Nick looked at his baby sister as she ran out of the house toward the car. At a whopping 5 feet 5 inches she was nearly a full foot shorter than he. Her body had filled out and from certain angles Nick saw a hot upperclassmen instead of his sister. While Carmella took after her mother, she had something that her mother did not – she had a twin. She probably could have skipped a grade or two, but Carmella’s focus was always divided between her own school work and Nick’s.
According to Penny’s father not only was she not doing well, she was doing awful. According to him Penny hadn’t left her bedroom in three weeks. The fact that he left for work before four in the morning and returned around one in the afternoon had no bearing on the situation. Penny argued it was all horseshit. She couldn’t quite remember all of the last three weeks, but Penny had a terrible sense of time. She knew she had stayed in this weekend. The week had been exhausting. So many social gatherings and events – sometimes it was just too much for Penny.
She was finding it hard to sleep. The excitement was coating through her, and the blue light from her phone wasn’t helping either. It was worst than when she was a child and this supposed Santa was coming to bring her gifts overnight. This was something else all together. This was the start of her life after. Evie had originally been sad her grand gesture had been to make his other girlfriends go away, not to have him die. Now that he was dead she could expand upon her plan. She wouldn’t have much time. Murder didn’t seem like something Evie could possibly get away with, but she could make the best out of a bad situation. Her two biggest planning concerns were shipping vs. hand delivery, and who got what of his remains.
While you sit there condemning others on the legs that hold your throne of lies, Hypocrisy surrounds you like servants at a feast. Your appetite for destruction fears them into quiet… The people live to serve you here, How auspicious is your rule? You yell and snap, Bend and break You inconsiderate jerk You, Inconsiderate…
Sometimes Lucile could ask for, or just, accept help. Most of the time Lucile wanted to scream and put her fist through a wall. But that would mean she was able to do something perfectly right, so naturally at best Lucile would end up with a broken hand and not a broken wall. Unfortunately for Lucile’s left hand she learned this in her early twenties. She felt if she didn’t take a step back she was going to have to relearn how less than perfect she was at the cost of her right hand.
ma Lynn had first met Ryan in the public library. He had signed up for a tutoring session with her through the library. They were three years apart. Ryan had repeated a grade from when his family moved up. Emma Lynn had graduated high school and college early. Ryan was a part-time athlete and a part-time trouble-maker. The rest of the time he spent much to himself. Working on a bike he was putting together for after his birthday. Not that that stopped him from driving abandon cars around town or the bikes of some of his more rough and tough friends. Emma Lynn was working on her Doctorate. Her boyfriend was a college professor where she was attending classes. He was 20 years her senior, but intellectually they were on the same page. Timothy and Emma Lynn often spent evenings at his home in the living room, television off, papers being graded or worked on; dinners on the table Timothy’s ex-wife had picked out, glasses of red wine being poured over conversations about environmental issues, political debates, and planning for the future. Emma Lynn thought of Timothy in stark contrast to Ryan, who she wasn’t entirely if it was his ambivalence or brain that made him seemingly illiterate. Everything about Timothy was smart – the way he dressed, the way he spoke, the fun they had, the love they made that was passionate and a little methodical, like one writing a very interesting and tough literary criticism. Emma Lynn was sure that there was very little that Ryan did which was smart. But she had a feeling there might be one or two things that he did better than Timothy.
The flour had dried out her hands. It had worked its way deep into the shallow lines that ran across her palms, and up through her fingers. She loved the texture of the flour embedded into her skin. It was part of the reason she always made the dough the day before and left it to refrigerate when doing her sugar cookies. Today she was pulling out chunks, flouring the table, flouring the dough ball, rolling out the dough, flouring the cookie cutters, and then cutting out the festive shapes. Fifteen gingerbread men, fifteen snowmen, fifteen stockings, fifteen candy canes, and fifteen stars. All politely waiting on the floured parameter of the table for the batch ahead to be taken out from the oven. Then each group would be placed on the cookie sheet and put in the oven for nine minutes. And so the pattern continued: sticky dough, flour, flour, flour, sticky dough, flour, flour, flour, oven mit, repeat.
There were things that were hard for her like changing plans, changing her furniture, changing any type of pattern, regularity, or system she had. Change in general was an inconvenience, but she did it. Did Bethy sometimes come off as rigid and demanding, probably. Did she give a shit, no. Bethy always made sure to cross her t’s and dot her i’s when it came to scheduling. She had a calendar for herself, for her boyfriend, for work, and at least six notepads in rotation each with a general subject or specific area covered. There was her work notebooks (one for shortlist tasks, tracking her food/water intake, and noting her hours for her daily log; the other for meeting notes, long term projects, and tasks assigned to her from her boss), the was her purse notebook (for everything lists), the one by her bed (to capture her dreams), the one on the hallway table (to leave instructions for whomever was watching her home while she was away), and the one on the kitchen table (which was her financial book). Then there was the memo app in her phone where she kept anything that needed to be written down when she wasn’t near a notebook or was not specific enough to be put into a notebook. Bethy liked structure and organization almost as much as she loved notebooks.
His loud sounds needed to be silenced. There was only so much she could take. Aurora realized this was partially her fault. She was the one who had put him, and herself, in the situation. But she couldn’t take it anymore. Every time he howled, the sound pierced her body. It had become almost constant. Before she could sing or hum or talk just a little louder to drown him out. But now, it was just too damn much.
The green grass so perfectly in disarray it looked as though someone had positioned each blade by hand. Throughout the healthy grass were long pieces of pale yellow dead grass uprooted from the last mowing. Occasionally there was the head of a dandelion long since blown. Two feet, a pair of them, were laying in the grass. The soles of them facing upward and slightly out. Small patches of flesh were visible. The right index toe, not the tip, but the shaft, the part that never touched the floor; the inside of the left pinky toe; the inside sole of left foot, the arch of this foot was higher than that of the right; and the right ankle bone, barely visible in the picture due to the angle, but if you studied the photo you would see the pale white skin glowing like the silver lining of clouds in the sky. The rest of the feet were a dried, sticky red.