Another entry in the Inspiration Monday Challenge from Be Kind Rewrite. I chose “the party ended early” as my prompt this week.
The lights were dimmed and the kids sat around the kitchen table wearing colourful, pointed paper hats. The elastic bands cut into the soft skin of their pudgy chins. Billy Winthrop sat at the head of the table beaming. He had lost almost half his baby teeth already and in the darkened room his wide smile almost looked like two rows of piano keys.
His friends sat along the sides of the table and his grandfather sat at the foot. Soon enough his mother entered the kitchen, behind a mountain of cake, under a forest of lit candles and burning sparklers.
She began to sing happy birthday and the kids screamed along. She set the cake down and stepped back. Billy leaned forward and blew. It took him two big breaths to extinguish all the candles. The kids clapped and yelled.
Billy’s mother pulled the candle stubs and sparkler sticks from the chocolate frosting. She turned the lights back on and grabbed the chef’s knife to slice through the three layers of cake and icing. Billy was served first and then she handed out slices clockwise.
The paper plate of cake paused as she handed it to her father. Her eyes travelled the length of her arm, past the slice and into his glazed over eyes. She cried out and dropped the plate she was holding. It fell down and landed with a heavy thud. The tower of cake tilted and shook but remained standing.
Not as much could be said for Billy’s grandfather. He slumped and fell forward, his face landing sideways on the slice.