It was rare for it to rain in Cake Stand City, but tonight the rain lashed down hard and battered the streets. Inspector Gache sat in his small home, eyes glued to the drops of rain, waiting for the knock on the door he knew would come. It was not that he was superstitious, he just knew rain instilled a primal fear in the residents of this great city. For as a wise but often deranged Fruit and Nut loaf once said ‘no one likes a soggy cake’.
He didn’t have to wait long for that knock. He walked slowly to his door, grabbing his rain jacket of yellow icing on the way. Opening the door he had expected one of the many Constables to be waiting for him, instead he found himself looking at the Mayor; an odd Raisin Cake who verged on the larger side and whose well known disposition and fondness for rum had made him one of the few cakes alive to permanently add an ingredient to his mix post bake. Still, the Mayor was a shrewd character who was not known for running his own errands, especially not alone.
“Will you come in?” Gache asked.
“No time. Follow me.”
Putting on his icing jacket and raising the hood, Gache walked into the hammering rain. It was a bad downpour and showed no signs of abating. Damage in the city would be huge, both due to the weather it self and the madness it always caused. The Mayor led him to the centre of the city, where a large arm joined this middle tier to the larger one below and the smaller one above, with intricate pulley based machines allowing travel between them. Like most tiered structures, the cream rose to the top and the shit plummeted to the bottom. Cake Stand City was no different. Gache had assumed they would take the machine down to the bottom tier, but instead the Mayor led them to the platform that took them up. Gache reminded himself that one should never make assumptions, but then again in his twenty years as a Police of Cake he has only ever gone up twice. Once to find a rather well to do Éclairs lost cream filling, and the second as escort to a diplomatic entourage of rather bland Digestive Biscuits.
Due to the rain the streets of the top tier were empty. It was eerie really. Gache knew that in the middle and bottom tier life would still be going on, yet up here life could just stop until the rain moved away. He had never really thought about the lives of those above of him really, but walking the empty streets and seeing the ridiculous displays of wealth some of these houses were, he did wonder if a one tier system would be better. But then again he had always found multi layered cakes the most interesting to talk to, and the one tier system looked to outlaw those as well.
Before he could think on this anymore he started to hear music wafting down the street towards him. The Mayor looked at him, a sideways glance full of an unknown meaning and dripping in foreshadowing. The music itself was familiar, a tune Gache knew he knew but not one he had heard in a long time. That the music had lyrics was clear, but the distance and the rain made them impossible to decipher. As they continued to walk it became obvious to Gache that the Mayor was leading him to the source of that music, and that with every step closer the Mayor became more and more agitated.
The tune was playing havoc with Gache. He knew it, and he knew so little music. Yet it was not a song he would chose to hear but one he had never the less heard many times in his life. He wondered if it was one of the pop songs he tried to avoid like the plague, or maybe one of those god awful parody tunes Constable Bread liked to listen to? As he thought on the song he found himself humming along to it. When the Mayor shot him a pained sideways glance he immediately stopped, and then he knew. Gache stopped.
“No.” He said.
Gache ran towards the music, running past the vast array of Police cakes waiting outside. That song was so clear now; it’s cheery tune striking fear into the core of any sane cake. He ran into the room where the music was coming from, stopping dead in his tracks.
Before him lay a cake. Once it would have been a chocolate fudge cake, whole and complete and full of life. The unobservant might even assume it still was, but Gache knew better. As he moved closer he could see the cut lines; this cake had been sliced, twelve time. Plunged into each slice was a lit candle, beside each candle was some kind of token or memento, each one different from the other.
The song playing in the background reached it’s crescendo; a cruel wind choosing that moment to scream through the room. As the candles were blown out and the room filled with smoke the song ended…”Happy Birthday to you”.