Battle of the bread

The setting sun sent its rays over the land. It enlightened Meatropolis, city of butchers, were cooks made things from animals that almost made them glad they had died. It shone on The City of Brewers, were beer and suchlike was brewed. Many a young man had come purposely to it, and returned home zigzagging and often singing at the top of his voice. But none of these cities have any part of our story; it takes place in Deig, city of the sacred bread. The sunlight seemed to bake the bread like houses, shone on castles more like wedding cakes than buildings. It shone on the temple of the lord of yeast, chef of chefs and baker of worlds: The Muffin man. But more importantly, at least in this story, it shone on Jaro, an apprentice baker while he happily went to his breads, which he had left in a quiet place to rise. In Deig, bread was shaped before they were baked. And such breads they were! He had spent hours, carefully measuring all ingredients, chopping nuts and fruits, and, finally, carving them. The carving was important. Any fool could make bread, but in Deig people new how to make bread that kept you begging for more, bread that made you drool by the very name, as for the cakes, well. In some cities they were outlawed, classifying as "drugs". And the carving was indeed important. Bread should be a feast to the eye as well, and Jaro had spent hours carving roses and suchlike on them. No doubt the council of bakers (who ruled the city) would reward him. He opened the closet door and his face fell. Every single bread was flat, some even running like butter in the heat. The carvings were nearly gone, except for tree holes he could not remember making. He stormed out in the kitchen, furies that someone would ruin his bread like that and then stopped in shock. All over the kitchen people were shouting and they had reason to. Every bread, every cake was flat and lifeless, the souffl├ęs looking like pancakes. Jaro thought he saw a figure all in black, his face hidden but his hands as pale as death. " What is going on", he whispered.

"It is merely a random magnet strike, quite rare, but natural". The librarian in the temple to the muffin man was a tall stick like figure. He peered over his glasses at Jaro "They make all bread in the eria flat". "But what about the holes" Jaro demanded. He had lost two great breads and someone was going to pay for it. The librarian smiled " a child doing pranks I suppose, however" he pulled a large book out of its shelf. It looked ancient; it must have been baked hundreds of years ago Jaro thought. " You are perhaps aver of the legend in Meatropolis, the one about a blood sucking creature called "vampire"?" Jaro nodded. "Well, here in Deig there is a similar legend, of a vampire that lived of yeast. It is deadly pale, and while the Meatropolisian vampire could be only be killed by a steak trough its heart, this could only be killed by a bread, right trough its heart" The librarian snapped the book shut, making the mesmerised Jaro jump. " Easily recognised by its tree fangs," he said smiling " they don't exist, but since you're here, can't you check on my breads, they are in the kitchen over there". Jaro had been brought up to respect his elders, and the librarian was his elder. He was practically ancient. Jaro thought of his bread while he entered the kitchen (all buildings in Deig had kitchens) and then he stopped dead. He saw the flat brads. He saw the man in black, white as death, climbing out the window. He saw the tree fangs. He spun around, ran passed the startled librarian, and was down the next street before he stopped and felt silly about himself. After all, they only eat yeast, he thought, it can't harm me. But out of the depths of his memory came the knowledge all the children was taught: We have yeast inside us as well, it makes us grow, it keeps us working, and Yes what is so funny mister Cheesrolle, would you like to share it whit the rest of the class? No? Then shut up it is all that keeps us alive. He could almost hear his teacher droning on, almost hearing the snores from Cart next to him. Cart, of course! He had joined the army after school, instead of becoming a baker as Jaro. Surly he would have the weapons to kill a vampire! And with this happy thought he went down Cream Street to the barracks.

Outside the barracks there where two guards, each with a war baguette by his side like a spear. When Jaro tried to enter, they stopped him. " I'm looking f-for Cart Cartson," he stammered. One of the guards smiled humorously at him" He's not here, his down in the jail" he said. " The jail! But what have he done" Jaro cried. The guard shrugged, in the manner of one who has no such problem, and Jaro set out to the jail. The jail master was a fat man. Many people in Deig were fat of course, but the jail master was sodding enormous. He had to use two chairs, and people had called him Two Chairs so long that none remembered his real name. He looked up at Jaro with an expression that suggested that if Jaro wasn't edible, he was uninteresting. "What" he grunted. "I'm here to see Cart Cartson" Jaro said, "what has he done"." Offensive use of ham rolls". Jaro was shocked "With mustard?" he asked shakily. The man shook his head. "Then I should be able to bail him out" Jaro said, relived. The man looked directly at him for the first time " you bakers and soldiers are all alike, you think your just having fun, but before you know it, someone has a pay in their face and everyone try to look innocent. I set the bail to seven muffins." Jaro patted his pockets "Can you change a Cake" he asked. The man grudgingly counted up tree muffins and went to release Cart.

"Thank you for getting me out" Cart said, " I just had some fun and the next thing you know." Jaro broke him of" I have a problem" he said and explained the situation on the way down to the barracks. When he had finished, they were inside. "Wow," said Cart " and I thought I was I trouble". " Do you think you could help me?" Jaro said. Cart grinned and opened the door next to him, making Jaros mouth drop open. It was the armoury, and it contained all sorts of weapons. Two handed long loafs; throwing pies, drop scones, a sandwich-shooter and what appeared to be explosive souffl├ęs. Cart selected a long loaf and some throwing scones. "Do you think this will stop the vampire", said Cart, grinning. "It will, and I have a Plan to lure it to us" Jaro said, a trace of murder in his voice. Someone would pay, it would.

The great bread clock struck midnight, and the moon glowed on great big heap of bread dough. It was as big as the table, and contained so much yeast that you could see it grow. A shadow moved as the vampire crept closer, it could see it was a trap, but the temptation was to strong, it had to have that yeast. It looked around wildly, not seeing much and leapt at the dough. Out of a shadow a two handed long loaf was swung and hit it with some force in the chest. The vampire hit the ground, rolled and jumped to its feet, and Jaro came up behind it and hit it so hard that the bread, real battle bread, broke, for a vampire is invulnerable to all but a bread trough the heart. And while Jaro was still starring unbelieving at his broken bread, the vampire turned around slowly with a grin on its face. Suddenly it trembled and stopped grinning. It looked down on his chest were a small piece of bread stuck out. It looked over its shoulder to Cart who had, with great precision and force sent a throwing scone trough the creature's heart. Then it broke into pieces, until all that were left was a small heap of flour.