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Books, Windchimes, and Woodwork

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“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer-reindeer!” My twin sister Olivia bellowed from the kitchen. At sixteen years old, she STILL sings Rudolph just to annoy me. My eight year old brothers David and Luke exchanged looks of glee.
“Grandma got run over by a rein-DEER!” they sang, grinning. When ten-year-old Jonah (I actually have nine siblings, but only seven out of ten Bentleys live at home.) launches into ‘Frosty the Snowman’ I dashed outside into the snow. I’m not drunk on eggnog, so I think I’ll be fine. Where should I go? My best friend Claudia lives on Dove Court, which is an exhausting walk. I stepped inside the Book Nook, my favorite store in East Ridge. (The ONLY store in East Ridge that is likeable.) A little bell jingled happily. I like happy bells. And windchimes. When I grow up, I’m going to move to Lilywood (The next town over) and have a garden with windchimes.
I pick up a copy of Jane Stewart. Jane Stewart is always in the window at the Book Nook because the author lived in East Ridge. The author is my sister Amelia, who got the book published the summer she was twelve. I had been ten. I flipped through the book lovingly. There were illustrations, small ones, but I loved them. Under ‘Written by Amelia Bentley’ was ‘Illustrated by Rebecca Bentley.’ I liked that, because that is my name. I didn’t flip to the ‘About the Illustrator’ area though. It was embarrassing. I was nine years old when the picture had been taken. Now kids saw it nation-wide. Oh well. At least people could love me for illustrating Jane Stewart. I set the book down, wondering what I was doing here on Christmas Eve. My sisters Katrina and Amelia and my brother Matt were returning from college today. I dashed Oak Street so fast I made Mr. Cromney from next door look up from his woodwork.
It takes a lot to get Mr. Cromney to look up from his woodwork.




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