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by Bobby Macleod

Alec added the final touches of gold leaf to the cake. He could barely contain his excitement as he stood back to have a look at it in all it’s glory. A faberge egg styled cake filled with peach, orange, whiskey, and layered with a champagne jelly and light biscuit. He dimmed the lights and waited for his girlfriend to come home from work.

Diane came through the door, her hair matted from the rain. “What’s going on Alec, why are the lights dimmed?”.

“Sit down”, he said, “I’ve got something for you. I’ve been working on it for months, I think you’ll love it”.

Alec went into the kitchen and wheeled the cake out into the middle of the living room. “I know we’ve been having a rough time of it the last while so I thought I’d surprise you with this. I had to order the ingredients from all over the world, the whiskey is a rare 50 year old single malt and the gold leaf is from an artisan in Venice. It took all my savings but I did it for you”.

“What the hell are you talking about” said Diane. “What is this Alec? You’ve not worked in eleven years… I’ve been out all day washing carrots in that shitehole of a factory for minimum wage… and you… you’ve been home doing this? You told me you were staying home all day doing an online course in computer programming so that you could get back into work. Oh my god, what did you do with the money my dad lent you for the course?”.

“I spent it on this, for you. I couldn’t tell him it was for a faberge egg cake, or the surprise might have been ruined,” said Alec.

Diane began to sob. She spoke with fury through her tears, “they were going to use that money to go on a cruise for their anniversary, but they thought they were helping us get a better life… I’ve wasted 15 years of my life on you… you useless bastard.”

Diane collapsed to the floor, “I can’t even afford tampons and you’ve spent £7,000 on a cake.”

“Just try the cake Diane, don’t worry, one day we will be rich, you’ll be able to buy the same tampons as the Queen”, said Alec as he managed to spoon a little piece of the cake into her mouth between sobs.

Diane went silent for a moment then spoke, “Its…it’s delicious…you bastard… peach, orange, light touch of single malt whiskey… the biscuit base melts in my mouth with the champagne jelly.” She picked herself up and walked over to the cake, crying, and grabbed a spoon on the way.

“Is there any wine?”, Diane asked.

Alec smiled and brought out a bottle of Château d’Yquem desert wine. He poured a glass for Diane and himself, and told her everything would be alright from then on. They sat up eating and drinking into the early hours of the morning.


Two months later Alec was brainwashed by a cult leader who claimed to be a messenger from the planet Teebor, which he said was just to the left of Orion’s left shoulder. Unfortunately, Alec drank a Dr Pepper laced with cyanide believing it would release his cosmic energy and enable him to travel to Teebor at the speed of light.

Diane managed to rebuild some semblance of a normal life in the months following Alec’s fatal drink of Dr Pepper, and went on to become a successful food critic for the Guardian newspaper.