Gesn and the Kacheek Day Cake
The sun shone brightly in the afternoon sky over Neopia Central. Rays of sunlight stretched out as far as the eye could see, like the little fingers of young Neopets, touching everything around. Gesn held the hand of his little sister and the pair happily skipped around the Neopian Bazaar, taking in the sights, smells, and sounds.
In the distance, Kadoaties could be heard wailing like the winds zipping through Terror Mountain. Gossiping girls grouped together outside the Grooming Parlor and giggled as Gesn walked by. An elderly Usul waved to her friends at the Neohome Superstore, wrinkled hands swaying in the cool breeze.
It was a beautiful day. It was the kind of day where nothing could go wrong.
Gesn was on his way to the Chocolate Factory. Kacheek Day was coming up soon and Gesn was well-known throughout his neighborhood for throwing the biggest bash for the holiday. He already had mountains of balloons piled in his Neohome, towering up so high he swore that if he stood at the top, he could touch Kreludor. His secret weapon was his famous Chocolate Borovan Cake. The ingredients for this special cake were known only to Gesn, and he was only able to buy them from the Chocolate Factory Kiko.
Clayrei hopped and skipped about, her frilly skirt billowing around her knees as she twirled around in dizzying circles.
“Oooh, Gesn, Gesn!!” squealed the Usul. “Can we go to Usuki Land? Please please please, with a cherry on top?”
Gesn sighed. “Clayrei, we are only here to get supplies for the Kacheek Day party.”
“But it’s right there! It would not take too long, I promise!” Clayrei pleaded.
Little sisters are such a bother, Gesn thought as he rolled his eyes.
“Fine,” he said. “But only for five minutes.”
Usuki Land was definitely not Gesn’s favorite place to visit. All that pink and purple and all those dolls – it just made him queasy. It was a place for little girls – not boys! – but he took her all the same.
Upon their exit from Gesn’s pink and purple nightmare, the Chocolate Kacheek dragged his sister through the big wooden doorway of the Chocolate Factory. The brother and sister team wandered up and down the aisles of the expansive Chocolate Factory, passing candies of greens and yellows and blues and oranges, round and square shaped, fluffy and gooey. Packages of Milk Chocolate Korbats and Raspberry Tonu Hard Candies lined the walls. Kyrii Pops and Maraquan Shoyru Fin Lollies were on the bottom shelves, just in reach of little Neopets.
“Gesn!” Clayrei cried as they passed a display full of Starry Scorchio Chocolate Eggs. “Can we get these?!”
“No, Clayrei, we can’t,” Gesn responded.
“But I bet they would taste good in your cake!” she argued.
“The only things that taste good in my cake are the ingredients!” Gesn stated firmly, pulling the little Usul along.
“How do you know these will not taste good in your cake?” Clayrei asked. The little girl looked up at her big brother with big, wet tears shining in her eyes.
“I know they will not taste good because the recipe does not say to use them,” said the Kacheek.
Feeling guilty, he added, “But I will buy these for you if you promise to be good.”
With a brilliant and toothy smile, Clayrei hugged her chocolate eggs.
Once Gesn and Clayrei arrived back at their Neohome, Gesn set about to bake his delicious Chocolate Borovan Cake. He lined his ingredients up in the order that he would need them, with chocolate at the front and cherries in the back.
Clayrei played at the kitchen table with one of her Usuki dolls, munching happily on her Starry Scorchio Chocolate Eggs. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Clayrei raced to answer it.
“Hello, Clayrei,” greeted Clayrei’s friend, a round Pear Chia named Paheu. “Want to play?”
“Oh, yes! Gesn is baking his cake for the party, so he is too busy for me right now,” Clayrei responded as she closed the door behind Paheu. “Follow me.”
The two entered the kitchen, where Gesn stood covered in flour.The small Chocolate Kacheek ran back and forth between the oven and a bowl full of cake mix he was furtively stirring. Paheu stepped forward and grabbed the bowl.
“Let me help you,” the Chia offered.
“No, that is okay!” Gesn cried. “Thank you for offering, but this has to be just right!”
Gesn took the bowl back from Paheu and beat the mixture rapidly with is wooden spoon. Letting the oven heat up, Gesn left the cake mix on the table for a moment as he raced into the living room to blow up more balloons.
Clayrei leaned back in her chair, the front legs lifting up into the air as she made sure her big brother was out of earshot. “I think we should help Gesn,” she whispered.
Paheu nodded. “Let’s go!”
Clayrei smiled and grabbed her last chocolate egg.
Paheu and Clayrei stood at the mixing bowl and put in any and every ingredient they thought the cake might need. Paheu added a dash of vanilla while Clayrei dropped her chocolate egg in. The Chia squeezed some lemon juice into the bowl and Clayrei dribbled a pinch of brown sugar. Just as Clayrei was about to slide some bananas into the bowl, Gesn entered the room.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” the Kacheek cried. “MY CAKE IS RUINED!”
Clayrei and Paheu looked to each other guiltily. “We were just trying to help,” they said in unison.
“Children do not belong in the kitchen,” Gesn snapped. “I do not have enough time or extra ingredients to start over, either!”
“Bake this cake, Gesn,” Paheu suggested.
Gesn sighed, eyeing the mixing bowl warily.
“I guess I have no other choice.”
Tables were arranged in rows along the walls of Gesn and Clayrei’s Neohome. All of their friends had brought something to the party. There were Rambus Salad Sandwiches and Meerca Fruit Burgers on one, a gigantic pot of Marshmallow Yam Soup and Pepper Omelette Swiss Rolls stacked on another. In the center of the middle table lay Gesn’s Chocolate Borovan Cake.
Please do not let it be terrible! Gesn thought to himself. Even if it is, I can just blame the kids.
Each guest sampled the array of foods brought. Everyone remarked on how large and tasty Gesn’s cake looked and when it finally came time for the cake to be served, Gesn had Carmarillers the size of Elephantes floating around in his tummy.
Bracing himself for the worst, Gesn was surprised when his guests went back for seconds.
“Your cake tastes better this year than it has in the past, Gesn!” they said.
“I have never had such a delicious treat!” they commended.
With wide eyes, Gesn turned to Clayrei and Paheu. “They helped,” the Chocolate Kacheek announced. “I could not have done it without them. Thank you.”
Clayrei and Paheu laughed at the Chocolate Kacheek and took a huge bite of their cake, delighting in the fact that the vanilla, brown sugar, banana, chocolate egg, and lemon tasted good alongside the traditional ingredients.
The guests applauded and the party continued. For years to come, they would remember that Kacheek Day Chocolate Borovan Cake and how Clayrei and Paheu helped Gesn.
What Gesn discovered that sunny Kacheek Day was that friends from different places, with different tastes, mix together quite well. Sometimes, the things that you believe do not belong are the things that make something truly special and whole.