#Halloween Story for the Day: Seamhair Cake
The Seamhair Cake
|Twisk make a Leraa pumpkin. I had to post it.|
Autumn soon came and with it came all the gaieties of Seamhair. The Frewyn holiday commemorating and immortalizing the dead was celebrated by the kingdom through the usual avenues of brewing mulled apple cider, of guising and carousing about the town in quest of treats, of attending Church services if only to enjoy the feast of spiced bread and sugared apple dumplings, and of ornamenting the square and homes with all the supernumerary decorations that would require more exertion to take down than had been employed in putting them up. Though all of these traditions promised merriment for the day, the one that many enjoyed best was the baking and eating of the large spiced cake usually prepared and consumed on the morning of the holiday. By the time Seamhair morning had arrived in all its festive triumph, smoke billowed from chimneys and brought with it the dulcet scents of cinnamon and nutmeg, the powers of which casting a glow of happy ardor over the faces of every celebrant in Diras square.
Families sat together to enjoy the first of the celebratory measures, knowing that spiced cake was to be the most wholesome meal that such a day could admit, and while fires were lit in hearths and children prepared their guises, Kai Linaa decided to participate in the festivities by baking a spiced cake herself. It took some convincing on her mate’s side, but by a few suggestive looks of connivance and promises of only having a very little bit of cake, Kai Linaa was given full command of the kitchen after Martje had finished baking a few of the cakes for the soldier’s mess. She was given the recipe and every ingredient, and left to do with the items and oven room as she would. Though seemingly alone, Kai Linaa knew better; there were agents and signs of the Den Asaan everywhere: the gull sitting nonchalantly on the sill who was pretending and not pretending to observe her, the cat tittuping across her feet and paying her pleasing looks, and the shadow that she sometimes thought she felt looming over her from behind. She had nearly done making the batter for the cake when she could bear the tension of being scrutinized no longer and said, “You can come out, Den Asaan. I know you’re there.”
Kai Linaa had not finished her phrase when she gave a little start: she had turned her head to remark the shadow on the ground and turned back to find the Den Asaan directly beside her. She waved her hand at him, accused him of terrifying her and of almost dropping the bowl on the ground, but instead of an apology, which was impossible to procure from the scowling giant, Rautu spied the uncooked cake and stabbed his finger at it, saying, “You will not leave that batter to stand. The cake will be hard after it is baked if you do.”
Kai Linaa sighed and rolled her eyes. “Yes, sir, Den Asaan, sir,” she moaned.
Rautu humphed and leaned over to sniff the mixture. “This is made with pumpkin?”
Kai Linaa glared at him in silence.
“You will use chocolate icing to cover it. You will not use vanilla.”
“Of course not, Den Asaan. I’m making two cakes: one for you and one for everyone else.”
“Mine will be larger,” the giant demanded.
The remonstrance went on in the same style, the Den Asaan making his vehement assertions and Kai Linaa doing her utmost to tolerate them, until when taking the baked cakes from the oven, a new set of orders came that compelled her to laugh.
“What are you doing?” Rautu said, watching Kai Linaa begin to spread the chocolate icing about the circumference of the cake.
“What do you think I’m doing?” she rejoined.
“You will allow me to taste it before you spread any more on that cake.”
His commands were obliged, he was given some icing to taste, and when he stuck his fingers into his mouth, the smoothness of the dark and mellifluous chocolate silenced any further aspersions on his side.
Kai Linaa must laugh at him here. She turned aside and attempted to stifle her mirthful hemmed, twinkling away her tears and busying herself with placing all the final garnishings on the cake. Sprinkles were shaken on, pink icing was stuffed into pastry bags, ends were cut, images were drawn, and when the cake was complete, Kai Linaa stood back to marvel at her masterpiece.
“What is this?” Rautu grunted, pointing to the design upon the cake.
“That’s you and Mr Craw having a happy Seamhair, Den Asaan,” said Kai Linaa, hopping proudly with her hands behind her back.
The subject of the art was enough to give offense, but the Den Asaan would forgo the affront as the image was edible. “What flavour is this?”
Kai Linaa smiled. “It’s not cherry, Den Asaan.”
“Then you have not ruined it. I will eat this one. You will share the smaller one with the others.”
Before Kai Linaa could tell him that his designs were just as she had wished, the cake was gone, the giant was scampering out of the oven room, and she was left only to fold her arms, shake her head, declare that at least he enjoyed her cakes enough to steal them, and begin work on the second before he should return and demand that one cake was hardly enough to judge the fullness of her abilities.