To Carry Cakes From California

A Dream to Puzzle Over

Brian W. Porter
Cake. We have to carry cake. Not only do we have to fly to California, we have to drive specialty cakes back to the East Coast. A whole bunch of one of a kind specialty cakes, which means they are fragile and we will have to drive carefully and hope the potholes and other dangers we cannot avoid are not too bad. But first, we have to get to California. I pulled up to the small house hidden in the brush of Northeast, Maryland and parked in the gravel area off to the side. Scrap car parts from the recyclers next door spilled onto the property. A mosquito from the wetland on the other side buzzed my ear. The house had a screened in porch up four wooden steps, and a 747 in the back yard. Four of the other drivers sat on the porch and waited. " 'Bout time you got here," one of them called. I answered, "Bull. I'm five minutes early. At least. What are we doing here?" They stood and started down the steps. "You're flying us to Cali." Me? I do not know how to fly a Piper Cub, let alone one of those things in the back yard. I have not seen the inside of a plane in thirty years, let alone the cockpit, but I had heard on the TV that they almost fly themselves, so what the hell. I grabbed my bag and locked the car. It would take us five days to get back, and we would stop for at least one shower, plus eating, and sleeping, and probably more. We all walked toward the plane in a group. No one was in front of me as I walked up the steps of the plane. Inside was a large room, painted plaster, mostly empty. Through a wooden closet door was the cockpit, but I did not go there. I walked into the hall and looked in the kitchen, a place as large as one in a farmhouse. The refrigerator was one of those models from the fifties with rounded edges and the freezer above the fridge. This kitchen even had a wood stove. Farther along the hall was a dining

room. The mahogany table that would sit ten of so people gleamed at me, but I did not see any chairs. In fact, in all those large square rooms with the painted plaster walls, I did not seeing any place to sit. I stepped outside, I do not know why, but I was outside and a short time had passed. I turned toward the plane. It was gone. I ran to where it was, but the area was surrounded by trees and brush and wet ground. Someone from the house, a skinny male with shaggy hair in a pair of coveralls, called that I could ride the bicycle that leaned against the house to the end of the drive and turn right and I would find the plane at the end of the road. That is how I came in from the main road and I did not remember any runway, just trees and bushes and junked up houses and small businesses that hid in cleared areas. I hurried out to the road, pedaled hard up the hill, reached the main road, and did not find the plane. I had missed my ride. That's when I woke, looked at the clock, and decided two-thirty in the AM was too early to wake. *** Other short stories, essays, and poetry from this author are available at *** Copyright 2010 Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs You may share this work with anyone in any way with the following provisions. You must share the complete work, including the title and this notice. You may not make any changes. You may not use this work commercially or accept payment without the written permission of the Author. Any and all rights and credit are held by Brian W. Porter.