Not Everything is Cake

📅 Published on July 28, 2020

“Not Everything is Cake”

Written by Irving Crane
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 9.50/10. From 6 votes.
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I need your help.  I don’t know who you are, or how many of you I’m actually addressing.  That’s the problem with doing something like this, when you don’t really know your audience.  I just need to know if I’m going insane, or if I’ve stumbled across something far worse than I thought imaginable.

Chances are that by the time this gets out and anyone hears this, though, it will be too late, and I’ll have had to make a decision, one that will either prove I’m crazy and that I need to be locked up and away from everyone… or that what I believe is true, and that I’ve been right all along.

I pray to God it’s the former.

This all started for the absolute stupidest reason: an internet meme.  That’s right, you heard me.  After reading that sentence, you’re already probably thinking I’m not worth listening to, and most times, you’d be right.  And it is a stupid meme.

I stumbled across “Everything is Cake”.

I hadn’t even been looking for it. I just saw a picture of the Earth being cut in half, and two astronauts looking at it, one incredulous in the face of their discovery that the world was made of cake, the other pointing a gun at the first and saying, “Yes.  It has always been.”  I just wondered what the hell this was, and what it was all about.  Then I saw the videos of the photo-realistic cakes, and how everyone was jumping on the bandwagon, talking about how everything was really cake.

It’s so silly and goofy, and yet, despite nobody in real life talking about it, the internet is its own animal, and it was trending here, new pictures being drawn there.  I thought it was amusing enough.

And just for fun, I thought I would make a quick video of trying to cut my toaster oven, just to prove not everything was cake.  I thought it would be fun.  I thought it would be enjoyable for the five people who would end up seeing it.

That’s how it was supposed to go.

I set up my phone on my butter dish, pointing it at my toaster oven.  I started the recording, waved, set up my little spiel of how I baked up my oven, and how I was going to cut it to prove to everyone that anyone could make something out of cake.  Then I would try to cut it, and it wouldn’t, and then, “hilarity” would ensue.

When I went to my oven, I shook the table, and just as I put the knife to the oven, it fell over.  I swore, but I was already pressing the knife against it, and my weight was already prepped to force itself against the solid metal.

My knife went down into the metal, as if it were nothing.  And my toaster oven screamed.

I backed away, knife still sticking out of the oven, as it moaned, the little legs of it twisting and bending, and it crawled a small distance, shuddering, before it collapsed.

I couldn’t believe what I had just seen.  It couldn’t have been real.  But after I was sure it wasn’t going to move again, I approached and grabbed at the little slice I had made, peeling it back.

What should have been just pure metal and heating wire was instead hiding a thick, oily green meat, like a steak that had gone bad.  Peeling back further, it was solid through and through, the same exact substance.  There were no organs, no veins, nothing but this greenish, foul offal.  I cut further, dissecting my oven, and found the device was entirely made of it on the inside.  The only thing that suggested it was an oven in the first place was the skin of it, which felt perfectly normal in all respects… except for its surprising brittleness when I cut through it.

I was horrified.  I’ve used this oven for years, but based on what it was made of, there was no way it could have heated anything.  It was a replacement, a duplicate, replacing the oven I had had for so long.

I began to test other things in the room.  I started with the butter dish I had leaned my phone on.  It, too, screamed as I jammed the knife into the porcelain surface, revealing the alien flesh underneath.  A pitcher for holding large kitchenware?  Same thing.  Hell, even the kitchenware came apart when I cut it, spraying black ichor as I hastily began chopping apart everything in the room.

Everything was green on the inside, spraying black blood and covering not just me, but every surface, on my little “killing spree.”  I opened the pantry and stabbed a box of Corn Flakes; the flakes themselves, ironically, seemed fine, but the box tried to crawl out of my hands.  Everything in the pantry reacted the same way; the food in the containers was normal, but every container was some living thing, even though there was nothing keeping them alive.

After this, I held my knife up against the refrigerator.  The knife tip scraped the metal surface, and under I could see the green ooze forward, the meat pushing itself through, freed from its prison.  I didn’t know if my knife would kill it due to its size, but I didn’t want to find out.  Maybe this one would fight back if I knew its secret.

But none of it acted in self-defense; it simply reacted to what I did.  It was as if they were just dumb creations, organic substitutes for my inanimate possessions.

But why?  I’m just some schmuck with a normal life.  I go to a normal job.  I don’t do anything to anybody.  Who would replace the things in my house with this… substance?

I went to my car, knife in hand, not caring who saw me covered in black, foul-smelling splatter, and got in.  I started it up.  Everything seemed normal.

I turned on the radio.  A local AM station came on.  I listened to it for a minute, waiting to hear if there was any news, and if I was the only one that had noticed this.  But there was nothing.  Nothing but talk about the governor’s latest proposal.

I plunged the blade into the radio, right up to the hilt.

The drawl of the radio personality changed to a high-pitched squeal, juices leaking out onto the power outlet that, once upon a time, had been reserved solely for cigarette lighters.

I trimmed the top of my gear shift.  It, too, groaned and spurted forth something unpleasant into my face.

My car ran, just like it always did.  But it wasn’t really a car anymore.  Every component was replaced. Or, maybe the whole vehicle was one big living, breathing organism pretending to be a car.

I got out, the thought I was sitting in some thing’s mouth too much to handle.  I fell back on the ground, breathing heavily, having a panic attack as I tried to make sense of everything.

I heard footsteps, and felt hands gripping me by the shoulders.  It was a neighbor I had seen many times, a young woman whose name I didn’t know, but who I knew spent a lot of time gardening in her lot.  She looked very concerned as she lifted me to my feet.

“Are you all right?  Do you need me to call a doctor?”

I shook my head, but then realized how I must have looked, freaking out and covered in… well, I guess it could be blood.  “I just… I…”

She looked in the car, but popped her head back out.  “You sure everything is okay?  You sure you’re not hurt?  It looks like you may have been bleeding pretty badly.  Let me call someone, just to be safe.”

She pulled out a phone, and I tilted my head a little.  A little blood?  Sure, there was the stuff that sprayed out, but she looked in the car.  Surely she noticed the giant hole in the radio?  The slimy goo leaking out of the gear shift?

“Hello?  Emergency?  Hi, I’m with a guy on my street, a neighbor.  He looks hurt.”  She rattled off the address.  “Yes, he seems okay, but I don’t know for sure.  Yes, we’ll both be here when you get here.”  She hung up.

We’ll both be here when you get here.  Is that how people end 911 calls?  That sounded… strange.  Also, didn’t 911 tell you to stay on the line until help actually got there?

“Okay, buddy, you’ll be okay.  Help is on the way.  You don’t have any allergies or anything, do you?”  She came up to put a hand on my shoulder, a friendly gesture.

With what I had just seen, though, I wasn’t in the mood for friendly gestures.  I was confused and frightened.  My whole world had turned upside-down in minutes, all because I was trying to get in on the whole internet craze.

I tried to push her hand away, but it wasn’t until it was too late that I realized I was using the hand that held the knife.  She pulled away, holding her wrist.

“Holy shit!  You crazy son of a…”

But I wasn’t paying attention to her reaction.  Instead, my gaze was drawn to the wound I opened on her wrist.


She was trying to hide it, but it was black.  Not normal, red blood.

Before she could run, I tackled and straddled her, and plunged the knife into her chest.

She screamed like a normal person, but only for a moment.  As I sliced into her over and over again, I realized the sound that emerged came not from her throat, but from the gaping wound I was cutting.  More of that alien substance.  No bones, no organs, just a pulsating, green mass.

People were monsters, too.  It wasn’t just my appliances.  People were being replaced, too.

I watched her form flop and shudder, groaning and flailing as it realized its cover was blown, black spray flying up every few seconds as if I’d struck an artery.  Yet, it didn’t truly have blood.  I looked around, and saw other people beginning to emerge from their homes.  All of them were staring at me.

I looked at the young woman, then at the knife, and to what I had seen.  At that moment, I began to believe that perhaps I was the instigator, and not the victim.  What if I had lost my mind?  Surely the whole world around me hadn’t been replaced; it was easier to believe that maybe I was just crazy, and I had… I had…

I had just committed murder.  Suddenly, neither option made me feel better.

I ran into my house and quickly locked the door behind me.  I watched out the windows, spying my neighbors, wondering what they were thinking, waiting to see how they would react.

Other than some shuffling, nobody moved.  They stood on their front porches, or clustered on their front yards, looking at my house, my car, and the woman lying on the ground, who continued twitching every so often.

Nobody called for the police, or for help, or anything of the sort.  They just watched.

This can’t be normal either, I began thinking, but then I heard sirens.  Maybe that’s why no one else has tried to help.  They saw that she had already made the call, and knew something was going to happen.  But no one had their phones out, in this day and age, either to call or to record what was going on. Call me old-fashioned, but that was weird.

I thought of my own phone, sitting on the kitchen counter.  I wondered if it, too, had been replaced.  I had no reason to believe it hadn’t been, if people and cars were affected.

The wail of the siren grew louder, and closer. A moment later, a vehicle pulled onto the street and approached.  But it wasn’t an ambulance, or even a police car.  It was a large black van, with a siren on top, blinking red and green.

Whose siren is red and green?

The passenger door opened and a man in a grey uniform got out, then went to the back of the van to dig around in it.  The driver, on the other hand, remained seated, only barely visible behind the darkened glass of the van.

Who were these people?  Crazy or not, these kinds of vans don’t respond to real emergencies.

The passenger finally came back, holding a bullhorn and some sort of weapon.  It vaguely resembled a crossbow, with a disc-like cartridge on the top of it.  It had two handles, one with a trigger and the other apparently for stability.

He kept the weapon down and held up the bullhorn, addressing me directly.  “Please emerge from your home.  If you surrender now, there is no need for further violence.  For your safety, as well as the safety of others, please put your weapon down and come with us quietly.”

Like hell, I was.  This was no police car.  I wasn’t going anywhere with anybody that looked like that!  My neighborhood wasn’t some fancy gated community with an association or a private security force.  Whoever these guys were, they were not here to help me.

I waited for a few more minutes, waiting to see what they would do.  The man with the bullhorn repeated his command, but I did not respond.

One of my neighbors, an elderly man, came up the bullhorn wielder.  “Excuse me, I used to be a police negotiator.  Can I be of any help?”

The bullhorn man pulled away.  “Go back to your home.  This is not your business.”

“But maybe I can help.  This is a delicate situation, and to be frank, you’re not handling it very…”

At this, the bullhorn man turned to the old man and pointed the gun at him.  Without so much as a second thought, he pulled the trigger.

I expected a bullet to come from the rifle, or, at the very least, a stream of fire.  But this was not a normal day.  Instead, from what I could see, nothing came from it at all.

The old man, on the other hand, was a different story.  He began to convulse, shaking violently, and from top to bottom, he… erupted.  His body disintegrated into a pile of quivering, ragged chunks of green meat.

The rest of the neighborhood looked on, but otherwise didn’t respond.  Not the way I did.  That man had been like the woman, just a fake, a replacement person, and everyone reacted like this was something that just happened to people.

Maybe the whole world going crazy wasn’t such a far-fetched idea after all.

The bullhorn came back up.  “We don’t want any further issues.  Now, please, come out of your home with your hands up.”

I waited even longer.  Thankfully, no one else dared to approach the speaker, though I now noticed movement inside the van.  The driver appeared to be moving, but what he was doing behind the tinted glass wasn’t clear.

Then, I heard my phone in the kitchen, the vibration and Daft Punk’s “One More Time” drawing my attention.

I went back in, seeing the phone lightly hop across the counter, the black sludge that had sprayed on it only slightly covering the display.  “Unknown Caller”, the ID read.

Of course it would be unknown.  Half the calls I got were unknown, so why wouldn’t this be?

I answered it.


“It’s best you come out,” an oddly familiar voice warned. “You don’t understand the whole situation.  It’ll be harder to take unless you come with us now.  My partner isn’t as forgiving as he looks.”

I dropped the phone on the counter and stared at it in horror.  The day had been too much to take already, with everything and everybody I had seen replaced by something else, unmarked black vans, strange security forces, and… a weapon that could disintegrate people.  Or fake people, anyway.  That could all be explained.  Somehow, it could all be explained.

But my own voice coming through the phone?  That didn’t make any sense.  I’d left myself enough reminder voicemails to recognize my own voice, even coming from the phone.

I went back to the front window, looking out one more time.  The driver’s side door opened, and I watched as a perfect replica of me got out.  They were wearing the same style of uniform as the bullhorn man, and held a cell phone to their head.  They waved for me to come outside.

I stared down at the knife in my hand.  Now I had to know.

I went back into the kitchen and placed my right arm on the table.  I held the knife above it, ready to bring it down.  At least seven times I tried and failed to do what I had been planning to do, telling myself I was being stupid.

And then, just as I was about to give up, something snapped in my mind, and with one quick movement, too fast for me to pull back from, I brought it down on my thumb.

I felt a dull pain, nothing like what you would expect.  Though I hissed through my teeth, the real moan came not from me, but from my severed thumb socket.  Seeing my thumb, detached, twitching and spurting black liquid, my mind broke entirely, and I hacked at my arm, watching as piece after piece came off.  No bones, no blood, just alien flesh.

But mine was different from the others.  It was not green.  It was gray.  It pulsed more, and I watched as my severed hand and parts of my elbow started dragging themselves across the table, trying to find their lost brethren.

I questioned everything.  My entire life.  My memories.  Why I had gone onto the internet that day.  What year it was.  Why the neighborhood was filled with people.

I questioned whether any of this was real or just a dream.  I wondered if I had eaten some tainted food for breakfast, and this was all a bad trip of some kind.  Either way, somebody on my lawn was likely dead, and my arm certainly wasn’t attached anymore.

And that’s why I need your help.  If I’m crazy, then I need help.  I’m somehow still standing, bleeding out slowly but surely, and my name will be in the papers.  And I’ll be remembered as the guy in the neighborhood who went psycho, and is now locked away and getting the help he needs.

If I’m not crazy, then whatever I am isn’t human anymore, or never was.  I don’t know if I’m real, or if the man standing by the van really is me, or some sort of duplicate, just another in a long line of fakes.  I thought I knew everything this morning, and now I know nothing.

And if I’m not crazy, then I hope you’re human, and that you can do something about this.  And if you’re not human, you may not even know it.

I’m going to go with them, but I hope somebody can talk to me first.  In all likelihood, you’ll never hear from me again, because I have a decision to make, and I need to make it soon.

But if I can do nothing but issue a warning, then so be it.  You have been warned.

Not everything is cake.

Whatever it is, it’s deeper than that.

Rating: 9.50/10. From 6 votes.
Please wait...

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Irving Crane
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Irving Crane

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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