Little Tales

by: ReinaHW | Story In Progress | Last updated Dec 24, 2022

Chapter 14
Happy Birth Day

Chapter Description: Never expect what you don't really need if you don't care for it.

Being spoiled comes with it's own hubris

There is a belief that on your birthday you can enjoy the things you like without judgement as it's a special day for you, a nice belief I suppose if not in any way factually true. There are limits to what you can have on your birthday and should you expect too much then you can expect consequences.

Even on your birthday you should be humble and practice humility.


For the past forty three years Francis Aniwey, or Franny as those closest to her call her as when it comes to a nickname, has always been a tad spoiled due to her more well to do relatives who have lavished her with expensive gifts since the day she was born.
Although her parents have more humble means at their disposal and have done what they can to provide for their two children, their oldest being Francis and their youngest, Alison Aniwey, who is a good five years younger than her big sister, they have usually found their efforts in raising their children to be able to look out for themselves to be hampered by the wealthy relatives who think it silly for Francis and Alison's parents to want to live by their own means instead of by more wealthy means.

“Think of their needs though!” Their parents are told often. “Why live on so little?” They never listen to the reason why, that their parents don't care for the kind of life where the wealthy look down on others as less. They would prefer if their children learned to be more considerate and kind.

It had worked at least with Alison who, despite the lavish gifts piled on her, has found a happiness in being kind to others rather than looking down on them. Francis however has become a greedy woman who expects everything given to her when she demands it and at now 43 years old as of this day she expects a lavish party with all the trimmings.

And what she demands she all too often gets.


The party had started in the morning with guests arriving from all over the world of the rich and powerful, Francis and her wealthy relatives have many connections and some back handers didn't go amiss with some of them as well as any publicity shots. Especially for any politicians looking to get elected as they punch down on anyone who is an easy target to attack and demonise in order to get the vote from a bigoted base all too easily fooled into lashing out at anyone different from themselves while undermining their own way being in the process.

Francis doesn't really care about any of this though, she's more focused on the lavish gifts she's been receiving all day as that's all she cares about, being spoiled rotten and being spoiled rotten she is. Clothes, jewellery, worthless vehicles that she'll never use as she doesn't drive so she has someone sells them off for her as she's really not all that intelligent since she didn't bother to get much of an education after some of her wealthy relatives had told her that an carefully regulated education was only for the easily controlled who could be stuck with a lifelong debt that they are forced to pay back, money and more.

The thing was though that all these gifts were soon discarded for more material items that had no real meaning to her beyond being the latest thing and a burst of dopamine in the receiving. She was a dopamine addict.

As the party rages on in the large mansion Alison is sitting it out in a more peaceful part of the house, she had been invited and had reluctantly attended. She loves her sister but parties aren't her scene, she would have preferred a quiet night in with maybe a few friends and watched a movie while pampering one another silly with make overs for the laughs.

All of this hullabaloo every year when it came to her sister's birthday was not to her liking, she wished her sister could be more humble instead of expecting to get what she wants when she wants it.

Nibbling on a slice of birthday cake, one she had brought for her sister only to learn that one of the wealthy relatives had ordered a massive one, Alison taps away at her phone with one hand while another with a fork being held brings home baked sponge cake, a chocolate cake with raspberry jam and strawberry icing, to her mouth every so often.

Another attack on trans people, typical, doesn't that hateful cow have anything better to do than lash out at people who aren't doing her any harm? Rich people seriously need to get a bloody life” She hopes her girlfriend doesn't see this news too soon as it had been hard to comfort her last night after she had been misgendered heavily by someone Francis knows when that person had seen the pronoun pin that her girlfriend has on her handbag. Alison had dropped by to see her sister, at her sister's demand, and took her girlfriend with her as they had both come out of work at the time and Alison was picking her up from work.

Francis thankfully wasn't a bigot, she didn't care either way as long as she was receiving a gift, but many of the people who hang around Francis because of her wealth have often turned out to be quite nasty and hateful. Francis being Francis though is blind to their attitudes as long as she receives a gift.

Maybe I can drop by the shop on the way home and get some ice cream, hopefully her favourite is in stock. I have a feeling it's going to be needed very soon” Alison is grateful for her girlfriend's baking, she fairly knows her baking and cooking, the cake is delicious. She works at one of the larger restaurants as a cook where when she had told her boss and co-workers that she was in transition near a decade ago had been accepted quickly aside from one or two co-workers who were fired not long after for trying to kill her.

The hours were long and it could be a hectic job to say the least but she enjoyed it, Alison loved her deeply not just for her cooking and baking skills but also her wonderful personality. It had taken her a little time to understand about trans people years before meeting her girlfriend but she was glad to have taken the time to understand and learn as her beloved was a wonderful woman who she hoped one day to marry when they were both ready to take that step.

The spare study room's door opens, one of many spare rooms in this excessively sized house, and Francis walks in laughing at something or someone on the other side.

“Going to join in?” Francis asks as her laugh, likely as fake as her feelings for her so-called 'friends', ends abruptly. “Some band is playing, bunch of big names, the works so why are you sitting here alone eating some cake? There's a massive one already here” Alison takes another forkful of the cake, it really was delicious, so moist with so much flavour. Her girlfriend was truly skilled.

“I'm fine with this one, Cassie made it for you for your birthday so you should be having a slice of it and thanking her for her generosity. She didn't need to make it but she did, it's delicious” Francis looks confused as she hadn't even seen the cake before, Alison had given her a gift from her and Cassie but she hadn't mentioned a cake unless she didn't hear it mentioned.

“Home baked and everything, she worked hard on it despite being tired from work and hurt from that person you know misgendering her. I helped where I could though I'm not as good as she is” Francis says nothing as her sister eats.

“Have some, please, let me know what you think at least. All the material items in the world and more money than you need in a lifetime yet I doubt you've ever had a cake that's made with actual kindness and love instead of something that was mass produced with no heart to it at all.

You invited me here but I don't fit in here, I don't care for all of those parasites out there, I don't care for some band and attention, I'm here for my sister and nothing more. So please, have some of the cake, sit with me and just be my sister instead of some present addict. Please” Francis looks over to the closed door behind her before looking back to her sister.

“Cassie made this as a gift to you so please, enjoy it” The door opens and some man's voice can be heard calling Francis to return to the party, Francis tells them she'll be there shortly and the door closes again.

“How much was it?” She asks which angers Alison, such a rude thing to say.

“Does it matter? The price of a gift does not indicate it's value, what does indicate it's value is if it's from the heart or not. This is from the heart which is vastly more worth than any gift you'll receive from those people, me and Cassie made this with love, Cassie mostly, and you can't put a price tag on that. Please have some” The door opens again, Francis replying to whoever's on the other side of it before the door closes once again.

“I could have some later” Alison signs, that meant it was just going to be wasted just like every other birthday cake that hasn't come from some expensive place.

“Sure, whatever, go to your party. I'll see you some other time” Alison tightens the seal on the Tupperware container that houses what's left of the cake, slips her hand bag on and makes for the door, handing her sister the cake.

“It needs to go in the kitchen, it should keep fresh for a few days at least. If you ever have any then let me know so I can tell Cassie if you liked it or not, I'm going to pick her up from work as she's due to end her shift in half an hour. She had insisted on getting a bus home but I may as well pick her up as it's not like I want to be here on my own.
Happy birthday, Franny, see you later” Alison leaves the room leaving Francis alone with the Tupperware sealed cake in her hands, she doesn't say anything to any of the guests who don't even notice her anyway. Her clothing didn't scream wealth after all which meant in their eyes she was a no one.

Francis says nothing as she looks down at the cake, inside she can see a little hand written note with the words 'Happy birthday, from Alison and Cassandra' with little hearts around the words. Heading for a kitchen someone remarks on the cake saying that it looked cheap and worthless, she laughed but somewhere within parts of her wants to tell the person to apologise, that the cake was a symbol of love other than wealth.

But she says nothing of the sort and instead puts it in one of the many large fridges to all too likely be forgotten about.


The party ends close to midnight leaving the house empty and in dire need of cleaning, not that any of the guests cared to lend a hand. Wandering around the empty house that's now so quiet Francis looks to all of the gifts she has received but feels nothing for, she had gotten her dopamine rush which has since fizzled away.

Heading for her favourite bedroom she looks for her mobile and finds it under one of her dresses that she's never worn, she had considered it but went with something else instead. So many clothes, so much jewellery and she cares nothing for any of it. The dopamine rush from receiving them having long since faded away.

Turning her phone on she sees a lot of text messages wishing her happy birthday but those mean nothing to her, she looks through them all until she finds ones from her parents and one from Alison.

'Happy birthday, sis, hope you had some of that cake as Cassie's hoping you like it. I told her that you love raspberries, chocolate and strawberries so it should be exactly to your liking. See you later when I can. Love, Alison'

She reads the message over a few times until a voice speaks which makes her jump.

Nice of her, don't you think? Cassie I mean, she didn't need to make that cake but she did anyway. Just as she made a lot of cakes for you over the past several years and all those other handmade cakes you've received over the years. She's made so many for you even before meeting your sister because she cares about you, not in a romantic way but more in a general kindness way.
You probably don't remember her but she's been in your life since you were both children, she was never interested in all the fancy stuff you had, she was curious about you as a person and got to know your sister in a romantic way,

Remember all those handmade gifts you would receive that you discarded? Those were all made by Cassie for you, from cards to pictures to cakes. Made with genuine love and care though she has no romantic interest in you, she still likes you even though you've never paid any notice to her at all” Francis turns to see nothing, she's alone in the house yet she was sure she heard someone.

“Hello?” She asks. “Who's there? If you're intruding then I'm calling the police”

Go ahead but they won't find anything, I'm both here and not here. I've been watching you for a while hoping that you would move on beyond their dopamine high that you keep seeking but instead I've watched you go from one high to the next without any consideration on how it's distanced you from your family and few true friends.

Forty three years old and you still seek the high like some excited child hungry for a gift for no reason other than to receive something despite having no actual interest in what it is” The voice seems to be all around her, it seems feminine and sounds familiar though she's not sure where she's heard it before today.

“Who are you?” Francis asks as she tries to call the police only to find that her hands are shaking causing her to drop the phone.

Someone, no one, I'm just here with you and with Cassie as I have always been. Right now Cassie is resting but hoping to hear on if you like the cake she made, she's waited for years for you to notice something that has no price tag on it” The voice makes her feel small and insignificant for some unusual reason, she hates the feeling.

“Why? A high price tag shows value more than something with no price tag” She remarks as she tries to pull herself together.

Is that truly what you believe or what you were told by those rich relatives who spoiled you rotten? The most precious gift can be one made with love that goes into it's creation, all these material items you have with no worth once you've had your rush and you dismiss the gifts that could give you a true rush as that rush comes from being loved as a friend, as a sister, as a daughter. Not gifts that are just there with some ulterior motive or for some short term rush before being ignored or sold off shortly after.
You receive so much yet you feel so little, nothing more than a spoiled child who hasn't grown up while seeking another fix, another rush. Forty three coming on five, how much did you stomp your feet to have that meaningless party? How many of your aides bribed and coaxed people with hollow words just to pander to your dopamine addiction? How much money was wasted on your addiction while so many others are struggling to survive? How much have you hurt your sister with your complete disregard for her efforts in being the sister to you that you aren't to her?
Such a selfish, spoiled child you are. You haven't even tried that cake that was lovingly made and you probably never will

“Why do you care?” Francis asks as she tries to track down where the voice is coming from.

I simply do, you really should give it a try without expectations of receiving anything with a high price tag attached. Look beyond a monetary value for a change” Maybe if she tried the cake this voice would disappear and leave her alone, she was getting pretty tired as well.

“Fine, I'll try it” Recalling which kitchen and which fridge she had placed it in she finds the cake, cuts herself a slice and sits in the kitchen with the slice on a plate in front of her, she felt strange doing this because of some weird voice.

“Eating it by hand or with a fork? Not going to judge either way” Annoying voice. She grabs a fork from a drawer and sinks it into the moist sponge, raising it to her lips and taking a bite. It really is very good, the flavour is so strong and mellow in equal measure. So much better than that other cake which was sitting in the living room almost fully eaten, it had been bland with no real flavour to it. Not like this one.
Make a wish” A wish? How silly and she says as such. “Good thing a wish was already applied to the cake then, once you took a bite the wish began to take effect as I granted it. Just finish the rest of the slice and you'll find out exactly what the wish was” She feels a strong compulsion to keep eating the cake, savouring it's fruity chocolatey goodness. She felt the love and care from it, the compassion from someone who she had never paid any attention to.

Her phone goes off and she taps it on to see a new message from her sister asking if she's tried the cake, she taps out a response of 'Yes and it's delicious, thank you and thank Cassie for me please'. She finishes the slice just as she sends the message.

Happy birth day, Francis” The voice says as she faints at the counter just as the house begins to fade away and her life begins to change as she begins shrinking while her clothing changes.


Her arms and legs feel strange, like they're not responsive and she feels a thickness between her legs. Her eyes open but all she can see is a haze, she can hear various sounds like she's in a hospital. There are voices near by but they are hard to understand. Well all but one.

Hello Francis, happy birth day” She tries to speak but it comes out as more of a soft cooing sound. “Oh it will be a little while before you know how to talk again, the wish your sister made has been fulfilled. She's five years old while you, well, you are almost half an hour old. Your parents are young again and your prior life has been reset with differences, all of those material items you had are gone, the big house, the money, all of it no longer part of your life. You'll be growing up again and hopefully learning to not be ruled by the notions of monetary pursuits over living a life where love and compassion has more value than the short term.

Your sister was concerned that you would end up with a meaningless future devoid of anything but worthless items that you care nothing for so she made the wish as the cake was made, Cassie has also been reset and she'll be a family friend for a long time. She'll even get to grow up as herself in full thanks to the wish.

Normally such a wish would be too much to manage but it was allowed this time and only this time. So welcome back to the day of your birth, don't waste your life. I'll be around watching and listening.
You are quite an adorable newborn
” The voice goes quiet and the realisation of what's happened sinks in, her life has been reset, she's a helpless newborn. She whimpers before outright crying before arms scoop her up and hold her close, soothing her.

“My beautiful little one” She can hear her mum say as she lets herself be lost in the warmth and comfort, in the arms that are cradling her lovingly. Maybe this was the best gift she has ever received after all.

Don't let hubris blind you to what truly matters



End Chapter 14

Little Tales

by: ReinaHW | Story In Progress | Last updated Dec 24, 2022


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