Writing Prompts Week 2: Rising to the Challenge

Trixie Hatter and Nix Nightingale had a… complicated relationship. While they certainly adored each other, they each had their little habits that made anyone on the outside believe they were mortal enemies. Nix, while being a gentleman and motherly sort of person, also rather liked to mess with people from time to time, namely Trixie. Miss Hatter, on the other hand, was about as stubborn as a mule and rather liked to prove herself right whenever she could, or demand a fight when she couldn’t.

They were sitting around at Nix’s house, watching television with his adopted daughter, Sierra, while she busied herself making yet another piece of art to decorate her bedroom wall. The floor was all but covered in newspapers to catch errant paint drops.

The little redheaded child looked up from her canvas at Nix. “Mamma, when’s Gammy ‘Nirva coming over again?”

“Gammy ‘Nirva”, or Minerva, was Nix’s pseudo-adoptive mother. She was well-loved by those in the household, and liked to come over for visits to babysit Sierra and generally go on a baking spree for them.

“Hmm,” Nix pondered. “She hasn’t called asking about my schedule yet, so I’m not sure. Why do you ask, Missy?”

“I want bread.”

“I could make bread,” Trixie offered before Nix could say anything.

Nix raised an eyebrow at the woman. “Really? Have you ever made bread before?”

“Baked cookies once,” she shrugged. “Can’t be too ‘ard.”

“Darling, baking bread is far from whipping up a batch of chocolate chip. It’s a lot more involved than that. More of a science.”

“You sayin’ I can’t do it?” Trixie puffed up. She poked Nix in the arm for emphasis. “I’ll ‘ave you know I had top marks in all my science classes. Jus’ you wait right ‘ere an’ I’ll ‘ave a fresh loaf o’ bread ready afore ye can recite the periodic table!”

With an air of finality, she stormed off to the kitchen and began raiding the pantry.

Sierra and Nix exchanged looks. “Mamma, is Miss Trixie gonna be okay?”

“She’ll be fine, Sierra. I’ll go see if she needs any help. Remember, don’t get any paint on my carpet.”

The girl gave a mock salute while Nix followed Trixie into the kitchen.

“Need a hand, love?”

Trixie had found a basic recipe and was currently fussing about with the yeast when she looked up and glared at Nix. “‘M perfectly fine on my own. Shoo!”

“Alright, alright,” he put his hands up in surrender and pulled up a stool to perch on. “If’n you’re wondering why the yeast isn’t doing much, though, your water’s too hot.”

“I knew that!” Trixie dumped out the failed yeast and set about with a new measurement, this time grinning in satisfaction when it began to bubble up like a head of lager. This went on for the next few hours, with Nix sneaking in bits of advice and Trixie protesting all the way. Luckily for the both of them, it was a quick rise yeast that Trixie had grabbed, and so the bread was baking away in the oven before too long.

“At least let me help you out with the dishes,” Nix offered, seeing how Trixie was near constantly rolling her shoulders to force them to relax after an intense kneading session. After a moment’s consideration, she conceded and took Nix’s place on the chair.

Sierra came running into the kitchen when the oven timer when off. The entire house smelled of freshly baked bread and everyone’s stomachs were rumbling by that point. The little redhead bounced up and down as Nix turned the loaf out of the pan. It was less puffy than Minerva’s bread, but it certainly smelled right.

“It’s yummy!” Sierra declared, once given a slice with butter.

“Not too shabby,” Nix agreed, smiling wolfishly at Trixie. “You really rose to the challenge there, Trix.”

Trixie grinned and puffed out her chest in pride. “Told you I could do it. Now, hows about we make some grilled cheese wif this?”

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