The Samantha Years

Short story contest

Hi All:

So I didn’t win this writing contest….wasn’t even a runne-up darn it! We had 24 hours to turn around a story. The theme of the story had to circle around a woman walking into a toy store, picking out an item and being told that item was not for sale….this is what I came up with….

Easy-Bake Beauty

Angela turned away in shock and anger. How dare she? I’ve been eyeing this for months. Who does she thinks she is? Angela looked down at the counter where the coveted Easy-Bake Oven used to be and then up at the owner who enveloped the toy within her cheesy arms. She cleared her throat. “Ahem, I see. Well thank you.”

Angela stepped outside into the sweltering heat of the city. To make matters worse, the anxiety of the situation triggered a hot-flash. She could feel drops of sweat pool between her bra and in the creases of her panty hose. She ducked into an alley way, cursing. In desperation she pulled off her hose and deposited them in trash can. She breathed a sigh of relief. Better.

Off Broadway in a cheeky French restaurant, Angela met her best friend, Rebecca over a glass of wine.

“Where’s the Easy-Bake?” Rebecca said. “I’ve been looking forward to this trip down memory lane!”

“She wouldn’t let me have it,” Angela shook her head. “It was odd. I’ve been collecting toys for years and I’ve never seen anyone so attached. She would have gone after me if I tried anything funny. It’s only an oven.”

“Maybe it makes really, really good cookies.”

“Oh, I’m so sad! I scoped it out for weeks. Original, first produced 1963 Easy-Bake Oven….in turquoise. God, I’m hot in here. Waiter! Can I get a glass of water?”

Angela couldn’t get the encounter at the toy store out of her head. Later that afternoon, she decided to pay another visit to the owner. She stopped off at the bank and withdrew more cash. Playing a little hard ball.

Angela peeked in the window looking for the shopkeeper. Afternoon light streamed through the dusty windows. She could make out vintage toys from childhoods past but no sign of the owner. Angela quietly squeezed through the door trying not to ring the bell. She was greeted with enticing, scents of vanilla and sugar…mmmmm…..cookies but not any just any cookies, Easy-Bake Oven cookies. Angela closed her eyes and was taken back to a time of bobby socks and print skirts, pigtails, Barbie dolls and tea parties.

She tip-toed towards the back where the smell was getting stronger. The owner was in the bathroom hunched over the Easy-Bake Oven. What is she doing? The smell of cookies was almost overwhelming. Angela stepped closer. The shopkeeper’s head was practically stuck inside the oven.

“What are you doing??!!!” Angela cried out.

“What? Who’s there?” The owner pulled her head out of the oven. “Oh hello dear, weren’t you just here this morning?” Her face was covered with cookie batter dripping off her chin and nose.

Angela stood there stunned.

“Let me wash my face, I must look a mess. I can only imagine what you’re thinking. What is that crazy lady doing with her head in the Easy-Bake Oven? Oh, just fixing a little odds and ends. These older toys never work quite right. Let’s move to the front of the store, shall we?”

Angela couldn’t believe her eyes. The shopkeeper looked twenty years younger. Her crow’s feet were gone, the wrinkles around her mouth had disappeared and her skin had tightened up. “The Easy-Bake Oven did this?”

“What? Oh no, don’t be silly.”

Angela looked at her suspiciously. “Something’s going on here. There’s nothing worse than a shady toy store.”

The shopkeeper sighed and wiped the remaining batter off her nose. “The Easy-Bake Oven did this; just the very first 1963 model. I think it’s something about the light bulb and the old cookie batter. To be honest, I’ve never felt better.”

“Does it work for hot flashes too?” Angela asked.

“Like a dream. The Easy-Bake seems to reverse any consequences of aging. I found twenty minutes with the sugar-cookie recipe works the best. I stay away from the carrot cake. I find it makes me too orangey. So you see dear, I can’t sell you my Easy-Bake.”

“You didn’t look this good this morning.” Angela said skeptically.

“I couldn’t find the oven for a week! Someone hid it in the store. When you brought it up to the counter, I was so relieved. I had to sneak in a beauty treatment this afternoon. Easy-Bake magic is only temporary.”

Angela dug into her purse looking for the cash she brought. “You have to sell me this oven! I don’t care the cost. Menopause is killing me; hot flashes, sleepless nights, wrinkles….please….or just let me stick my head in the Easy-Bake…just for a minute or two.”

“No, it would be too cruel. Once you’ve had it, you would want more and I can’t give you mine. No dear, you will have to find your own beauty treatment.”

Angela left the store feeling sad, forlorn and fighting another hot flash; damm that woman her and her Easy-Bake Oven.

Two years later, an older woman walked into a dusty old toy store. Ahh, there it is. I’ve been looking for ages; the 1963 Easy-Bake Oven in turquoise. She proudly carried her new find up to the cash register. “Ma’am? I would like to take this.”

Angela turned from behind the register. She smiled a flawless, wrinkle free grin. “Oh no, no, no, I’m very sorry,” Angela grabbed the box. “This item is not for sale.”

Easy Bake Beauty
Submitted: July 27, 2008
Heather Simms-Schichtel

1 thought on “Short story contest”

  1. Hi, I found your blog on the Parent to Parent forum email. I saw that your daughter has infantile spasms. Our son was also diagnosed with infantile spasms. He has been treated at Children’s Hospital since he was 4 mos old. He’ll be 5 next month. Dr. Laoprasert is his doctor, and he is also on Vigabatrin. He also has a rare metabolic disease, which actually caused the malformation in his brain which caused the seizures to start. His story is at this site:


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