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“Cocoa!” Melli the Caramel Fairy called. “Over here!” Melli was sitting underneath a chocolate oak tree. She waved to get Cocoa’s attention.
Waving back, Cocoa fluttered down to her friend’s side. Melli was always on time—or early. She was a shy fairy, but her sweet caramel nature was part of what kept their group of friends sticking together—no matter what.
“What a choc-o-rific day!” Cocoa sang. She smiled at her friend.
“Only one more week until the Sugar Ball,” Melli burst out. “I can’t wait!” She took out a light caramel twist from her bag. “What do you think? I just had to show you right away.” She held up the long caramel rope candy for Cocoa to view.
“It looks delicious,” Cocoa commented.
“Won’t this be perfect for the sash on my dress?” Melli asked. “I’ve been searching for just the right size trim.”
Cocoa laughed. All any of her friends could think about was the Sugar Ball at Candy Castle and the dresses they’d wear to the party. The big ball was the grandest—and sweetest—of the season. The Sugar Ball was a celebration of the sugar harvest. Fairies from all over came to the Royal Gardens for the party. Princess Lolli, the ruling fairy princess, always made the party the most scrumptious of the year.
“I think that will be the perfect addition to your outfit,” Cocoa said. She touched the golden caramel twist. “This is the exact right color for your dress.”
Melli clapped her hands. “I knew you’d say that!” she said, grinning. “Cara wanted me to make her one just like this too.”
Cara was Melli’s little sister and always wanted to be just like her big sister.
“Did you help her?” Cocoa asked.
“Sure as sugar,” Melli said. “She’s so excited about her first ball.” She stopped and admired her dress. “Now I just need to find the right necklace.”
“You should ask Berry to make you one of her sparkly fruit-chew necklaces,” Cocoa said. She was used to her friend Berry the Fruit Fairy always talking about fashion, but this year all her friends were concerned about their Sugar Ball dresses and jewelry. Everyone wanted to make her ball gown special and unique. Even Cocoa!
“You’re right,” Melli said. “I should ask Berry. I just hope she doesn’t say she’s too busy. Did you know that she is weaving the material for her dress herself? Her dress is going to be sweet-tacular!”
“Hmm,” Cocoa muttered. She was actually growing a little tired of all the talk about dresses. Even though she wanted to look her best, she had another idea of how to make her entrance at the ball special.
“Do you think Char will remember me?” Melli asked, interrupting Cocoa’s thoughts. Her light brown eyes had a faraway gaze. Like most fairies in Sugar Valley, she loved the Sugar Pops. They were brothers who played in a band together and sang the sweetest songs. Char was the lead singer in the band and Melli’s supersweet crush.
“How could they forget you?” Cocoa asked. “You were the Candy Fairy who saved Caramel Moon!” In the fall, when the candy corn crop was in danger, Melli was the one who discovered the problem. Together with their fairy friends, they saved the Caramel Moon festival, where the Sugar Pops played. They even got to meet Carob, Chip, and Char! Seeing them again at the Sugar Ball would definitely sugarcoat the night.
“I know it’s just a rumor that they’ll come,” Melli said, “but I hope the sugar fly buzz is right. I would love to see them again.” Melli clasped her hands together and put them under her chin. She looked over at Cocoa. “What’s in your bag?”
Looking down at her bag, Cocoa smiled. There were a couple of strands of marshmallow threads sticking out of her chocolate weave bag. “I was down at Marshmallow Marsh this morning,” she explained.
“What are you doing with marshmallow?” Melli asked. “You can’t use that for your dress. Marshmallow is too sticky to work for an outfit.”
Cocoa laughed. “No, not for my dress,” she said. “Something else for the ball.” She sat down and took out a sheet of paper from her pocket. “Last week when Raina was reading from the Fairy Code Book, there was that story about the princess and her chocolate scepter. Do you remember?”
Raina the Gummy Fairy was their good friend, who loved to read. She had nearly memorized the entire Fairy Code Book!
Nodding, Melli thought back to the story. “It was a magic scepter made of the finest sugar. The picture in the book showed a beautiful chocolate wand.”
“Yes,” Cocoa said, “and I was thinking that I’d like to make a chocolate scepter for the ball. Wouldn’t that be so sweet, to walk in holding a royal scepter?” Cocoa sighed. “I’d be like a fairy princess!”
Just thinking about the scepter made Cocoa’s wings flutter. Even though she was excited about her new strawberry-and-chocolate dot dress with a purple candy butterfly, she couldn’t wait to hold a royal scepter. “It will be like a magic wand!”
“You will look like a fairy princess,” Melli agreed. Then she paused. “Do you know how to make a magic wand?”
Cocoa shook her head. “No, but I plan on learning. I made a sketch of the scepter that I’d like to make.” She held up her drawing. “Did you bring me the caramel ball mold? I wanted to have a round chocolate sphere at the top.”
Melli pulled the round mold out of her bag and gave it to Cocoa. “I was wondering what you were going to do with this,” she said.
“I’m meeting Raina later,” Cocoa told her. “She’s going to lend me a book about magic wands.” Carefully, Cocoa folded her drawing up and put the paper back in her bag. “I thought the marshmallow would add a nice touch.”
“I think you’re right.” Melli nodded.
“And I’ll need lots of this chocolate,” Cocoa added. She took out a pail and dipped it into the pool of chocolate swirling in front of her. “The waterfall chocolate is the best for making special chocolate candies. I need to hurry home so the chocolate can set. Then I’m going to carve decorations on the ball.”
“I can’t wait to see that chocolate wand!” Melli cried.
“Thanks,” Cocoa replied. She swept up her bucket and headed back to Chocolate Woods. She had lots of work to do before Sun Dip tonight. A chocolate magic wand was no small task. And Cocoa wanted to make sure it was going to be the talk of the Sugar Ball.
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