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Never Let News of an Impending Apocalypse Affect the Time of Your Bake

Kendra Jackson


FLORRIE, the older woman we see

NOREEN, the older woman we dont see

The Scene:

Interior – a kitchen. Against the back wall stands an oven with a baking tin visible through the glass door. The kitchen table looks like it is halfway through one of those baking shows, but with well-used utensils and equipment older than most contestants. Also older than most of the typical contestants is our apron-wearing heroine, Florrie. 

[Phone rings.]

[Florrie tucks the cordless phone under her ear as she moves up and down the table, measuring and mixing, her words occasionally punctuated by the thud of the wooden spoon against the mixing bowl.]

FLORRIE: Oh, hello Noreen, I can’t talk long, I’m just in the middle of baking for the Church Fete.  


Yes, my fruit cakes always do go down a treat. The secret is in the alcohol. I even like to put some in the cake you know. Just my little joke, but everybody always says that my bakes are lovely and moist. And I always say that they’re not the only thing that is. (laughs)


Funny though, Reverend Blake seemed a little embarrassed when I said that to him. Honestly, a young fellow like him, you’d think he’d have heard it all before. His wife did seem rather amused. But then you know what they say about Vicar’s wives. 


No, I don’t know what they mean, but Mavis always says that—yes, Mavis with the bric-a-brac stall. Remember that awful scandal a few years ago when she had that, you know, as one of the mystery items on sale? She swore blind it was an antique, ahem, device, until somebody figured out where to put the batteries in. I thought she was going to be denounced from the pulpit the following Sunday, until I saw the smile on Mrs Blake’s face.  


And then of course we heard how much money she’d made on the rest of the mystery items. That wiped the smile of Annie Gilbert’s face I can tell you. She’s always been so smug about the cake stall raising the most every year. Not that she can all take the credit for it, not with my cakes on show.  


Sorry Noreen, I’ll have to call you back, my timer is about to go—


(raises eyebrows) What’s that you’re saying? There’s no point in baking because there’s going to be an Apocalypse?  An Apocalypse? When?  


The day before the Fete? Don’t be so silly Noreen (rolls eyes), the parish Fete has gone on every year come fire or flood. We even managed a virtual one during lockdown.  


I will admit that I quite enjoyed taking the pictures of my cakes to put online for people to bid on. You know it started a whole new hobby for me. Naturally, I didn’t just limit myself to cakes. My Reginald was quite happy to be the subject of some more, private photos. (winks and chuckles)


All I can say is thank goodness for that digital camera the children gave me for my sixtieth. I’d have been quite mortified if I’d had to bring a film to Boots to get developed with those snaps on them.  


Yes, yes, I heard you the first time, and this Apocalypse is going to be where? In the church hall, is it now? 


Are you sure you don’t mean the new Calypso and dance club that’s starting? I’ve already signed up myself and Reginald for the tango. Well, the dirty dancing class was already full. Yes, Noreen, that’s probably what you heard. You really should get your hearing aid serviced again. 

[Puts down the mixing bowl and picks up a kitchen timer, twisting it until it rings loudly.] 

Oh, there’s the timer now, I’m going to have to let you go. Goodbye, dear. See you on Sunday. 

[Florrie ends the phone call and continues her mixing.]


By day, Kendra Jackson crunches numbers for a living.

By night (and sometimes into the early hours of the morning) she expresses her pent-up creativity by crunching words instead.