Gagging on Butter

By Nina Piazza

It’s five in the morning and I’ve been in the kitchen since midnight. The countertops are splattered with powdered sugar and the sink is overflowing with dirty mixing bowls and cake pans. Netflix plays idly in the background.

I’m leaning over the countertop, staring at the congealed custard on my fingers because I can’t bring myself to look at the cake sitting in front of me. It looks like something a child would make, sagging sideways like a dead body with bruise-colored blackberry custard streaking through the yellow buttercream. More drools out the sides at a slow gurgle. I would like nothing more than to shove all three layers of it into the garbage can.

It should have been cute, but it’s a travesty, and for some reason this is earth-shattering to me. 

I run upstairs and wake my mom up like a guilty child. I can’t confess quick enough, jumbling my words into a bigger mess than the one downstairs.

My mother nods, dazed, and lets me drag her to the kitchen to bear witness to my failure. She nibbles on the cake scraps while I make her coffee.

“The texture is quite nice,” she declares. “We can fix this.”


Nina is a linguistics major. She’s always loved language and writing, and constantly seeks to perfect her craft.

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