Gordan stood in the doorway between two rooms and stretched his arms above his head so high and hard that his shirt lifted and his hairy belly poked out like a little animal testing the winter weather. He gleamed and tensed his face up in a way Merity had only seen once before when her unstable Uncle Pete’s cat “smiled” at her then promptly threw up on her foot.
“Here she comes!” Merity yelled at Gordan, causing him to jump out of her way as she darted for cover under the dining room table behind him.
“Here what comes?” Gordan asked, completely lost, now standing and staring peculiarly at her as he rubbed his belly – the part that was protruding seconds earlier – as if to warm or reassure it.
Merity crouched under the table waiting for Gordan to throw up just like unstable Uncle Pete’s cat did but he didn’t budge. They looked more like a tableau waiting for their cue to become mobile again than two grown adults on a Saturday morning. Realizing he wasn’t going to hurl on her, Merity got out and up from under the table and continued on with her project. She was making butt cakes. Yes, you read correctly. Butt cakes.
Gordan and Merity never argued. Heck, they’d only just met, really, so arguing hadn’t had time to weasel its way in just yet. When Merity swore unstable Uncle Pete said “butt cakes” and not “bunt cakes” like Gordan tried to point out, he didn’t argue. He nodded. He even laughed a little. “Butt cakes,” he said. “Wouldn’t I like to see that.”
Well Gordan would see these “butt cakes” soon enough because Merity was right in the middle of baking them. It was unstable Uncle Pete’s 43rd birthday and he was throwing himself a party that afternoon.
Gordan grew hungry staring at the clock in the dining room and watching Merity twirl and decorate in the kitchen. A bead of sweat ran down his temple and into his scruffy five o’clock shadow as Merity’s movement slowed to a crawl in front of his eyes. He wasn’t allowed in the kitchen while she cooked or concocted her creations. It was as though time was stopping and, for a brief moment, Gordan wondered if he’d go mad from hunger… and if he’d ever eat a piece of the butt cake. Turning to the clock he watched the second hand tick at an… ordinary… pace.
But he couldn’t take it anymore. He couldn’t. He was too hungry to distract himself with other tasks – reading, knitting, tv… He was the worst way to be. He was hangry. He. Needed. Butt. Cake.
Knowing full well that Merity always over-baked and that there’d be extras to munch on before the party, Gordan’s couldn’t remain silent anymore. “M-m-merity, are the butt cakes almost finished?”
He flinched, waiting for a reaction, hoping for a positive one but bracing for every possibility. Nothing happened. He tried again, “M-merity?” Silence. He grew a titch of confidence. You could hear it in his voice. “Those cupcakes ready, babe?” Nothing. “Those–” and there it was. A frazzled, covered in icing, sugared, floured, flowered aproned, wild, jumping, screeching and yelping and yodling woman bounding toward him like an ape in the jungle.
Gordan was still sitting in his chair but it was on the floor and he was staring in the direction of the ceiling. Between him and the lovely view above was Merity. She was holding two cupcakes, one carved to hug the other; to look like a butt. It was icing’d a light pink with dark hair-like candies poking out on top. Merity was so proud.
“I made all different colours,” she told Gordan as he sat in his chair on the floor. “I even made candy hair for the furry ones. I don’t want you or anyone else to feel left out.”
Gordan didn’t even care that she’d decorated the butt cakes beyond accuracy. He smiled, propped himself on his elbows and took a massive bite into the hairy butt cake Merity made just for him.