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Before we get started, I want to say I’m being hosted today by the gracious Don Massenzio as part of his Perfect 10 series. I hope you take a moment to visit his site and leave us a comment.


Bright Lights and Candle Glow“Hi. I’m Louis, and I’m a compulsive eater.”

“Hi, Louis,” the group chanted.

“This time of year is really tough for me.”

Cole fought not to roll his eyes. Louis didn’t know the half of it.

“My family has been planning this year’s Feast of the Seven Fishes since we finished our Christmas Eve meal last year. And yes, I know fish is healthy. But not the way we make it. Battered and fried. In a cream sauce. Breaded. Stuffed. Over pasta. It’s my favorite meal of the year. And that’s before you consider the panettone and torrone and bocconotte.” Louis sighed.

Cole’s mouth watered. Italian desserts were the best. He hadn’t had any panettone since the year before in Milan. Nothing compared to that fluffy citrus dough dotted with various dried fruits, especially when served with mascarpone crème and a shot of amaretto. His stomach growled, and the married couple beside him glanced his way.

Louis continued with his troubles, but Cole couldn’t concentrate. His mind was on all the delicacies floating through his mind, like sugar plum fairies from his favorite Christmas story.

Sugar plums. Cole did love a good sugar plum.

“And that’s how my sponsor and OA are helping me deal with the holidays,” Louis finished.

“Thanks for sharing,” Dirk said.

Louis smiled a closed-lipped smile.

It reminded Cole of smiley-face cookies.


This post is in honor of Christmas in July. It’s an excerpt from my short story, “The No in Noel.” You can read the whole story, as well as several others, in the free holiday anthology Bright Lights and Candle Glow.

Inspired by the WordPress daily prompt: Edible.

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