by Than Pence
Cramp Winner: It's the queen's birthday. "Where is my cake?"
|She buzzed through the doorway, knocking serving trays and waiters and sometimes both at the same time. “Where is my cake?” she bellowed. The voice was deep, booming. It rattled the masonry. “It’s my birthday and I want… cake!”
Queen Beatrice – Queen Bee as she was affectionately known behind her back, especially when she wore the black-and-gold striped gowns – was furious. The Kingdom of Cuddleblight was in the midst of celebrating the 5th birthday party since Beatrice had become the ruling monarch.
In the few years that had passed, she had been displeased by one thing or another. Her first party was plagued by ghosts; no one wants to eat cake when apparitions are popping in and out. The queen’s third party was snowed out when a mischievous wizard had decided on altering the seasons. Some crops still had not recovered properly, eventually leading to the economically fueled question over whether or not to have such a celebration.
The accountant that had asked such a question was no longer in the queen’s employ. He was in her pet dragon’s stomach.
This year, Beatrice was determined to make it spectacular. She’d heard once as a little girl that the queen’s birthday was said to be a splendiferous day. So far, they had all been anything but.
“My cake!” she screamed in the Great Hall that led to the Great Kitchens and the somewhat lesser known Good Kitchens. She found herself before a man dressed in white and she screamed at him. She then said, “Cake, pastry chef? Where is it? It’s my birthday!”
The man shrugged. In doing so, flecks of his white coat flittered off to reveal another cloth beneath. In seconds she realized she’d been talking to the swan wrangler, a man that was so bad at his job that the swans were forever molting and trying to flee. Their actions induced constant sweating and dehydration and his garments would be soaked through, becoming a prime substrate for down to stick to.
She sneezed, realizing her allergies to swans and swan-like animals, and it landed squarely in the man’s face. The wrangler thanked her and went on his way while she went in search of the actual pastry chef.
Entering the Great Kitchens, she immediately saw her scrumptiously designed cake: twenty-nine alternating tiers, one representing each year she was alive. And none were alive, still, that could prove her true age of thirty-nine. At first glance, she was struck dumb, but she quickly got over her dumbness when she realized that the cake was ready to be served and should be in the Great Ballroom and not in the kitchen where no guests could marvel at it.
A fat pastry chef whose name she could never remember approached. “Your Majestical One.” He bowed. She sneered.
“Bob, Your Grace.”
She nearly cracked him over the head with her scepter, but regained her wits and stung his foot with the dull end of her staff: he might not have been able to answer her questions with a concussion.
“You” she screamed while pointing at the chef. “Why is this baked beast not out in the ballroom? It’s time to carve it up!” She squinted, silently hoping it didn’t show her premature crow’s feet too well. “Or I’ll carve you up!”
“Your… Grace… please. It is too big. We cannot move it out of the room.”
Queen Beatrice looked up at the cake again, her neck popping with the effort. Feeling her blood nearly boil beneath her skin, she spat, “Well whose idea was it to make it so damn… huge?!” She being a benevolent, affectionately adored piece of confectioner’s candy, knew that not one soul would answer honestly.
The chef bowed. “I beg forgiveness, Your Grace. A-and even if we carve it up and carry the cake tier by tier, there are not enough candles to light up each tier.” That bowled her over. An attractive foreign worker helped her up. She blushed and then remembered her station, forgetting the cheap, muscled, olive-skinned thrill before her.
Her mind raced trying to think up a solution that these inept foreign-looking common folk couldn’t fathom. “Belthswain, I’m within the frame of mind to send you packing to the Kingdom of Candalight. And we all know how poorly they think of pastries there!”
A flash appeared above her head. It wasn’t bright like a lamp but it was accompanied by a dim idea. Queen Bee decided that she would share her glorious, gluttonous cake one tier at a time. Between viewings, she’d have the chefs move the candles from one baked parcel to the next.
“It’s a terrific idea! This way those wretched guests can appreciate each tier that represents my life fully. From the placenta juice-filled first tier to my disgustingly themed teen years, and even the tier where I usurped the throne by killing that awful, bossy king.”
“Your father is gravely missed.”
“Well go visit his grave on your own time. Now it’s showtime!”
And so Queen Bee celebrated her thirty-ninth birthday by telling everyone it was her twenty-ninth, and acting like it was like her tenth.
Word Count: 857