Short Story Competition Winner : ‘Cursed Cake’ by Pik Ern Tong

Frustrated, I aggressively flipped through the coffee stained pages, nervously but surely
awaiting to find the perfect cake for tomorrow. Turning the pages of the hundred year old
book, I realized it was giving out more dust than recipes. I mumbled under my breath, annoyed
at the fact that I didn’t do this sooner. Resting my elbow on the spotless counter I sighed, still
riffling page after page. “Uhggg.” I groaned. I felt defeated. How am I going to prepare all this
let alone a massive birthday party for my best friend? I questioned myself. I paced back and
forth with my mind twisted in thoughts. “I can’t do this!” I yelled, clenching my fist and jaw. A
gust of wind blew in from the window, scattering all the recipes on the floor. Feeling devastated
I knelt down collecting each paper, suddenly sneezing because of the flying dust. While cleaning
up the last few papers, something caught my eyes, a small, green piece of paper. I grabbed it
skimming through the ingredients. Eyes widening, I quickly went over to the shelfs, turning the
jars, I read the labels then back at the paper, I had everything!! A lock of elf hair, a horn from a
100 year old unicorn, a plucked feather from an owl, salamanders, a child’s soul, frog eggs and
freshly collected magma. Taking my bowls and tools out, I started working on it as if an octopus
lent me all eight arms. Following the instructions, I grated the unicorn horn so it was as fine as
flour. I squished the frog egg and poured it into the dry ingredients. Amazed that I was working
at the speed of lighting. Walking over to the cupboard, I fastened dusty goggles onto my eyes.
Grabbing a silver key from the half crooked shelves, I unlocked the cupboard, rays of light
bursted blinding me from the ability to see. It was as if I was just a few meters away from the
sun! I took a pipette slowly and carefully extracted the flavour strawberry from the 6 different
flavour variations. I sighed, relieved that I didn’t make a mistake. I closed the creaky crooked
cupboard door, locking it again with the padlock that I used earlier. I paced back to the table,
picking up all my ingredients and tossing it in the cauldron, mixing it after a couple of seconds
purple smoke puffed out informing me I was almost done. Snatching the green parchment and
reread everything, turning it around to double check if I’ve missed anything. Then, it hit. I had. I
had missed something. My eyes widened to the size of golf balls. I stared in utter shock, my
heart racing. I set the paper down. Staring straight at the wall as I rubbed my eyes just in case I
was dreaming. “A snip of the princess’ hair.” the paper read. That was paradoxical, no matter
what time, day or night, the palace was always heavily guarded. Without a second thought, I
went to grab my hood off the rack. Unlocking my front door, I sprinted into the night
attempting to fulfill an almost impossible dreadful mission. For a cake.



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