Bake Me A Cake / Baka Mig En Tårta

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Bake Me A Cake / Baka Mig En Tårta

Postby snaps » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:40 pm

A short story (non FA/SML) but inspired by John Ajvide Lindkvists (LTROI) short story ''Mitt Jullov' on http://johnajvide.com/texter/

BAKE ME A CAKE

Hi. I’m Camilla. Tomorrow is my thirteenth birthday. I think I am going to have a surprise party. But it won’t be a surprise because I already know about it. I like living here where I am now. It’s a big house in the country. It’s better than when Mama and me lived in a small apartment in Stockholm. My bedroom has a great view, down over the fields to the lakeside. Beyond the lake is the woods. The air always smells fresh and clean out here.

I don’t miss Grandma. I don’t miss her at all. Even though she’s dead now, she was old. Really, Grandma is the reason that I’m living out in the countryside now. So, I guess I should be thankful to her. I would like to say I miss my Papa, but I never saw much of him anyway. They say it was Grandma with her constant nagging drove Papa away from us.

The worst thing about growing up has been Grandma. Her husband, my Grandpa, died before I was born. He worked hard and bought her this big house in the country. But she was never satisfied. Always complaining. So, she nagged him to death.

Mama and me used to have fun together when I was little. Even though our apartment is like a rabbit hutch. That was good because I didn’t have any brothers and sisters to play with. Grandma drove Papa away before he and Mama could make any more babies. But more and more, Mama has to work longer hours because I am older. We don’t get as much time to play. Mama has to earn more money now to help keep Grandma going.

Like me, my Mama is the youngest in her family, Of course I am, but there’s only one of me! I don’t see her big brother and sister, they are called my Aunt and Uncle, very much at all. They both moved very far away to get away from Grandma. But once they did visit us in Stockholm. My Uncle told me that Grandma is really very wealthy. He said she is so rich, she has to have a bank, just of her own, to keep all her money safe. My Aunt agreed but said not to tell my Mama they said that.

You wouldn’t think my Grandma is rich. She dresses in raggy clothes. Her house must have been really beautiful once upon a time. But now it is all falling apart because she won’t spend any money on it. The only thing she buys is cigarettes. She won’t even spend money on proper food. That is why Mama has to work so hard. We have to buy her food for her. And she will only eat sweet stuff. Cakes, trifles, and biscuits. Other times, when she is hungry she just smokes another cigarette. All her teeth have gone rotten and fallen out because she doesn’t brush her teeth like I do.

The only good thing about me and Grandma is that she likes my cooking. I mean, I enjoy baking a lot. My Mama showed me how. I’m really good at it now. I do lots of cakes. Grandma’s eyes light up when I take her one. It is true that she won’t let me eat any of my own, not even the crumbs. I have to sit and watch her eat a whole cake by herself. She says ‘None for you girl, you are much too fat already.’ I think that’s rather silly. She says nasty things like ‘You are going to end up fat as a pig, just like your no-good Father.’ That is really stupid. I’m not fat, and neither is my Papa. Then she says things like ‘You will end up so fat like your Mama, no boy will ever want to marry you.’ Again that is just plain crazy, because my Mama is not fat. I don’t tell Mama these things because I don’t want to upset her.

Because she will only eat sweet things, my Grandma goes to the toilet a lot. When I say that, I don’t mean she goes to the lavatory. That is overflowing. I mean she does it where she is. I have seen her do it in her garden. Right there. It’s disgusting. I try to clean up after her, but she just nags and nags. I don’t tell Mama.

I have to visit Grandma at least once a week. My Mama does another visit. I hate when we go together to visit her together on Sunday. She is even worse to my Mama than she is to me. She looks at me and says ‘such a beautiful child, takes after her Father thank goodness. Not like you. You’re so fat you’ll never get another man.’ It’s just not fair.

I try talking to my Mama about this sometimes, but she won’t have it. She says ‘Hush! Your Grandma is old. People sometimes get like this when they grow old.’ I hope I don’t get old. When Grandma comes to stay with us, is what I hate. I can’t have any friends round. Even before she had nagged them, the stench of her and her constant smoking would kill them before they got through the door.

Even worse than that, is when I have to go and stay with Grandma during the school holidays. The rats. Her septic tank in the garden is overflowing. I see them in the overgrown hedges. In Winter they make for the house. I lay awake, hear them scratching away inside the walls.

Last month, Mama sat down with me. She said Grandma is old and ill. Grandma has a disease called Al-Zimmers. She can’t look after herself anymore. It’s heriditary which means we all going to get it sometime. No-one in the village likes her. She nags at them all the time. Grandma will have to live in a home and she’ll hate that. You wouldn’t want that. So … she’s coming to live with us!

I felt like I was being used like a boxer’s punchbag. I couldn’t find the words.

Mama said she had to work all the weekend to earn money. Go stay with Grandma and help her pack so she’s ready to move. She’s having trouble with rats again. Deal with it, you know where the stuff is in her garden shed. Make a bonfire, she has to throw away lots of old stuff. She can’t bring it here with her.

I felt numbed, like I was in a dream within a dream. Or else a nightmare.

I went to stay at Grandma’s house on Friday. I baked her a special ‘Welcome Home’ cake in her kitchen. I put loads of sugar in it and also Warfarin. She wouldn’t even wait for it to cool before she wolfed the lot. Saturday I stayed in bed all day. I put my hands over my ears and read comics. On Sunday morning I got up. It was very smelly. Grandma had blown up like a funfair balloon and exploded. I chased the rats away. I got a bottle of T-Rod from the garden shed and poured some over her. I scattered some cigarettes around her. I read about this thing on the internet called ‘spontaneous combustion’.

I panicked because of the smoke and flames and ran into the village. I told the police I couldn’t call on my mobile phone because the battery was run down. Grandma wouldn’t let me re-charge because of the cost of electricity. I told them I couldn’t call on her landline because the rats had chewed through the cable. Ah! they had me on that one. It didn’t look like rat-bites. I had sliced through them with a razor-blade.

I miss Mama a lot, but I guess I just have to grow up and get used to it. She seems a lot happier now. She even has a new boyfriend! She gets to visit me on weekends. We laugh a lot and have fun. I hope I never have to bake her a cake.

I like the other kids here. We have fun. It’s like having lots of brothers and sisters. I’ve asked if I can go into the kitchen and bake my birthday cake. They say not just yet, but I can watch. Maybe next year?

Late at night, I look out over the lake through the bars on my window. I smell cigarette smoke in my room, although I don’t smoke. In the mist and moonlight sometimes I see Grandma beckoning me, dancing on the lake. She is happy and carefree. She says ‘Bake me a cake and we’ll share it!’

But don’t tell the doctors this? Right?
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby DMt. » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:08 am

Scary snapsy! :shock:

Me like. :Y ^O^
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby Juule » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:32 am

Tykkään miekin. :Y
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby fish » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:00 am

Remind me to never let Snapsie bake me a cake. :shock: :r :P :lol:

What a great story. *:)*
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby Ian » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:46 am

I'm just sat here praying it's not autobiographical. :P
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby snaps » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:10 am

Thanks everyone. Thta is just a rough first draft. Daves made some helpful suggestions. So i will polish it up and repost in this space when I have time. The story has been kicking around in my head for the past week or so ever since I read the JAL story 'mitt Jullov' whihc I recommend. I've posted it on the jAL site in a Swedish rough/ Swenglish version. 8)
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby DMt. » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:49 pm

It's damn good work, Snappia. You should get someone to read it, in one long take, to video. Maybe talking to a trusted friend...or Beckett/Whitelaw stylee, one long closeup of the face... It would be very short, but very strong, I think. Gradually you would realise this sweet kid is dangerously nuts, a killer, and haunted to boot...I love it. Congratulations.
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby snaps » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:00 pm

Fang you! :oops: I will look at it again at the weekend. I actually edited it down a bit because I wanted it to come in less than 1500 words, but I always feel every story should just find it's own natural length.

about to post another oldie by someone else. I really love it. coming up soon ... :)
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby snaps » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:38 pm

I really like the idea of this being done, as you suggest as a monologue to camera, like an Alan Bennett ''Talking Heads'' character. This is certainly envisioned as this is Camilla talking to herself in a mirror. She is sufficiently worldly wise to know she can't let all this come out in a therapy session, or she'll never get released. That's why she says, at the end, ''But don’t tell the doctors this? Right?''

I like the idea of an older girl saying the words, as in a L'Acquart. After all, they are not going to release her within the forseeable future. It could be her older self looking back. She is, has been turned ino a sociopath by her life-experience. No remorse.

As I posted on the JAL site, about his own story ''Mitt Jullov'' written from the perspective of an 8 year old, it brought to mind Ian McEwan's short story ''Last Day of Summer' an 11 year-old talking in chillingly emotionally detached terms about a death. This in turn, formed the basis of his novel ''The Cement Garden''. Hence the writing style here (as written by a 13 year old) short simple sentence structure, repetition etc. Probably acceptable for Camilla to be 19 years old and still locked in her mind, cognitively and emotionally, as a near-13 year old.

no point in me posting this on wti, as someone will delete it on the grounds of being ''un-American'' or something :roll:
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby DMt. » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:57 pm

Don't see why not, I think it's definitely LTROI-congruent, dark/sweet and so on.

But you shouldn't listen to me, because I am the Evil One, cast out of WtI Paradise after throwing a big snit, and still screaming as I plunge endlessly into the abyss.
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby DMt. » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:38 am

Very strong meat, this. I saw it on TV in 1973, when I was 20, and it killed me.

Billie Whitelaw performing Beckett's 'Not I'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4LDwfKxr-M&feature=related

Context; An old woman has had a stroke [or something], she is lying face down in a field, her mind racing, an unstoppable stream of words pouring from her mouth...brrrrr.
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Re: BAKE ME A CAKE

Postby snaps » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:30 pm

Yes. Looks like powerful stuff.

I've actually had a comment back on my Swedish version of the story 'BAKA MIG EN TÅRTA', published on John Ajvide Lindqvist's site *:)*

'Fint skrivet. Jag har sett en liknande händelse. Och då menar jag sjukdomen, inte självantändningen.'

which translates approximately as 'Nicely written. I have seen a similar occurrence. And I mean the disease, not the build-up.'

Sadly, not a comment direct from JAL *:|* but most welcome anyway :D
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Re: Bake Me A Cake / Baka Mig En Tårta

Postby DMt. » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:17 am

You know when you've done something good. Affirmation is nice, of course, but...
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