How to Bake the Perfect Pie for your Husband
by Laura Rheaume
First, the olives must be stolen in the cover of night, and/or preferably the rain. Climb barefoot up the tree branches, making sure to remove any white cats that might be prowling in the bark, as they would only be a hindrance and possible witnesses.
Taste the olives while still in the tree, knees bent and ankles dangling. They must be juicy enough to rub on your shins. If the olives are not oily or bitter enough, or if they are too green, then another tree must be climbed. Go to it blindfolded, hands out.
If the tree gets struck by lightning while you are in it, hold your breath, leave the tree while it is still singing. If the shock singes off your hands, suck on them to make them grow back.
If the rich neighbor shoots you for trespassing, you must drop to a crouch, crawl moaning to him, and bite his feet. Find the bullets. If they go past you and sink into the trunks of trees, throw them into the den of a mouse. The mouse will take care of them for you. If the bullets are in your body, fish them out with your hooked forefinger. Then wrangle the neighbor down and place them over his closed eyelids, licking his shoulder blades comfortingly.
When moths come, call out to them as if they were your old lovers, so they are not afraid of you. A moth’s fear can follow you for years and cause you much trouble.
If you find a sparrow or an owl, shake the tree branches. The silver leaves will rattle like a wind chime, and if they are wet they will flash and reflect the moonlight. Any nearby bird will mistake it for a chandelier, and will come to build its nest in the musical and protective glow. Catch it and pluck a few of its wing feathers out before you let it go again. If desired, you can weave these in your hair.
Take the olives home in the basket you brought. When you get home, let them soak overnight in salt and oak moss tea (or the tea of orris-root, if you have no more oak moss from last season). Drip the wax of a white or yellow candle into the mixture. This is for coating. Crumble the heads of dandelions on the top. This is to flavor the organs once the pie is eaten. Grind the olives with the pits still in, and pour into the pie crust. Leave on the windowsill, guarding against younger, wifeless boys who might try to take a taste of the pie. If you find one, cut out his eyes. These can later be used for a cake.
Wait seven days to serve. When your faithful and lucky husband eats his pie, sit in his lap and pet his throat soothingly with your palm, purring and whispering.
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Laura Rheaume graduated from the University of California San Diego while studying writing and neuroscience. She continues to live in San Diego with her fiance and parakeets. Her work is forthcoming in Breadcrumb Scabs, Chiron Review, and Vertebrae Journal.
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