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Author Topic: PodCastle Miniature 25: Through the Cooking Glass  (Read 5327 times)


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on: December 26, 2008, 12:31:50 AM
PodCastle Miniature 25: Through the Cooking Glass

by Vylar Kaftan
Read by Julie Davis (of Forgotten Classics)

The smell of gingerbread wafted through the small kitchen, across the pictures of her grandkids and the newly-hung pine wreath. Mrs. Wallace tried to remember if she’d added anything different to the dough. Butter, flour, molasses–the usual. With curiosity, she peered through the window again. The gingerbread man had woken the girl cookie next to him. “Oh, how sweet,” Mrs. Wallace said out loud. “They’re playing Garden of Eden.” It was easy to imagine the soft cookies as innocent lovers. She watched as the cookies kissed. Then the boy cookie stood behind the girl cookie in an extremely non-Baptist manner. “Oh, my!” exclaimed Mrs. Wallace. She blushed and went to tidy up the sink.

When she returned, the rest of the gingerbread people had woken. They were hunting a gingerbread mammoth across the cookie sheet. Some of them had primitive buttons at their waists. Their flesh had firmed into a pale golden brown. “Oh!” exclaimed Mrs. Wallace, delighted by the sight.

A glance at the clock reminded her that Call to Prayer would come on the television shortly. She switched it on, but continued to watch the gingerbread people. They were wonderful entertainment. They had just started to build shelters, which pleased Mrs. Wallace because they took their private relations indoors. She was quite glad she’d made both boy and girl cookies. She didn’t like the idea of a cookie Sodom.

Rated PG. Contains the wafting smell of gingerbread.

Happy holidays!
« Last Edit: December 26, 2008, 09:17:38 PM by Heradel »

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Reply #1 on: December 26, 2008, 03:28:15 PM
Weird story. It seemed in the beginning that she didn't understand why this was happening, but by the end when she went to go make wreaths, now she has a feeling she's going to make living wreaths? Plus, she almost burned her house down just to let these gingerbread people have a holy war? And what was up with the "A"?

Interesting story, but too many threads left loose.

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Reply #2 on: December 27, 2008, 02:46:25 AM
I thought this story was well written, but a bit confusing.  Like "Scar Stories," it kind of just ends without really explaining what happens next.  It was still fun seeing the cookies develop in their ten minutes.  Something about cookies building spaceships just strikes me as a little bit funny ;)

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Reply #3 on: December 28, 2008, 09:01:03 PM
This one started out great - the humping gingerbread was hilarious.

Then I was disturbed by the ending that the admitted "southern baptist" cook was willing to let the heathen gingerbread burn in hell.

I'm sure these gingerbread dudes had something to teach the world - if only they'd been allowed to team up with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.


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Reply #4 on: December 29, 2008, 09:13:38 PM
I liked this story, though I was also confused by it. Here is my interpretation:

The cookie people are worshipping Mrs. Wallace, who is their creator. The letter A is their holy symbol because it is found in the brand name for the over paper, which they take to be a direct communication from their God. The guy at the end is trying to communicate directly with Mrs. Wallace; she is out of her depths and feels uncomfortable, so she covers the oven and lets her creations kill themselves (or perhaps it is just the oven itself that eventually burns them).

This is juxtaposed with the TV talking about whether (humanity's) God communicates directly with us. Perhaps we are ourselves nothing but accidental creations in something's metaphyisical oven, and God doesn't know what to do about us any more than  Mrs. Wallace knows what to do about her cookie people, except ignore us and hope we'll go away.


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Reply #5 on: January 05, 2009, 10:43:16 PM
Hehe this is great. Started off charming and whimsical then morphed into creepy and even a bit chilling. Delicious. :)


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Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 04:59:06 PM
Ehhhh.  The "Intelligent Design" version of this story was better than this one, imo.  For one thing, the character of Mrs. Wallace is extremely shallow.  I didn't ever really understand why she took the actions she was taking.  Like others, I felt like the story started with cool strong imagery (the gingerbread getting down doggy style) and then sort of ...petered out.  And, like others, this is how I felt about both "Scar Stories" and "Galatea".   Seeming like a trend, at this point.

Though I have to say, I really liked Kaftan's shit story.  Run that one, PodCastle!

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Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 04:20:38 PM
Right, remembered this morning what else bugged me about this one.  Except for the title, (and I suppose, if you really stretch it, Wallace as a corruption of 'Alice') there's nothing Alice in Wonderland about this piece.  I wanted it and expected it and waited for it, yet was not given it.  Instead I got a tale of someone completely locked out of the Wonderland, on the other side of it, unable to access it and finally rejecting it.  Boo.

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Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 07:19:36 AM
It just wasn't one of my favorites...although I giggled at the "non-Baptist manner" bit.


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Reply #9 on: December 31, 2009, 07:24:57 PM
This was a fun short.  Believe it or not, I've seen fornicating gingerbread folks elsewhere, in an amusing book I happened across once called The Cookie Sutra.  :P

Anyway, I found it hard to really relate to the woman.  Me, I would've been fascinated at how quickly this civilization developed and would've tried to communicate with it.  I was skeptical on a couple points though:
1.  If they progress from birth of civilization to religion and space travel and Armageddon within 10 minutes, then shouldn't they be moving faster than the eye can see?  I mean, if she can see them fornicating for several seconds, that's like centuries in the scale of their civilization.
2.  Where are all the building materials coming from?  Presumably the only cookies in there are gingerbread men and women.  So to create buildings they are tearing apart their brethren and using their constituent parts as raw building material?  Which would get harder and harder as the cookies baked, and would no longer stick to itself.  And what do they use as rocket fuel?  I doubt that any ingredient of gingerbread cookie would be adequate as a propellant.