The little blue-painted door slammed in its frame for the second time in as many minutes, causing Mrs McAlister to wince at the rattle of roundy-glass windows and the stun of silence which followed. She “tsk”ed under her breath, rolled her eyes, and strapped on her apron – this was a Situation with a capital S, and years of experience told her that capital-S Situations often required cake. Specifically, her legendary ginger tea-cake, which used store-cupboard ingredients and could be ready within an hour, to be presented, sliced upon a blue-pattern china plate, in a shawl of melting butter, to soothe the whoever-was-left-of-whatever-had-become-of-the-capital-S-situation
Humming to herself as she loaded her capable arms with flour, dark muscovado sugar, an oriental jar of stem ginger, spicy powdered ginger, the butter dish her mother used to use, with its rubbed-off floral pattern, and the twin tins – red-and-gold, and green-and-gold, with the lion on the front and the legend of Samson – of black treacle and golden syrup, Mrs McAlister wondered how Tom and Hattie had never understood how sweet they were together, if only they could stop fighting for five minutes!
Her hands and feet danced familiar patterns in the kitchen of the Post Office Cafe, her place for over 50 years, now, as she set the oven to pre-heat, and began mixing the dries, the wets, the spiced, and the sweet – like life, she thought, as we all mix in together.
She paused, frowned, and looked at her hands, once young and taut and free, now liver-spotted with age and crabbed with arthritis, but sill capable of cake-making, tea-pouring, and (apparently) dabbling with murder.
This is the FRIST chapter based on a cue given to me by someone responding to a post of the above image – thank you HastyWords, for the prompt ‘STRAPPED’.
Keep watch for the image above, popping up across social media. When I share it, I want you to give me a CUE – a word around which I’ll base the next chapter of the story. The first two people to offer cues which haven’t been used yet, will be picked. You’ll get full credit and a link back to your blog (if you have one). We’re going to build this story TOGETHER, and hopefully solve the crime!