Cambridge English Readers
Series editor: Philip Prowse
The Fruitcake Special and other stories
published by the press syndicate of the universit y of cambridge The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RP, United Kingdom cambridge universit y press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UKwww.cup.cam.ac.uk 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA www.cup.org 10 Stamford Road, Oakleigh, Melbourne 3166, Australia Â Ruiz de Alarcon 13, 28014 Madrid, Spain # Cambridge University Press 2000 First published 2000 This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take placewithout the written permission of Cambridge University Press. Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge Typeset in 12/15pt Adobe Garamond [CE] ISBN 0 521 78365 8
The Fruitcake Special The Real Aunt Molly Brains The Book of Thoughts Finders Keepers
5 25 39 49 65
The Fruitcake Special
I never thought I would discover something quite so amazingby accident. I was a chemist at the Amos Cosmetics factory in New Jersey, USA, trying to design a new perfume when it happened. I was trying out all the usual mix of ¯owers and things ± just like I always did ± when I decided to throw in a piece of the fruitcake Momma had packed for my lunch. I don't know why I did it ± I just did.
I put it into the mix with all the other things. Beforelong, I had a little bottle of perfume made from the things I had mixed together. I put some on the back of my hand. I thought it smelled nice, but there was nothing special about it, so I put the bottle into my handbag. I couldn't give something like that to my boss. After all, I am a chemist and my job is to make perfumes in a proper way. If I told him how I made this one he would tell me not to bea silly girl. Later, he would probably make a joke about it to his friends at the golf club. That's the kind of man my boss was. `Anna!' It was my boss, David Amos, the owner of Amos Cosmetics. He happened to be walking past where I worked. He never usually spoke to people like me. What did he want? I felt nervous. `Yes, Mr Amos.' I said. `You're looking terri®c today! Mmm . . . what's that lovelysmell? It's like fresh bread and ¯owers and sunshine all mixed together with . . . I don't know ± is it you, Anna?' I didn't know what he was talking about. I couldn't smell anything special. Mr Amos had an expert nose for perfumes. And he knew it. `Yes, it is you!' he said loudly. All the other chemists nearby could hear. It was embarrassing. I had never heard my boss speak to me like thatbefore. Or to anybody else, come to think of it. David Amos is a dark, handsome English guy who would never dream of saying nice things to ordinary looking girls like me. He
preferred to be with pretty young models who liked his appearance and his money. When he did speak to the chemists he was usually complaining about something. Was he playing some kind of joke today? Suddenly he came overright next to me. He spoke in a quiet voice close to my ear. `You know, Anna, I've never really noticed it before ± I can't think why ± but you really are a beautiful woman!' `Mr Amos. I . . .' I tried to answer but I didn't know what to say. `No, it's true, Anna,' he said. `I must see you outside this dull factory. Will you have dinner with me tonight?' `Well, I . . .' I was still too surprised tospeak properly. `That's great! I'll pick you up at your place tonight at eight. See you then,' he said. He was gone before I could say anything. As I went home on the bus I thought of the strange situation I was in. My boss, who was famous for going out with beautiful women, had told me I was beautiful and had asked me out! But I know I am just ordinary looking and not his usual type at all. When...