1. Clara's bakery

1. Clara's bakery

A Chapter by Lynaelee

Another couple walks away from my bakery, hand in hand leaning into each other. I sigh and move back to my kitchen area in my small bakery, well technically, my home. I pull the dough that I set aside to rise and began ferociously kneading it. I know that I'm not much to look at. Ash brown, limp hair clings to my blotchy round face and more often than not, I'm covered in flour and berry juice. I've always been just on the line to be considered overweight. It bugs me, sure. But it means I'm not desirable to anyone and that's just fine with me; at least that's what I tell myself to feel better about myself. I do like being alone. I do like not having to impress anyone. However, that doesn't mean I don't desire to be loved or have someone look at me in a way that sets my heart a flutter. Sometimes, it downright sucks to be scorned, just because I'm not a smaller than a support pole - like on the docks I used to live by. After the land around my houseboat was infested with gators and I found two on my porch, I decided it was time for a change. So I moved north and found a quiet village that needed my baking expertise; bread was almost nonexistent before me. If I wasn't the town baker, I would never see anyone because they could hardly make eye contact more than thirty seconds at a time. Alas, everyone enjoys fresh bread and I'm forced to deal with them all. Guess it's a good thing my bread looks better than I do; I have a hard time keeping my shelves stocked with fresh loaves.

For the most part, this little town is quiet. Nothing new ever happens. We are far enough out that we don't get very many visitors. And if there's anything exciting going on, I hardly hear about it until after the fact. The bell above my front door signals another customer. I sigh, stop kneading my dough, brush the flour off my hands, wipe my brow, and make my way out to the front of my shop. I am surprised to see two newcomers talking among themselves but I catch the phrases blood moon, personal sacrifice, and marked one. I blow it off and smile politely, knowing that I couldn't make sense of their conversation anyways. "How may I help you?" Both men turn to me and their eyes widen.

"Do you know your eyes could blend in with the field?" One blurts out as his pal elbows him in the gut. I give him a curious look but nod.

"Sure. A field of spring wheat before the heat strikes and dries out the hulls. Everything this time of year is more golden than green. My eyes would definitely stand out more now. I've compared them more to a swamp or gator skin than a field though; I don't miss living by the swamps. What can I ring up for you?"

"Give us a dozen blueberry muffins," the second man demands. I sigh and look over to my shelves to my left that I leave for my more sweet options. All that remains is two large cinnamon rolls and homemade huckleberry, strawberry, and peach jams.

"I'm sorry. I sold out of those this morning," I say apologetically as I meet their eyes again. I'm startled to see they haven't looked around at all, both are still staring intently at me. I walk over to the shelves to my right, grab a regular loaf of bread and then walk across the room to grab the huckleberry jam. I set them on the counter and explain, "I know it's not the same, but this is about as close to the berry flavor you want right now. I'll make fresh muffins tomorrow and make sure I save you a dozen in the back, but today, this is what I can do for you." The second man reaches into his pocket, dumps money on the table, and smiles at me.

"This'll do. We'll see you later, little missy," he replies as the first man gathers up the bread and heads towards the door. "We'll be back bright and early." I let out a sigh of relief when the door closes behind them. I have never felt so riled up by customers before. Everything feels magnified, and my confusion, fear, and nerves make no sense right now. All I know is these newcomers mean trouble.

"I won't serve you again if you make me this uncomfortable again," I mumble as I look down and gasp. "You left me too much. Oh for the love of!" I trail off as I count the money. No matter what, I guess I'll have to serve them now. I put the money away with a note that says how much I owe them and move back to my kitchen area. After taking a quick note of my inventory, I look through the front of my shop through the window and sigh. Its just before supper time. I go back into the front room to look at my shelves. Three loaves of bread, two cinnamon rolls, and nine jars of jam are all that remain today. "Guess this is a good as time as any to close. I gotta head out if I want to replace my berries. It's not like I can feed the village tonight with my bread," I mutter as I lock the front door. Ducking through my kitchen to my upstairs bedroom, I take off my apron, grab my shawl, and my berry picking basket. I longingly look at my bed and shake my head; there's too much to do and only so much daylight left. With a final sigh, I head back downstairs and set my stuff on a side counter so I can clean up. I separate the dough I was working on into individual loaf sizes, cover them with tea towels, and set them on my hearth to rise more. They'll be ready for me to put in my stone oven as soon as I wake up in the morning. A quick wipe down of my oversized table, and all my dishes washed and set out to dry, I move to my front room. I grab the rye bread; it had been sitting out for two days I couldn't sell it. I tuck it into my berry basket and cover it with my shawl. Now that my chores are done, I lock up and head out.
I could always stop at the local store, but his fruit always seems to have a bitter note to it; I refuse to use it in my breads, muffins, and pastries. I hike up my skirt and pass through the meadow behind my home. The freshest and sweetest berries are up the mountain, roughly five miles from town. I take pride in my work, so the extra effort makes it worth it to me. I'll close early tomorrow just to catch up on some sleep that I'll be missing out on tonight. I don't plan on sleeping more than a few hours when I get home, but I really need those berries.

© 2017 Lynaelee

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Added on July 29, 2017
Last Updated on August 29, 2017



Sometimes I feel like I need an outlet to express myself. I have never been good with verbal communication, but I have always found an out in writing. I hurt. I bleed. I make mistakes. I cry. Yes,.. more..

If only If only

A Book by Lynaelee

1. *Prologue* 1. *Prologue*

A Chapter by Lynaelee