The Wrong McElroy by KL Hughes

The Wrong McElroy by KL Hughes

Author:KL Hughes
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Publisher: Ylva-Publishing
Published: 2019-08-10T21:16:35+00:00

Chapter 6

When Fiona arrived downstairs, freshly dressed in a thick pair of sweatpants and a Saint Louis University sweatshirt, it was like walking onto the set of a Food Network competition show. The large dining room table had been divided into elaborately stocked stations, each already occupied. Charlie Sr. and Rosie sat at the head of the table with Charlie on their right, surrounded by his daughters. They climbed all over him, passing candies back and forth and occasionally sneaking them into their mouths. Beside him sat Sophie, and next to her, the only empty seat at the table. It sat between her and Michael, waiting for Fiona. Brian and Grace occupied the stations on the other side of the table, along with Lizzie and Jessie. Everyone was present except Grandma Sophia, who Fiona guessed was still lounging in her chair in the living room, likely asleep.

Candies of every shape, shade, and size filled the bowls and boxes that lined the length of the table. There were gumdrops and peppermint sticks, licorice ropes and crushed peanut brittle. Silver and gold candy-coated chocolates shined under the dining-room lights, their pearlescent sheens making them appear as precious gems waiting to be discovered. Jelly beans, gummy bears, and candied popcorn added bursts of bright color, and Fiona could already imagine putting them to use. They could be Christmas lights strung along the frame of her and Michael’s gingerbread house. And the white-chocolate Kit-Kat bars could be the wooden planks of a picket fence. Ideas presented themselves with each new candy bowl she explored.

“Come on, Fi,” Michael said. “Everyone else’s already got a jump-start on us.”

Fiona claimed the empty seat beside him. “Okay, I knew this was going to be good, but this is next level.”

“Yeah, Mom goes all out,” he said. “She even used to bake all the gingerbread herself, but it got to be a bit much after a while, so we switched to the kits. We still get all the good toppings, though.”

Decorating bags filled with different-colored icing and assorted design tips were set up at each station. There were tips for piping out flowers, straight lines, angled lines, stars, balls, and squiggles. White royal icing had been prepared to glue the gingerbread siding together, and there was buttercream for embellishments. It seemed not a single thing hadn’t been thought of or prepared. Everything a person could hope to have in order to build their dream gingerbread house was right there, right at their fingertips.

“There’s only one craft store in town,” Sophie said. “It’s a little mom-and-pop shop, but really well stocked, and you can practically see the owner’s mouth watering every Christmas when we walk in.” She grabbed a peppermint stick from their station and placed it at her own. “This competition probably pays his December rent every year.”

“Hey.” Michael reached over Fiona and swatted Sophie’s hand. He tried to snatch back the peppermint stick but couldn’t reach it. “You’ve got your own peppermint sticks. Put it back.”

“I need an extra.


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