The Best Donuts in the World

by Zee

Copyright© 2019 by Zee

Comedy Story: Sundar wants to give the girl he likes a special treat, but in the middle of an urban war, that's not as easy as it sounds.

Tags: Humor   War   Alternate Universe  


ednesday was a ceasefire, so Sundar got out his chess game and played chess with his older half-brother, Vassily. Vassily had lost his queen and both rooks and was about to surrender the game when he heard someone coming across the courtyard behind them. He turned around and saw Padmi, one of the Rayad milita commanders. She was wearing a man’s black tee shirt with holes in it over purple leggings, and her hair looked like she had just gotten out of bed. She stopped walking and slumped to the ground against the side of the building. She didn’t seem to realize they were watching her. Her eyes were full of tears, her cheeks and upper lip were shiny with them. She clutched a mobile phone to her ear. Vassily didn’t think he’d ever seen her not wearing a uniform. He knew he’d never seen her crying. “I promised her I’d come see her again,” he heard her say into the phone. “She was so kind to me. I should have gone before. I waited too long...” She sobbed once. Sundar began gathering up the chess game. He walked over and sat down beside Padmi. They didn’t say anything to each other, just sat together with their backs against the wall, and Sundar rubbed her shoulder with one hand.

That evening, Padmi was quiet. Her hair was tightly braided and she wore a black government uniform that was only a little too large for her. A diamond stud sparkled in her nose. “My Kala Sonya was a lovely woman,” she said, smiling, as if Sonya’s death was already a memory bittersweet with time. “When I ran away from home and came to Dor, I was only fourteen. Kala Sonya taught me how to clean her house and tend her garden and feed her little dogs until I could do everything exactly to suit her. She paid me from the beginning, though. Everything had to be just so in Kala Sonya’s house. But she was not a good cook. She used to send me all the way up Bladik to get a certain kind of sugar donuts when she had company. They were from a little bakery called Porofky’s Cakes and Sweets. ‘The best donuts I never made, she would say, ‘The best donuts in the world.’”

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