Delicious

She had never seen anything more delightful, delectable or delicious in all her life. With her nose pressed to the glass of the shop window, hands cupped around her eyes to cut down on the sun’s glare, she stared into the Patisserie wishing she had enough coin to indulge in such sweets. But her mother had only given her enough money to buy a loaf of bread, a few eggs, and a bit of milk for tonight’s supper. She wouldn’t dare squander their meager cache on something as frivolous as a cream filled pastry! It would be unconscionable. Still… they looked delicious. Her stomach let out a loud grumble.

An older gentleman walking past not only saw her, but heard her body emit the mournful noise. Walking stick tapping the ground to catch her attention, he asked her if she saw something in the window that caught her fancy. In a near panic, she turned around. Looking left then right then left again. Rubbing her moist palms on her filthy tunic, she stuttered a response that even she couldn’t understand.

At that moment, the shopkeeper – having witnessed this transpire from inside – stepped through the doorway to ask if anything was amiss. The older gentleman, such as he was, tipped his hat to the shopkeeper and replied that all was well, and he and his ‘granddaughter’ were indeed about to patronize this fine establishment and partake of its wonderful offerings. The young girl stuttered again as the shopkeeper held the door open. This time the older gentleman was close enough to make out the words “But I have no coin, sir. It would be stealing.”

Bending down to rest his palm upon her head, he replied, “Nonsense child, stealing is for the poor, and I can see you are anything but. You wouldn’t deny an older gentleman the privilege of indulging a young lady with a delicious morsel, now would you?”

“No, sir, I would not, but…”

“Then it’s settled. Have you picked your treat yet? I know what mine shall be. They make the most scrumptious chocolate Pasticiotti here!” He smiled as he shooed the shopkeeper away and held the door for her to enter.

“Oh, yes, sir! That was the very thing I was looking at through the window. They do look marvelous, don’t they?” She grinned from ear to ear with excitement, eliciting a small chuckle from the old man.

“Then please, my dear, after you.”

She entered the shop unsure of herself; she’d never been in such a fine bakery before. She could barely contain her excitement. The older gentleman ordered two chocolate Pasticiotti and guided her to one of several small tables lining the wall. After instructing her to wash up in the ladies room at the rear, he drew in a deep breath that carried with it all the marvelous aromas held captive within the shop. He then released that breath upon a sigh, and leaned his walking stick against the wall.

When the young girl returned, the desserts had been served, and the older gentleman seemed to have fallen asleep. Unease filled her once again, but the scent of the sweet cream filling was too much for her to resist. She found herself gobbling as fast as she could. The pastry, it seemed, was slightly larger than her eyes and her belly, for she began to feel very full. The shopkeeper came over to ask if all was well, and she replied that indeed it was, however, her ‘grandfather’ seemed to have fallen asleep. Gazing at the old man, the shopkeeper smiled. He retrieved a box from beneath the counter and packaged the older gentleman’s treat inside it, along with the remains of hers as well.

Handing her the box, he told her to run along and take the gift home to share with her family. Gratefully she thanked him, and asked if she should wake the older gentleman to thank him as well. The shopkeeper simply shook his head and told her to let the older man sleep, he would pass along her gratitude once the gentleman woke.

Hopping off her seat, she thanked the shopkeeper again, said a silent thank you to the sleeping older gentleman and headed out the door feeling happy and bright.

Once the door closed, the shopkeeper looked sadly upon the old man, his hat still resting at an awkward angle upon his head, as it was most days. “Ah, Granddad, you need to find your rest. Please, I beg of you. I enjoy your daily visits, and I know how much you loved this shop and the children who visited it while you were here, but your soul needs to find a home of its own now.” And with that, he placed the silver handle of the walking stick back into the older gentleman’s hands, and watched with tears in his eyes as his Granddad slowly dissipated.

Wiping his eyes dry, and the table clean, he went about his business as the latest in a long line of family proprietors of the Patisserie; all the while praying for his Granddad’s soul to find peace, but knowing he would see him again the following day.

© Copyright 2013 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


I’m doing the 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Pop back everyday but Sunday through the month of April for a new letter prompt to spawn my deranged ramblings! ;}
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About Nina D'Arcangela

Nina D’Arcangela is a quirky horror writer who likes to spin soul rending snippets of despair. She reads anything from splatter matter to dark matter. She's an UrbEx adventurer who suffers from unquenchable wanderlust. She loves to photograph abandoned places, bits of decay and old graveyards. Nina is co-owner of Sirens Call Publications, co-founder of the horror writer's group 'Pen of the Damned', and if that isn't enough, put a check mark in the box next to owner and resident nut-job of Dark Angel Photography. View all posts by Nina D'Arcangela

18 responses to “Delicious

  • olganm

    Gorgeous story. So vivid and so tender. I love it.

    Like

  • SRAVAN

    This was nice post! That ending was great.

    Like

  • moondustwriter

    a delightful story Nina
    I knew you’d throw something “unusual” our way
    both the grandad and the girl benefitted from the day

    Like

  • Joseph Pinto

    A wondrous new side to you, Nina 🙂 I love this story! 🙂

    Like

  • Sue Elvis

    Nina,

    I was actually expecting something dreadful to happen. Your story felt full of tension. The girl never quite relaxed. A happy ending? I wonder if a soul without peace can be happy. At first I thought the old man might be making up for past mistakes which caused his soul uneasiness. But then you said he loved the children and shop so much. He couldn’t bear to leave them. I just had to read your story again. I guess that’s what a good story encourages the reader to do!

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela

      Hi Sue!

      My usual spin would lead to a less than happy ending; but I felt a magic in the telling of a young girl having a ‘first taste’ of something wonderful in her life, and the love of an old man who’s soul was so overflowing with kindness that he couldn’t stand to leave behind those he knew he could bring joy to. I believe a soul can hang on, or linger, out of love and happiness as much as one with unfinished business or anger. I want to believe it anyway, and that’s what fiction is for – expressing your wants for this world. Now don’t tell too many people, it will ruin my evil little Dark Angel persona 😉

      This one is a bit of a ‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause twist’, but it really bought a smile to my face to follow it to the end. As to the tension, I tend to be very emotive, it’s something that cries out of my sad pieces, sings out of my happier ones, and laughs its way through my more humorous snarky tales. The tension is my voice, the happy ending is a stretch for me, but the wide eyed little girl eagerly smiling at a new adventure… well, that’s just me in a nutshell. 🙂

      Like

  • Sue Elvis

    NIna,

    I totally agree about it being believable that the man doesn’t want to leave those he loves behind. Of course when we read stories we apply our own belief systems to what we read. So I wonder if Granddad is unaware of the fact he is missing out on a greater love and happiness, if only he could let go. Maybe the grandson realises this as he wishes his grandfather’s soul would find peace. Here I am trying to tell you, the author, what I think the story should mean! Sorry! I am just caught up in your story and I guess we all try and make other people’s writings relevant to our own experience. Don’t you just love getting involved in a fictional world and situation?

    I am enjoying getting to know you and your writing. ” As to the tension, I tend to be very emotive, it’s something that cries out of my sad pieces, sings out of my happier ones, and laughs its way through my more humorous snarky tales.” I look forward to sharing more!

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela

      Not only are your comments about being caught up in a piece true, but they are perfectly welcome. I love to hear what others have seen through my eyes. The interpretation is always different, no matter how succinct the words. This piece certainly leaves a lot of room for imagining, and as the author, I want you and everyone else to imagine your own spin on it. It’s honestly very flattering. Most readers don’t share their thoughts on a piece for fear of being wrong. In creative writing, there is no wrong! And when something sparks me, I always share my thoughts (though they aren’t always appreciated). 😉

      As to my other ‘voices’, they’ll be working their way in and out of this A to Z Challenge! I can’t be doom and gloom 26 days out of the month… Well, I could, but if all my readers hang themselves, who would come back to read? LOL

      I’m happy to know you dove so deeply into this one. I’ll have to try and work a little more ‘bright eyed little girl’ into this grouping. 🙂

      Like

  • storiesbywilliams

    What’s this? Multiple installments, all in the same week? Getting prolific you are!

    Like

    • Nina D'Arcangela

      I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this April. 26 posts in one month. 🙂

      Like

      • storiesbywilliams

        Whoa… that sounds like quite the challenge! So how’s that work, 26 installments each starting with the letter of the day?

        Like

      • Nina D'Arcangela

        Yup. It started on April 1st with A, and skipping Sundays, there are 26 days in the month, each with a focus on the next letter. At least they kept the counting part easy! Plus I’m fairly familiar with the alphabet (thanks to Sesame Street), so the rules are simple. It doesn’t need to be creative writing each day, that’s just my challenge to myself. 😉

        Like

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