Flash Fiction: Local Gossip About the Muffin Man

Today’s post comes from Kathy (with a “K”) L. Price. Her book, Down the nanoTubes, will be available soon. The prompt this time is to use the first line of a nursery rhyme or story as the first line


by Kathy Price

Do you know the Muffin Man? He’s the old guy who lives down on Drury Lane, in the little yellow house tucked way back in the woods. The one with the white picket fence out front.

He’s lived there alone for decades, but I heard he was engaged once, a long time ago. Just a day before the wedding, his fiancé died under mysterious circumstances. They’d worked together in the bakery and, according to the talk around town, were the perfect couple. She was pretty and smart, with a great sense of humor. He was handsome and polite with a quick wit and ready smile. The wedding was going to be THE big event of the year and everyone for miles around had been invited, including my Aunt Rose, who’s the one who told me the story.

The rumor was he’d closed the bakery the day before the wedding to make a fancy cake for their special day. He baked cookies, pies and other treats for the reception, which promised to be a celebration to remember. When he took a break in the evening, he was to pick Rose up at her parents’ house and take her out for dinner, their last “date” before becoming a married couple.

He knocked on her front door. There was no answer, so he peered in the window and saw her lying on the floor in the parlor. After calling her name and getting no response, he broke down the front door, raced to her side and found she had been stabbed. There was blood everywhere. According to his testimony, she was still alive when he found her. He cradled her in his arms. She looked into his eyes, lifted her hand to touch his face, said his name, and died.

Of course, there was a police inquiry. Some said what really happened was they had a fight and he killed her. Others thought it might just have been a robbery gone wrong. Some said Rose had been caught kissing the Muffin Man’s best friend the week before and it was he who had killed her, rather than see her marry another man.

The police were never able to prove anything, one way or the other. For a long time, the Muffin Man wouldn’t even go back into the bakery. After the inquest and his acquittal, though, he finally gathered the courage to do so. He cleaned up the bakery and threw out all the cookies, cakes and pies he’d baked for the wedding. He threw out the special cupcakes, the spun-sugar confectioneries, and rich, chocolaty fudge. He realized  life had to go on without Rose but from then on, he would make nothing but muffins, which were the only type of bakery product he hadn’t made for their reception.

They’re really good muffins, too.


The Spot Writers – our members:


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Val Muller



Catherine A. MacKenzie



Kathy L. Price

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