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The Bakery

by Ignorance


My vacation was sort of a bummer so far.

I was in Europe at the time, and was driving around to see what else I could do here. But it seemed like this was turning out to be a mundane effort, just like the rest of this vacation.

However, a sign soon caught the corner of my eye.

There was nothing special about it; a simple sign that read, “Sally Olster’s Sweets: A Family-Owned Bakery”. And yet, something about me was drawn to its humble charm. I decided to pull into the parking lot and see what this was all about.

The whiff of fresh bread and other sugary delights hit me as soon as I walked through the door. The bakery was oddly empty, with no one even working at the front counter, but I didn’t care. I hadn’t had a sweet tooth before, but now, having one of these pastries was all I could think about. I walked down the isle, taking a look at all the options, when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Everything to your liking?”

I yelped and turned around. Behind me was a smiling young woman, seeming to be in her 20’s. I hadn’t even heard her come up behind me.

“I- uh, yeah, I guess so…?”

She nodded. “Good, good. Let me know if you’d like our special.” And with that, she walked away.

I blinked once, twice, before turning away and looking back at the baked goods. I admired the delicate work on each pastry. This Sally Olster seemed to put a lot of hard work into her craft.

I had always been a picky person, so I just went with a couple things: two vanilla cupcakes, and a concha. Conchas were some of my favorite desserts back home, and not many places outside of my country sold them. I was surprised to see them here, but nevertheless pleased.

I walked up to the cash register. I blinked, and that woman was there again.

“I take it you didn’t want the special?”

I paused. “Uhh… no, I think I’m alright. How much do I owe you?”

“Nothing. Enjoy your treats. And I’ll keep the special up here for you, in case you want it.”

I was surprised by this woman’s unexpected kind gesture, but I wasn’t about to deny it. I thanked her and went to go sit down at a table.

But as I walked away, I swear she whispered something, something to do with ingredients.

I sat down, and took a bite of one of the vanilla cupcakes. The flavor was nothing like I had ever tasted before. The cake was rich and moist, and the frosting melted in my mouth.

And yet, it was missing something. I kept on eating, finishing the first cupcake, then the second, then the concha. Yet nothing filled me up the way it should have. I had never had a sweet tooth, but the cravings were too much to handle. So I stumbled up to the counter, and looked the woman dead in her amber eyes. “Can I have the special?”

The woman smiled, almost unnaturally, and slid me a plate. On it was a cinnamon roll. I took it, thanked her again- and now that I think about it, I likely thanked her more than I should have- and returned to my seat, placing a bite of the treat in my mouth.

And oh, was it heavenly. It was warm, with the flavors exploding in my mouth. It satisfied every last craving, and for a moment, I was in sweet, sweet bliss. In fact, I almost didn’t notice the blood dripping out of my mouth, at least not until I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I collapsed to the ground, and the woman walked up to me.

“I do hope you enjoyed the special. It always makes things a bit sweeter, doesn’t it?”

I looked up at her, fear in my eyes. There was something wrong with her now. Her smile was wide, too wide, and her teeth were sharper than a normal person’s would be.

“What did you do..?” I choked out.

“I need fresh ingredients, don’t I? How do you think I can make these?”

My heart dropped. Ingredients? The horrible truth hit me like a truck; I was the ingredient. She dragged me by my shirt into the back, and I tried to scream, but all that was coming up was gargled blood. This can’t be the end, I thought, tears streaming down my face. And yet, it appeared that my fate had been set in stone.

“Yes, you’ll make a fine treat, my dear,” she spoke, voice sweet as sugar, as everything faded away. “A fine treat indeed.”


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Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:41 am
RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

This was truly an amazing read! It was the perfect mixture of horror and creepy and honestly, it had me at the edge of my seat several times, theorizing and analyzing and wishing I could warn the narrator through the screen of my laptop somehow.

I absolutely loved how perfectly you have captured the vibe of the story. From the very beginning, you evoke a sensation through your narration that just does not sit right with the readers. It puts us on edge, makes us hyper aware of everything that is going on in the story. I loved the subtlety of the story, the little clues that made us feel that something was amiss from the very beginning. The narrator's strange fixation with the bakery, the creepy woman appearing out of thin air at every turn and the eerie mentions of the 'special'.

I hadn’t had a sweet tooth before, but now, having one of these pastries was all I could think about.

The narrator mentions twice in the story that they are not a "sweets" person and I can't help but wonder if the repetition was intentional to build a sense of unease in the readers. For someone who does not have a sweet tooth, the narrator is certainly drawn towards the bakery for inexplicable reasons. In fact, it was almost uncanny at times. Even if there was something in the cupcakes that made them feel the desperate crave to have more, before that they still seemed to be drawn towards the bakery, almost as if they were pulled by some external force. It made me wonder if something supernatural was also at work here.

Yet nothing filled me up the way it should have.

Since you have used the word 'yet' in the previous sentence as well, it sounds a little repetitive in this sentence. Maybe you can replace one of them with some other synonym?

I liked how this moment quite literally spelled doom for our narrator. It was in this instant when the direction of the story became apparent to me (although I could never have imagined that ending!) and I really wanted to just scream at the narrator to run from there. I loved the way you have built the tension here and how almost everything goes downhill from this moment.

The ending was chilling, especially with the way she delivered that line. I could not decide whether I should be horrified or marvel at how quickly everything spun out of control. I did think that the story was a little fast-paced, but most of the transitions were smooth and the quick progression of events did complement the horror vibe of the story. You can expand on some parts by giving us a little more details, for example, describing the pastries, or the interior of the bakery and planting little clues about the eventual fate of those who enter the bakery. I have found that the little details in horror stories are the most enjoyable aspect, especially when you come back for a reread and realize how obvious it was from the start.

Overall, this was a really great read! Loved the build-up, the anticipation, the creepy horror story vibes, and of course, that ending! Suffice it to say, I will now be thinking thrice before entering an empty bakery alone!

Keep writing and have a great day!




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Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:58 am
vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Whoa, whoa, WHOA! That went from zero to one hundred real quick. I liked it. I have a few questions, though. How is the narrator telling the story? Did they die and is their ghost writing this story on a computer for people to copy and paste, like a creepypasta? Did they survive but were forever traumatized by the event? I wish to know. I liked the feel to this, like an urban legend. Is that you were going for? I hope you have a wonderful day free of strange bakeries.




Ignorance says...


Thank you! That was indeed the vibe I was going for. My thoughts were that his ghost was writing this.





Ooooh creepy!

Great job. :)



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Tue Sep 20, 2022 12:28 am
shatteredstones says...



Ooh that's good





A big mountain of sugar is too much for one man. I can see now why God portions it out in those little packets.
— Homer Simpson