The Dessert that Failed

Our Story A Day prompt was supposed to be to write toward a particular closing line, but I didn’t want to, so I didn’t. My Holly prompt was Dessert FAIL, so I wrote a short-short with that.

The Dessert that Failed

I blame the cake.

Jake and I each held our palms up to the glass between us, as close to touching as the jail allowed. To either side of us, other unhappy pairs murmured sweet nothings into the communicating phones, or fought, or left the phones on the hooks and just stared at each other.

“It’s Spring,” I said, wiggling my eyebrows. “I brought you a cake to celebrate. For Easter, you know? Remember the true meaning of Easter, Jake. Remember the true meaning of Spring.”

When he was planning this latest job, we had talked about how, if he got caught and convicted, I would smuggle in a fake gun that he would paint with shoe polish and use to force an escape. I hoped he remembered, because it had taken me a lot longer to make a gun than it had to make a cake. I was afraid the shape would show up on maybe some kind of x-ray machine, so I made it in pieces and poked the pieces up into the finished cake, then wrapped the whole thing in fondant. A Mardi Gras cake. What they call a King Cake, like.

At home, I watched the news. No breakout. I watched the back door. No Jake.

They must’ve tossed the cake in the trash, the bums. Didn’t even give it to him.

But, next visiting day, when Jake sat down on the other side of the glass and we each picked up our handsets, the first thing he said was, “Thanks for the cake, Babe! It was sooooo good!”

I was afraid to say too much, but I said, “Didn’t…was it…. Was there anything, you know, different in it?”

He laughed. “Oh, yeah! Those candy lumps in all the pieces. They were maybe the best part. But here’s something funny: You forgot to put the plastic baby in the King Cake! You scatterbrained princess! But Jakie loves you, Babe.”

No, it wasn’t the cake’s fault. I think Jake’s mother must have dropped him on his head a couple of times too often when he was young.


I’m posting at Fatal Foodies today about a make-do salad that did not fail.




I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “The Dessert that Failed

  1. pm laberge

    May 28, 2019 at 2:13pm

    Then there was the cheese cake I made for my sister on her birthday….

    I was young, ignorant, stupid, inexperienced, untrained, and imaginative…..
    I thought cheese cake had actual cheese in it.
    (At this point, sensitive people might want to get a sick bag, or leave the room…)

    So I bought a piece of cheddar, and but it into small cubes. I infused the cake mix dough with huge amounts of cheddar. I was terrified of burning it, so I dropped the temperature a good bit from what the recipe suggested….

    Turned a beautiful shiny golden color, and needed no icing. Which was good, as I had none.

    So I brought it to my sister in law’s, for Miche’s birthday. I even had a cake pan for it. I was SO … ON THE POINT….

    To my surprise, no one was impressed. The cake stuck to the bottom of the pan. When we pried it loose, it said “Shhllluuuppp”. But my sister dropped her gift, which hit the table upside down and bounced. “Boioioinggg!” They gave it a good slap, and it said “Glorp”, and sort of hobbled across the table. No one wanted any.

    Upon being told how I had made it, no one wanted me to eat any either. My young bright soul was dimmed forever, and I suffer from it to this very day. (Some may want to have pity on me.)

    Anyway, they played with it, and dejected, the poor cake committed suicide and jumped on the floor. It bounced, as it hit. The dog played with it a while, but then abandoned it for more pleasurable experiences.

    I never made cheese cake again. Steffie rescued that one, and used it in the adventure of Le Fromage Extraordinaire. Many people died. Tragic, but needed.

    But the cheese cake story is true …

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 28, 2019 at 3:40pm

      You DO use cheese in cheesecake–cream cheese. OMG–Cheddar cake…. Le Fromage Extraordinaire, indeed.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
      • pm laberge

        May 28, 2019 at 7:11pm

        Yes… But at the time I was in my 20’s!
        So I took things LITERALLY.
        Cheese cake.
        Make a cake, and put cheese in it.
        My sister said if it was bigger, it would have made an ideal car spare tire.
        Go ahead and laugh.

        Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    May 28, 2019 at 11:24pm

    He was so afraid they’d take the candy away from him that he gobbled it greedily – without looking at the individual pieces.

    But maybe she should have known he’d be so deprived of good desserts that he’d be desperate!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • pm laberge

      May 29, 2019 at 12:42am

      Good points! I think you have gotten to the crux of the matter!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Joanne Sisco

    May 29, 2019 at 2:54am

    I’m thinking that neither of them were particularly bright. Definitely not a failure on the part of the cake 😉

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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