The Lavender Thief

By Rachel Barnard

Kacie Lane loved lavender. Her soaps were lavender. Her lotions were lavender. Her essential oil of choice was lavender. She grew her own supply, but it just never smelled right. When she heard about the lavender ice cream at Snoqualmie ice cream she was intrigued.

On her drive home one night from Everett to Bellevue, she made a pit stop in Maltby to check out the ice cream shop. Driving past the ridiculous espresso stand that looked like a coffee cup and the infamous Maltby Café, famous for what she didn’t know, she turned right onto the street and nearly hit a light post.

There were several bushes of lavender outside the ice cream shop. The lot was empty when she managed to close her jaw and park uselessly in between the lines. The shop was closed. It was Tuesday. Kacie sighed and got out of her Prius, not bothering to lock it. She was the only one there. She walked up to the little window on the side of the barn-red building and peered at the hours. Thursday through Sunday. Shoot. She would have to wait a couple more days.

Kacie was disappointed, but not for long. She kept walking around the side of the building, noting the Costco plastic benches outside and the inviting ice cream cone sign affixed above the front door.

She kept walking.

She inhaled deeply, the fresh mild hint of lavender teased her. Stooping to get a closer sniff of the plant, Kacie smiled. Lavender at last. She giggled and plucked a stem, rubbing it along the back of her hand. A burst of light scent filled the air and she breathed in with her hand up to her nose.

Kacie closed her eyes.

Her hand dropped down and plucked a few stems from each lavender bush until she had a tight purple bouquet. Kacie practically skipped back to her car and set the stems delicately down on the passenger seat.

She would be back. She was especially interested in the lavender ice cream. For now, she had a limitless supply of lavender that smelled like perfumed perfection.

Wednesday evening Kacie drove home from Everett, traffic bumming her out. At the intersection of 522 and 405, she made the quick decision to head east. Back at Snoqualmie ice cream, Kacie picked another bunch of stems. Thursday evening Kacie decided before she had left work to stop at the ice cream tasting room.

It was open.

A family of four sat on the cheap plastic picnic table bench, devouring ice creams too large for one sitting.

Kacie opened the door and was delighted to see the rows of ice cream sitting in their industrial sized bins behind the glass casing. A teenager worked behind the counters, bustling to make a coffee for a man standing just behind the cash register in the middle of the two ice cream cases.

“One affogato,” the teen said, placing the cup of ice cream runny with espresso on top in front of the man. He paid and went outside. There were no other customers.

Kacie stepped up to the counter and, without even looking at all the flavors or gallons of ice cream, said, “Double scoop of lavender, please.”

The teen grabbed a scooping spoon and piled up two scoops of lightly purpled ice cream into a cup. Kacie paid and took her ice cream to the living room styled sitting area. She gave the cup a sniff but smelled nothing. The lights were bright inside the shop and she passed by a stage like area. She stepped up to the large glass doors and peered at what was part of the kitchen, where they made the ice cream. Large vats stood by the wall and a large empty table graced the other side. There was nobody in the room.​​ 

Kacie elected to sit in one of the comfy large brown chairs in front of the fireplace instead of the café style barstools or the sturdy dark wood table and bench. The brightness inside cheered her mood considerably, even as the cold of the ice cream seeped from the cup to her hands, making goosebumps stand up on her arms.

The first bite of the French lavender bit into her teeth with its coldness. She sank deeper into the cushioned seat for warmth. The lavender in the ice cream was a muted flavor and she tasted more vanilla than anything else. It was quite good and very creamy as ice cream went.​​ 

The ice cream was nothing compared to the lavender outside. Kacie knew she’d be visiting this place again and not during business hours.​​ 


About The Author

Rachel Barnard’s greatest accomplishments have been eating an entire half gallon of ice cream in one sitting, winning a boot toss, and writing a novel about herself. Rachel Barnard wishes she were taller, that chocolate had no calories, and that books could be eaten after they were read. Rachel Barnard resides in the Pacific Northwest and loves to dress up, talk about writing and books, and dance. Rachel Barnard primarily writes young adult books, including Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams, At One’s Beast, and Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1).