uncertain cities

words and sequences of them by Rhett Davis

Cake

I’m not the one who ordered the bloody cake, he said.

I don’t know what the cake has to do with anything Lem, I’m just nervous, okay? Feel sick.

She wasn’t sure where she was, but that was normal. Whereas he was always sure of where he was in relation to everything else on earth. He was good with directions. Instinctive. Always knew the way to go. It’s to the left, he said, as she walked unsteadily out the door.

The exit is to the right, she said.

But what about the cake?

I don’t care about the cake. I’m leaving out that door with that sign that says exit.

Jan.

What.

Jan.

What?

At least let me go get a slice of cake.

No, you come with me.

Jan, that cake looked superb and I am simply not going to pay five hundred dollars for a cake and not eat a slice. I simply won’t do that.

They’ll see you.

You wait in the car. I’ll be there in a mo. He threw her the keys and walked back down the corridor.

He held two slices of cake in his hands as she drove away. She waved and disappeared, and he took a bite. She wasn’t sure where she was. How would she find her way to wherever it was she thought she was going? Whereas he, he knew where he was. He was sure he knew where he was at all times. He chewed and swallowed. It was good cake. Gooey and buttery and chocolaty. It would feed him for a week. He was right to have stayed.

He looked up at the sky and didn’t recognise the stars. He walked back inside and the room was empty and the floor was dirt and the walls were full of ivy and moss. The windows had been broken by angry trees. There was a stink of mould and dank. The cake would last for a week, but how would she find her way back to him if she didn’t know where she was?