51.

She set the cake on the counter to cool, double-checking that she had everything the frosting recipe called for. For hours she adorned her creation with the sugary attention her imagination desired — it was more than the customer asked for, much more, but she knew he’d be thrilled beyond measure. Even now he remembers that cake, his last birthday treat before the planet ate itself alive. His mind often wanders from the squalor and meagerness around him to her artistry, its taste, the legacy of the world sweetly dancing on his tongue.

grh

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