Muffin Shop

Feb 27th, 2016
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  1. Muffin Shop
  2. By IceMan
  4. >It was a grey, wet day, kind of like a sneeze except slightly more pleasant, longer, not as loud, and without any mucus, so maybe not like a sneeze at all except for being wet.
  5. >Walking down the street in a cashmere, high-necked sweater and a woolen tweed jacket, appearing as some bizarre, bipedal turtle, you happen upon a small shop on the high street marked with a sign reading in bold black font: “The Old Muffin Emporium: Derpy Hooves, Purveyor of Fine Muffins to the Gentry and the Poverty-Stricken Too.”
  6. >A second sign read next to it, “Licensed for Public Dancing,” which probably explains the muffled twang of vaguely Eastern European music composing the soundtrack of your walk as you pass by.
  7. >Giving the signs a quizzical looking over, your eyes widening and then squinting and then widening yet again, you gently grab the door handle and step inside.
  8. >Inside are three fillies, orange, white, and yellow.
  9. >One plays some guitar-like instrument, except lower pitched and with a bit more spring in the strumming, while the other two attempt some kind of cross-legged grapevine move that looked more like a riverdance team deciding whether or not to jump off a high bridge.
  10. >Ignoring this for now, you step up to the counter and ring the small bell on the top, the ding-a-ling-a-ling quite nicely cutting through the din of hoof stomps and sour notes.
  11. >A grey mare with a yellow mane and a set of blue bubbles on her rather generous rear flank promptly steps out from a door and sits on a small stool in behind the counter, her buttocks flattening out like thick, wet cement poured from a bucket.
  12. >She attempts to straighten her eyes into a more regular position, but they quickly return to their wall-eyed equilibrium state.
  13. >“Hello, mister. What can I do for you today?” she asks.
  14. “Well, I was sitting in the public library down on the High Street, skimming through a book on horse wallpaper, when I suddenly came over all peckish,” you say.
  15. >“Peckish?” she says.
  16. >She wobbles her head like it had been smacked with a hard object, such as a flat wooden board or a large brick, again trying to get her wandering eyes (and perhaps some feeble prefrontal cortex neurons, you muse) back in order.
  17. “Esurient.”
  18. >“What?”
  19. “Eeh, I wen’ all hungry-like!” you say, crossing your eyes, bucking out your teeth, and giving the closest approximation to a Scottish accent you can.
  20. >“Oh, hungry!” the muffin seller says.
  21. “In a nutshell. So, I thought to myself, a little mold-shaped quick bread ought to do the trick. So, I curtailed my wallpapering activities, sallied forth, and infiltrated your purveyance to negotiate the vending of some baked comestibles.”
  22. >“What?”, the grey mare says, blinking.
  23. “I wan' to buy a muffin!” you say, in a similar manner to your previous simplification.
  24. >“Oh. I thought you were saying you didn’t like the music.”
  25. “On the contrary. I am one who delights in all manners of the manifestation of the Euterpean muse.”
  26. >“Excuse me?”
  27. “The music’s fine!” you say in your simplistic tone, spittle flying everywhere from your over-lengthened s. “Now, my good lady, a muffin please.”
  28. >“Oh, yeah. Well, what kind would you like?”
  29. “Well, how about blueberry?”
  30. >“Uh, well, let me see....”
  31. >She peeks under the counter.
  32. >“We’re fresh out of blueberry.”
  33. >The music continues.
  34. “Nevermind that then. How are you on chocolate chip?”
  35. >“Oh, I bake those at the beginning of the week. They’re usually sold out by the end.”
  36. “Darn. No problem. How about bran muffins then?”
  37. >“I was going to bake some of those this morning, but I never got around to it, unfortunately.”
  38. “What a shame. Cranberry-orange?”
  39. >“Sorry.”
  40. “Cinnamon?”
  41. >“Normally, yes, but today the cinnamon cart broke down.”
  42. “Of course. Well, how about pumpkin?”
  43. >“No....”
  44. “Lemon poppyseed? Apple?”
  45. >“Sorry, no.”
  46. “Chocolate?”
  47. >“No.”
  48. “Orange marmalade?”
  49. >She is forced to think for a bit on that one, before simply saying, “No.”
  50. “Raspberry?”
  51. >“No.”
  52. “Peanut butter?”
  53. >“No.”
  54. “Corn?”
  55. >“No.”
  56. “Cheddar?”
  57. >“No.”
  58. “Maple bacon?”
  59. >“No.”
  60. “Carrot, strawberry, blackberry, brambleberry, marionberry, huckleberry, snozberry, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, balsamic vinaigrette?” you quickly rattle off.
  61. >“Erm, no.”
  62. >The muffin mare squirms a little bit on her stool.
  63. >The music continues.
  64. “English?”
  65. >“No.”
  66. “Streusel?”
  67. >“Yes! I have some streusel muffins.”
  68. “Excellent. I’ll take two and a pot of jam.”
  69. >She looks under the counter.
  70. >“You don’t mind if they’re a bit overdone, do you?”
  71. “Of course not. I actually prefer my muffins a bit brown.”
  72. >“What about really overdone?”
  73. “Please, just give me zwei Streusel Muffins, bitte,” you reply, your German accent flawless even if you're not sure if your grammar is.
  74. >“Well, I don’t know if you’ll like these....”
  75. “I don’t care how overdone they are, just hand them over with all speed.”
  76. >She places a tray with what appears to be two very black, hard lumps of crumbling material, like twin lumps of coal plucked fresh from a locomotive tender, on the countertop.
  77. >Suddenly, a grey tabby cat jumps through the open window and eats them both right up, before jumping back out into the street and quickly getting smashed by a passing cart, causing a fifteen-cart pile up that would not be resolved until the end of the next day.
  78. >The cheery balalaika music continues.
  79. >“Darn, those were my last ones,” the grey mare says, rubbing a hoof through her mane.
  80. “Well then. Zucchini?”
  81. >“No.”
  82. “Banana chocolate chip?”
  83. >“No.”
  84. “Sausage?”
  85. >“No.”
  86. “Onion?”
  87. >“Definitely not.”
  88. “Oatmeal raisin?”
  89. >“No.”
  90. “You do sell muffins here, right?” you say, frowning.
  91. >“Of course! This is a muffin shop. We’ve got -”
  92. “No, that’s not necessary. I’m keen to guess. How about Derbyshire poofs? I know that's a bit strange a name for a muffin, but I'm told they're quite delicious, those Derbyshire poofs.”
  93. >She thinks for a moment.
  94. >“Actually, yes!”
  95. “Oh, well, I’ll take one of those then.”
  96. >“Oh, wait, sorry, I thought you were referring to me. Derpy Hooves,” she says, blinking.
  97. >A bit of your soul escapes from your mouth with a sighing sound.
  98. >The music continues.
  99. “Potato?”
  100. >“No,” she says, drearily.
  101. “Tomato?”
  102. >“No,” she says, blearily.
  103. “Pear and ginger?”
  104. >“No,” she says, dolefully.
  105. “Mango?”
  106. >“No,” she says, soulfully.
  107. “Earl grey tea and pepper?”
  108. >“No.”
  109. “Irish stout and chocolate?”
  110. >“No.”
  111. “Austrian smoked?”
  112. >“No.”
  113. “Canadian marmoset?”
  114. >“Not today, no.”
  115. “Well, how about something simpler then. How about banana nut?”
  116. >“Most people around these parts don’t really like banana nut muffins.”
  117. “Are you crazy? Banana nut is the most popular muffin flavor in the world.”
  118. >“Not around here it’s not.”
  119. “Then what is popular around here?”
  120. >“Well, walnut muffins seem fairly popular around here.”
  121. >You sigh.
  122. >The music continues.
  123. “Alright. Do you have any walnut muffins?”
  124. >“I’ll have a look.”
  125. >She turns around and looks at the back wall.
  126. >“Nnnnnnnnno.”
  127. “I suppose it was futile to ask."
  128. >The music continues.
  129. "Not much of a muffin shop, is it really?”
  130. >“We’re the best in town.”
  131. “Right. And what leads you to that conclusion?”
  132. >“Well... I keep the shop clean.”
  133. >Her smile stretches wider than Tower Bridge over the Thames.
  134. “Yes, by keeping it entirely devoid of muffins.”
  135. >“You haven’t asked about grape muffins.”
  136. >The music continues.
  137. “Is it worth it?”
  138. >The music continues.
  139. >“Maybe.”
  140. >The music continues.
  141. “Fine. Have you any - WILL YOU SHUT THAT BLOODY DANCING UP?”
  142. >The three fillies cease their merriment and shoot you a rather shocked look, then quickly scuttle out of the store.
  143. “Have you any grape muffins?”
  144. >“No,” she answers immediately.
  145. “I guess it was an act of absolute optimism to even pose that question in the first place.... Tell me something, do you have any muffins at all?”
  146. >“Yes.”
  147. “I’m going to ask that again, and if you say no, then I’ll shoot you through the head. Do you have any muffins at all?”
  148. >“No.”
  149. >Pulling out a shiny silver .44 Smith and Wesson, you cock the hammer and pull the trigger.
  150. >A loud bang echoes through the shop, and Derpy slumps over and lands on the floor with a thump.
  151. “What a senseless waste of life,” you remark, putting on a cowboy hat.
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