How to Unbake a Cake

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How to Unbake a Cake

Neven can say the stupidest things sometimes. I’ve already socked him three times today because of his big mouth. Spent half the day in time out too. So when he started teasing me, telling me about a world where time runs backward, I had no choice but to pop him in the head with my light-so-bright. And on my birthday of all days.

“But mom,” I protest from the corner.

Mom pops her head from around the kitchen, cutting me off before I can even spit out the next sentence. “Not another peep Anna, I mean it. You’ve been bickering with your cousin all evening. I’ve had enough.”

I fold my arms and pout, staring against the wall. Stupid Neven. I try to hold back a tear. My nose is running though and I catch myself sniffling. Behind me I can hear my cousin chuckle under his breath before he returns to play with my toys. I ball my fists up, my arms trembling, fighting the urge to turn around and sock him again. Those are my toys. This is my birthday. It’s not fair. I squeeze my eyes and a tear finally slips loose. I wipe it away with my sleeve and hope that Neven doesn’t notice.

“It’s true,” Neven whispers to me. He has stopped playing with the toys on the floor. He is directly behind me, I can feel his eyes.

“That’s the stupidest thing I heard of.” I spit the words back at him, hissing the words as best I can without disturbing mom.

We both stop and look toward the kitchen. No response. The coast is clear.

“And the cars run backward?” I ask him. I sniffle again and wipe my eyes.

“Yep,” He says.

I look over my shoulder. Neven is playing with one of my toy cars, bashing it into the leg of my favorite doll. Again I have to fight the anger. I don’t think I can squeeze my fists any tighter.

“And everybody walks backward?” I ask him

Neven stops playing. I can hear him rustling around and then getting closer. I look over my shoulder and he is kneeling beside me.

“They do everything backwards.” He says to me.


“They brush their teeth backwards. They clean their houses backwards. They even fart backwards.”

I giggle, forgetting my anger. I wipe my eyes again and look up. Mother is standing in the doorway, wiping her hands with a dish towel. “Go upstairs Anna, your party is going to start soon.”

I willingly oblige her. Forgetting my anger completely I rush upstairs to get dressed. Neven, busy taking the pieces from the puzzle and placing them one at a time back in the box, watches me go.

Minutes later I come down, dressed in my party dress and ready for my party. Neven chuckles but I don’t care. It’s my party and if I want to wear a dress it’s my right. Mother said so. She even said I could wear my frilly socks, which she usually saves for church and funerals.

I lay on my belly, kicking my legs, showing off my socks, and help Neven place the puzzle pieces back in the box. The guests slowly trickle in, hovering in the living room and then venturing to other parts of the house. Before long my home is full of friends and well wishers, gathering together for the celebration.

“Come, come, come.” My mother calls, pulling the crowd into the dining room. The table is decked out in decorations and they sit me at the front, slapping a silly hat on my head. They all clap, and fret over me.

What can I say? It’s a great party. There are gifts. There is laughter. There is happiness and joy and everything I love. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but there is one thing I am looking forward to. One thing I can’t wait to do. I squirm in anticipation through the party, eager to get past it all and on to mothers promise.

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