Cimorine in Destreham

War is ready to break out in the kingdom of Moonhigh, between the ragged and motley villagers of Destreham and the prudely clean army of Moonhigh. Destreham's citizens and bravest warriors fight for justice to return to their village and freedom to speak their minds without direct execution. In the alternate universe we call our home, Cimorine is a teenage girl hoping to inherit her family's bakery business and run the shop like her family has for generations. When the new boy in school calls upon the attention of her and her best friend Lola that her missing father had never been truly missing and needs her help to save Destreham, the kingdom of Moonhigh, and her father, Cimorine agrees to go on a quest to find the Dark Wood's Forest's deepest secrets to uncover the Necklace of Araset and gain the knowledge of how King Farstoff had come to be ruler, why her father had left so suddenly, and the truth behind her mysteriously quiet older brother.

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2. Strawberry Shortcake Sunrise

    The scent of succulent shortcake filled Cimorine’s kitchen and her perceptive nose with sugary sweetness. It wouldn’t be like this for long, since it was her mother’s restaurant, but savoring the scent of sugar was just what Cimorine needed before another day of school. Taking the washed strawberries from their colander, she began to pluck out their seeds with expert swiftness. Cooking helped her to cope with her outcasted life and the fact that she could count her amount of friends on one hand.

    De-seeding completed, she took out one of many knives and cut the seedless fruit into quarters. Silence was the only thing to be heard by anyone else, but for Cimorine it was all too loud. Thoughts whirred in her head, memories of embarrassment played like a broken record, and screams to be cautious with the “sharp knife” rang through her head in her mother’s voice.

    “Unspoken words destroy the tip of my tongue; I stumble with the simplest complexities.” Cimorine said aloud. Her best and only friend Lola had said that once about Cimorine and the bittersweet truth in the words’ connection had stuck with her ever since.

    “Mori,” said a boy’s voice. “Mom says we have to go in fifteen minutes.” It was Cimorine’s elder brother, Hagan. He looked too sleepy to possibly be ready in such short time, with his obvious blonde bedhead and wrinkled clothes. Cimorine finished piping the insides and got her frosting bag ready

    “I’ll be done by then. I just wanted to be the first to bake in the new kitchen.” Cimorine explained, spreading icing evenly without even looking.

    “Ah, I see - setting a personal legacy for the Peggy Pastries?” Hagan asked. Cimorine nodded, putting the cake in a container for school.

Peggy Pastries was the family bakery business; it had started out with her great grandmother and had been passed down to her grandmother, then her father, and unexpectedly to her mother after her father had disappeared one day and never came back.

Cimorine and Hagan would have a competition for it when they were eighteen and seventeen, but Hagan had agreed to mess it up on purpose to pursue his own career away from the family. Cimorine had her victory in-the-bag anyway; she woke up every morning to practice while Hagan didn’t practice at all.

“Cici, Hagan, we have to go! I’ve finished renovations up front!”

“Finished,” she said, swirling the Japanese Strawberry Shortcake, iced and all, on the Lazy Susan for display. Hagan applauded mockingly, although it looked marvelous. Cimorine packed the cake into her carrier for her Food and Wellness class’ baking unit.

“Great. Now you might want to get the frosting out of your hair, eh?” Hagan said, grabbing a baby wipe from the dispenser and handing it her way. Cimorine, embarrassed, got out the gob of homemade buttercream from her blonde hair quickly and brushed it in a rush.

“Only downside is that I’ll smell like sugar for the rest of the day,” Cimorine giggled, “and that’s just fine with me.”

 
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