Hi! I'm Kelly.

As a writer, I've always been interested in family stories. When I heard of a Satanic cult in my family tree, I thought I'd found the story of a lifetime. Read more.

Consolation Cake

Consolation Cake

I bought a slice of cake at the local diner.

I'd stopped by to pick up dinner for the family--salad and sandwiches for my husband and me, mac and cheese for the boys. 

"Can I add a slice of chocolate mousse cake to that?" 

"You mean the mouse cake?" asked the teenage cashier. 

I looked in the bakery case. Each slice had a chocolate mouse on top, with piped chocolate tails and chocolate wafer ears. 

"Yeah, that's the one."

She put the slice in a clam shell container, set it on top of the other food, and totaled my order.

Back in the car, I ate the cake with my hands. First the tail, then the ears, then the mouse itself: a dollop of mousse, two bites' worth, covered in ganache. I'd nearly finished when I realized I hadn't tasted any of it. I'd been rushing, trying to consume the evidence of my indiscretion before I hit the road. But what's the point of eating a piece of cake if you don't enjoy it? 

I paused. I breathed. I took another bite, slower this time, and let the cake overtake my senses. I could feel my brain shoot dopamine like fireworks. Pleasure in its basest form.  

A little sadness slipped in, too. An old sadness, musty and mildewed like a thrift store coat. This was no cake. This was a consolation prize. A thing I gave myself to compensate for the thing I didn't have. 

But what? 

The sadness dissipated as quickly as it came. I licked the ganache from my fingers, then threw the clam shell container and crumbs into the trashcan at the rear of the diner parking lot.

8/365

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