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“Okay, we don’t have to serve these. What else did you make?”

Gwen makes her way over to the cooler, pulling out more cookies. She walks back over to me, putting down a huge tray of orange pumpkin cookies that read ‘EAT ME’ in giant black lettering.

“Why ‘eat me’?” I ask, looking at the perfectly made pumpkins. Perfect other than the message, of course.

“It’s subliminal messaging to the customers.” She nods her head like she’s been working in advertising and knows this is a selling secret. “People will just have to buy the cookies and eat them because the cookie told them to.”

“Anything else?” I cross my fingers behind my back, praying we might have something we’ll be able to sell today. Now I’m not so sure if I want us to be busy today. I need to whip up some usable cookies and Halloween treats on top of the normal stuff I sell. That would keep me in the back all day with Gwen running the counter by herself.

“I did some cupcakes too.” She bounces back over to the cooler, her excitement clear. Two seconds later she comes strolling out carrying a tray of cupcakes all iced in green, black, white, and orange. The only problem is there seem to be more cocks sticking out of the top of them.

“What is this?” I point to what clearly looks like a dick on top of a cupcake. Not that I’ve ever had experience with a real one, but I do have a Tumblr account.

“Those are fingers. Don’t they look creepy-cool?” I can tell she’s excited about this. I even fear she stayed extra late last night making them. Her face has a giant smile pasted across it, and I can’t seem to bring myself to pop her bubble.

“They’re great, Gwen.” I grab one of the trays, going to load it into one of the cases up front. I plot where I can put them, thinking maybe I can hide them behind a giant stack of Rice Krispie treats and some cakes or something. I could put them on the bottom row, but kids would be at eye level with them then. I guess I’ll have to put them on the top, and I cringe inwardly.

This is not going to win me any favors with the locals who already avoid me. They don’t seem too happy that I’ve taken over the town bakery. It’s the only reason I have as to why so many turn and walk the other way when they see me. I haven’t been in this town long enough to make anyone mad. You’d think I came and stole the bakery or something the way everyone acts. I saw it for sale online and made an offer, and if they didn’t like new people, maybe they shouldn’t have put an online listing for the world to see!

The site even showed you the paperwork of how successful the previous owner had been and explained that the only reason it was for sale was because the owner passed away, and the remaining family couldn’t run it. But business wasn’t quite so booming now that I was running the place.

When I saw this place I knew it would be perfect for me; a fresh start somewhere new, and I could leave the sad memories behind. After my grandma passed, I was all alone. She raised me after my parents died in a car accident when I was five years old. After high school I’d gone to college, got a degree in business, but couldn’t seem to settle into anything. The only time I ever felt happy was when I went home to my grandma’s and when I was in her kitchen baking. That’s when I knew I had to make baking my life if I wanted to be happy.

My grandma pushed me into culinary school, and sadly it wasn’t long after I graduated that I lost her. After I closed her estate, I knew I wanted to open my own bakery, and I searched for the prime place. When I stumbled across this little town with this perfect little bakery, something about it drew me in. When I stepped inside the first time, I knew this was the place; I felt like I fit. It was almost as if the bakery was waiting for me, like my fate was here.

Pushing through the door from the kitchen to the front, I set the tray on the counter and start making coffee while I set up the display cases. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself; I haven’t been here that long.

Gwen follows behind me, and I see her go to the trays in the window of the store and start placing treats on display there too. Shit.

Maybe when we open I can send her on an errand and throw all of them out while she’s gone. I could tell her they sold like crazy, but then she just might want to make more. Double shit.


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