Elsie was making gingerbread people when it began.
"The baker is nothing but unbaked dough!" a child's voice cried, and the blob of dough under hands twisted away from her. It stretched and folded itself into a small, faceless humanoid and started towards her.
Around the room, a dozen finished gingerbread shapes stirred, rising from their trays and baking racks, echoing the words as if they were the truth.
"I'm not!" Elsie protested, groping for the large wooden spoon to defend herself. It skittered out of her reach. "I'm NOT!"
Other voices drowned her out. "Bake the baker!" came the cry. It rattled from dozens of throats, then from scores, and every bit of the gingerbread people she had made turned on her as one massed body. Their faces were blank save for the iced mouths shouting her down. "Bake the baker! Bake the baker!"
"Nooooooo!" It came out as a rising scream and she backed away as they came on, grasping hands reaching out to clutch at her, to pin her, to drag her over to the giant oven. She lashed out, knocking hands away as hard and as fast as she could, but there were more of them. So many more of them, and she couldn't swing fast enough to clear all the hands away.
Then her back came up hard against a stone wall, and the faceless crowd surged forward. She couldn't flee. She couldn't escape. There were more than she could fight off. They overwhelmed her every defence, driving her down and down and down until she was curled on the kitchen floor like the ball of dough they called her. She wept, slow tears of terror sliding from her eyes and soaking into her skirt.
And so they shouted in triumph and hoisted her up and carried her to the oven. They threw her in there, among the glowing coals, and sealed the door.