Prompt Day #243: Opening scenario: A woman is baking a dangerous cake.
Only Way Out
“I need you to bake it into some kind of cake” he was whispering into the phone.
“They’ll scan it and find the damn thing and then I’ll go to jail.” She said. She didn’t want to help him anyways. She’d endured far too many beatings to want him back. When they found the dead girl’s blood in his car, she thought she was finally free.
“It’s a damn metal detector, Susan. It ain’t gonna find a ceramic blade if you break it off the handle.” He hissed. “Just put it between the layers.” He said.
She exhaled deeply and slowly. She didn’t want to do this for him, but God help her if she refused and he still managed to escape. She’d be his first target.
“What kind of cake?” She asked.
“Goddamn it, Susan, you’re so damn thick-headed. I don’t give a rat’s ass what kind it is, I ain’t gonna eat it, I just need you to sneak me the blade.”
“Ok Hank. Sorry.” She said, falling into her old routine. She’d never be free until he was dead. Even if it was a life sentence; he was still alive and he owned her.
“Bring it next week.” He hung up. Susan sat on the lawn chair with the phone still up to her ear, tapping her long nails on the formica table in their trailer kitchen. She was thinking of a way to get out of this whole thing. First of all, she didn’t exactly have one of those fancy ceramic knives like they used on the Food Network and where did he think she was going to get the money to buy one. And say she did have the money and bought one, then her loser common law husband kills a couple guards with it and guess who bought the blade for him? Even if he gets away, she wouldn’t.
She hung up the phone and walked around the little kitchen, thinking. She opened each of the cabinets in turn, looking at the ingredients she had on hand. Not much. She huffed. She didn’t even have ingredients to bake a cake let alone the blade he wanted.
Well, Susan hated to do it, but she was going to have to pay a visit to Edith Goldman next door. The poor old lady could barely see, it was ridiculously easy to steal from her. The thing was, the woman was the sweetest person Susan knew. If she asked, she knew Edith would have given her the money, but less who knew, the better.
Edith was home—of course and ever so gracious. Of course Susan could borrow some ingredients to bake a cake, what a thoughtful idea. And she was ever so sorry to hear about the loss of her friend’s mother. (Yeah, Susan felt like a piece of shit for making up a story like that, but it couldn’t be helped.) Edith gestured to the two tallest cabinets.
“That’s where I keep all my baking supplies.” Susan started to the cabinets when the woman jumped and shouted “Oh!” Susan flinched as if she’d been caught. Edith was rummaging in her purse. She brought it to Susan and handed it to her.
“Honey, will you go through it for me, I can’t see too well. But the other day, I tore a wonderful sounding recipe out of the Woman’s Day magazine when I was waiting at Dr. Beaudry’s.” Susan nodded numbly. She opened the purse seeing the wallet sitting there begging to be pilfered. She worked the clasp in the change purse and found a wad of bills. “It was peanut caramel apple cake. Now, I can’t eat peanuts anymore on account of my diverticulosis but I found this wonderful peanut butter powder that gives you all the flavor of peanuts without the crunch.” She was in the pantry now feeling around. Susan opened her mouth to tell her that Hank was severely allergic to peanuts so that would be a bad idea when she stopped. She dropped the money back in the woman’s purse. Hank was allergic to peanuts, anaphylactic in fact, but he loved caramel apples. If she made him a caramel apple cake, he’d eat some of it at least. There was no way he’d just throw it all out.
She found the recipe, borrowed the ingredients, kissed Edith on the cheek and told her she loved her dearly, and left.
Five days later, she sat nervously in the waiting area holding the cake on her lap. There was nothing deadly between the layers. She hadn’t bothered. She was gambling with her life either way, but this way, at least, his was at stake as well. He wouldn’t tear into the cake until he was sure he was completely alone and unmonitored. And if she knew him as well as she thought she did, he would indeed enjoy a bite or two before dumping the whole thing. And she’d seen it once; one bite of peanut containing anything, and he’d need an epi shot, only he didn’t have one here. Here, he’d need a guard and this time, there wouldn’t be one. When they found him, he’d be swollen and black but most importantly for Susan, dead.
She was called in finally and the cake, of course, was screened and found acceptable. She slid it across the table to him. He looked at it and sniffed.
“What kind of cake is this?” he stuck his finger in the icing and tasted. Thank god she’d put the peanut butter powder in the cake only. The icing was caramel only.
“It’s a caramel apple cake. Edith gave me the recipe.” She smiled as sweetly as she could muster. “I know you said it didn’t matter, but I decided it would be such a waste to make a cake you wouldn’t eat. So, at least try to save some of it. I made it special for you. I know you love caramel apples.
He gave her a suspicious look and then smiled.
“You sure are somethin’ else SusieQ” She hated that nickname but smiled right back at him.
“Well,” she said, “I decided you were right. It’s the only way out.”