• Solo • The Pie Chart

Looking for a sweet woman. Extra sweets, please!

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Limbo
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29th Zida
18th Break
The ninth bakery Paplo visited proved to be the one. Having spent most of the day either in the Office of the Citizen’s Committee, Paplo’s search for a female could finally be over. Through the display, he laid eyes on the dark hairs tied into a ponytail, the features of the female soft even whilst her hands fought against the dough. Even he, a psychological stranger, knew she was beautiful. Even if he assessed himself as physically unwanted, for he only wore his jute clothing, Paplo did not doubt to make his way inside. Just to make sure the courting was successful, Kovic made sure to
The bakery was grandiose and empty, and most of the adornments stood behind the shiny glass of the display, in which almost two dozens of different desserts called for the eye of the hungry. For Paplo, it was a great temptation not to lick the glass, for his mind was convinced that he could have a taste of the chocolate from the glass itself. Behind her stood yet another display, which had been previously filled with bread. Now, however, it was almost empty, and what most could see would be the crumbs left behind in the annihilation of what seemed to be popular bread.
The female rose her eyes from her task, and offered a wide smile as she greeted her customer.
“Welcome to Baker Street! Come in, please!” she said.
“Hello there. I knew something delicious was cooking somewhere in this street.” Paplo chuckled.
“This is certainly the place, sir!” she replied, chuckling herself. She resumed her fight with the dough. She looked so graceful in such a mundane task.
Paplo’s eyes flew to the display of cakes over, and over again, and so eventually he gave up to his gluttony. His finger pressed against the glass with strength. Thankfully, the display was not intimidated. “What are those, if I may ask?”
“Hmm?” The female moved towards the display, and followed the man’s finger. Her light blue eyes landed on a small fried pastry dough decorated with dark chocolate stripes, filled with an appetizing cream. “Ah! We call them the Holy Cannolis. They’re filled with the finest goat milk in all of Etzos, and topped with the finest chocolate cream. “
“Wow.” Paplo relished his lips. He wanted one – one hundred of those. “How much?”
“Five silver for each. Twenty silver for five. We made those just this morning!”
Paplo had no coin, but he wanted one of those Holy Cannolis. Deep inside him, his sense of logic tried to convince him to not do something stupid, that he was here to seduce the female and suckle on her instead of on pastries.
“I’ll take five.”

The female squeaked in joy. She rubbed off the flour on her hands with the apron, and quickly began extracting the Holy Cannolis, placing them gently on a paper she’d then wrap. “That’ll be two gold coins, sir!”
Paplo had no money.
“Can I try one first?” he asked, shining his wonderful smile to the female.
“That’ll be two gold coins, sir.”
“Just a bite?”
“Two gold coins, sir.”
“Please?”

The female sighed, and placed the order aside – away from the customer. She then crossed her arms, and proceeded to stare apathically at the man. Not even his smile could overcome the fact that his unwashed jute clothing was not doing him a favor.
“I would like you to leave.” She said.
“Hey, how about a date?” suggested Kovic, whom still stared at the wrapped Cannolis. They were holy indeed, and so he needed his tongue to defile them. He was not human to begin with, but around food he craved his humanity was even dimmer.
“Please leave or I’ll call my husband.”
“I can please you.” Kovic was not listening.
“Honey!” she called out, loudly.

What Paplo had assumed was walking honey turned out to be the female’s husband. He was a male of advanced age, donned in fine and elaborate clothing. It was obvious that he had no real participation within the unsuccessful business venture of his much younger woman – other than, of course, providing the coin for its creation – yet he was quite willing to defend his woman with fierceness.
“Don’t be trying to steal my wife now, you rascal! Come here and I’ll teach you a lesson!”

Kovic would’ve never been intimidated, but he was no longer Kovic. Kovic was buried within Paplo, his character, and so it was about how Paplo would react to the situation. Paplo was scared, especially because the old man carried a very menacing cane, which he waved with threatening ease. The male’s capacity for destruction was obvious, and unless Paplo wished to end up with a lump atop his head, it was not worthy to engage in such a dangerous situation.

Because of this reasoning, Paplo ran for the exit, and left the bakery alone. It was sad to think that he’d most likely end up in a serious relationship with a pastry rather than with an actual woman, but not because of his gluttony he’d surrender. The façade had to be built, one way or the other.
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Another break of pacing through the streets brought Paplo to yet another bakery, the tenth visited on this day. He almost missed it several times, for the shop’s location was rather hidden unlike the rest of businesses of its sort. Others had grandiose displays filled with their finest creations, which lured hungry men like him within by playing with their cravings, by tempting them and eventually hypnotized them to go within and vigorously sniff the air. This particular shop Paplo watched had none of those. Located in an odd corner, and composed of nothing but a small wooden door, it was the smell of cooking dough what guided the male into the quarter. Etzos was a large city, and sniffing cooking meals was quite regular, which confused his well-developed smell of sense. Only when a squad of city guards were spotted carrying crates of baked bread, and after a casual query about its origin, Paplo was able to trace their source.

Past the wooden door laid a small and dark stone room, which was warm due to the roaring fires, and was scented with the obvious smell of bread. There was no display, no sweet pastries, nor any sort of signs that read the business’ name. Instead, there were many counters bathed in flour, a large roaring furnace, and many sacks of what Paplo deduced to be the ingredients for the trade. Within it stood a female, sitting on a stool with her legs crossed, whilst her lips wrapped around a cigarette’s butt and puffed smoke.

Unlike the other females seen handling these sorts of businesses, this female was not as adorned as the cakes she tried to sell – or the bread, in this case. Her frame was quite average, and so were her features. To call her beautiful would be too much of an exaggeration, yet there was symmetry and raw grace drawn upon her features. Her dark hairs were tied into a ponytail, and many cutaneous imperfections and acne scars spoke of her lack of make-up. A frown on her features, and a rather aggressive presence was what Paplo recognized the most. Following her presence example, her business attitude also seemed rather unwelcoming, for Paplo was not greeted in any sort of way, and no smiles shined towards him.
“Close the door; don’t let the heat go out. Are you here for bread?” asked the female before puffing some smoke.
“Yes.”
“Do you have coin?”
Paplo shook his head solemnly.
The female sighed, and stood up from her stool. She moved down the counter, and bent over. Ruffling of sacks was heard, and soon enough she had extracted an old bread, which was placed atop the counter.
“Dip it in water, otherwise you’ll break your teeth,” she said, returning onto her stool.

Paplo blinked. Was she giving away free bread? Dubious at first, he finally properly penetrated the shop, and closed the door behind him. The wooden boards squeaked beneath his steps, which took him to the counter. His eyes laid on the female, silently questioning her decision, or perhaps asking permission to touch the bread.
She didn’t even bother looking towards him.
“Thank you,” he said, as he finally reached for the free bread. The bread was as hard and as cold as a rock, so it was clear it was at least three days old. Nonetheless, Paplo was moved. Free food was the way into his heart. Now, the large male wrestled with the bread, attempting to break a part of it in order to begin eating, yet he had obviously underestimated its hardness. It seemed bending a steel beam would be easier than breaking this bread.

The female had, apparently, noticed the man’s silent efforts, and with a sigh she rose from her stool once again. Cigarette in her lips, she came close, and tugged the bread out of her customer’s hands. Afterwards, she’d approach the furnace, and after tossing the cigarette’s butt in it, she placed the bread on the baking pan. Afterwards, she’d move somewhere deeper within the shop.

Paplo remained on the spot. He was unsure of what to think so far, for she was so different. Different was strange to him, for it was often dangerous. He remained on the spot, enjoying the warmth felt within the shop. He even rose his hands in the furnace’s direction, the fires warming up the hands that had grown cold in the cold Zi’da afternoon.

Moments later, the female returned with a wooden cup filled with water, and placed it before the male. Afterwards, she’d reach for the bread in the oven, retrieving it and placing it before the male as well. Upon touch, Paplo discovered it was not only warmer, but also far more malleable. He split it in half, and began tearing though it as silently as a glutton like he could. It wasn’t freshly baked, but it wasn’t bad. The water aided him to wash down the bread, and now that he was able to eat, his plans for the female had been halted. Other than the fire roaring within the furnace, and the female’s inhales and exhales due to a freshly-lit cigarette, nothing really happened.
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The bread was consumed at last, and Paplo had found comfort in the mindless task of running his tongue across his teeth, an improvised way of cleaning them. His teeth were in clear disuse, for normally most nutrients he consumed were simply attached to his flesh and mysteriously absorbed whole. Chewing, salivating, and swallowing still felt bizarre. However, he did not felt ill nor sick, and a certain joy manifested itself deep within him. Learning new things was perhaps one of his only desires, and the sense of accomplishment and success was quite addictive. Not as much a sugar, of course, but still.

The unnamed female, owner of the shop and silent hostess of the fed male, had begun with the craft of a new batch of dough whilst Paplo ate. Now that his task was over, his blue eyes chased after the female, hypnotized by the harsh motions of her hands. No new conversation was exchanged between hostess and guest, yet there wasn’t really any palpable tension in the ambience. Instead, it was surprisingly cozy for him, and he suspected that the female was not uncomfortable with him around.
“Do you need some help?” he asked.
“No. The bread was free, so you can leave.”
"I want to help.”
The female looked towards him, laying her apathetic brown eyes on his frame. Paplo detected, once again, no sign of discomfort in her gaze. If he had to throw a psychological diagnosis, he would just state that the female was not really attentive to what happened around her.
“Do you know how to make dough?” she asked.
“Not really, no.” Pause. “But I’m quick to learn.”

The female offered no reply, as instead she proceeded with her task. A nearly empty sack of flour was risen to the working station, and it’s contents were poured onto the flat surface. Now, the female moved onto the depths of the shop, and brought yet another tankard of water with her. On this occasion, said water was not consumed by neither guest nor host, as instead her rough digits carved a hole within the mountain of flour, and the water was poured within it with moderation.
It was then when her eyes rose and stared towards Paplo. He interpreted it as a gesture for his approach, and he was not wrong, for the female offered no complaint once he circled the counter.
“Knead this,” she said, moving down the counter, and repeating of process in order to prepare her own dough.

Paplo obeyed, and after rolling up his sleeves, his hands began mixing the flour with the water. What was once a soft dust and cold liquid began turning into a wet and gooey mass, for everything the male’s hands pressed it, turned it, twisted it and repeated the cycle all over again, the mass began turning dry and more consistent. Quite often he’d peek towards the female’s work, which was far more abundant in quantity, yet still way faster than his own, which spoke of the difference in skill. With enough repetition, the product seemed to satisfy the female’s expectation, and she eventually handed him a wooden rolling pin.
“Now, spread it,” she said, and did a demonstration with her own mass.

Paplo mimicked it, or tried to, yet it wasn’t as simple as she made it look. For once, the mass often broke or stuck to the rolling pin. Other times, holes and imperfections became visible on the spread mass, which meant there was inconsistency and imbalance in the mass itself. As such, the spreading had to continue until everything was fixed. Everything done in the punching and spreading seemed to be aimed towards the refinement of the mass rather than it’s shaping, for eventually it was all brought back together into a huge ball of dough. With the help of a knife, the female began cutting her own dough, shaping the cut piece into a loaf. Paplo did the same.

Eventually, a dozen loafs made of dough were left atop the workstation, and that concluded the end of the bread’s preparation. The female got herself busy with rekindling the fires in the oven, and Paplo, after waiting for a new task or some interaction from her part, merely moved to the other side of the counter and leaned on it, waiting for whenever a chance of establishing communication came.
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Half a break later, what was once a bunch of dry dough had now become a crusty and soft bread – or a dozen of them, if one wished to be precise. The smell had begun rising through the small store whilst the pair cleaned after their work, for apparently after this last batch the bakery would close its doors for the night. Other than Paplo, there had been no customers, which was somewhat strange for any business, yet somewhat understandable considering the aspect of the bakery. It certainly wasn’t a very inviting location, nor had decorations placed in order to draw a wider clientele. The bakery is here to make bread only, not lull fools into chatting and loitering around within it.

Once the bread had been extracted from the oven, and it had cooled off for a few bits, the store was already sorted and prepared for the next batch whenever the bakery opened again. The female was quick in her attempts to get rid of the male, which she did by offering him one of the hot loafs she placed in a basket. Thinking past his hunger, for once, Paplo’s whole mental strength went into a shake of his head, for the very gesture acted against his entire nature. Denying a gifted food was sign of his dedication to acting apparently, or perhaps the stupidity of younglings like himself.
“No, I’m not hungry,” he lied.
“What do you want? Money?”
“Nothing.” Pause. “I wanted to repay you for the bread.”
“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied.
“Now, I don’t.”
The female blinked a few times, and quickly returned to her quick motions, packing the bread into the crate as if nothing had happened. She was clearly a very distrustful creature.

The fire in the oven was left there to consume itself throughout the night, and once the remaining candles and lamps had all been extinguished, the shop befell almost entirely to darkness. Once the door was opened, one could feel just how much pleasure was felt within the bakery, working next to the fire, for outside the cold was paramount. Paplo began shivering immediately, and his teeth began playing an improvised rhythm on their own. Really fucking cold, he though. The female took a few bits to exit the store, revealing a lit cigarette being the cause of her delay, smoke once again puffing from her mouth whilst she locked the door and took her crate with her.
“Where are you taking these?” asked Paplo.
“The Garrison,” she replied, plainly, as she began walking down the street. Not even a goodbye from her part.
“Will I see you again?” asked Paplo, following after her, struggling lightly to keep up with her.
“The store opens at dawn.”
“No, I mean… Can I see you outside the store?”
“No.”
“Why not?”
“I don’t date men.”

SIGH.

Paplo halted his steps, and took a moment to slam his palm against his forehead. Whoever had crafted this day certainly deserve a beating, he thought, for his fortune had been extremely bad. Bad fortune and negative outcomes was absolutely the worst.
“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow, then!” he called down the street, getting no reply in return.

With that, Paplo spun on his heels, and hugging his chest in order to conserve some heat, he quickly began his journey towards his residence. Finding a woman had not been as easy as imagined, but nothing was achieved very easily. Funny how easily he attracted the eye whenever he cared not for romance, yet once he needed it, no females were there to greet him. Finding a man would be easier, yet he suspected the sexually inverted were not as respectable as those of standard sexual orientation.

A yawn escaped him, and his thoughts trailed off back to reality. On the good side, Paplo now knew how to make bread, which was interesting and actually achievable, for the ingredients alone were too disgusting to tempt him into eating them prematurely – cooking was an impossible concept due to his gluttony, after all. Furthermore, today he had gotten a residence and an employment opportunity, and soon Paplo Ynush would be a well-loved man within the community.
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Name: Kovic

Knowledge:
Acting: keeping in character
Acting: Method acting
Acting: Ignore your real desires for your false ones
Baker from bakery number 9: was married to an older man
Baker in bakery number 10: Is of a different sexual orientation to yourself
Baker in bakery number 10: has given you a job opportunity
Baking: preparing bread dough
Baking: how to knead dough
Seduction: It's hard to seduce a married woman
It is hard to seduce a woman when your mind is on food.

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Fame: -1 causing trouble in a bakery
Devotion: N/A

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/0 (solo thread)
Structure: 5/5
Magic: N/A

Comment: Very interesting, good story and no structural issues. I thought it was quite an amusing story, nice to see that you didn't just give him a lady friend right off the bat! I honestly didn't see the last part coming either, poor Kovic, or should I say Paplo. Good thread, I really did enjoy reading it. I look forward to seeing some more of your threads when I review.

Don't hesitate to send me a PM if you have any issues or questions.

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