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At night, when the desserts of the Kingdom are sleeping peacefully in their beds, sometimes they hear a sound. It’s just the wind, or maybe the neighbors? Surely nothing more they tell themselves. But often, as they drift back to sleep, an old story creeps into their thoughts and melts darkly into their sweet dreams.

It is a tale every dessert remembers from their youth. A local legend told to children by adults looking to keep them in line, or by older siblings trying to scare their gullible brothers and sisters. Versions of the story differ. Some say he was once a normal cookie who fell into an abandoned spice mine and went completely mad. Others claim he was the product of a culinary experiment gone horribly wrong. Then there are those who believe that he has always existed, an evil specter as old as the hills he roams.

Whatever his true origins, all know him by the same name: The Gingerbread Man. His strange and upright form, complete with mysterious, malformed appendages called “arms” and ”legs”, strikes fear into the heart of every dessert.

When the scent of ginger is thick in the air, and the sunset takes on a cinnamon-baked hue, it is a sign that he is coming. A glint of brown will be glimpsed from around every corner, but closer inspection will reveal nothing. Then, upon retiring for the night, there will be a noise. A subtle disturbance, just loud enough for a dessert to take notice. Those unlucky enough to glance sleepily in its direction will discover something off. A shape. A form. A frosted smile.

Finally stepping into view, his unnatural image is fully revealed by the moonlight: a dessert abomination, endlessly grinning at nothing and everything. It is at this moment that the legends say he steals something precious to his victim before dashing into the darkness, never to be found.

Tonight a certain monarch turns restlessly in his chambers. Through his imagination the old fable once again comes to life, and he sees a possession of unfathomable value snatched away from him. He gives chase, but even running as fast as he can, he cannot seem to catch the sinister Gingerbread Man.

Powerless, the last image he sees is of a kingdom being stolen away. He bolts awake, repeating to himself that it was just a dream… just a dream...

The face of terror

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