With hands as sweet as a lazy summers' afternoon...

I know I'm not named in the title, but TheRiverTalker said I could have this branch!

With hands as sweet as a lazy summers' afternoon and a heart like freshly baked chocolate cake--just out of the oven, warm and soft and gooey--the gingerbread man looked around once more before hopping off the table onto the cold flagstone floor. "Come on, come on," he muttered in his sugar-sweet voice. "I can do this," and there was terror behind the honeyed words.

He ran across the floor and everything seemed to be going well (although the little gingerbread man realised with a pang that he had forgotten his spare gumdrop buttons) until he neared that final place of safety, the door to the outside world, and spotted what it was that lay in wait in the dark shadows. It was the cat.

This was his nemesis, his enemy. This was his Waterloo and his downfall. The gingerbread shrank back in terror and prepared to run, hoping that the old rhyme would hold true, You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man! But suddenly, he had a better idea.

"Cat?" he asked, turning to the feline shape that even now was raising itself, preparing to stalk towards him before pouncing. "That looks like a sore spot on your shoulder there. Did you hurt it?" The cat peered at the angry wound and nodded.

Inside his little sugar-and-sherbert brain, the gingerbread man was rejoicing. "Would you like me to treat it? I've had plenty of practice." He held his breath--he waited--the cat agreed. He climbed up the leg and sat down on the cat's shoulder, rubbing gently at the edges of the wound and cleaning it with his soft, moist foot. The cat was purring.

"Rub my neck with your sweet, sweet hands," the cat told him, "and maybe I will not eat you." So the gingerbread man did as it asked. "Now stroke my ears, and maybe I will not eat you." He did so. "Now clean my whiskers..."

And the sweetness of the gingerbread man's hands was his downfall, for that cat ate him up as he attempted to tickle its chin.

The End

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