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Fantasy Kids Middle School

 Hot and Spicy Cocoa Cake....

  So, he wants chocolate, does he? Yanti pounded her fist into the bread dough. She raised her forearm over and over, her fist clenched, beating the poor dough mercilessly. She looked out the window. The snow was coming down in heavy blankets. The sky was darkening and settling in like a foul mood. Like the one she was in. Why weren’t they back? 

    “No, Yanti,” she muttered to herself. Her head shaking dramatically and pronouncing the words in an exaggerated slow manner. “It might be too dangerous for you. You should stay back and make dessert. And while you’re at, could you make it chocolate.”

    “Hey there,” said Ms. Mable. “Are you trying to knead life into that bread or kill it. If you don’t slow down, it will be so hard, you’ll need a chain saw to cut it.” She put a hand on Yanti’s shoulder. “What’s going on?”

    “Sila said you wanted a new dessert recipe. And to make it chocolate.”

   Ms. Mable looked at her cautiously. “That’s true. But I think I can handle it if it’s too much work. I just knew you liked coming up with new things. It was just a thought.”

    Feeling bad, Yanti bent her chin to her chest. Ms. Mable had become like a surrogate grandmother to her. The last thing she wanted was to offend her. She stretched her neck back and looking to the ceiling. Searching, as if she might find the answer there. Taking a deep breath.  In and out. In and out. “I would like that. And it’s not the recipe. They wouldn’t let me go with them. And they were supposed to be back yesterday.” Her speech getting more rapid and agitated. “And I can’t call for help until tomorrow.”

    “So, that’s what you’ve been stewing over all morning.”

    “I’ve not been stewing.”

    “Honey, you’ve been stewing like overnight chili. But that’s ok. That just makes it better the next day. Tell me what you’ve been thinking about on that dessert.”

    “Well, his favorite thing in all the world is spiced hot chocolate. So, I thought I could make a spiced hot chocolate cake. A creamy chocolate and served warm.”

    “Yumm. No za’taar for revenge, I hope.” Za’taar was Yanti’s favorite spice, but had thyme, oregano, and sumac in it. Ms. Mable didn’t think it would pair well with sweet.

    “No, cardamom, clove, and cinnamon. With a white chocolate, butter pecan ganache.”

    “I thought he didn’t like pecans.”

    “He doesn’t.”

    “I see….”

    “And top it off with spiced hot cocoa ice cream.”

    “Well, that should be good. I would think he would like that.”

    Yanti gave a mischievous smile. “It will be delicious.” She knew that he only liked ice cream in the summer. And never ate it in the winter.

    “I’m glad that you are finally forgiving him. Let’s try it out on the guests and see what they think.” Ms. Mable gave a small smile, for she knew this was Yanti’s revenge dessert. But if it uplifted her spirits and distracted her for even a little while, it was worth it. She was getting worried herself.

    The next few hours kept Yanti very busy. Turns out, her new dessert that she named Hot and Spicy Cocoa Cake became even more popular than Ms. Mable’s famous peanut butter pie. Whether it was because it was a novelty or because she was serving it hot out of the oven, topped with the ganache and ice cream, it didn’t matter. It was a hit.

     Some were calling it Hot and Spicy Sin. Because if it tasted this good, it had to be a sin. As was Yanti’s spiced hot cocoa revenge. Ms. Mable always said love was the secret ingredient to good cooking. There should be no room for revenge.

    Yanti was just adding a scoop of the hot cocoa ice cream to the steaming cake, when Yutu came running into the kitchen. Yutu was the kitchen boy that helped on occasion. “There’s someone out in the lobby, I think you’ll be pleased to see.”

    Yanti threw her towel down, not taking the time to take her apron off. She was so relieved; she just ran to the lobby. She looked around in excitement. Boy, was she going to kill him! Her face dropped. Then trying to cover up her disappointment, she added a thin smile. Ms. Davis stood there with open arms. 

    If Ms. Mable was Yanti’s surrogate grandmother, then Ms. Davis was her surrogate aunt. She was the one who had raised Nanook.  After she had found the baby polar bear cub stranded by a stream, she took him home as her son.  As he grew older and stronger, she had to finally set him free when he was in danger of the jealous townsmen killing him, because of his superior hunting skills. And sent him to Sila.  And then Nanook and Sila had rescued Yanti. They were three orphans that had become their own little family. Before Father had adopted all of them. So, of course, Ms. Davis was like an aunt. For an orphaned girl, her family was growing. That is, if Sila and Nanook were still safe.

    She walked forward to give Ms. Davis a hug and kiss. Ms. Mable was beaming. Everyone was praising the new cake. Ms. Davis wrapped her tightly into her soft chest. She smelt like freshly baked warm bread, as always. Yanti inhaled her. It was like comfort food on the cold, snowy day. “Have you seen Sila and Nanook?”

    “No, I was coming to ask you?” She looked at Yanti’s anxious face. “But I’m sure they’re ok. Remember, Nanook is a master wilderness guide. There is no better hunter. Have faith.”

    “Have faith,” Yanti thought to herself. There was nothing more, that she had been thinking about for the last two days. Along, with the positive visions that she was sending out. She was the master at mental intentions. She knew that she was only supposed to send it out once, then sit back and have faith. Let the universe do its work and await the results.

     But her anxiety kept washing over her, like the out-of-control freight train that had barreled over the Alaskan Railways last week. The runaway steam train had left a smoky, billowing trail behind it as it hurdled down the steep mountain grade.  Ominously, gaining speed and endangering everyone and everything in it’s path. This is also how those who encountered Yanti today, while she went about her tasks, felt.

     The train amazingly, did not derail as it rounded bends, defying all logic. As with Yanti, everyone luckily escaped unharmed except for a few bruised egos.  But just as the train could not be stopped, despite everyone’s best efforts, neither could Yanti’s thoughts.

    She ran back to the kitchen and sat in front of the last cake. The ice cream had melted on the hot cake while she was out in the front. Slow rivulets of cream streamed down the cake. No avalanche, just slow steady streams. And so sat Yanti.  With elbows on the table and clenched hands under her chin, slow rivulets of tears streamed down her face. Like the slowly dissolving cake, so was her reserve.

    She knew something was wrong and she was not waiting for the rescue team. At the first signs of daybreak, she was heading out on her own. She packed her backpack as Sila had taught her. With 3 days food, water, ski shoes, and poles. Moleskin for blisters and extra socks. A flashlight, but no weapons. She would not need them. She was a weapon.

     A rooky and untried, true, and Nanook had just started working with her. But a girl will do what a girl needs to do. As the sky was just turning orange over the horizon, she strapped the backpack on. Wolfed down a quick breakfast. She had long lost her appetite, but she knew she would need fuel to stay strong.  She didn’t know what she might have to face before the day was done. She was already breaking some of Sila’s rules. 

    Rule number one, never venture out in a snowstorm. Couldn’t be helped.  Rule number four, never venture out alone. Also, couldn’t be helped. She was tired of waiting. And her inner voice was telling her to hurry.  She quickly wrote a note to Ms. Mable so that she would know where she had gone. The boys had insisted that she stay there while they were away.

     At least she had dry socks, rule number three.  She could only hope that she wouldn’t get eaten by a bear, rule number two. She had the locket that Nanook, the King of Polar Bears, had given her for protection.  It hung around her neck, tucked into her jacket.  No bear would dare to touch her. She hoped…

    She walked North, the direction she had last seen Sila and Nanook going. She didn’t know where she was going, but she could read a compass. The road quickly ran out and she laced her snowshoes on tightly. She knew how the heavy snow could rip them from your feet. Sending you tumbling when you might least expect it. She walked for several miles, which is a lot in snowshoes and deep snowy drift. She stopped to take a break and get a drink of water.

      She felt some snow come tumbling down on her. She brushed it aside and looked around. The forest was deep with dark green spruce trees, but still spread out every six feet or so. Their limbs bending under the heavy blankets of snow. It felt magical to her. Even though it was still daytime, the skies were darkening under the snowfall. The temperature was dropping. She had brought a thermos of warm broth and thought to have some. She stepped under one of the large spruce limbs that hung almost to the ground and opened her thermos.

    She looked up to see the most beautiful, snowy owl. It had a round face with large, curving brown eyebrows that spread across its entire face. It’s eyes were a golden brown and kind. It’s nose long and regal. It’s chest, neck, and underside a snowy white. Its back a golden brown with dark freckles. It came nearly to her chest, but she had to kneel to fit under the limb. In her kneeling position, the owl towered over her. They looked at each other, neither making a sound.

    “I can see that we have both gotten separated from our families,” the owl finally said.

    Yanti was surprised. She was still not used to this land of talking animals. “Uh, yes.”

    “My brother went off on his own and I had to go in search of him.”

    “Me too,” Yanti said looking sad. Yet feeling a camaraderie. “Are you hungry? I have some warm broth. I don’t know what owls eat.” She poured the broth into a bowl. Sila would have drunk it straight from the thermos, but she was a girl. As she began to pour the broth, it turned a bright golden color. Light radiated from it and lit up the entire space under the dark limb.

    “I am very grateful. Your kindness radiates light.”

    Not knowing what to think, “It’s just broth from the kitchen, I swear. I was going to make soup with it.”

    “But when you are kind to a stranger, it makes a magical light. Sometimes you can see it, sometimes you cannot. But it is always there. Why are you seeking your brother?”

    “He had a dream and our other sister told him he was a Shaman. So, he went to visit the Ijiraat to see if it were true. He should’ve been back days ago but has not returned. I am afraid that they decided to keep him. For he is a gifted storyteller and that is what they seek most.”

   “Do you know where you are going?”

   “No, I sent out a message to the universe to lead me where to go.”

    “Ah, that is why you were sent to me.”

    “Do you know where the Ijiratt are?”

    “I know the general area.  But you will know you are near when the landscape starts looking distorted. They might disguise themselves as animals or humans, but you can recognize them by their eyes and mouths. They will be vertical, instead of horizontal. A change is coming.”

    “That is what Nanook told Sila.”

   “Yes, but this change is for you specifically. I am glad you listened to your gut to help your brother. He needs your help. You will need to set boundaries and develop a thick skin to avoid the negativities of others. Be careful of what you wish for.”

    “I can usually manifest what I want, how did you know?”

    “We are kindred spirits, you and me.  We are old souls and guardians of the ancient knowledge.  I will go with you to the Ijiratt land. I am glad you are adventurous. For it is time to fly into unchartered territory. You have a kind heart and lots of power. Be sure to use your light when you look into the dark.”

    As the owl spoke, Yanti could feel herself being filled with hope. “Let’s go.”

    They had walked about an hour when they heard talking. Yanti struggled to climb a small hill. Gasping for air when she reached the top, she looked down. She could see for miles. Sila was talking with a girl with vertical eyes. Yanti could not hear, but she could see he was upset by the intensity of his body language. The girl was just nodding her head passively. Coming up on both flanks were dozens of Ijiratt people.  They would soon have him trapped in a circle. She guessed them to be unfriendly by the fact that they were sneaking behind trees and snow mounds. Sila didn’t have a clue of the danger he was in. Yanti made a swift and determined decision.

    She started running down the hill. The owl flying beside her, yelling for her to stop. But there was no stopping. No turning back. Sila and the girl looked at Yanti in surprise. Nanook gave a great roar of warning. Yanti raised her arms, stretched out at the girl and the hidden Ijiratt people. Some were already turning into wolves. She concentrated. Gave her best mental image. Commanded, “I wish you to be gone!” And they were.

    “No, no, no,” yelled Sila, his anguish enunciated in every syllable he spoke.  “Yanti you don’t know what you have done!”

    “They were going to hurt you.”

    “The Ijiratt chief gave me a message. A message that I believe is key to finding Father. I told Nanook that I needed to get it to Alora immediately. I wasn’t allowed to tell him, just you guys. I wrote it down and then forgot it, according to their rules of spiritual messages.”

    “Just read the message!” she said exasperated.

   “I can’t. The Dark One sent his evil crows. They snatched it from me. The girl was going to tell me the message again. We were negotiating the terms since she was risking so much.”

    “It was a trap. I saw dozens of them sneaking in the woods. They were coming to get you.”

   “They were probably coming to get her! She was forbidden to tell me the message again. But she took sympathy on me because she knows the Dark One is evil. And it is important to finding Father. Important for me to tell Alora and Aiden. Now she is gone! She was my last chance!”

   The impact of Yanti’s rashness suddenly hit her. “I am so sorry. I don’t know what to say.” The words ‘Be careful what you wish for’ echoed in her mind. She was ashamed. Not knowing what to do, she dug into her backpack. Pulled out two containers. One held the revenge dessert. The other had no pecans and no ice cream. Just rich, delicious spicy hot chocolate dessert. She reached her hand out as a peace offering to him. Her eyes as contrite and appealing as she could make them, “Cake?” she asked.

February 18, 2022 22:02

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3 comments

Leo Fall
16:15 Mar 07, 2022

I like the plot. It's really cool how you used the prompt as a detail. Pretty cool.

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19:12 Mar 07, 2022

I am so happy that you enjoyed it.

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Leo Fall
19:32 Mar 07, 2022

It's so nice, how could I not?

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