harvest his soul.  First, send his lovely wife these sensuous pictures.”  She sneered and displayed a series of pornographic photos to Cliff.  “I really like this one.”

He tried to protest, but the shadows stuffed a dirty napkin in his mouth and dragged him out the backdoor.  They launched him into a garbage filled dead end.  They slammed the door. 

Demona’s phone rang.

“Hey Lou. Just finished.  Yeah, you were right.  The principal was a wash.” 

 She listened for a few seconds. 

“So you’re telling me, this kid,  the one you said was no one special, called for an all school assembly to talk about healthy food choices for 11 am!”

Demona listened. 

“He does seem overly clever.  Do you think he’s getting help from the other side?”

She looked over her shoulder and felt a shiver run down her spine. 

“Ok.”  She whispered. “I’ll be right there.  Don’t interact with him until I get there.  Let’s keep this quiet.  See ya soon.”

Demona snapped her fingers and an ominous shadow beast placed car keys in her hand.  It bowed before her as she exited the Wolf’s Den.  She wrapped the coat around her neck and it transformed into a red-hooded cape.  She jumped into the driver’s seat of a jet black Cadillac Deville.  She peeled out and drove through the busy food court toward the quaint part of town.

License plate:  1MORSOL

December 15, 2023 21:41

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1 comment

Keith Menendez
21:52 Dec 15, 2023

This story continues the adventure started in 'Scratch Cupcakes'. Enjoy.


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