Rated PG. Contains the wafting smell of gingerbread.
Through the Cooking Glass
by Vylar Kaftan
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.
About the Author
Vylar Kaftan writes speculative fiction of all genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and slipstream. She won a 2013 Nebula Award for her novella “The Weight of the Sunrise”, as well as a 2013 Sidewise Award for Short-Form Alternate History. She was also nominated for a 2010 Nebula Award for her short story “I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno.”
Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and Clarkesworld. Her work has been reprinted in Horror: The Best of the Year, honorably mentioned in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and shortlisted for the WSFA Small Press Award.
A graduate of Clarion West, she’s volunteered for that group as well as the Little Owls mentoring program for young writers. She’s a member of SFWA, Codex, Broad Universe, and the Carl Brandon Society. In 2011, she founded FOGcon, a new literary-themed science fiction and fantasy convention in the San Francisco Bay Area. She blogs at VylanKaftan.com.
She lives with her husband Shannon in northern California. Her hobbies include modern-day temple dancing and preparing for a major earthquake. Her favorite color is all of them. She prefers the term “differently sane.”
About the Narrator
Julie Davis lives in Dallas, Texas, where she does not have an ice cream truck but wishes she did after reading her first Escape Pod story. Instead, she reads favorite books on her podcast Forgotten Classics and discusses favorite books and movies at her other podcast, A Good Story is Hard to Find.