8.1 Without Cake

8 July, 2012 by katelaity

“Do your thoughts ever leave the region of your stomach?” The alchemist smiled at his familiar’s words, though his eyes remained on the building before them. He loved its exotic curls.

“If my belly is empty, what else matters?” The lion sniffed the air. This exposition did not appear to include food, so he could not see the point of it.

“Your view on life is simple but your logic unassailable,” Maggiormente said with a sigh. He longed to have his discovery known and celebrated, but he also knew it would be good to be able to demonstrate it’s success on more than just the wee motor on his work table.

But would the airship woman get there in time? The alchemist scratched his beard as he looked to the sky. He had hoped for a letter or some sign of her arrival. Time had begun to grow short.

“Will there be cakes?” Eduardo said, insistently shouldering Maggiormente as the latter stood lost in thought.

“Yes, surely she will arrive,” the alchemist muttered.

“What are you talking about?” The lion sighed. He found it so difficult to keep the alchemist focused on the important things in life. It had been at least an hour since he had had anything to eat.

Much too long!

Eduardo looked around. There didn’t seem to be any cafés or patisseries around. Just workers and planks and buildings of funny shapes. There were a few trees, but the noise had doubtless frightened all the birds away so he would not be able to catch one too easily.

“We should go back to civilization,” the lion urged.

Maggiormente laughed. “The lion tells me we should ‘go back to civilisation’! Am I wrong to find this amusing?”

Eduardo huffed. His favourite sound of displeasure. “I only say so because I am always getting shouted at when I act naturally.”

“Ah, this is true, mio amico.” Maggiormente, however, felt the urge to idle a bit longer and take in the preparations for the great event. Everywhere there was noise and scurrying activity. His heart swelled with anticipation.

Voglio torta,” the lion reminded him. His thoughts were on the possibility of pie as well as cake, but cake seemed to be the simpler to ask for as he could not recall the words always in the French tongue and found it easier to simply ask for everything, or at least ask for what he could see.

The thought of the cake he had eaten before at the wonderful bakery run by Adèle made his mouth water and he drooled just a bit. This made his belly rumble.

“Can you not hear how hungry I am?” the lion whinged, bumping the alchemist yet again.

“Yes, yes,” Maggiormente said absently. “What?”

“Food!” Eduardo roared.

Now, the alchemist thought little of the roar, having heard it many times and knowing that there was very little chance of much danger from his lazy familiar—as long as one was not a pigeon, for he loathed the little creatures and delighted in eating them, even though he said the Paris pigeons had no flavour compared to Roman ones.

Others were not as sanguine.

Unaccustomed to lions roaring in the middle of Paris, the workmen raised a hubbub at once, threw down their tools and called for their foreman. Gathering around the man, they demanded a solution at once.

Déraisonnable!” cried one.

Ridicule!” cried another. They brandished their fists and complained about unfair labour practices that included wild animals.

The general outcry alarmed Maggiormente, although Eduardo refused to take any notice or admit that it had anything to do with him.

“Perhaps we should go,” the alchemist said, reluctant to leave the sights but aware that they were becoming unpopular with the workmen.

“Then we can get some cake,” Eduardo said, single-minded as always.

“Let us stop them!” One of the men cried, picking up his hammer. The others rallied around, shouting and brandishing tools.

The alchemist was nonplussed. He had not been the object of a mob before.

“Put down your tools!” A voice cried with unquestioning authority. Everyone looked around and saw nothing. All at once a flash of light exploded and a huge cloud of smoke surrounded Maggiormente and Eduardo, hiding them from sight.


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