The socks were a stroke of genius. They muffled his footfall, never revealing a sound as he edged towards the fridge. In the gloom butterflies of desire flittered about in his memory, landing for the briefest moment on the rich dark icing before flapping off towards a cherry before landing on the most delicate of chocolate shavings.
One slice and the butterflies would vanish – poof! Allowing him some sleep before the big engagement tea. One slice … oh, a butterfly caressed a stray crumb, barely touching the moist cocoa rich cake, with maraschino syrup oozing from the sides.
At the fridge he stopped, his hand on the door. Easy now, I’ve come this far.
They’d want someone to blame. Fingers would point squarely at him but that was covered. Vague promises of the car with petrol money and his son would confess. An eighteen year old with a driver’s license, the perfect fall guy.
Slowly, slowly he edged the fridge door open, letting a pale glow spill into the room.
And there she was. Too large for a box, the three tiers of death by chocolate took up an entire shelf. Red cherries glistening on their bed of thick fondant, comfortably tucked in by chocolate sprinkles.
The butterflies turned into a swarm, their wings flapping wildly against each other so that he felt light-headed. Gently, he lifted the cake out and with his elbow nudged the fridge closed. Smells of sweet, rich cocoa filled his nose, flooding his mouth with saliva.
It was then the socks betrayed him! Bought too large by an obstinate aunt, they shifted and his feet slipped on the smooth tiles. As he landed with a huge thump, his wife flicked the switch, filling the room with fluorescent light. He sat illuminated, naked, with the cake teetering in his hands but the butterflies now stars dancing around his head.