Monday, March 14, 2016

Pi(e) Day!

Happy Pi(e) Day!
This holiday is undoubtedly the yummiest thing that math has ever given us . . . and of course my family's going to celebrate it. I know we're having spaghetti pie for dinner; and then some other type of dessert pie after. But I'm not just celebrating by eating: pie happens to be the favorite food of one of my characters, and so I've also cooked up a bit of Between Two Worlds flash fiction in honor of the day. Enjoy!
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When Aedon introduced Kate to the wonders of the Málliys' cozy bakeshop, she'd been in Aralan only a week- though she'd taken to the new world as if she'd always lived there, and to Aedon himself as if he'd been her best friend since childhood. He led her down the bluestone streets, tugging her along each time a new sight or sound caught her eager attention, until they reached the cheerful stone building. The aromas of chocolate and cherries, of warm cookies and fresh bread, of hot butter and sharp cinnamon, greeted them as they stepped inside the open door, and Aedon stopped to drink in the scent.

But Kate darted forward eagerly to inspect the contents of the glass-front display, to "ooh!" over pastries and "mmm!" at berry loaves and finally come to a stop staring at the racks of pies. Aedon joined her there, grinning and wondering if Kate's exuberance ever dimmed, or if she just worked herself up over everything so she never had a chance to miss her home. "Pick anything you like, Kate. All of it's delicious."

Mistress Málliy stepped out from the kitchen in the back of the shop, dusting her hands on the apron and sending little puffs of flour dust up with every motion. "Lord Aedon! It's an honor to have you here! And is this the lady we've been hearing about, our visitor from Earth? You're welcome here in our shop, Miss . . ."

"Katelyn," she replied absently, gaze still fixed on the pies. "Anything, you said?"

"Anything," Aedon repeated, and Mistress Málliy added, "If you don't mind my saying so, Miss Katelyn, our cherry pie is very good today. One of the best of the season, perhaps."

"Cherry pie, then," Kate decided, and Aedon ordered a slice of the same, and they carried their treat out to eat in the sunshine on one of the benches in front of the bakeshop. And in between bites, Kate told Aedon of her home on Earth and of her mother's cooking and of how she always had pie instead of cake on her birthday- except for one year when she'd had cheesecake instead.

"And what about this?" Aedon asked, lifting a forkload of cherry filling and flaky crust. "Is this as good as your mother's pies?"

"Don't tell her I said so, but yes." Kate broke off part of the edge crust to munch on. "Which is saying something, because Mom's pie is the best food in the history of ever."

"That's a high standard to meet." Aedon set down his fork with a smile. "And what type of pie is your favorite?"

Kate shrugged. "I love almost all kinds equally- and I don't want to pin myself down." She grinned, and added, "But you can try to guess. If you get it right, I'll tell you. But I don't think you'll ever figure it out."

So he guessed- but only once before the city bells rang out two o'clock, calling them to finish their pie and hurry away, back to House Meadhra and Kate's first lesson in magic. And so the guessing game was forgotten . . . but only for the moment. Three weeks later, they found time to return to the bakeshop once more, hot and tired and triumphant from a long training session and Kate's first win in a staff-sparring match. She called it a lucky blow- but was happy to celebrate anyway with a slice of four-berry pie and equally happy to tell Aedon that, delicious as it was, it still wasn't her favorite type.

Many more times they stopped over the next three months before the war at last called them out of the city and to their lonely post on the border of Aralan's secured territory and the mountains of no-man's land. Any excuse they could find- a holiday, a celebration of another triumph in training or comfort for an especially disappointing loss, an ease to homesickness for Kate, or simply a desire for something sweet- they took, and before long, the Málliys came to recognize Kate as easily as they did Aedon.

Eventually, however, the war could no longer be forgotten- and pie could be, and was for many, many months. But not forever. For a year and seven months after they'd left, one month after they'd returned to the city, Aedon once more led Kate down the bluestone streets to the little bakeshop. But this was not the same eager girl who'd exclaimed over everything she saw and heard. This young woman shied from every glance her way; she pulled away from any touch of Aedon's hand on her arm; and she walked with slumped shoulders and downcast head. Nor was Aedon untouched, for none could miss the sorrow in his eyes each time he saw what his lady had become.

But when they reached the shop, Aedon still stopped to drink in the bakery's scent, and Kate still darted forward with nervous, eager steps, to inspect the racks of sweets. Mistress Málliy greeted them respectfully, though with a wary glance or two Kate's way. When Aedon asked for a recommendation, she suggested the strawberry-rhubarb pie, and at Kate's nod, he ordered two slices- large ones, large as Mistress Málliy would cut.

They didn't go outside this time, instead claiming one of the small tables along the far wall of the bakeshop. And they ate, for the most part, in silence, for neither knew what to say. At last, however, Aedon asked quietly, "Well, Lady Kate? Is this strawberry-rhubarb your favorite type of pie?"

For a full two minutes, she didn't respond, and Aedon wondered if she'd missed his question. But then she looked up, nodded. "Yes. It is." Her voice was rough from disuse, but her eyes held a hint of the light that he'd been missing so for so long. And then she smiled. "You finally guessed. I knew you would."
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I hope you enjoyed that! How are you celebrating Pie Day? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah

6 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful. I cried a little at the end, I really did.

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    1. Thank you. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. Pi(e) day! How could I forget?
    I'm with Lady Kate, Strawberry Rhubarb pie is the creme de la creme of pies.
    I'll think I need to go find some now...

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    1. It is delicious. *nods* One of my top three favorites . . . pecan's probably my very favorite, though.
      Enjoy your pie, and thanks for reading!

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  3. My family went a a little trip to a town a couple of hours away and got pies for lunch. The plan was formed without any though of Pi Day initially. One of my brother did mention it though, and he hadn't heard the plan yet.

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    1. Oh, that's pretty awesome how that worked out. :D

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