There are Too Many Muffins

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Batter spilled over the bowl as Calla turned and turned the spoon to keep mixing the flour, eggs, and milk, among other things that she was too tired to remember the name of. Throwing a handful of blueberries into the batter, she continued to stir, as if propelled by an unseen force around her. 

The oven had been ready from the last few batches that went in and came out. Some turned out perfectly, others were the same color as the tin they were baked in. Like a robot, she poured the batter into the new tins and stuck them in the oven and went for more eggs to add to the dirty, batter covered bowl along with chocolate chips. 

"Normally, the chips come after the entire batter is done." Calla was too sleep deprived to realize it was Chester talking to her from the kitchen entrance but when she turned around, her tired eyes showed her the truth. "I'm still learning, I guess," her mouth moved and words came out but she didn't really know what she was saying. Calla turned back to the oven and closed the door, something she didn't remember to do when the muffin tin was placed on the oven rack. 

"You should get some sleep, it's been almost two full days since we got the sketch done." Chester poked at a tender area that she was trying to avoid but when her eyes looked at the closed fridge, she saw the sketch he was talking about. 

"I don't want to sleep, now that his face is always behind my eyes, it's hard to sleep without seeing him." The sketch that Gus gave them has been on the fridge for the last two days. She didn't want it anywhere near the tower room so she didn't dream about him, but she still did and that pushed her to make muffins at three in the morning. 

"Why are you awake? I didn't think I was being very loud, plus you're on the second floor." Her eyes finally broke away from the picture and back to the half-empty bowl with eggs and chocolate chips in it. "I needed to get up early for a shift, but I also smelled what you're baking down here. The burnt ones woke me up first, the other brothers in the house are harder sleepers. They once slept through nearly half of a house fire last year. It took me and an air horn to get them all up." Chester laughed, but that night put the fear of God into him, he made sure all of the alarms in the house were ten times louder than they needed to be, along with rapid flashing lights, even though none of them are deaf. 

"I didn't know there was a fire at this house," she questioned him without making it seem like she thought he was lying. "There's no fire damage, how did you fix stuff if a fire took it?" Another question as she stirred the bowl again, forgetting to dust in some flour. 

"We have good insurance, something my parents set up for the house. They covered the whole ordeal." There was something he was holding back, that much Calla's sleep-deprived brain knew. 

"There's something else, how did the fire start?" Her brain was attaching itself to this story to stay awake, so much so, that she stopped stirring the barely usable batter. "I don't think Charlie or the other guys would want me telling you?" Chester walked to the step stool that helped him use the taller parts of the counters. He turned the coffee pot on in front of him just before he took the glass pot from the base to fill it. Calla leaned against the counter with the bowl in her arms as if she was hugging it. 

"Why wouldn't they want me to know? I'm a big girl, I can handle the truth about a fire. I didn't even know any of you back then, how would it hurt me?" She wasn't understanding why Chester would keep this from her, it's just a story. "They didn't want you to know, because it was...More or less a hate crime." The last part of his sentence came out quieter than he wanted, but instead of repeating himself when he saw that she may not have heard everything, he turned on the tap and filled the coffee pot. 

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