ShapeShifter Fiction: Val’s Cake (Trevor’s Song era… or beyond)


“Okay, Val! Let’s see it!” Daniel called when he got home from practice, not that he’d had far to go, since the practice space was in their back yard.

She tried not to panic. “Are you alone?”

“I promised you I would be,” he said. As if that meant anything; Trevor and Mitchell would ignore promises Daniel made her. They didn’t care. Worst of all, they’d look at this disaster she’d made and laugh. This was one of those things they’d never let her live down.

Val looked out the window, just to be safe. Both Mitchell’s Bronco and Trevor’s ugly-assed motorcycle were gone. Not that letting Daniel near it would be any easier.

“Let’s see it,” Daniel said again as he entered the kitchen.

Val burst into tears.

The cake had been supposed to look like a Southern Plantation — the sort of place that Val wanted to marry Daniel in, if getting married was ever something that seemed the right thing to do. But the end result hardly looked like the idyllic setting for a romantic wedding between two people who’d been together for so long, they didn’t know what it was like to be apart.

“Well,” Daniel said, folding his arms across his chest and cupping his elbows with his fingers. “We could always throw it in a bowl, pour some rum over it, throw in some whipped cream, and … what else do we do to your other cakes?”

“I wanted this one to be great!” she wailed.

Daniel turned his back on the cake just as the front porch finished sagging. It fell lazily to the side, right on top of what was supposed to have been some sort of shrub. He held Val by the waist, not pulling her too close.

“What’s great,” he said, “is that you tried.” Very slowly and deliberately, he kissed the tip of her nose. “We both know that dessert is the one area you may never master. But you tried it anyway, and it’ll taste just fine.” He pulled back a bit and eyed her. “Won’t it?”

She shrugged.

With another kiss, this time on her lips, Daniel sent her off so he could turn the mess into something edible. Val knew that once he had, he’d proclaim it a shame to not share, and while Val was working up menus, he’d call Mitchell and Kerri and invite them over for dinner.

Best of all, there’d be nothing for anyone to make fun of. Maybe the whole thing could be forgotten. Maybe she’d learn and not bother with any dessert more ambitious than chocolate chip cookies.

But most probably, she’d try again.

This was inspired by this week’s Sunday Scribblings prompt: Experimenting. For more Val, check out Soy Sauce, Beached Whales, and Val’s Tantrum. Oh, and Smoke Break. How could I forget Smoke Break?

Don’t forget to ride the Poetry Train!



  1. Julia Smith

    March 9, 2008 9:12 pm

    I absolutely love this part:BR/BR/’just as the front porch finished sagging. It fell lazily to the side, right on top of what was supposed to have been some sort of shrub.’BR/BR/Good to know Daniel can turn it into some sort of trifle.

  2. Jill

    March 9, 2008 9:46 pm

    This makes me want to do some dessert for Daniel!(and I,ve already did a bunch yesterday! Trying to avoid the kitchen, ate too much already today!)

  3. Ann

    March 9, 2008 10:36 pm

    Very cool. I have to confess I’ve never tried to make my cakes look like anything other than cakes. I did try to make a gingerbread house…once. 🙂

  4. bunnygirl

    March 9, 2008 10:49 pm

    Sounds like Val should stick to less ambitious baking projects! But as long as they taste good, that’s the most important thing. 🙂

  5. Robin

    March 10, 2008 3:10 am

    Poor Val, to try so hard and have it flop. As someone who spends weeks planning out the cakes for their kids’ birthdays I can really sympathize.

  6. gautami tripathy

    March 10, 2008 9:38 am

    I am hopeless in baking cakes! I liked!

  7. Winter

    March 10, 2008 1:40 pm

    I liked how Daniel tried to shore up her confidence but telling her she tried. People, especially men, often make the mistake of saying something negative while genuinely trying to comfort. Daniel got it completely right.

  8. tumblewords

    March 10, 2008 1:51 pm

    Cooking experiments are not for me – my porch would probably sag, too. Fun post!

  9. Rene

    March 10, 2008 7:13 pm

    Oh, I love this passage. My dh has had to console me so many times over wrecked meals. I know how Val feels.

  10. Bob-kat

    March 10, 2008 8:00 pm

    I love how Daniel turned Val’s expereiment into a success 🙂 Ilove trifle and they asay the proof of the pudding is in the eating!

  11. Red Garnier

    March 11, 2008 5:26 pm

    I am such a bad cook. Maybe Daniel can help soothe my worries? LOL!

  12. No Nonsense Girl

    March 11, 2008 10:34 pm

    Stopping by to say hello and letting you know I read. 😉

  13. Kim Smith

    March 11, 2008 11:01 pm

    yay! I love this! made me want more 🙂

  14. Thomma Lyn

    March 12, 2008 12:02 am

    LOL! Great outtake — and go, Val! Never stop experimenting! 🙂 And Daniel is a sweetheart.BR/BR/This reminds me of something which took place, a few years ago, between my hubby and I. BR/BR/First, I’ll say that I’m usually an excellent cook. Like Val, I’m prone to experimentation ;). And despite the fact that most of my experiments turn out well, I seem to have *ahem* Issues *ahem* with pastries and the like.BR/BR/Well.BR/BR/I was trying to make lemon bars for a family gathering. And the damn things just wouldn’t Ibake/I! I left them in the oven and left them in the oven and turned the oven up higher… no dice, just singed edges and goop inside no matter what I did. I was at my wits end, but my dear hubby took pity and then a spoon, dipped it into the lemon goop, had a taste, and pronounced it delicious. :)BR/BR/And truly, it was good goop. Too bad it wouldn’t ICONGEAL/I!!! ;-DBR/BR/(I made a quick batch of, yes, chocolate chip cookies for the family gathering.)BR/BR/FWIW I can’t bake a quiche worth a dang, either. Heh.

  15. Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife

    March 12, 2008 12:57 am

    I tried to make a birthday cake for one of my kids one time, and I think surely it looked like that Southern Plantation! We all got a great laugh out of it anyway!

  16. Heather

    March 12, 2008 6:19 pm

    Great read! Love the relationship between these two. ;o)BR/BR/I’m running late in my visits this week, so really appreciated you stopping by. Thanks!

  17. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » 100 Words: Corn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *