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Sugar Desire


by Erika Byrne-Ludwig


I'm in the making. I'm being created. Quite heavy fingers are kneading me. They've mixed the flour, the butter, the milk, the raisins. No fanciful ingredients, just the traditional ones. Now they're working me, all ten of them. I'm being churned with warm fingers, and nails cutting into me. The process is quite rough really, certainly firm: an unsettling moment to go through. Now I'm almost ready, almost a dough. I'm worried though. The fingers forgot to add something: sugar. I can't be a proper scone without this sweet ingredient. I have to remind Hec who's the man with the busy hands. I'm trying to make it difficult for him by sticking to his fingers, attracting his attention, even screaming, but he doesn't hear. My dough-scream is just a blow-sound. I will be tasteless, Hec should know that. I'm looking at myself now: a misfired insipid lump. A nobody.

Hec likes me plain. Without any adornment, any originality. Why not try just a banana for sweetness, or some chocolate bits, little additions here and there to make me complete. Anyway, I'm in the oven now. I'm getting warm, I'm getting hot, I'm swelling. I feel like a sun, rising, goldening, but with a hollow inside me.

The toddler won't like me either. Everything has to taste like a lolly to him. Now what's his name? Oh yes: Trekkie. Well, he won't like me and will throw a tantrum. He will refuse to eat me, and I'll be hurt. I like to be eaten fresh out of the oven, have teeth right through me, and mouths saying: "Delicious!'' I love that word. Now they'll shun me. The Trekkie boy won't bite into me more than once. He'll spit me out for sure. His usual frenzied outburst on the floor. And to be frank, I won't blame him. Not this time as his craving equals mine.

I'm out now on the tray with my siblings. We all look more or less the same. We are golden and puffed up like so many others but there is a marked difference. We don't shine. Just a matte look, an unpolished pebble. The steam is dipersing without the sugary scent that attracts even ants, and gives people sweet feelings with eager eyes.

Now let's see Trekkie's reaction. He picks me up, takes a bite. Wait. Wait. Out it goes with his spit. I knew this would happen. Trekkie is not one to make an effort. Don't blame me, little boy, it's your dad's fault; he didn't listen to me. Oh I tried and tried to tell him, I lament, as I languish on the floor.

Trekkie is now screaming. "It's not sweet. I don't like it.'' He throws what's left of me right into his dad's face. It bounces off and drops down.

"Now listen you naughty Trek. You've hurt that scone. Go and pick it up.'' Hec is pointing the finger at my crumbs.

"No, I won't. It tastes yuck.'' The boy continues his hissy fit and screams.

"Go and pick it up, I said. Now!! "

"No, I won't. I don't want it. You can have it.''

Here I am now scattered on the floor, inedible, discarded, sugarless crumbs.

"You just keep on screaming, Donkeynino.''

"I'm not a donkey,'' the boy shouts, red in the face.

"You are a little donkey when you're stubborn. Now stop that baby behaviour. All that squirming won't help.''

"I want a scone. A sweet one.'' Trekkie is now stamping his feet against the door as he lies on the floor. I knew all along that his anger would overcome him. To think that it could have been avoided.

"I tell you what I'm going to do. Yum. I'm going to beat that fresh cream in the fridge, add some fine sugar to it and open a can of raspberry jam. I can't wait. All for me.'' Oh Hec, this sounds so good, I'm trying to say.

"I want some too,'' Trekkie cries, his outburst toning down.

"You'll have to say sorry first and pick up all those crumbs carefully. Now see if you can do that while I prepare this lovely sweet. Scrumptious! Look at the fluffy cream!'' I love the way Hec talks. It's so flattering.

"Oh alright.'' Trekkie finally stands up and sweeps me up. I'm now in the dustpan, relegated among dirt and dust. No pity for my small unsweet being.

"Well done, Trekkie. See ... it wasn't so hard, was it. Now how about you say sorry to me and to the scone. Then we'll see.''

Trekkie looks down at me. "Sorry,'' he says. "Dad, how about we put a bit of sweet cream on the crumbs and give them to Mitty. She likes some cream on cakes.''

"Okay. Lets put them in her dish first and put a dollop on top. See how she reacts. Pusspuss! There she comes.''

A sniff then her tongue out. She likes it. She likes sweetness. I'm being eaten by the cat. She appreciates me. I'm now going down her stomach and feel really mellow. The sugar has mixed with my crumbs. I'm a dough again, a sweet dough this time, a complete one.

The boy has had his dose of sugar. Hec too. Me too. Mitty too. We have turned into big lollies. Like multi-coloured balloons we float eerily on our sweet planet.

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