• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
Image by

Family Recipe

Set the day to a heat wave.
Take a rich grandad, treasures locked away, visiting family for a birthday treat.
Fold the birthday-girl, his favourite grandchild, into his arms.
Add the girl's single mother and five older siblings, looking on—essence of resentment—and a new fairy tale book grandad is reading.
Drop in one story about the goose with the golden egg and several secret whispers in her ear.
Crack open grandad's head when he falls hard and his heart stops.
Whisk the girl away so she forgets everything.
Make sure life is beaten in well—the angry mother/daughter/sibling relationships, the dwindling family fortune, the fruitless search for the safe box and the key.
Divide the mixture into six versions of what happened that day.
Bake for 25 years until, in therapy, the favoured grandchild's memories rise.
Remove the warm fairy tale book from under her childhood mattress, note and rusted key taped inside.
Leave long enough for everyone to cool down.
Swirl a topping of sweet forgiveness over them all.
Lay the table for another party.
Open the box.