Jane Doughtery’s microfiction prompt this week is here
Amy Potter knew with a cold certainty that her life was about to take a downward spiral as complicated and intricate as the much-vaunted sourdough noose she had made during Bread Week of The Great British Bake Off. The fact that it was an homage to Albert Pierrepoint, Britain’s last hangman had caused a Twitter sensation and been mentioned during Prime Minister’s questions when a right wing MP used it to demand a new free vote on the death penalty.
Amy had become the media’s darling, what with her hippyish dress sense, culinary excellence and warped ideas. The liquorish and millefeuille concoction that won her Baker of the Week had stunned environmentalists with its life-like representation of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but climate change naysayers had had a field day. Rumour had it that her publicist had been behind a stunt when her effigy was baked in a mobile oven in Trafalgar Square.
And here she was, in the final, ready to start her Showstopper. As four men manoeuvred the covered crate next to her workspace, she was aware of all eyes on her.
It had taken the threat of a withdrawal to persuade the film company to allow her to bring in the crate without them knowing what it contained. Everyone turned to face the presenters as they introduced the last section of the competition.
As the instruction ‘…Bake!’ died away, everyone turned towards Amy. One presenter pointed at the yellow cloth hiding the crate. ‘So what’s the magic ingredient?’
Amy smiled. ‘I thought a nursery rhyme theme,’ she said as she tugged at the cloth. But somehow it caught on the latch and in seconds the marquee filled with 24 highly strung and far from compliant blackbirds.
‘Shit,’ said one presenter and seven birds obliged as they swooped over the work surfaces, adding an unusual limey twist to the eccentric flavours favoured by one contestant.
‘Duck!’ Said the other causing a momentary confusion that Amy’s theme was not pie-based but in fact about a late developing swan.
Amy lost it. She took her machete and attacked the birds. Blood and feathers rained down while the camera crew held her in the centre of their lenses, knowing they had TV gold. At least, she thought, just before she fainted clean away, she hadn’t gone for her first idea: Little Red Ridinghood.