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The Difference Between Salt and Sugar

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

As the smell of heavy rain wafts, I look up wondering how much time I have. The rain clouds wave at me from a distance and I wave back, giving them the finger. I try to find my house in the sea of perfectly kept lawns and beautiful porches but there’s too much road in between me and a warm bath filled with brown sugar to keep me sweet. I can hear the storm laughing, a shrill thing that pierces my ears, making them ring. I run up the next set of porch stairs, knocking on the door frantically.

“Please, please, do let me in! I could catch a cold from this soak!”

The door opens a crack and I catch a glimpse of a yellow eye. It blinks slowly and a voice like molasses asks, “What do you desire, pet?”

“Just to wait out this storm. I could just melt in this downpour.”

The yellow eye just blinks at me and then after a thought, crinkles with smile lines, “Just a moment.”

The door closes briefly and then reopens to show a short, full figured dark skinned woman. Her golden eyes are still enveloped in those smile wrinkles. Her teeth are bright white, and her grin sends shivers down my back. “Please make yourself at home.”

I squeeze past her, entering a dimly lit hallway. On the ceiling hangs paintings of the moon in all her glory. She glows brightly, lighting up the hallway. I look around, taking in the sights - paintings of dancing queens and shooting stars, twirling in their frames. Statues turn their heads to follow our journey. We finally find the light at the end of the tunnel, a sitting room fitted with a coffee table and three couches placed around it. I sink onto one of the deep burgundy cushions, sighing.

“My, my, my, does that feel sweet.”

“Do not get too comfortable, delightful creature. The storm will soon pass and you will be well on your way home. Tea?”

"That'd be splendid, Ms...?"

"Please regard me as Dipper."

I smile, "Hello, Dipper. I'm Dee."

"What an interesting little confection you are. Sugar, honey, or black?"

"Sugar would pleasure me, thank you."

Dipper goes into another room and I get up, looking around. There’s a large fireplace with a flame lit and the embers glow green, an eternal heat. Over the fireplace is one big painting of Ms. Dipper, with her yellow eyes and a slight smile on her face. Her eyes follow me around the room, and I wave at her. She rolls her eyes and flips me off.

“How rude of me, my apologies,” Dipper comes back, a mug in her hands.

She places it on the coffee table and sits me down on the couch. She sits next to me, stroking my arm as I take a sip of the tea.

"Is the tea satisfactory?"

"Utter perfection. Almost like I'm drinking melted candy."

“Well, I figured you had an insatiable sweet tooth. You better be careful or your pearly whites will fall, fall, fall…”

She trails off, tilting her head and smirking up at me.

“What were you partaking in so late in the night?”

I take another sip, "Toiling in the kitchen. I possess a five star bakery. I service smiles."

"Joyous people are nice, aren't they? So much easier to have company with," Dipper leans her head against my shoulder, "I've never had a taste for sugar. I prefer a more salty palette. Does your bakery specialize in something with a bit of a bite to it?"

I think for a minute, "Pretzels. Pretzels are what you require. My, how good I am at creating pretzels! The outside might be crispy and salty but the dough of course is sweet as a bee."

"I don't think I've ever partaken in a pretzel. Is it like a sandwich?"

I gasp, "Well, Dipper, you must be favored! It's come to pass that I have some dough on me. I had intended to create some for the old couple who resides near my house. It's their favorite snack but their legs are frail and their minds wander so they can't go as far as I. I could make some if you'd like."

Dipper grins, "I'd be absolutely delighted. Oh what fun! Here I'll introduce you to the kitchen."

We get up and Dipper takes my hand as she leads me. Her fingers are long and slender and her palm is chilling. I shiver involuntarily and hope she doesn't notice. When we get into the kitchen I almost gasp. It's almost like a house within a house, furnished with all the newest gadgets and whirls. I get to work, starting ovens which angrily hum and let loose a deep "bum bum bum". I roll out the dough and shape it, my hands like ballerina's - beautiful yet sure, confident and poised. Dipper watches as I move in the kitchen, her yellow eyes curious. I open the oven and get embraced by a breath of hot air before putting the pan of dough on the top rack and closing the door. I turn to Dipper, and hold out my hand.

"May I possess this sway?"

She thinks about it for a minute, but then takes my hand and I place my other palm on her hip and we begin to sway around the room. Softly, somewhere in the house, a piano begins to play and she leans her head against my neck, closing her eyes. The lights dim and the music gets louder, almost like it’s playing in the kitchen and I’m admiring her features in the glow of the light and the caress of the shadows of the night.

Suddenly, a screaming from the oven cuts off the music and the lights brighten and Dipper opens her eyes lazily, slowly pulling away. I rush to the oven, taking the pretzels out and grabbing the salt and spreading it like seeds, hoping it finds purchase before presenting it to Dipper.

"These are pretzels. They're a little searing right now but -"

She takes the pan out of my hands and places it on the counter. Then she presses her lips against mine.

She presses her lips against mine.

She presses her lips against mine.

Holy fuck, I’m kissing a goddess. Her lips are soft and gentle as she caresses my face. I grab her waist, pulling her closer.

“So sweet,” she murmurs against my lips.

She begins to kiss my neck and I almost melt into a puddle until teeth sink into my neck and I gasp at the sharp pinch. I push Dipper off me, bringing my hands to my neck and checking my skin. Sure enough, there are two puncture wounds, little holes of purchase.

Not a goddess.

“Did you get your fill?”

She coughs, spluttering, “A little too sweet. I don’t drink for the fun of it, but I figured I’d try my hand with you. Purgatory, I might cough up a lung. I need some blood. In the fridge.”

I open the fridge and find bags full of red liquid. I grimace but bring her one. She bares her fangs and sinks her teeth into it, sighing contently.

“Much preferable.”

“Why did you do it?”

Dipper shrugs, “I wanted a little adventure. But I’ve had my fill, you need to leave. Now.”

"If I go out currently, I'll be finished!"

"This is a destroy or be destroyed world and my secrecy is critical to my survival."

"I'll linger. I won't go back to the bakery. It'll shut down and I'll bake only for you."

"Your sugar doesn't sway me. Depart. Now."

The lights dim and then goes completely dark and several pairs of hands grab my arms, pulling me out of the kitchen and down the hallway. I’m kicking and screaming, begging as they roughly drag me against the floor.

"Please! You could develop a taste for sweets if you gave it a possibility!"

The door opens and the smell of rain hits me squarely in the face. I groan, wiping the grains from my upper lip.


The rain drops pummel my body and I fall down, crouching on the ground. I look up at the house and see Dipper standing on the porch, watching. My hands dissolve before my eyes as I reach out for her.

“Dipper! Please!”

She just blinks those bright yellow eyes as I lose feeling in my legs, and then my torso, and then…

Dipper bites into one of Dee’s pretzels as she melts onto the ground, sugar crystals getting stuck to the pavement.

“A shame, really,” Dipper sighs, touching her lips, and goes back inside, closing the door behind her.


A saddle-stitched paranormal short story. A very unconventional vampire romance.

Written for a writing class but something that always plagued me. When I was in primary school, I read a story about a family made out of sugar. I don't remember what the name of it was or if in the end they melt but I still vividly remember this premise; it stuck with me. This idea of people walking around, made of sugar, always in fear of melting in the rain. It seemed parallel to vampires who are afraid of being burnt by the sun. This story was not plotted in advance - it was conceptualized and in less than an hour, the first draft was written.

Dee, our main character, embodies this idea of how the sweetest people always have something darker hiding underneath. She is always working to take care of other people, even if it hurts her. Dipper, the love interest, is a foil of this people pleasing nature - she is selfish and unafraid of this trait inside her. She is a representation of both the good and bad ways selfishness can be embodied.

When workshopping and working on other drafts, I got a note that I should amp up the surreal weirdness in the dialogue. It adds so much depth, and adds to the otherworldly quality I wanted to showcase. It's set outside and in Dipper's home, which is this very magical place where wall decorations move and the house almost resembles Monster House in that it's alive and well. Outside her home, a personable storm brews, out for Dee's blood.

Writing this was so much fun, but as I keep coming back to this piece, I realize I want more. I wrote a surreal black lesbian tragedy and instead of being satisfied, my appetite for their tale was unsatiated.

So I decided to make it into a fictional podcast.

Currently in the works, Season One of Chalk It Up To A Dream will focus on going deeper into this brief moment and getting at the core of who are Dee and Dipper and where we are in the world.

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