Mini Mys­tery

Gwen’s choco­late cake was so ir­re­sistible, the thief couldn’t help steal­ing a piece…

Woman's World - - Start your week with a smile! -

Gwen lis­tened to the mes­sage on her phone and sighed with ex­as­per­a­tion. “Hi, to­mor­row’s our Mon­day book club, so just a re­minder to bring the cake. Thanks!”

She’d for­got­ten it was her turn this month, so when she and her fam­ily re­turned from church, she be­gan mak­ing one of her fa­mous dou­ble-choco­late fudge cakes. She was busy beat­ing the eggs when her 10-year-old son, Mickey, wan­dered into the kitchen.

“Hey, is that choco­late cake, Mom?”

“It’s not for you, honey,” said Gwen firmly. “It’s for my book club to­mor­row.

“But it’s my fa­vorite!” Mickey grum­bled. Sigh­ing, he set­tled for stuff­ing a hand­ful of gin­ger­snaps into his mouth as he dashed out­side to ride his bike.

Then five-yearold Ste­vie bounced in while Gwen was adding the flour.

“Mommy, you’re bak­ing for us?” “No, it’s for my book club to­mor­row.” “Well, I’m starv­ing!” “Have a cookie.” She was pour­ing the smooth brown mix­ture into two cake pans when her hus­band, Andy, re­turned from watch­ing their old­est son, Nathan, play in a soc­cer game. “They won!” he said cheer­fully “The coach had some nice things to say about Nathan.” “That’s great,” she said. “Aha, is that go­ing to be your fa­mous dou­ble choco­late fudge cake?” Her hus­band had an in­sa­tiable sweet tooth. “You can’t eat it—it’s for my book club. I’ll bake an­other one to­mor­row.” “I’ll hold you to that!” he grinned. Gwen flicked her dish­towel at him. She kept check­ing the oven and took the pans out just as the cake had risen per­fectly. It smelled won­der­ful. She’d ice it af­ter lunch. “What’s that fan­tas­tic smell? Choco­late cake?” Nathan had re­turned from soc­cer and was raid­ing the fridge. “You gonna frost that, Mom?”

“Yes, of course I am, but it’s not for us. It’s for my book club to­mor­row,” Gwen pa­tiently replied.

“Ah, Mom, how can you say that? Couldn’t they have just one layer and we have the other?”

“No way,” said Gwen firmly “Go and wash up, lunch will be ready in a few min­utes.”

I hope my book club will ap­pre­ci­ate how I’ve had to de­fend their cake against this hun­gry horde, she thought with a smile.

Fi­nally, the cake was fin­ished, cov­ered in rich choco­late frost­ing. She left it on the table and went out­side for some fresh air.

The first thing she saw when go­ing back in­side was that a huge slice had been cut from the cake, leav­ing crumbs of frost­ing on the table.

Fu­ri­ous, she called everyone into the kitchen.

“Who did this?” she stormed. “Now I’ll have to make an­other cake!”

“Not me, Mom, I was watch­ing the game on TV,” claimed Nathan.

“I rode down to the mail­box to check for mail,” said Mickey. “I’m ex­pect­ing a comic.”

“I was in the garage wax­ing the car,” said Andy. “And I would’ve ap­pre­ci­ated some help.” He glared at Mickey.

“It wasn’t me, Mommy. I was up­stairs in my room play­ing with my Le­gos.” Ste­vie said, but Gwen knew that an­gelic ex­pres­sion hid a lot of mis­chief.

Gwen looked around at their in­no­cent faces…and she knew ex­actly who had snatched the slice.

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