The Bread Baker: A Nightmare in Thirty-One Bits

He turned me around himself, and to make sure,
Not trusting mine alone he covered my face
With his hands too.


There are two possibilities. Either

a) The Bread Baker has a deformity; or
b) The house in which the Bread Baker bakes has a deformity.

Or both. It has always been so.


The children file into an auditorium and assume their seats. They fold their little hands in their laps. The lights dim. Whispers flutter about the dark grotto of the ceiling. On stage, a spotlight lingers on velvety curtains, soaked in a blood red glow. From between the parting curtains, a sliver of blackness—a hush descends on the sea of faces—and the Baker emerges onto the platform. He is prepared to reveal to the children the mystery of his defect.

Or that of his house.


T: The Baker once hurt a dog.
F: The Baker spilled so much vinegar.

T: The Baker sleeps in the nude.
F: The Baker adjusts the dressings on his bandage.

T,F,T,F. The Baker is keeping an awful secret—he stirs it deep in the batter.


User Fiction Cover 11

First published in Oyster Boy Review.