#105. The Bakery

There is a Belgian baker in Calgary who is renowned for his great skill and his even greater bitterness. No one knows why the baker is filled with such disdain for the world despite his great talents and the success that they have wrought. Perhaps it is because of what you will discover if you go to his shop after hours.
The baker’s shop does most of its business in the morning, selling lattes and pastries to commuters driving into downtown from the south. By night, it is usually closed. But if you look in through the window, you will see the baker sitting alone in a corner, drinking coffee and eating something small and sweet and drizzled with red coulis. If he notices you, he will get up and open the door and invite you in. This is your last chance to avoid the trial ahead.
The baker will ask if you have eaten and snort derisively before asking if you know the Epicerie next door. Say you don’t, and that you prefer something sweet. He’ll call you a man after his own heart and over to share something special with you. You have no choice but to accept, lest you wind up in the red coulis.
The baker will bring out a human heart, glazed with maple sugar, choked with cherry juice and custard and surrounded in a flakey crust. Eat this grisly treat, choking down the still warm, still half-alive organ, and you will be rewarded with an unearthly, haunting beauty, but your damnation will be complete and thorough.

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