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Tarquinius the Patissier

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Tarquinius longed to be a pastry chef. In the evenings, he would put on the radio and allow himself to fall into a deep sense of flow as he swayed the music and prepared what he imagined to be delicious, delightful pastries worthy of the most refined of patisseries.

Each day, Tarquinius would walk the streets in search of an establishment which would appreciate his superior skills. He would put on the full charm offensive, enter the shop, joke and laugh with the owner about the state of modern day pastries before offering one of his beautiful creations to try.

This is where things would go wrong.

Without fail, after admiring how perfect the pastry looked, after the baker would bite into treat, their faces would look blank before they inevitably ran off to some emergency. Usually, it was something burning in the kitchen except Tarquinius never smelt anything burning. 

Secretly, he suspected something was amiss.

One day, after spending an entire hour waiting for the owner to return only to be told that they had gone home sick, Tarquinius went to visit his grandmother in the aged care home. He had not seen his Granny Jay for some time as she had become disturbingly honest in her old age; something Tarquinius found more than a little unsettling.  Nonetheless, the love for his Granny Jay transcended any social discomfort he might encounter and so off he went.

As soon as he entered his Granny Jay’s room, she bluntly, “What’s with you? You got a face as long as a wet weekend.”

Tarquinius held back his tears as he explained his dream to be a pastry chef and how no one wanted to hire him despite his charm and skill.

Granny Jay looked him up and down. “Well, you are charming so let’s check out the skill.”

She held out the saucer which had been holding her tea cup which Tarquinius duly covered with one of his pastry creations and held his breath as she took a bite. 

She spat it out again. 

“Tarquinius, you still have no sense of smell, don’t you?”

He nodded sadly, looking at the slightly chewed remnant of his pastry on the floor. 

“Tarquinius, if you can’t smell, you can’t taste. You do know that, don’t you?”

He gulped. 

“In fact, this pastry tastes like clay,” Tarquinius let out of a whimper as Granny Jay patted his knee. “Still, it looks lovely. Maybe you should be a potter instead?”

Tears rolled down Tarquinius’ face. “But, I like to play the radio and create.”

“So, create with a potter’s wheel instead of a mixing bowl. Good God, boy! I am losing my marbles and I can see that.”

One year later, Tarquinius opened a pottery store called, “No Taste Temptations” and was happier than he had ever been and Granny Jay never ate a pastry ever again. 

The End. 

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