Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 4 weeks ago

WB S1E29: 2021 Holiday Surprise!

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

WRITERS' BLOCK: Our own Mary Kay Andrews unearths a holiday short story, Fatal Fruitcake and reads it for a Holiday Surprise!

...he was sitting down at the end of thetable away from the door, head down on the table, I thought he was drunk,passed out. I was gonna wake him up, you know, call a cab and send him home?I shook him and shook him. That's when I saw you know, welcome to the Friends and fictionWriter's Block podcast for new york times, bestselling authors, one rockstar librarian and endless stories joined mary Kay Andrews, Kristin,Harmel, Kristy, Woodson, Harvey and Patti Callahan Henry. Along with RonBlock as novelists, we are four long time friends with 70 books between usand I am Ron Block. Please join us for fascinating author interviews andinsider. Talk about publishing and writing if you love books and arecurious about the writing world you are in the right place. Right, welcome to apop up holiday episode. It's the spirit of giving. We wanted to unearth aclassic short story by our founding member of Friends and Fiction mary KayAndrews. It's entitled Fatal Fruitcake If that's not enough. She's going toread it to us on this very special episode. Wonderful! Right, so I'mbeyond thrilled to welcome my dear friend mary Kay Andrews. Hello mary Kay!Hi Ron! Hi everybody out there. This is such a wonderful idea and what aspecial treat for people. Before we get going with you. Reading to us, tell usthe story of the, of the story. Where did it come from? Has it been in yourvault for a while and how did you come up with the idea and set in motion.Well yeah, it has been in the vault is...

...covered in cobwebs. Actually not really.I wrote this fatal fruitcake. Um, it's a Callahan Garrity short story. I wroteit in 1997 and I wrote it for a now defunct airline magazine. And for thosewho don't know, Callahan Garrity was my fictional sleuth. The 1st 10 novels Iwrote were Callahan novels, First Aid, I should say sorry. Uh where Callaghan?And Callaghan was in Atlanta private investigator who had been an Atlantapolice department detective. She'd been a detective and she quits the squad andgets a job running home cleaning business with her mother. Edna, who waswas based on my late mother. And uh Edna is Edna is cranky and funny andthey lived together and they run this business called the cleaning businesscalled the House mouse. And, but Callahan has also kept her P I license.So every once in a while, she instead of cleaning up crime, she cleans upsome grime. And the idea for the fruitcake story came about when I was,you know, I was a reporter Ron for years. And I was a reporter for theAtlanta Journal Constitution. But we were living in savannah and I was whatwas called a stringer. So I wrote freelance piece, feature pieces fornewspapers, including the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I wrote somestories. I think I might have written a story for the new york times to aboutClaxton fruitcake, which were made in Claxton Georgia. Uh, yeah. Klaxonsabout, I don't know, 45 minutes, 50 minutes away from Savannah where wewere living at the time. And so I had, you know, the reason why they madeClaxton fruitcake and klaxon is because one of the big ingredients is pecansand Claxton is right in the middle of become territory in Georgia. And sothat I had written on stories about that. Then I wrote a story years laterabout how, you know, fruitcake was sort of this, um, it was sort of this thingthat was like there was a dividing line.

People, you either hate fruitcake oryou love fruitcake and I think the, the squidgy squidgy, squishy red and greenthings in fruitcake or what squid people out frequently. That's thedividing line. Boom. Yeah, so that kind of was in the background. And actuallythe first christmas book I ever wrote was called blue christmas. Andfruitcake has a prominent place in the beginning of blue christmas. So all ofthose things kind of, I think worked their way into the short story calledfatal Fruitcake. I love it and what a great title too. So well, you know what,you know, I love my alliteration. Yes, you do, Yes, you do. And we love that.You love it because it comes up with the greatest ideas. So without anyfurther ado listeners, I give you fatal fruitcake written and read for you byour own mary Kay andrews take it away. There were 10 strands of Christmaslights, all of them hopelessly tangled into one big ul approved snarl. Whichidiot put these lights away last year. I demanded only six shopping days lefttill the big day. And as always I felt overwhelmed with stress and anxiety.The ceaseless jangle of the radio playing an endless stream of hokeychristmas songs made my nerves raw and my mother's mindless humming didn'thelp either. Can't you cut that noise off Edna. My mother looked up from herjob, which was to hack away at the base of the tree with a dull butcher knifeuntil the trunk fit into her rested 40 year old christmas tree stand grandmagot run over by a reindeer happens to be my favorite song, she said mildly.And as for the christmas slice, you put them away last year, Miss Grinch, Imuttered dark threats to myself. And when the phone rang, I didn't budgefrom my spot on the living room floor.

Let the machine pick it up. I said,Edna and I run a cleaning business with the ridiculous name of the house mousechristmas is our busy season. Everybody wants a clean house for the holidays.But no, she picked it up. Listen for a moment then handed me the receiver,it's Jackie, she said. Jackie baker is the youngest of our house Mouse girlsand not usually prone to emotion, but now her voice was shaking, Callahan,she said breathlessly. You gotta come, come quick. I'm a Colony Square. Thatbig ad agency, Schubert. Show walter Quinn. I was cleaning the conferenceroom. There's a dead guy here, Callahan. I ain't studying those stiffs. I sighed.Told her to call the cops and hung up. Edna looked at me. Hopefully. She nevermet a homicide. She didn't want to investigate. Oh yes. In addition to thecleaning business, I have a sideline Callahan Garrity investigations. Istarted the P. I agency after I left the Atlanta Police Department fiveyears ago when business was slow. Well, non existent. I bought the house mouse.I only take cases every now and then. It looked like Jackie had found me one.The cops beat me to Schubert. Show walter Quinn's offices at Colony Squarein midtown Atlanta. A uniformed officer stood in front of the heavy mahoganydouble doors which were open to the hallway just inside in the receptionerI I could see Jackie Ashen faced being interrogated by a tall, broadshouldered detective. The cut of his black dinner jacket looked familiar.The uniformed officer stationed at the door to their office suite did hislevel best to turn me away. Crime scene ma'am, he said, trying to make hispudgy, clean shaven features look stern. I represent the woman who found thebody, I told him, which was true. I did represent Jackie as far as setting herup with housecleaning clients. This cut no mustard with the kid withthe badge. I was arguing loudly when...

...the detective finally turned around tosee who was making all the racket, he looked annoyed and then resigned. Lether in, Hopkins, he said, otherwise she'll stand there bitching and moaningall night bucky Devers the detective and the dinner jacket was an old closefriend from my own days with the A. P. D. I flashed him a grateful grin andstepped into the reception area. Jackie stood up and hugged me. She was shakingand I could tell she had been crying. I pulled up a leather chair and sat downto hear her story. I told you I was gonna do some moonlighting. Rememberfor extra christmas money? I shook my head impatiently. It's fine. Just tellme what happened. Shuart show walter Quinn had their big christmas partyhere today. Jackie said talk about a mess. There was trash everywhere. Inever seen nothing like it. Paper plates and cups, food, liquor bottles,balloons mess everywhere. I was working my way towards aconference room where the buffet was arranged picking up as I went. It's abig office. Lots of employees. The door was closed. I opened the door to go inthere and she swallowed hard, tears sprang up in her eyes. He was sittingdown at the end of the table away from the door, head down on the table. Ithought he was drunk, passed out. I was gonna wake him up, you know, call a caband send them home. I shook him and shook him. That's when I saw, you know,no gunshots or stab wounds, spoke bucky, put in here, no real sign of a struggle.The medical examiner's in there with him now. Oh my God! Jackie whispered itwas awful. I never saw a dead body before. I didn't know how things wouldbe. Just then a door from the reception area opened and a petite blonde womandressed in flowing red chiffon party pants and a hastily button white labcoat came into the room. She was removing a pair of rubbergloves which she tossed into the trash can beside the receptionist deskdiverse, she said, ignoring Jackie and...

...me. I knew Sonya Paterson when she wasjust an assistant medical examiner. She knew me too. Death by ecstasy ation.She said no foul play. The fat jerk literally ate himself to death Jackiegas. What do you mean? A chunk of food got lodged in his throat and he chokeddr Peterson said, it looks like fruitcake but we'll run lab tests to besure that's it. Devers ask please, no foul play. Excellent by now SonyaPaterson had removed her lab coat for this. I left the medical society dance.Unbelievable underneath the lab coat. She was wearing a sequined straplesstop that showed plenty of cleavage, you can wrap up the crime scene by yourself.Right? She asked, I'll have the paperwork done for you by monday,accidental death. She looked closely at Devers, noticing now that he too wasdressed for a party. Nice dinner jacket, she said. Then she was gone. Deaverstood up, stretched and grinned. We got lucky this time. Tonight's the policeBenevolent association christmas party. They're raffling off a new jeep atmidnight. If I get these guys moving, we'll be out of here by 10 tops. He got Jackie's phone number andaddress and promised to call if he had any more questions. What about thecleaning? She wanted to know. Can I finish? He thought for a moment. Yeah.What the hell Dr patterson says it's accidental is accidental. Don't need ahomicide this close to christmas. Right. Jackie made a face. It was clear she'dhad enough of Schubert. Show Walter Quentin for one night, but she was apro. She squared her shoulders, picked up a cleaning caddy caddy inside. I'llget the bathrooms. Now, could you let me know when the body is gone, buckynodded. He was busily jotting notes. I stood up and got ready to leave, but Idreaded going back to all that forest holiday cheerfulness at home. By theway, I said, trying to sound off handed, who was the dead guy? I've Mail Clerk Bucky said, still writingMoreland Reynolds 20 to his aunt is...

...married to one of the big guys at thisagency Harrison Showalter kids, sort of a dim bulb from what the family says.Uncle Harry hired him as a favor to the wife. He laughed briefly and shook hishead. What? I said sourly. What's the joke, Jeff by fruitcake deeper saidlaughing again. How would you like to have that on your death certificate?The conference room doors open then and the ambulance attendants wheeled outthe stretcher. Moreland Reynolds was zipped into a pace for maroon body bag.One of the attendants, a gangly pimply faced kid with the braves cap onbackwards, stopped to high five with Bucky. Hey Detective beavers, he said, youhear what happened to this? Poor stiff I heard but he said, grinning. Couldhave been worse though. How is that? The kid said could havebeen one of them senseless. Drive by murders. You know, somebody drives bychunks of fruit cake at you and peels off. Hey! The kid said, slapping hisside. That's a good one. Drive by fruitcake killing. Wait'll I tell thatone to the dispatcher. Everybody was laughing except for me. I happen tolike fruitcake, I said to nobody in particular after the body was gone, buthe gathered up his notebook and got ready to leave. It's okay if you wantto hang around and wait for your friend, he said, but no snooping. This is aclosed case, understand perfectly. I said, he was still laughing, shakinghis head as he went out the door. Death by fruitcake. What'll I tell the guysat the party? As soon as he was gone, I went into the conference room. It wasas Jackie had promised a mess. Nearly empty platters of food were strewnaround a long polished walnut table. All that was left of the honey bakedham with some greasy rind. There was a half full bowl of potato salad, somestale looking rolls and the dregs of a cheese platter decorated with straygrapes and a couple of rogues, strawberries. A credenza held what was left of thedesserts, a single slice of pound cake,...

A few broken sugar cookies, a foil traysmeared with what look like chocolate icing. And yes, there on a white platestood a shimmering jewel of a fruitcake. Its top was studded with glisteningpecans, whole dates, figs and honeyed apricots. It was a thing of beauty thatfruitcake, but only one slice was missing. I heard a noise. In the drive.In the doorway. Jackie pushed a cleaning cart into the room. I've beendreading coming back here, she admitted it's spooky. I'll stay and help. I toldher maybe if I stall long enough. Edna will trim the tree without me. Thatwould be great, Jackie said. I'm no scaredy cat, but I really don't want tobe here by myself. She looked as tastefully at the end of the tablewhere a half full plate of food had been pushed out of the way, There werefingerprint powder smudges on and around the table and chair and a chalkoutline on the tabletop to show where the body had rested. That's where Ifound him, she whispered, I am never going to get that out of my mind. Don'tlook at the table, I suggested. I'll clear the food away, you move thechairs and start vacuuming. We worked fast. I tossed all the food remnants inthe trash, wiped off the table and moved to the credenza. I tossed outeverything but the fruit cake waste not want, not Edna. The child of thedepression always says I picked up the cake bucky was right. The thing washeavy as a concrete block, but handsomer. The fruits and nuts had beenarranged in patterns like flowers. I held up to Jackie. You want to takethis home? She shuddered. Are you kidding? That thing killed a boy. Idon't want no killer. Fruitcake throw that thing in the trash. She was right.I was just about to toss it in the trash when I smelled something. Isniffed the cake, set it back down,...

...picked up a con off the top and put itto my nose. I held the fruitcake out to Jackie again. Does this smell like anyfruit cake you ever smelled reluctantly. She walked over and sniffed andwrinkled her nose smells like my grandmama spare room closet. I bentover and inhaled again. You're right? I told her it smells funny, Carefully. Iset the cake back down. I picked a tiny morsel and put it on my tongue. Thetaste was sweet and then bitter like chemicals. I spat it out into the trashand headed to the water cooler for a long drink. I knew they were having thepolice Benevolent party at Manuel's Tavern, a local watering hole. That's afavorite hangout for cops, newspaper reporters and doctors and nurses fromGrady Memorial's emergency room. I tried calling Devers cellphone but mycall directly went to voicemail so I called manuals and told the bartenderwho was looking for And that he was probably in the back room at the PBAParty. It took Bucky 15 minutes to come to the phone. This better not be youguarantee. He said it's me. I admit it now don't hang up. It's about thatfruitcake. It smells funny. There's something wrong with the bucky. I thinkit was poison. What he had to shout to make himself heard over the din at theparty. All fruit cake smells funny. Garrity. My great aunt used to soakersand pear brandy that came over on the Mayflower. Get off the phone and out ofthat office before I send uniforms over there to throw you out. The kid chokedaccidental death case closed. We'll see about that. I said when I got home to Kamler Park, thelights of the christmas tree glowed through the front window. Can't wait tosee what the power bill will be next month! I groused. I unplugged the tree,put the fruit cake on the kitchen table and took myself off to bed. Visions ofcheeseburgers dancing in my head. I'd forgotten to eat dinner when I went into the kitchen the nextmorning. Niva jean mccomb one of the...

...house mouse girls was sitting at thekitchen table, reading the newspaper. She had a can of mountain dew in onehand and a huge slab of fruitcake in the other. The slice was headedstraight for her gaping red lipstick mouth. Don't I cried, knocking it outof her hand and onto the floor. Hey, diva jean screeched. It was just oneitty bitty piece. There's still a whole cake left. Callahan, geez! I pouredmyself a cup of coffee with trembling hands and sat down beside her. Thatcake is poisoned, I explained. A guy died eating it last night. Geez! ***jean, hollered. She shoved the plate away in revulsion. What's it doing here?Evidence? I told her I'm going to prove to bucky Devers and sonya Paterson thatmorlin Reynolds the victim did not choke to death. The aluminum platters Itossed in the trash the night before were labeled with the caterers name,which was festivus. I looked up the number in the yellow pages and gavethem a jingle festivus aboard sounding man answered. Let us be a party to yournext affair Garrity here, Atlanta police, I said, trying to soundofficial without actually claiming to be a cop. Your people catered a partylast night at Schubert show walter Gwynn. Someone died. We have reason tobelieve your fruitcake was responsible. Wait just a minute, The man said, hisvoice rising. I don't like your tone for your information. Are mr Terrencewas right here in our kitchen last night supervising the salmon and crude. No, no, I said quickly, I'm at the realfruit cake, you know, with the nuts and candied fruit. Oh, the man said, But weat festivals don't do fruitcake. It's such a cliche. We do an espresso mousse.We do guava tartlets. We do baba of rum and tiramisu, but we don't do fruitcake.He hung up. All that talk of moose and tartlets.Maybe hungry? I looked longingly at the fruitcake. Instead, I ate a bowl ofcrap. Captain crunch. The receptionist...

...at Schubert show walter Quinn was namedjennifer. She lived in Virginia Highlands when I told her why I wascalling that Moreland Reynolds had died from eating fruitcake. There was afaint giggle at the other end of the phone. It's not funny, I said hotly.Where did that fruitcake come from? The caterers say they didn't bring it. Ihave no idea, she said this time of year clients and suppliers are alwayssending fruit boxes and trays of goodies to the office. Anybody couldhave put that cake on the buffet table. I glanced at the fruitcake, noticingfor the first time. The platter, it had been placed upon a modest oval dishwith a border of golden wheat sheaves, Gas station china. I'd grown up withthe stuff. No, I told her this is definitely homemade. I described thecake plate to her. Oh, that sounds like Carlin and accounting. She said she'salways bringing in baked goods. Oh dear. Carlene said when I told her why I wascalling this is embarrassing. One of my neighbors gave me that as a gift, butmy kids wouldn't eat fruitcake at gunpoint so I brought it to work. I hadno idea Marlon Reynolds was kind of a pest, you know, but now I feel justawful. You really think it was a fruitcake looking that way? I told her,my voice grim. The name of Carlin's neighbor wasTricia Finnerty, but the babysitter said she was out christmas shopping atthe mall, wouldn't be home till noon. I called my friend linda. She's a chemist,was one of the big drug companies here in town linda. I said, if I brought you a sliceof fruitcake, could you test it in your lab and tell me what's wrong with it?Hell! She said after she stopped laughing, I can tell you what's wrongwith fruitcake over the phone? It's all those red and green cherries. Do youhave any idea what those things are made of? Very funny. I said, my sidesare splitting. Okay, She said relenting. When do you want to do this right away.I said before it starts to go bad. You obviously know nothing about fruitcakeLinda said the things never go bad.

They have the half life of plutonium.Okay. I'll meet you at the lab in 30 minutes. By the time I got there, linda wasgowned and masked like a surgeon while I watched he took a sliver of thefruitcake and put it in a test tube. Then she added liquid from a beaker andadded a stopper with a length of thin rubber tubing that led to yet anotherbeaker on a stand. She held the test tube over a Bunsen burner. The liquidbegan boiling almost at once and within minutes I could see the empty beakercloud up with a gas. A sharp smell filled the room. Tetrachloride. Benzenelinda announced. The person who got a mouthful of this was very, very sickbefore he died. And if he digested any, his liver should look like a piece ofswiss cheese. I swallowed hard thinking about how close I had come to eatingthe fruit case myself. What's this teacher, What's this used for? I asked.She shrugged. Industries use it to manufacture flora carbons and sometimesit's used in fire extinguishers. Oh yeah. People used to use it as a spotremover before the E. P. A. Outlawed it. You really can't buy it anymore. Iborrowed a pair of rubber gloves to wear while re wrapping the fruitcakethen I called Trish affinity from my cell phone. The fruitcake I gave Carlene. Shesounded confused. The mall will do that to you. Oh yeah, she said slowly. I'dalmost forgotten my husband. My husband is a dentist, one of his patients. Oldmrs Popovich gave it to him so he brought it home to me as a joke. Heknows how I feel about fruitcake Elena Popovic lived indicator. Thehouse was tiny with peeling green paint and a bright blue front door. A strandof blinking, multicolored lights outlined the doorway and a huge plasticreindeer stood on her minuscule front porch. I knocked and waited fiveminutes, seven minutes. Finally, a voice who is it? A voice call from theother side of the door. It's Callahan Garrity. I said, I've come to see aboutyour fruitcake. The door knob turned...

...then and the door moved inward by aninch and I could see a latch, security chain you like fruitcake? The voice washeavily accented Slavic sounding. I adore it. I said, servant lee. She gaveme a quizzical look. Okay? She said finally, and she unlatched the door andlet me in. Elena Popovic was stooped nearly double over an aluminum walker.She had snowy white hair braided and pinned around her head like a wreathHer eyes behind the thick lens glasses were a Milky Brown. She was 90 if shewas a day I make fruitcake myself, she said, probably come, I show the kitchen was the size of my broomcloset, but it was spotless and smelled like bleach ascent. I love better thanroses. Mrs Popovic stood in the center, like the captain on the bow of awarship. She pointed toward the chip Formica countertop. There. Swath andplastic wrap stood a whole row of fruitcakes, half a dozen and all. May I?She nodded so I unwrapped one and inhale deeply. Mm I said, try not tojoke. What's your secret? Good flowers? She said, beaming, raisins, figs, dates,nuts, whiskey. I don't see so good and to cook no more, but fruitcake I knowby heart. He's up here, she said, tapping her forehead. Whiskey, I said.Is that what you soak the cake? And of course, she said. Elena papa deck doesnot buy whiskey to drink only for fruitcake at christmas. Can I see what can you use? I askedeagerly. I want to make mine just the way you do, she looked perplexed. Sure.Then she shuffled over to an old fashioned metal wall cabinet and openedit. Her fingertips flew over the jumble of boxes and bottles and cans. He'sgone, she said, turning to me with a frown. Are you sure? I asked. What kindof bottle is it in? Maybe I could look. No, she said. And then the brown eyessparkled. Now, what I remember Gripping...

The Walker with one hand, she bent overand grunting with the effort of it, opened the cupboard under the sink, sherummaged a moment, breathing heavily, and then came up with a flat sidedbrown flask with a screw cap. We ski, she said, and handed to me with aflourish. I unscrewed the cap and sniffed expectantly, felt thedisappointment wash over me. Whiskey. It was probably old granddad. The labelwas long gone. Let me put it back for you, I offered, before she could refuse.I was down on my knees with a cupboard door open like me. She kept her mopbucket under the sink along with a can of comet and a box of S. O. S. Pads. Itwas dark under there. So it took a moment before my fingers closed on thebottle. It was the same shape and color as the bourbon bottle. I unscrewed thecap and sniffed my nostrils burn from the proximity. I smiled a secret smile.Then I stood up at the same time, slipping the bottle into the pocket ofmy skirt. Elena papa that didn't want to part with her fruitcakes ischristmas gift, she explained for dr paperboy mailman, But I drive a hardbargain for $120 in cash. She let me talk her out of her toxic treasures. She looked puzzles as I loaded theminto a paper grocery sack. What do you want with seeks fruitcake? She asked.Oh, I said, brightly. Their presence. Everybody loves fruitcake. On the wayhome. I stopped at a dumpster in back at the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club inlittle five points just around the corner from the house I share with Edna.The fruitcakes made a loud thud as they hit the pile of empty bottles and cansinside the dumpster. I uncapped mrs papa Vicks, braun flask and poured thetetrachloride benzene on the kazoo patch at the side of the parking lot.It seemed to wither. As I watched...

...suddenly, inexplicably I felt myself tobegin to glow with a long repressed holiday spirit. Someone had diedrecently, which was sad, but I had saved a little old lady from beingprosecuted for an innocent mistake. I got back in my van and turned the radioup as loud as it would go. They were playing my favorite Elvis song, I'llhave a blue christmas without you, I'll warble. I glanced in my rear viewmirror and caught out of the corner of my eye. A flash of moment I turnedaround to get a better look homeless man, one of the ones who was alwayshanging around the neighborhood mooching change for beer and cigarettesand muttering vague threats to anybody who turned him away, was clambering upthe side of the dumpster as I watched he did a boozy swan dive down into it.The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach wasn't from the aroma ofdecaying garbage. I jumped out of the van and ran over to the dumpster. Icould hear him in there rooting around in the bottles and cans and trash. SoonI was dodging empty ketchup bottles and rabbit and rotten cabbage heads as theyflew out of the bin. Hey buddy! I called anxiously. A grizzled head pokedup over the rim of the dumpster. Sure enough, he was holding one of Elenapapa Vicks masterpieces in his right hand. Get your own dumpster, he snarled.This one's mine mister, please! I beg don't eat that fruit cake. Fruitcake ahe said. My old lady used to make fruitcake. Every christmas put 1/5 ofjack Daniels in it. Don't eat that fruit cake, I said desperately. I sawit first, he said, taunting me now, it's all mine. He opened his mouth wide,ready to sink, uneven yellow teeth into his tooth some fine. His eyes widen. Hesniffed and his eyes narrowed suspiciously. He sniffed again. Hey! Hesaid, outraged. There ain't no whiskey...

...in here. The fruitcake went whizzingpast my head, grazing me slightly. I sighed, rubbing my bleeding ear, thenpicked up the fruitcake and threw it into the back of the van. Some things Idecided you just can't throw away the end. I love it. What a great story! Everypart of it! Thank you so much for sharing that with everybody. It's justa perfect little gift for us to have and give to our listeners. Tell me alittle bit about fruitcake you didn't say whether you're a lover or a hater.I like fruitcake only if it's made with the things. I just don't like those redand green things. I don't know what they are. I mean, a fruitcake that haslike dried apricots and and what? And candy nuts and figs and dates. And Ihave had that kind of a fruit cake and I think I made 11 time, a long time agoand I soak mine in bourbon, but I couldn't tell you where the recipe is.So, the fruitcake I like, I guess it's just a thing in my imagination. I donot put the secret tetra chloride. Benzene and mine. No. So, it's awarning to everybody out there. Please check your whiskey bottles beforeadding it to your recipe. That's right. It's great. Great. So, at the end ofthis story, there is actually in the e version, there's a recipe. Yeah. Fruitcake. Can you tell us about that where it came from? Okay, I can't rememberwhat you already told me. That's true. I don't you know, I'm sure somebodygave it to me. It's like the like the short story itself. It's been in thevault for a really long time. Right, okay, So, well, when this airs maybewe'll just post the recipe on the facebook page everybody can have at itand make their make your favorite fruit cake. Just make sure that what you putin there is whiskey and not poison.

Right. Right. Right, thank you so muchfor sharing the story with everybody. You're the best and you know we allwish you and your family a fruitful holiday season and we're holding yourfamily type this year. Thank you Ron. Thank you. I appreciate that. I loveyou guys merry christmas, everybody merry christmas everybody. Mm rememberyou can always find all the books by every Friends and fiction writer'sblock podcast. Guest past and present in the friends and fiction bookshop dotorg shop all sales place there helped to fund Friends and fiction and aportion of each and every sale goes straight into the pockets of indiebooksellers nationwide. Since its inception, bookshop dot org has raisedmore than 16 million for indie bookstores, shops, small shop localfrom the convenience of your screen with bookshop dot org and tell themfriends and fiction sent you. Thank you for tuning in to the Friends andfiction Writer's block podcast. Please be sure to subscribe rate and review onyour favorite podcast platform, tune in every friday for another episode And you can also join us every week onFacebook or YouTube where our live friends and fiction show airs at sevenp.m. eastern standard time. We're so glad you're here.

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