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His uncle appeared before him, as if from nowhere, a hazy white light engulfing the courtyard, itself composed of white-washed stone and alabaster walls, marble columns, and pumice, quartz and shell floors. The orphan, perhaps seven years of age, knew his uncle, now dressed in the white silks of Pierrot, to have died yesterday, but embraced him deeply nonetheless. His uncle’s lilly white hands were cold to the touch and his face, although already pale, had a thick film of white foundation sitting beneath the black tears painted about his eyes and cheeks. Silently, the uncle clasped the boy’s shoulders and looked long and tenderly into his eyes. “Goodbye uncle!” the orphan exclaimed, drawing himself back into the soft folds of the dead man’s frilled blouse, “I will never forget you, and all you have done for me”. The Pierrot gently pushed the boy away, and as he stumbled back, turned away to leave, looking over his shoulder sweetly to wave as he dissolved into the white.

Some time later that same day, the boy went up the road in search of a treat to console himself to the fact he’d never see his caregiver again. It was a bright sunny day full of colour and the sounds of a small beach town in summer. The boy stumbled across a strange cake shop he’d never seen in this part of town, but looked as though it had always been there. Coming through the door he was pleasantly surprised to find it resembled an antique and curio store as much as a cake shop.

His eye was immediately caught by the most strangely beautiful object he’d ever seen – a plump, pear-shaped, almost bell-structured urn, made from a great many materials, but from what he could gather, mainly porcelain, copper and wood.

He was outraged that such a fine and curious thing would be so dusty, and forgetting the purpose of his visit, tore a sleeve from his shirt and began vigorously dusting and polishing the urn’s broad curves and fine details.

As he polished, he became aware of three things. First, the urn was not an urn, but a sort of cabinet holding draws and compartments of many sizes, each holding cakes and other small confections.

Secondly, his hands and arms were growing larger and stronger, and the skin around them becoming rougher… as the copper surface began to shine he saw that the face looking back at him from it was that of a 25 year-old man. “Lucky me,” he thought, “for now I can manage the estate’s finances.” (not really knowing what estate finances were, but feeling much better about his prospects).

Thirdly, he realised that the urn that was not an urn, but really a cabinet, was in fact the soul of his true love. The more cleaned it, the deeper he fell in love with all he discovered about it.

He paused, having the feeling of being watched. Looking up over his shoulder, his eyes locked with those of who could only be the owner of the cabinet — a customer of the shop. In a moment of mutual recognition, the boy who was now a man realised that the beautiful owner of this fantastic cabinet felt deeply shocked and embarrassed, and quite frankly, just wanted to eat her cake and finish her coffee. The man dropped his now blackened sleeve to the floor, got up from his bended knee and backed out the door.

Now tired and thoroughly confused by the events of the day, the man staggered home to find a small coven of brujas had occupied his lounge. They informed him they had been close with his uncle, who was a most special man, and that because of this connection they had taken pity on an orphaned boy who had become a man in the space of a day. They were careful to explain to him that although he was but a mere male, he would be allowed to join their coven and learn their ways. Having no one else left in his life and feeling a sense of kinship with these women he’d never met before, he asked them all to take a seat and went to the kitchen to put tea on.

In the kitchen, waiting for him by the sink was a beautiful and plump, pear-shaped urn, which was not an urn, but a cabinet of sweet treats, which was in actual fact the soul of his true love. Puzzled by the fact that the owner was nowhere to be seen, the man, whose hands now seemed to be more like those of a forty year old’s, reached down to gently caress what might have been the urns’s head, then set about preparing food for his guests.

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