Pick Your Poison

📅 Published on September 4, 2020

“Pick Your Poison”

Written by N.M. Brown
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com 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

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 12 minutes

Rating: 9.40/10. From 5 votes.
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“Feeling down? Have a sinister sweet tooth?
I have just the solution, Cordella’s Confections!
Over on the corner of Brigantine and Salado
Open every Monday through Friday, eleven to four.”

A woman’s smile froze on screen.

Cordella Joilee appeared perfect to the average eye. A gorgeous woman, about twenty-eight if I had to guess, stood behind a myriad of cupcakes. Her olive skin had a glow about it, complimented by large, dark doe eyes and a wide smile. Makeup wasn’t necessary for this one, and she knew it.

The cupcakes looked damned amazing! My mouth watered every time the commercial came on, and I hated sweets. Arrays of pastel frosted jewels, each topped lovingly with fluffs of buttercream. Grandma’s coconut was advertised as the cupcake of the month, adorned with sugar pearls.

There’s a sinister type of nursery rhyme some of the local kids came up with. “If you go to Cordella’s Tuesdays at half-past five, after you leave… someone you hate might stop being alive.” Juvenile, but catchy.  Call me curious, morbid, Hell… you can even call me crazy if you want, but I had to know what went on there.

With a wad of cash in my pocket, I waited outside the back door at exactly 5:30 that evening. The legends didn’t extend to protocol. Did I knock a certain amount of times? Was there a passcode? Would there even be anyone here at all? My thought process was interrupted by a burly man coming out of the backdoor to take out the trash.

“Oh! Uh… excuse me.  This is going to sound silly, but… may I come inside?” I asked the man tentatively. “Closed.” He grunted, without meeting my eyes. Sometimes persistence is key in these types of situations, so I try a different approach. “Yeah. I know, I just, uhh… I wanted to order from the menu in the back.”

Again, he doesn’t look up or stop what he’s doing. It’s almost as if he didn’t hear my question at all. His hulking frame lumbers past me on the way back from the dumpster and walks back inside. The back door is left slightly ajar. In my mind, there could be two reasons for this. Reason one: he’s going to get more garbage to take out and left it open for convenience. Option two: it was left open as an unspoken invitation for me to come inside.

Lavender: For Eternal Rest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   $499.99

Piña Colada: For an Insatiable Thirst for Alcohol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $274.99

Mocha Lotta: Speed Up Internal Life Clock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $333.33

Pistachio Matcha: Financial Ruin and Insanity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $699.99

Vanilla Crème: You Were Never Born – Invisible to Your Loved Ones . . . . . . . $199.99

Strawberry Passionfruit: Enthrallment – Love Potion #666 . . . . . . . . OUT OF STOCK       

Banana Quinoa: Weight Altering (+/- whipped cream) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $109.99

Death by Chocolate: Self-Explanatory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $999.99+ mortal sin

Mortal sin?! Never mind that, the prices are exorbitant! Who in their right mind would ever pay more than five… okay, ten dollars at the most, for a single cupcake?!? Spinning on my heel, I place the menu down and turn to exit the way I entered.  An empty wall now stands where the entrance was mere moments ago.

What the devil?! How? I frantically rub at my eyes, but nothing changes. My head spins at an endless circle of blank walls. My heart starts to race. I slow my breathing to steady my mind.

A woman emerges from a hidden corner of the room, that same wide smile resting on her gorgeous face as on the television.

“Bonswa! What were you lookin’ to buy?”

“Uhh… I wasn’t really wanting to buy anything, honestly. I just heard about this and wanted to see it for myself. Not to be rude, but even if I did intend to purchase, these prices are completely unreasonable. It’s a wonder anyone buys anything from that list at all.”

She shakes her head at this, her smile never faltering. “Ahh, don’t you worry about my end, cher.  Dese are a bargain, really. Tell me, can a price ever be put on permanently changing someone’s life? In some cases, ending it completely?” She snaps her delicate fingers. “Poof, like that, gone!”

My mouth falls open, an incredulous look burns in my eyes despite myself. “Bullshit! That’s not possible. What, do you put poison in them? Sinisterly sweet death traps?!? This is nuts, let me out. How can you do this? I don’t understand. Don’t you feel bad for those people? I’m sure some of them are innocent.”

Cordella waves her hands through the air in a dismissive motion. “People have their reasons, and evil will find its way… with or without my help. I offer something the real world doesn’t: protection… safety. No one will believe in killer cupcakes.” She lets out a chuckle that sounds like tinkling bells. “Analytics of my baked goods reveal nothing other than standard ingredients available in any other bakery around hea.  Don’tchu have any enemies? Any scars that haunt your soul inflicted by those with no consequences?”

Without being able to help it, my ex-fiancé comes straight to mind. She broke my heart, cleaned out my bank account along with half of our business. The name escapes through my protesting brain and into the air. “Abigail…” My hand flies to my mouth involuntarily before I continue.  “What about the banana one? How does that work with the whipped cream and the effects?”

“The person who eats our banana quinoa will have drastic changes to their weight. If you want a bigger belly, you gotta get the whipped. If you want them to waste away to bones, get it without the whipped. No difference to the price either way.”

This is ridiculous. Even if people did deserve these fates, it’s not up to us to give it to them. If everyone was a karma god the World would be enveloped in madness.

I agonizingly took the money out of my pocket and handed it to her. She handed me the boxed cupcake in exchange: banana quinoa – extra whipped cream. This better not be some kind of sick trick.  Two hundred dollars is two hundred dollars. In my mind though, I couldn’t think of a more deserving person for this than Abby.

My truck pulled into the parking lot of our old apartment, to which I still had a key. Her Mazda wasn’t there so I took the opportunity to let myself inside, unnoticed. I slipped the box into her fridge, with a note on top with her name on it, going as far as to sign it with her new boyfriend’s name so she would think it was from him.

My heart wants to say that I never went back to Cordella’s Confections again, but it isn’t true. Over the next year, I bought almost every cupcake on her list. The results couldn’t be argued with. My mind was made up that it was all a farce after that first visit up until a month later when I saw Abby.

Daily errands had taken me on a route close to our old complex. As I passed by, the parking area was swarmed with ambulances and EMTs. Abby and I lived in that apartment together for quite a few years; I knew most everyone that lived there. So, I pulled into the lot and got out to see what was going on and make sure no one I knew was hurt or worse.

The crowd parted like the Red Sea to make way for the stretcher.  That’s when I saw her. Her skin was a canvas of rippled dents and bulges. Stretch marks covered her body like twisted scars. Some were stretched so tight that they ripped open, revealing oozing sores rimmed with infection. I could almost smell almonds in the breeze, you know how infection smells? The pus-filled smell of a bandage as you take it off to throw it away, the wound on the cat’s leg that won’t heal, that kind of stuff.

Her face was monstrously wide, folds swallowing an oxygen line hooked to a tank. I ran as fast as I could to get to her, but the ambulance was faster. Right before the doors closed, I saw them work the defibrillator, jiggling flesh with jolts to the chest.

That vision haunted me for weeks. It was with me in my waking hours and tormented me to sleep at night. Nightmares of when we were together and would make love. Her face grew wider until the skin started to rip. Her body grew larger, crushing my bones underneath her.  Most of the time I woke up before she exploded, but not always.

So, after all of that turmoil, I swore to myself I never would, under any circumstance would I go back to Dell’s. To see Abby’s face as she was wheeled into the ambulance. The sight of the body that once fit so perfectly under my own, expanded to the point of ruin.

Things changed when I got the call two months later that my two-year-old nephew, Landon, was dead.  My brother in law, Allen, was drunk at the wheel. They crashed on the way to my sister’s house. Allen walked away without a scratch to drink another day. While Landon’s body lay twisted, broken beyond repair. If the bastard would have put him in his car seat, he might have had the chance he deserved.

Of course, the police investigated, but Allen faced no charges. My sister was destroyed beyond mental cognition, along with the rest of our family. Her spirit was lost to her five-year-old daughter, now her only living child.

After a night of binge drinking, wrong on many levels- I know, I awoke to a fetid alcohol on my breath. An idea came to me. If Allen wanted to drink, I’d help him drink. My only fear was that Cordella’s Confections might not be there to help anymore. Not the storefront, the limited availability menu. It was Tuesday after all. It would be nice to add a silver lining to my hangover.

Cordella was still there, just as happy to take my money and as Creole as ever. Our second encounter didn’t take as long as the first. The door didn’t disappear either. The piña colada cupcake was boxed and stamped with her signature double-C monogram. Then released into the world, determined to find its target. I wouldn’t let it down.

Allen’s wiry frame sprung up from his porch chair when my truck pulled into his yard. A look of surprised anger sat on his worn face. My hands were raised in a gesture of peace, one of which was holding the box. The other held the roses. We sat down and I asked him to have a drink with me and open the box.

His face drooped and his bloodshot eyes were further exacerbated by fresh tears. Allen went on to tell me how Landon loved cupcakes and how he wished he could share it with him.  I almost felt bad for a second until I saw the ease he took while tossing back his glass of Dewer’s. The message was sent, the cupcake was eaten.  It was time for me to leave. I paused on my way out the door to glance at him, knowing this would be the last time I truly saw him. At least as he is now.

He didn’t show up to work for a few days. The police showed up after a citizen’s check call was placed by an employee. Allen was dead, face down in his own sick on the floor. And no one thought twice about it.

Remember earlier when I told you about Abby and how she took off with my business as well as my heart? Well, it turned out that the boyfriend I mentioned was actually her husband. They had gotten married a little less than a month before I delivered her cupcake unbeknownst to me. He had his hooks in my business as well now as a result of her death.

The shareholders voted me out under his command. No one’s loyal when they know they’re going to get a pay raise due to your diminished salary. Employees I’ve had for years were among the first to marinate in his oily personality on his first day.  My first boss always said all is fair in love, war… and business. What a crock.

One thing I can say is that I was offered an extremely generous severance package. One that I fully intend to put to good use. Seven hundred dollars out of ten thousand is nothing to be able to watch someone you hate fail. It killed me to sink the company that I started, but it wasn’t mine anymore, now was it? It was time for another trip to the cupcake shop. Three visits in just over a year’s time now. I comically wished that she had a punch card.  Buy three, get one free.

I didn’t stick around to see this one through; it was too risky. All efforts had to be made to assure to put as much distance between myself and the company as possible. Word does travel, though, and fast, too. Before long, former employees were ringing my phone off of the hook about how the new boss was driving the company into the ground. I faked agreement and feigned helplessness through the wicked smile on my lips.

The lavender one was easy. My Gran was suffering from dementia, along with stage three lung cancer.  The thought of killing her didn’t sit well with me. I wasn’t a monster; I loved my Gran. But the sight of her suffering so much was torture. I couldn’t imagine what she went through every minute of every day. Struggling not to drown with every breath, her only form of sustenance coming from tubed liquids.

Not on that day though. Tears made their way down the creases in her face as I sat with her. Her mind was just active enough to be scared and aware of the pain she was in. I combed her hair and showed her pictures from throughout her life. I told her life’s story to her as if it were a fairy tale, talking until well after her tears stopped.

I placed my grandfather’s wedding ring in her hand just as I left the room. Tears streaming down my own face to match her own. The nurses called me the next morning to let me know that she was found unresponsive, but alive. Faint wisps of cake crumbs found at the corners of her lips, her labored breaths smelling of lavender. Gran wouldn’t ever have to fight to take another breath again; a machine did it for her now. She would go on as long as it did.

The next cupcake on the list certainly took some time. My heart felt certain that Cordella was done with me. That time of my life seemed so far away for a moment.

Sandra and I bumped into each other in an odd but not uncommon way: a fender bender. She had tapped my car due to not stopping at a stop sign. The second she stepped out of her car, my insurance info disappeared from recollection. She was gorgeous!  Something about her captivated me. I found myself having fantasies I hadn’t had since my early twenties.

It was like a kick to the gut to find out she was barely eighteen years old. Thirty-seven is no senior citizen, but compared to eighteen? It was way out of my level of comfort. But with Sandra I could not and would not resist. She felt the same way too. As wrong as it felt, I needed to have her.

The mocha lotta cupcake was an easy three hundred dollars to spend if it meant I got to have her. On my way home from the shop, I dropped by Sandra’s work and delivered it to her. I told her to eat it on her break, and that I remember that she said she loved coffee (a lie).

I was afraid that the cupcake would alter her body and not her mind. We moved in together after a bit and I watched her as closely as possible. Things were fine for months! Then we started noticing little changes. Her hair would thin a little more than normal after she washed and brushed it. The prescription at her eye doctor’s office had to be strengthened. Her ears became less sensitive to tone and pitch.  It wasn’t until her yearly gynecological visit that we were informed something was wrong with her on the inside. Her egg count was drastically low, lower than a woman perimenopausal. I didn’t have the heart to tell her what I had done, even to this day.

Someone transferred from a different division to the company Sandra works at – now my wife. The new woman stole my wife’s limelight, creativity and promotion. The things we do for love, power and greed. My sweet bride welcomed her new boss and celebrated her new position with a vanilla crème cupcake. I tried to refuse, to tell her she was out of her mind. But she doesn’t have much time left thanks to me, and I had to do something to atone for that. She claimed to understand at the time, but I don’t think she really could have ever absorbed the implications of her actions.

After just ten days, the woman’s body plummeted down seven stories onto a car parked below just as Sandra was coming back from lunch. My wife saw the entire thing, and knew she somehow had a hand in it.

Which brings us to right now. I haven’t been back to the cupcake shop for over two years now. Sandra walks with the assistance of a walker and is completely blind. Not even twenty-five years of age with all of the ailments of someone who’s seventy-five.

She insists we celebrate my birthday today, the last one left of my thirties. A large, ornately decorated cake rests in the middle of our kitchen table. Candles pepper the top of it lovingly, not enough room to represent one for each year. My smiling wife sits next to an empty pulled-out chair, her hand beckoning me to join her.

We sit and eat cake, my love and me.  It’s the absolute best I’ve ever tasted in all of my life. The moisture and decadence of the chocolate, it’s too complex to properly describe.

My third piece reveals something most horrific to me. Under my slice, in the faintest of calligraphy, I see an all too familiar monogram, CC. The corner of a note peeks out from under the opened box.

Cordella’s Confections After-Hours Service
Now Making and Delivering CAKES!

Rating: 9.40/10. From 5 votes.
Please wait...


🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by N.M. Brown
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: N.M. Brown


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com 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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