Solving Conflicts with Cookies

Solving Conflicts with Cookies

This wasn’t so much a prompt per se. My writing partner and I were having difficulties with a shared project. We used a simple conflict/resolution scenario to get past it. Afterward I wrote this silly scene… just cuz ;)

The cookies were tucked into a non-descript, cream-colored box, each set on its own square of tissue paper. Nothing fancy. Neither of them went for that sort of thing. Two dozen of each type. The difficult thing had been maintaining the shape. There were dark chocolate chip cookies – dark chocolate because Domerin didn’t really like sweet things – and simple shortbreads.

He’d ruined the first batch with impatience. He never had been very domestic. But he was determined. After the first failure he counted all the ingredients carefully, watched while the cookies puffed up in the oven. He’d only burnt two trays. Not bad considering the amount of time he’d spent in the kitchen.

Now all that remained was to wait.

* * *

Crescent hadn’t meant to get caught in a bad deal. He was careful, always checked his cargo, kept his ear to the pulse of the black market. Usually he flitted away before the law had a chance to discover him. He prided himself on always having the most up to date information. He had to admit to himself, he might have been careless in this case. The exchange had been simple, the goods harmless. He hadn’t expected the police to be interested.

The police, however, didn’t always have the most up to date information. They were sniffing for drugs. Luckily, his drop didn’t involve any. But that put the officers in a crass mood. They wanted someone to arrest. They wanted something to show for their time and effort. So, despite his relative innocence, Crescent got the cuffs while they dragged him downtown for questioning.

It could have ended right then, with a fine. It wasn’t like he didn’t have the money. Except for the flag that popped up in their system the moment they typed in his name. The Queen’s Division could have sent anyone. That they’d sent the one person who would glower at him in disapproval was a stroke of sheer bad luck.

They might have laughed about it after, over coffee or, perhaps, dinner. If it hadn’t been a mere three months since Domerin stood up in a court of law to vouch for his reputation. And not just any court; the highest court their country had. The Queen’s court.

Not that a phony bust tarnished his reputation. He was an informant in good standing, a fact Domerin proved with a sheet of paper and a word. And how could he keep his fingers in the black market politics in order to pass the knowledge along, if the dark underbelly’s inhabitants didn’t trust him? And since the goods he’d been transporting had been stolen by thieves from other thieves, the Queen didn’t really care what happened to them. So long as they stole from each other, it would keep them from stealing from the crown. Or so the authorities deemed at the time.

But it did reflect poorly on Domerin that he had to bail Crescent out so soon after vouching for his identity to the entire nation. If news had got out, or if Crescent had been photographed in public in handcuffs, it’d have been no laughing matter.

He could tell Domerin wasn’t really angry, but he didn’t like him to be sore. It was all a big misunderstanding, but it could have left a big impression if left alone. Tarnishing his relationship with Domerin was the last thing Crescent wanted to do.

* * *

“I made these for you.” He held up the box before he tried to cross the threshold.

Domerin blinked. “I didn’t expect to see you. You usually call first.”

“Well, yes. But it wouldn’t have been a surprise if I called. Go on, take it.” Crescent shook the box lightly, not enough to disturb the contents within. He didn’t want all the cookies to break before Domerin saw them.

Dark blue eyes narrowed suspiciously, but Domerin took the box and stepped aside so Crescent could enter. The apartment was familiar. Small, slightly disorganized, but always clean. it smelled like Domerin. That was the best thing about this apartment. Everywhere he went, there were traces of him in the air. Domerin set the box on the kitchen counter and moved to the fridge.

“You want a beer?”

“Sure, but aren’t you going to open the box?”

“Now?”

“Isn’t that what you usually do with gifts?”

“Absolutely, but I’m not sure I want to know what’s inside.”

“Aww, come on,” Crescent pouted. “You know me better than that.”

“That’s exactly why I’m hesitant.” But there was a hint of a grin on Domerin’s lips.

Rather than settle on the couch, Crescent padded into the kitchen to accept his beer and perched right beside the box, eagerly awaiting Domerin’s reaction when he opened the lid. Domerin looked at him strangely one more time before he slid his thumb between the two thin slices of cardboard.

Domerin Lorcasf’s expressions were notoriously difficult to read. Anyone else would have said he didn’t react when he looked in the box, but Crescent saw the flash of mirth in his eyes. Grinning, he leaned forward, resting his cheek on Domerin’s shoulder. “So, what do you think?”

“Why are they shaped like that? And how’d you convince a bakery to do it?”

“I didn’t use a bakery,” Crescent preened. “I made them all myself. And why shouldn’t they be shaped that way? I like the thought of you putting them in your mouth.”

That did it. Domerin chuckled, lifting one of the impolitely-shaped cookies from the box. “I suppose it’s all right, so long as my mother doesn’t see them.”

*********
You can check out the original conflict/solution scenario, written by my writing partner.

Sorry there’s no actual prompt to pass on this week, but if you’d like to share one of your own (or any past prompts), send a link and I’ll feature them next week! ;)

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