How are you doing today?
I’m *definitely* suffering from cabin fever. I know I’m extremely lucky in general and I’m truly grateful for all of my blessings. I’m safe, I’m healthy again and I get to spend a LOT of extra time with my love.
Still, I get a lot of my (creative) energy from soaking up the city’s hustle and bustle, and without it, I’m really struggling. Today is not a very good day for me. Yesterday was a lot better. I hope tomorrow will be better again too.
In a (desperate) attempt to have *some* kind of outdoor adventures, I even ordered the new Animal Crossing game. Yup, the cabin fever is that bad, haha. I’m very much looking forward to a nice stroll on the beach of my virtual island tomorrow… 😉 (If you play it too and have some tips… Let me know!)
Luckily, I can also come here and hang out with you to get a big smile on my face. I actually just recorded the first scene of part 39 and I couldn’t wait to share a bit of excerpt with you. I hope you enjoy it on this Easter Monday.
As always, with love,
Update 15/05: Added some more excerpt for Wednesday Excerpt Day!
“No peeking!” Karen laughed. “Or we’ll tighten your blindfold!”
“Oh, come on,” Mary giggled, squeezing her eyes shut and moving her hand around in the warm, liquid chocolate that filled the chocolate fountain. “This is hard!”
Several of her co-workers cracked up.
“I can hear you!” Mary warned them, taking a step to the side and feeling her way around the bottom of the chocolate fountain. “And I’m still your boss for another few days!”
“Hey, maybe you should use both of your hands!” someone called out from Mary’s left. Everyone cheered in agreement.
“Hell no!” Mary snorted, even though she knew it was probably a good idea if she wanted to find the hidden treasure any time soon.
She knew how messy things got when you stuck in your second arm, though. She had seen quite a few people do it on previous parties and was not ready to go that far just yet.
“Damn it, who came up with this idea?!” Mary thought, pushing herself up on her knees so that she could reach further into the chocolate. “Oh, right. I did.”
A little over a year ago, Hannah had ordered all the fountains to be removed from the Leroy stores. Mary had understood why Hannah had wanted them gone. Having a video of yourself falling into a chocolate fountain going viral was pretty embarrassing.
But the incident had also attracted a new type of crowd to the Leroy stores. Weird people had kept coming in to pose in front of the fountain. One teenager had actually tried to jump into it for his picture. His buddy had gotten a bit aggressive when they were told to leave.
That’s when Hannah had had enough and had issued the order. It had saddened Mary, though. The fountain had been the centrepiece of the store for so long. “What if we give it a goodbye party?” Karen had joked.
And that’s when Mary had come up with the idea. She and the team had moved the fountain to the storage room, hidden out of sight. Whenever there was a goodbye party, they plugged it back in.
The team collected left-over chocolate from tastings and damaged packaging so they could melt it and hide a gift in it for whoever had the audacity to leave the team. Mary had never thought she would one day be doing this.
She knew she should be enjoying it. This was a fun game and she owed it to her team to be a good sport. But she kept listening for Lex’s voice instead. She had the feeling Lex still hadn’t arrived and she was getting increasingly nervous.
“Hey, keep going!” Karen said, softly bumping her elbow into Mary’s side.
Mary startled. “Alright, okay, okay!” She bit her lower lip and reluctantly stuck her other hand into the fountain as well.
“Finally!” Karen howled. “Lean into it, girl!”
Mary wrinkled her nose and leaned over the fountain, soaking her shirt sleeves. She felt the chocolate spatter across her chest and face.
Her team started cheering and whistling. “That’s more like it,” someone shouted.
Suddenly, finally, Mary’s fingers discovered something smooth and substantial on the bottom. She quickly closed her hands around it and pulled it out. Chocolate dripped down her arms as she stuck the object in the air triumphantly.
Everyone roared in approval. Someone pulled the blindfold off and Mary blinked. She immediately looked for Lex but didn’t see her among the laughing faces around her.
“Come one, wipe it off!” Karen yelled. She handed Mary a towel, grabbing her stomach with her other arm as she shook from laughing.
Mary accepted the towel and glanced down at her shirt. It had once been green but was now mostly brown. Chocolate drops kept falling onto the floor. She could even feel some rolling down her face.
“Oh, fuck,” she chuckled, resisting the urge to rub her cheek on her shoulder. “This better be worth it!”
She started rubbing the object she had fished out of the fountain with the towel. It was rectangular and made from see-through plastic. “What the bleep,” she whispered and wiped off more of the chocolate.