Gingerbread men were lined up by the dozen and every one of them had a different facial expression. Their limbs had the look of a soft baked cookie rather than the biscuity creations I used to make in my childhood. Should those men have tried to run away I'm sure their legs would have crumbled beneath them before they made it to the high-street. I recall pressing my hand to the glass right in front of them and being surprised how cool it was on such a warm day, placing my face forwards and inhaling like I wanted to eat the air. Though the bakery was jammed with all manner of baked goods from crusty french bread to chocolate brownies, the fragrance of spice and ginger was under it all, a gentle perfume to unite the savoury and sweet.

Family Life

Gingerbread cookies were Ivy's Christmas speciality. The local kids really knew the season was at hand when a box of her cookies arrived for their class. Each one had a slightly crisp texture on the outside, almost like a brownie, and the inside was soft yet more dense than bread or cake. In each little box she put enough copies of her recipe for the class. When the teacher opened the box for the class it was like releasing fairy magic. The sweet fragrance replaced the smell of glue and winter shoes; the heady spice and sweetness took every one of them right back to that time last year when the last box was opened.

Then, when the festive season was over Ivy held a bake sale fundraiser so she could keep donating the following year. For many of the children she met she was simply "the gingerbread lady," and they held her with the same reverence as Santa Claus himself.


On the old dining table, the one made from stolen railway sleepers, is a parcel in newspaper. One flick of the wall switch tells Primrose the electricity isn't working again, and from the perfumed air that greets her she assumes her olfactory senses aren't working either. The fragrance is an instant evocation of her grandmother's kitchen, the one pound loaves of warm gingerbread lined up on her cooling racks. The ghostly perfume is enough to bring back her grandmother's voice, her hearty laugh and the way she crossed her heart every time she put a new batch in her oven. All at once the happy memories passed, like a brief flash of an old movie where perhaps you had a part, and the mildew walls came back into focus.

Gingerbread ought to be an impossibility, the trouble of getting milled flour and sugar alone was hard enough, let alone the exotic spice. When at last she let her fingers peel back the paper and confirm what she knew to be true, all her thoughts were extinguished like troublesome flames. She lifted it, turned it toward the window to savour not only the texture but a shade of brown she'd long forgotten. It was in this trance that River called to her from the doorway and she almost edited his voice from her head. "River," she thought, "who else could bake this out of love and ashes?"

Fairy Tales

The gingerbread house struggled under an avalanche of "snow." Candy canes were stuck so thickly around the outside that a fortress like fence was created to keep out any pesky Hansel and Gretel that should chance by. Though the house itself dreamed of living in stale obscurity, an abandoned house of spice and sugar, the gap toothed grin that loomed above it told of a different future. Before the biscuit-like walls would have the chance to soften in the winter air or gather a layer of dust, the demolition would begin. The house began to wish, to call for some pixie dust to be brought, and as chance wood have it Rosebud was passing by...


There it was, as clear as the sky on a scorching summer day, that aroma, that perfect blend of spicy and sweet. It was masked between the other heavenly scents, but I could not just smell it, I could see it even before I turned the corner. It was ambrosia, not as powerful, but extremely close to it. I hadn't smelled it in the oven for years, baking to a delicious and moist auric brown. It was gingerbread. The last time I had tasted any of this amazing creation was when I had last opened the door to that nostalgic English bakery a few miles away, I would have inhaled the complete loaf when it came out of that fiery oven that was made of crimson bricks. The old baker walked out from the mahogany counter top, his large belly preceding him and handed me a slice, wrapped in a beige napkin, all it took was a nibble of the glorious stuff and I knew, instantly that I had found my weakness.

By inkforfun, November 25, 2014*.

Crumbling and soft it just sat there. I couldn't help myself. Consumed with curiosity I just had to take a bite. Itching with desire, my teeth broke in. Soft and sweet it was almost like heaven on earth, until the spice came and a soft tingling aftertaste made the inside of my mouth momentarily flare. I could feel my eyes light with pleasure before taking another bite.

By ronnie, November 4, 2014.

I knew I shouldn't but just seeing the little golden brown house sitting there for days made me hungry.Every night I would sneak downstairs and pull a little from the corner.It wasn't until Christmas day when it was take from in the cupboard that i noticed it was half gone

By nonofyourbuisness, November 10, 2014.
Fairy Tales

Hello there, my name is Ralph. But I’m sure you know me by my more popular name, The Gingerbread Man. I’m writing this to tell you how the whole story really began… and how it’s about to end. The only things I can remember from the moments I first opened my gumdrop eyes, are searing heat and sitting up to see I was caged within a burning, metal oven. I even found a dozen of my friends still being roasted in there with me! I could clearly smell the warmth of the ginger lingering in the air. As I lied there surrounded by my burnt friends, I heard a loud creak, followed by some voices. There was a sudden rush of cold air, which I thought must be a gift from the almighty muffin man himself. Unfortunately, it was only one side of the room being opened. On the other side, stood a small girl. She had long blonde hair and inviting blue eyes. There was a smile on her pale face as she reached into the room with one small hand. I sprang to my feet and ran for the far edge of the pan, hoping she couldn’t reach me.
The little girl shrieked and her hand disappeared in a flash. It’s just my luck that she’d be replaced by two very large humans. One was a man, standing about four candy canes higher than the other human, a woman, on his left! The man had short, messy, brown hair and a long beard. I, personally, think the worst thing about him was his tacky plain shirt, but that’s just my own opinion. The man’s wife didn’t look too good herself. She had long flowing, blonde hair, just like the little girl’s, and the same enticing blue eyes. Of course after seeing the man’s horrible fashion sense, I had to notice what she was wearing: the woman had on, a long red dress with what looked to be a strange hat on her head. It looked like a droopy, red, cone with a cotton ball on the very tip of it.
Now me being me, I wanted to get out of there, and fast. I decided to make a break for it. I made a dash to the edge of the pan and leapt onto the tile flooring, causing a yelp...

By Halima Begum, March 30, 2015.