Pitter patter go the little feet. What happens in this bakery at night? A short story.
The baker stopped in his packing, looking around the store. There was not a creature in sight, but he hoped it wasn’t mice again. The last time, the store had closed for three days, and he hadn’t a clue what to do with himself. He shook himself out of that memory and continued packing up for the night.
He turned again. Still, nothing in sight. He checked the food pantry, just to be sure.
That was definitely behind him! He turned quickly, and glimpsed something disappearing behind a flour bag. Scurrying himself, he followed and peered behind. Nothing, again.
He turned this way and that, picking up jugs – Pitter – tossing aside boxes – Patter – and peering in every nook and cranny – Pitter Patter Pitter Patter.
Finally, with an exasperated puff of breath, the baker simply gave up. Ignoring each Pitter, and every Patter, he cleaned up the shop, righting all he’d messed up, (which was a lot.) Ready, finally, to close for the night, the baker switched off the light, and closed the front door behind him on the way out.
Pitter Patter Pitter Patter.
The door opened again, and the light flicked on. The baker saw nothing.
“Hopefully it’ll all still be here in the morning,” he muttered to himself. The door closed behind him once more, with a loud click.
A tiny creature scurried from one hiding place to another. A black top-hat appeared for just a second, before popping back into hiding. Slowly, it peeked out again, followed by the creature’s head; there was no one to be found, and definitely no baker.
“Jibber Jabber.” called the creature. One more peered from beneath a bench, another from atop a shelf. Two little top-hats appeared on either side of a milk jug.
One by one, the little top-hatted creatures came marching out from hiding. Now that they were in plain sight, if one were watching this spectacle, one could see that they all looked exactly alike. To match their little top-hats, they were also dressed in black suits, and even sported black hair and moustaches. Although they were rather small, shorter than a boy’s hand, they were also very round, which one would see the reason for very soon.
Pitter Patter, went the little top-hatted men, on up to the baker’s bread racks. As the first reached the racks, another little man jumped up onto his head, squashing his hat. From there, he pulled the next one up, so he too could jump onto this tower of little men. Forty-two men, and forty-one crushed hats later, they had reached the bread!
With a great big heave, the first loaf of bread came crashing to the ground; it was soon followed by every other one on the rack. The tower came tumbling down with the last loaf, and the little men fell upon the pile of bread, picking themselves up and eating the pile away excitedly.
The pile was gone in a matter of minutes! With a great belch, the little men sat back with satisfied bellies (that were surely larger than before.) They did not rest long, however; the baker would be back in the morning, and there was work to be done.
The little men spread out and marched to different parts of the bakery. Flour bags, baking pans, mixing bowls, and every other little thing was marched back, and the little men got to work, singing a tune as they went.
Crash and Clatter
Time to bake some breads!
Quick, or else he’ll take our heads!
Before long, a dozen loaves of bread were baking and rising, and a great mess was around the bakery – mixing bowls covered in dough, benches blanketed in flour, and the floor seemed to have become the main storage space for the odds and ends.
The little men were running out of time; the baker would be back in less than an hour! They frantically ran about, washing bowls and trays and spoons, dusting and tidying and panicking about which piece goes back where. Nervous “Jibber Jabber”s filled the room, as their feet made a hurried Pitter-Patter-Pitter-Patter.
The door opened.
The last loaf had just been set upon the rack, and the last little man scurried away behind a shelf. As one, they let out a sigh of relief, which luckily was drowned out by the door as it closed.
The baker looked around the shop, and gave a grateful ah at the fact that the shop looked exactly the same as the night before. He then picked up the tray for day-old bread, and threw every loaf into the bin.
The baker looked around, startled; the shriek had seemed to come from everywhere at once. He shook his head at himself, and began to make some bread.