You left your biscuits behind…

A snippet of my story for the Fox Spirit prompt of “You left your biscuit behind…”

He would begin by carefully measuring the ingredients into the scale pan, placing the curved ceramic weights into the opposing side. He slowly tipped everything into the large, clean bowl, letting the drifts tumble and mix as they fell together, and then stirred the mixture, folding it, cutting and turning and watching the way the ground nuts transformed into a dense dough. The softness of the dough was pliant under his hands as he lifted it out and placed it onto the wooden worktop, gently rolling it back and forth, creating a thick ribbon of brown speckled with glimmers of spice. The sun came through the skylight as he gently sliced the dough, shafting down the whitewash and onto the spice racks; the sunlight brought warmth but the room was always hot despite the thick earth walls, thanks to the oven shimmering in the corner. Rean carefully parted each individual biscuit from the ribbon and laid the thin rounds onto a large tray.

When the tray was full, he would carry it over to the oven, staggering slightly under the load and worried that he was going to drop it. The heat of the oven burned his cheeks, but then the door was shut and he could hover outside, watching the biscuits in agony to ensure they didn’t burn. They were so thin that a few seconds could turn them from golden brown to charred black – but remove them too early and the beautiful, rich gold would be a pallid yellow. It required perfect timing.

When the cookies had cooled and hardened into golden curls, they were carefully folded into wafer-thin paper and fanned into the waiting box, layer upon layer. Then the box was shut, and tied with strands of thin ribbon until the tips curled like vines across the carved wood. He would linger for one last moment before handing it over to Theela to be placed behind the counter, ready and waiting for the recipient to enter the shop.