Something strange started happening in the cupboard where I keep my biscuits one day that simply couldn’t be explained. I reached for a little something to accompany my tea and found only an empty packet. What happened to my shortbreads? I assumed I must have eaten more than I knew. The next week was no different, only this time instead of my shortbreads, it was my Jammy Dodgers. I put a full packet in the cupboard and when I returned, less than half the packet remained. I live alone you see, and though I do sometimes get carried away, Jammy Dodgers make the fillings in my teeth hurt, and out of necessity I can’t eat more than two or three in one sitting.
The last straw came with the disappearance of the bourbon creams. It was as if something was living in my cupboard, and I could have sworn I heard a little voice whisper macaroons when I walked away empty handed that night. This is where the experiment began. I hate macaroons: in my darkest, hungriest hour, I can’t be tempted to eat even one. So, of course, I bought a tin full of them and placed them in the cupboard. Then I lay in wait.
Well, as it happened, there was something living in my cupboard. Not two days into my experiment I heard a little moan as I walked past, and when I peered into the tin to my utter surprise I saw a tiny creature, no bigger than the size of my palm, lying on his back, cradling his stomach. Not a single macaroon remained.
‘Who are you?’ I demanded. When he made no reply, I pressed on. ‘Did you eat all those macaroons alone?’ He merely groaned and rolled over. Well, it simply wouldn’t do. I can’t have a creature living in my cupboard and eating all my biscuits. I told him so at once.
‘You won’t get another biscuit from my cupboard.’ I said
‘Bad man,’ he hissed. ‘A creature needs to eat.’
Well, this is true enough. But a man’s biscuits are his alone. When he finally fell asleep, I closed the lid on top of the sleeping mini-monster and walked with the tin through the empty city in the dead of night. I passed no one in the street and remained undiscovered in my scheme. When I arrived at my destination I opened the tin. The sign above us read bake shop.
The creature, of course, demanded I take him back to the cupboard and buy him more biscuits. But I soon persuaded him with my descriptions of treats, baked fresh each day, more flavors than he could imagine, more than he could ever hope to eat. That was all it took; he climbed up the doorframe and wiggled headfirst through the letterbox. I never saw him again after that night, but from time to time when I pass the bakery and press my nose up against the glass, I can see the creature’s tiny bite marks around the biscuit edges.
Writer: Rachel Wood
Illustrator: Maggie Yu