His father is out cutting wood, so he goes to his mother.'Mother, I must away and see the world, or I shall go mad.'Says his mother, 'If you must go, go you must, and God go with you! I will bake you a cake. Will you have a little cake with my blessing, or a big cake with my cursing?'Says Jack, 'Make me a big cake, mother. It will last longer.'His mother makes him a big cake, and he sets out. And she is standing on the roof of the house, calling curses after him as far as she can see him.
After many years the woman died, of natural causes. And a few years after that, the ogre died. Eventually, his mistresses died, down on the ground, in the people village, over decades. The war men and women died. The human girl who had escaped her early death died, across the land, over by the ocean, in her shack of blue bowls and rocking chairs. The witch, who had originally made the cake and made up up the spell and given it as a gift to her beloved ogre friend, died. The cake went on and on. Time passed...And the cake, always wanting to please, the cake who had found a way to survive its endlessness by recreating its role over and over again, tried to figure out, in its cake way, what this light-dappled object might want to eat. So it became darkness, a cake of darkness. It did not have to be human food. It did not have to be digestible through a familiar tract. It lay there on the dirt, waiting, a simmering cake of darkness. Through time, and wind, and earthquakes, and chance. At last the cloak fell out of the tree and blew across the land and happened upon the cake where it ate its darkness and extinguished its own dappled light. The cloak disappeared into night and was not seen again, as it was only a piece of coat shaped darkness now and could not be spotted so easily, had there been any eyes left to see it. It floated and joined with nowhere. Darkness was overtaking everything, anyway, pouring over the land and sky. The cake itself, still in the shape of darkness, sat on the hillside. 'What's left?' said the cake. It thought in blocks of feeling. It felt the thick darkness all around it. 'What is left to eat me, to take me in?'Darkness did not want to eat more darkness, not especially. Darkness did not care for carrot cake, or apple pie. Darkness did not seem interested in a water cake or a cake of money. Only when the cake filled with light did it come over. The darkness circling around the light, devouring the light. But the cake kept refilling, as we know. This is the spell of the cake. And the darkness eating light, and again, light, and again, light, lifted.