The Hacker Pushes Her Luck (Moonchuckle Bay 6)(15)

By: Heather Horrocks


She paused, a memory trying to push its way into the open. A sign announced that it was a restaurant specializing in Elvis Presley’s favorite foods and would be opening soon.

She put her hand to the glass and peeked inside. People were bustling around the interior, which was still under construction.

She pulled back again and shook her head. Why did this place jog a memory?

Maybe she was an Elvis fan?

She stood there for five minutes before a woman’s bag bumped into her. She spun to find a little girl falling — and she reflexively reached out a hand and caught her, keeping her from hitting the ground.

The little girl looked up with wide eyes. “You saved my life!”

“Maybe not your life, but I did keep you from bumping your head. That can be bad.” And Sugar should know.

“I’m Sasha. What’s your name?”

“Sugar,” she replied. “We’d better find your mother.”

She looked up to see a woman with a man and two other little girls in matching outfits trailing behind. They were apparently coming back to find their daughter.

Sugar stood. “She fell and I caught her.”

“Oh, thank you,” the mother said. “She’s always running off and does a lot of falling, too. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

“No inconvenience.” Sugar smiled. “Bye, Sasha. It was good to meet you.”

“Bye, Sugar,” the girl said in a sweet little voice. She took her mother’s hand, walking down the street.

Cute kid.

From here, Sugar could cross Mane Street again, go past a big parking lot, and then she’d be back at the SOC office, but she wasn’t ready to go back.

Instead, she crossed Dracula Drive and plunged into Town Square.

The sun beat down warm, but not as brutally hot as she would expect for June. But that might be because she was from Miami. Even Walter had commented on it.

She wished she could remember something! This total forgetfulness was incredibly frustrating.

Sighing, she continued on.

The square had food carts set up. Diggity Dogs sold gourmet hot dogs called Vampire Bites, Werewolf Brats, and Dragon Breath. She quickly passed Lady Fingers that looked too authentic to be appealing to anyone other than little boys who like gross stuff.

She felt drawn to a little place called Craved Ice.

A petite woman danced gracefully behind the counter, to her own music apparently, as Sugar didn’t hear any music. Her ears were almost pointed, sort of like Spock’s, and her shimmery silvery hair fell below her waist.

As Sugar approached, the woman stopped dancing and smiled at her. “Hi. I’m Jingle Belle.”

“I’m Sugar Monroe.”

“Hello, Sugar. Would you allow me to choose the perfect flavor for you today?”

Surprised, Sugar said, “Sure.”

Jingle turned and studied the containers of flavors on the back wall of her booth. The colors were brilliant and vivid, in varying hues of reds, purples, greens, and oranges.

Finally, Jingle smiled. “I have the perfect one for you. I’ll mix Feelin’ Lucky with Serendipitous Strawberry. That feels right for you. And maybe a touch of ginseng. That helps memory.”

Sugar stared at Jingle. “How do you know I need help with my memory?”

The other woman smiled gently. “My impressions are usually pretty accurate.”

“Well, that one definitely is. Better add a lot of ginseng.”

As Jingle created the snow cone, Sugar looked up at the flavor board. Feelin’ Lucky was four-leaf clover, kiwi, and limeade. The four-leaf clover made her smile.

A flash of white sped across the grass in front of her and she stared. “Is that a fox?”

“You can see her?”

Sugar nodded.

“Interesting.”

Jingle added more flavoring and a burst of light shot out from the cone.

Wow.

Jingle handed Sugar the bright green concoction. “Enjoy.”

Sugar tasted it, and flavors swirled on her tongue, lifting her spirits, and making her mind just a little bit clearer. Kiwi, lime, strawberry, and delicious.

“This is my lucky day, I guess,” Sugar said. “This is fantastic.”

“If you ever need to talk to someone about what’s going on, call me.” She held out a business card. “Here’s my number.”