Nose pressed into the cold edge of the marble counter, she glanced left to right, scanning the empty room.
Good. She thought with a nod, glancing over her shoulder one last time, "The coast is clear."
Grasping an empty sack in one thin, bony hand, she shoved a makeshift pick into a small chest's keyhole. The skinny brunette's tongue lazily hung out of her mouth as she carefully twisted it with her lithe fingers.
Her face was brightened by a smirk as a quiet click greeted her ears. "Too easy."
The girl placed the pick back into the pocket of her patchy, ratty dress before she slowly lifted the lid of the container, taking extra care in case its hinges happened to be on the squeakier side.
Checking once more to ensure she wasn't being watched, the girl stuck a greedy hand into the chest. She dumped a handful of silver coins into her bag, soon to be followed by another, then another, until the chest had been completely drained of its contents.
Standing up, her lips formed a mischievous smile "This is gonna feed me for weeks!" She thought, feeling the weight of her bag as she bounced her skinny arm in the air.
Her eyes glided across the room and settled on the door through which she'd entered the bakery. Without skipping a beat, she tiptoed across the wooden floor, staying mindful of the extra creaking that would inevitably result from the extra weight she now carried.
Suddenly, the girl stopped in her tracks. She tore her eyes from her destination to take a second glance at the scene surrounding her.
Shelves and shelves of gourmet cakes, pies, and pastries of every kind.
Never in her life had the thin, filthy girl enjoyed such a luxury. Accustomed to a diet of moldy scraps of food scavenged from the street, she couldn't even imagine how the treats would taste, let alone what they would feel like on her tongue.
With a devilish grin, the girl tiptoed closer to the pastry-packed shelves. "I think there's room in my bag to fit a few..." she thought to herself.
Now within grabbing distance of her targets, the girl slowly shifted her weight back onto her heels. Mouth watering, her eyes darted left and right as she scanned her innumerable choices before her.
Staring blankly at the shelf, the girl furrowed her brow. Not privileged enough to even know their proper names, she hadn't the slightest idea what she was looking at.
"I guess that one looks good..." She smiled, reaching for one of the pastries. Her hand didn't travel far, however, before it stopped.
"Wait, what about this?" She mumbled, looking at the basket beside it. "Or this? Or…”
She shook her head. "Are you trying to get caught!? You need to get out of here! Just take one already!"
Acting on impulse, the girl's bony, malnourished hand reached for a basket filled with shiny, ring-shaped pastries. She plucked one out, but the odd texture of the object nearly caused her to drop it onto the floor.
"Ew! What the heck?!" she whispered under her breath. "Why is it slimy?!"
Scrunching her nose, she thought for a moment before shrugging. "Well, wh-whatever it is, it's probably good. Right?"
Unable to resist for a moment longer, the starving girl took a small bite of the odd-textured treat. As soon as its sweet, transparent icing touched her tongue, her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.
After swallowing the small morsel, the girl's mouth hung agape as she gazed down at the food in her hands, almost unable to believe she wasn't dreaming.
"Oh. My God."
The girl immediately stuffed the rest of the pastry into her watering mouth, condemning the entire treat to her tummy a matter of seconds. Then, without hesitation, she reached for another and shoved it into her mouth without missing a beat.
A moan slipped past her lips as she swallowed the treat, giving her first doughy victim some company in her belly. Before the sticky, doughy mush could even enter her stomach, however, she had dug her sticky hand into the basket again, holding her greedy fingers farther apart so she could grab two pastries at a time. The starving girl gobbled them up even faster than the previous two.
The girl's heart fluttered as the treats settled in her usually-empty stomach. Without thinking, she reached for the same basket again. Eyes drifting across her surroundings as she did so, however, she found her icing-covered hand freezing in place before it could grab another.
A second later, however, a chill shot up the girl's spine as the whiny sound of an overburdened floorboard rang out from some place above her. Still as a statue, she listened to the sound of her heart thumping loudly in her chest for a few moments before the logical part of her brain usurped her animistic human instincts.
"Get out of here! Go!" The girl's thoughts commanded. Clutching the hefty bag of silver, she simply grabbed the entire basket of iced pastries and turned to leave.
She moaned again, licking the excess icing off her fingers as she approached the exit. As fate would have it, however, the malnourished girl could only walk so far away from the wall of temptations behind her.
"Wait. I'm never gonna get to eat this stuff again!" she thought, staring at the bakery's exit on the other side of the room. After a brief moment of hesitation, she carefully set down the bag and basket so as to not make any noise. "It's the middle of the night...these people aren't awake! That sound was probably just my imagination!"
As if begging for more, her stomach rumbled impatiently as she made her way back to the wall of merchandise behind the counter.
"I'll just try a few more, then I'll go." She licked her lips. "But I gotta make this quick."
The girl reached for the basket next to the now-empty spot on the shelf, pulling out a long pastry covered in chocolate. Eagerly biting into it, she let a tiny squeal escape her chocolate-smeared face as an avalanche of gooey cream rushed into her mouth.
"What in the world is this?" She thought, lowering her arms slightly. She smacked her lips to savor the foreign mouthfeel, allowing a dollop of cream to lead out of the wounded pastry and land with a plop on her dress.
"Oh!" She yelped in a hushed tone. Not one to waste food, she used her hand to scoop up the white goop and drop it into her waiting maw, leaving a trace of the substance smeared across her clothes. Savoring the flavor on her tongue, she swished the cream around in her mouth in lieu of swallowing, mixing it with her saliva.
If the eclair were alive, it probably would have shivered at the unnerving sight of the girl's fast-approaching, open maw, streaks of sticky saliva stretching from her tongue to the roof of her mouth. Fortunately, in this theoretical scenario, the eclair wouldn't have lived long enough to complain, since the girl's ravenous appetite would soon after make quick work of the rest of it, along with two more of its friends.
Finished with the eclairs, the girl leaned forward, using her two hands to reach into two different baskets. Likewise, she pulled out two different pastries and greedily shoved them both into her mouth.
Just like the three eclairs that now churned together with the rest of her feast in her quickly-expanding stomach, the sugar encrusted pastries greeted the girl's teeth with a satisfying crunch before they sunk into the soft, flaky dough that lay underneath.
She swooned as unimaginably sweet, fruity slop rushed out from the pierced pastries. What didn't flow out onto her tongue collected into small, sticky pools on the sides of her little mouth, one red, one blue.
Shoving them both into her mouth, the girl reached for two more before she was even finished chewing. The two pies were quickly chewed to an unrecognizable state, mixing with the mushed-up remains of the previous two. Once they were all reduced to wet slop, She gulped once, twice, three times to send everything down her gullet.
"W-Wow." She breathed, feeling a wave of fullness overcome her as the mass of dough, sugar, and butter in her stomach grew in size. Suppressing a light belch, she glanced down wearily at her stomach.
"So full..." She thought, eyelids jumping up at the sight of the normally concave- surface bulging out, almost straining against the limits of her old, loose-fitting dress.
"S-Still," Letting out a second, louder belch, she let her eyes drift back up to the store shelves. "There's still so many I haven't tried yet..."
Minutes flew by like seconds as the frail girl stuffed herself with at least one of every pastry on the shelf, buzzing with excitement as her tongue was introduced to a litany of strange new textures and flavors.
All the while, the evidence of her crimes continued to accumulate. Unbeknownst to her, her dress, stretched further with every new treat she discovered, quickly became covered in their remains. Crumbs, and powdered sugar covered her face. Multicolored smears of brown chocolate, yellow and white cream, and fruit filling of nearly every color of the rainbow covered her dress like an abstract painting.
"Ooh." She moaned, rubbing her full belly. Her drooping eyes lazily scanned the shelves for her next victim. "How about-"
"H-hey!" A girlish voice shrieked from across the room. "Who are you?! What do you think you're doing!?"
The girl felt her heart drop to the bottom of her chest. She squinted, looking toward the source of the voice. Though the darkness of the night still shrouded the room, she could just make out the silhouette of a slender girl, pale face lit slightly by the candle she held in her trembling hands.
"Stop!" She shouted, running towards the girl. "Thief!"