May 28, 1977

Rose checked the cake on the rack and found that it was completely cool. Perfect.

She arranged her tools on the kitchen table and gathered her dyes and powders and candies. The frosting was the right temperature and consistency.

She brought the cake to her work area. The first step was always the icing on the cake, and the base layer went on smoothly. This cake was going to be a masterpiece. It was a sheet cake, but it was going to become the Dagobah Swamp with R2D2. Perfect for her brother’s 42nd birthday and the 30th anniversary.

As she worked, Rose’s mind drifted back to that warm day her mother had taken her and her brother to see Episode IV. It was the dawn of the Memorial Day weekend and they were in line to buy tickets. The Americana was the only theater in Michigan running Star Wars that weekend.

“George Lucas invented new special effects,” Steve, Rose’s brother, said.

“I read all the same articles you did. Words are not enough. I want to see the Wookie thing,” Rose said.

“Yeah, he’s going to be bombed-out!” Steve said.

“The pilot looks interesting,” Rose said

“Who cares about the pilot. Leah is a fox!” Steve said.

“I want to see these ships,” Mom said. “They are so different from the sleek ships of Flash Gordon.”

“Hey,” the person in front of us said. “I watch that on channel 50.”

“So do we!” Steve said.

“Cool,” the college age guy said. “I’m Bob.” The four spent a half-hour dissecting Flash’s and Ming’s relationship and how Dale Arden connected them. Then they launched into Star Trek and bemoaned it’s cancellation.

The sky was clear azure, and the air was fresh. Waiting for two hours in a line that wrapped around the theater three times was a snap when you could talk science fiction the entire time. Dana guessed that’s why dad had declined with a loud, “No thank you!”.

Their conversation was exuberant and drew in others. Soon the group was laughing loudly and sharing quotes like “Klaatu barada nikto”.

Bob and Steve were sharing their favorite parts of Childhood’s End when they walked up to the ticket booth. Bob bought his ticket and stepped aside. “I’ll sit with you guys,” he said.

“Cool,” Steve said.

Mom asked for three tickets and the ticket lady said, “We only have two left.”

Dana felt the pavement tilt to the left and stumbled but kept standing. The world spun around her and she grabbed her brother’s hand. His grip was fierce and the world steadied.

“I got you,” Bob said.

Steve and I exchanged glances; we didn’t understand what Bob meant.

Mom’s scrunched face and pursed lips transformed into a grin and she bought the tickets. The group of four stepped aside and Mom gave Bob money and Bob gave Mom his ticket.

Steve gasped. “But now you can’t see it!”

“Oh, I’ll see it. Just not today.”

Rose’s reminiscence was interrupted by the slam of a door and loud male voices.

“Hey Rosie Posie,” Steve called.

“You’re early. I’m only three-quarters done with the cake.”

“It’s my birthday,” Steve said. “I should be able to see the cake at any time.”

Rose laughed and said, “Well, Bob, I guess that means you get to see the incomplete masterpiece as well.”

The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday from Linda G. Hill for January 22, 2022: Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the phrase “icing on the cake”.

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