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By Erin Reid

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The cake was good. At least, it looked good based on the picture in the cookbook Charles found. The three layers of double-chocolate cake, separated by stripes of vanilla icing, topped with a circle of strawberries and a sprinkle of mint leaves. The picture of the cake said, in a soft and silvery voice, “You’ll like me, Charles. I can tell.” Charles took a picture of the recipe and went to the store.

The cake was good. At least, the dollop of batter was good. Charles wasn’t sure he did it correctly; he wasn’t a baker, after all. He decided that if it came out of the oven in one piece, he could say it was good. As he watched the batter and pans heat up in the oven, the cake said, “I’ll be ready soon, Charles. Just let me cool down and you can decorate me.”

The cake was good. At least, the decorating was easy enough. The layers were simple, the icing didn’t melt in between the cake, and the strawberries and mint required no skill at all. Charles’s mouth watered. The cake’s layers moved. “You did wonderfully, Charles,” it said. “So what are we going to do now?”

Charles stared at the cake. He slammed his hand into the icing and layers. The cake screamed as he devoured it. He sucked his finger and licked his palm. The cake was good, Charles decided.

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