[Continued from Episode 1: Sweet Beginnings]
Day 35: The news has been buzzing about my cookies. Some famous chef claims they’re so delicious, they even go well with scorpions. I’ve come to terms with the fact that any attention can be good attention, at least until [Dancing Bandit Bakery] makes it big.
Day 39: There are forum posts online about my cookies being named a part of the world wonders. Oh, Reddit, you’re so funny.
Day 40: I found out that Reddit’s rumors about my cookies and the world wonders was quoted from NPR… WHAT? Other major news sources are parroting the news back and forth between each other, as if it were the truth.
Day 43: Glued to the tv, I begin to notice that my bakery, especially my cookies, are mentioned more and more. I’m receiving celebrity endorsements right and left, and doctors are recommending a cookie-rich diet. The grannies congratulate me on my hard work before they return to their places on the assembly line.
Day 45: Still riding a strange high from all of the news, I acquire my 22nd cookie mine. An hour later, I read a report claiming that scientists are worried about the effect my cookie mining projects have on the environment. The grannies reassure me that someone with an agenda must’ve paid them to say that, and to keep focused on my goal. I comply, if not a bit numbly, before finding a report on a link between my cookie mines and an increased occurrence of earthquakes and sinkholes. The Round-Faced Granny, Noralina, turns off my computer and tucks me into bed. I stay there for an entire day.
Day 47: According to the news and to online polls, we make the world’s most popular cookie. An economist claims that my cookies have permeated the economy. “If we eat anything else, we will die,” he chillingly stated, almost desperately, while staring stone-faced into the camera. Suddenly, he collapsed into a puddle of broken man and anguished sobs before the talk show he was on went off the air momentarily. When it came back on, he was gone, replaced with an announcement about a national holiday being created in my bakery’s honor. The grannies cheer and thank the “Baker in the Sky” in hushed voices.
Day 49: The 66 grannies and 80 or so helpers I’ve hired are working diligently. I’ll be able to afford my 13th bank soon. One of the celebrities who claimed to love my cookies so much because “they’re addictive” has entered rehab. I didn’t bother reading the details. A faint whisper behind my back of “You disgust me” makes me spin around, but I can’t figure out which of the grannies was responsible or if it were even meant for me. Or, really, if I wasn’t just imagining it.
Day 58: I hear whisperings of the “Baker in the Sky” everywhere now: at the market, at the bank, at the park… In my sleep.
Day 60: I try to find something in the news not related to my bakery or my cookies… Anything… Archaeologists found the skull of an ancient queen. Just when I think to myself how interesting and mundane that is, I find that the grannies are all weeping in silence as they work. No one will tell me why.
Day 80: The four temples I’ve acquired on the recommendation of the grannies houses hundreds of their cats and attracts more customers than I’m sure currently live in this city. Manned by grandmother acolytes who spend their days humming hymns and whispering tales of the “Baker in the Sky” and the “Fallen Queen“, the temples serve the community diligently, offering safe spaces and food for anyone who needs it. A vagrant who stumbled in one day fell at my feet and begged me to stop what was coming. Before a pair of strong grandmothers fell upon him and dragged him away, I caught a glimpse of his face: the economist. I never saw him again.
[Continued in Episode 3: Bit Off More Than You Can Chew]