Behold the opening paragraphs of a short story:
I bought myself a birthday cake today. After all, it is my birthday. I stood up after dinner and told everyone I’d be right back. Then I went to the grocery store, headed straight to the bakery section and picked one out, just like that. It was round, with two layers of yellow cake, white frosting and flowers.
'Happy Birthday!' it said.
The lady asked if I wanted a name written on it. I looked at the white, flat area in the center of the cake.
"No," I said. "I’ll take it just as it is."
The woman in my story takes the cake home and does not allow anyone to eat it. She saves it for week after week, month after month, and so on.
I am fastidious with research to a fault. Hence, I wanted to see what would happen to a store-bought cake if I left it in its package on a shelf for a while.
The photo accurately depicts its subject. The cake is quite hard and it has shrunk. At the expense of a dry gag, I sniffed the cake. It smelled softly rancid. It smelled like failure.
I purchased the cake in May 2001.
Since I never properly finished and drafted the short story (which, in the true sentiment of this post feels like something woefully wasted), I have decided to throw the cake away. It's maxed out, beyond its point. Getting any harder, more yellow, and smaller feels false to me somehow.
Perhaps I've turned everything inside out. Maybe this means that the story's time has come. Maybe I'll pull it up and give it another go (a decision I've made in the time it's taken me to author this post).
I don't intend to abandon the plan to throw the cake away. I can redraft the story without it. All of its secrets are ensconced in my mind. It's done its job. My Tops Cherry Bar Cake may have died a virgin, but she did not die in vain.
In death there is life. Is there a famous Latin equivalent to that? Should there be?
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