It held me down by the throat, strangling me, until I passed out and when I awoke, after the rape the first thing I saw was a stray cloud, a shade darker than the others, moving rapidly against the flat sky.
In the distance a lonesome hawk flew right through the stray cloud searching for its prey without mercy; my saving grace, triggering an unknown voice speaking to me in a foreign tongue.
The voice said.
"Go inside. You left the cake in the oven and it is done. Actually it is overdone. Can I be more frank? It is now ruined. The timer has been ringing. Where have you been and who told you that a cake can be baked at 500 degrees Fahrenheit? Talk about being asleep at the wheel. How many excuses can one person make? Listen to me. Just throw it out. Start over. I placed the recipe for you on the counter, again. You can't miss it. It is between the knives and the sugar tucked under your vitamin B12. Follow the instructions to the T.……Yeah. I know what you are thinking. It is true. All oven temperatures do vary, but seriously. 500 degrees Fahrenheit? You are smarter than that. Better than that. Are we on the same page?"
Heeding the advice, without recollection, I collected myself and went back inside. Before I did, I looked back up at the sky. The stray cloud was gone. Nowhere to be found. The hawk, without my knowledge, sat on a branch beyond me, satiated.
It was on the counter. It was there all along.
I read it, and with the keen eye of a hawk I participated, seriously hoping to avoid a miscarriage.
I took out the eggs, the butter, the flour and sugar, using a flat knife to assist me with all the measurements.
"This time I will bake the perfect cake." I spoke out loud to the unknown voice, feeling victorious, feeling as if it was me who had control over my own body; my own thoughts.
But alas, when the batter was ready, before I placed the cake pan in the oven, along came the hour of my discontent. As if possessed, I picked up the recipe in absentia, shamelessly discarding the written card in the trash in between the shards of cracked egg shell.
Once again, like a broken record, my hand, with a mind of its own, turned the oven dial back up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while the hawk hunkered down for the night against the black sky unperturbed.