Write a story that includes: twins, a 12-layer cake, a house that seems to be
Haunted but isn’t…
June folded the newspaper in her lap. Outside she could see the brief flashes as lightning danced along the western horizon. There would be a storm overnight and she was more than a little please. He little house was cluttered but full of memories and she sat contentedly and looked around her living room. The lamp beside her was the only light on in the house, but she did not need lights, she had lived in this house for more than 25 years now. Her feet knew every board in this floor, every squeak, every groan.
On the mantle above the little fireplace, clean and cold now this late in the spring, was the picture of her sister, Alice. She had draped a shiny banner and placed a pointed paper party hat just off to the side. Today was their birthday, or would have been. Alice had been gone three long years now, but not entirely.
The first gusts of wind blew hard against the house making the trees outside shiver and scratch their limbs against the windows like cats trying to come in. June loved storms. Storms were the nights that Alice came to see her. Alice would be here for their birthday.
June put the paper neatly on the table beside her chair and made her way through the house. The worn old rug ended just past her chair and the scarred old wood floor stretched off toward the kitchen before her or the hall to her right. The kitchen was her destination now.
She flipped the switch on the wall as she passed it and the room sprang to life. She had painted each of the ceramic tiles making up the backsplash herself and their bright colors and glossy finish never failed to cheer her at least a little. The counters were not spotless, but that was not important. Alice would not mind a little mess. It was their birthday, who did housework on their birthday?
The light in the refrigerator blinked on as she opened it. Inside, next to the take out containers and condiments that may have been old enough to get a driver’s license stood the cake. The cake. This was a 12 layer coconut crème cake. Alice had loved this cake since they were children; the moist white cake and the fluffy marshmallow frosting were liberally sprinkled with tiny flakes of sweet coconut.
June pulled the cake out, the crystal stand it rested on was heavy, but she did not have far to go. The plates were already set out as well as the knife and silverware. It was almost time. The storm was getting closer now and thunder grumbled closer, like a large truck on the highway.
A particularly loud crack startled her briefly, but she quickly regained her composure. Good. This meant that Alice was almost here. She cut into the cake, watching the sharp knife slide through the sticky icing and into the cake; it was just like their grandmother always made for them when they were little. They used to fight over who got the first piece, but not tonight. June carefully finished cutting the treat and gently lifted the first piece out, placing it on a plate and setting it across the table from her.
The lights blinked out, fluttered briefly and then settled into darkness. The creaking of the walls and floor grew louder, like footsteps approaching.
“Happy birthday, Alice,” June said into the darkness.