Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
Game?"When we grow up, we're so inventing a new type of yoghurt." Cassidy grabbed my arm and tugged so hard, I yelp in pain. It was enough for me to stand up, though. "It's gonna be strawberry mixed with banana. You game?"
"I'm so game," I replied, trying to sound just as confident.
My sister Cassidy was the sun, while I the shadow. Only once in a while would anybody stop to notice me, before turning back to the brilliant shining rays. Neglected is an understated adjective.
She'd carry her guitar, the one with the pink glitter and decorative stickers. They're all turning gray from being on there for so long, but by the way she strums the strings in bliss, it's obvious she hardly cares what the instrument looks like. Just so long as it's with her, nothing touches her.
When Bradley McPherson tried to pressure me into dating him, her immediate action was to step forward.
"That's my sister, you idiot. Find somebody with half a brain, and you guys might be equally matched." Then she turned to me with a smirk -one which said, "You owe me for life." Although I held grudges, tried to convince myself it was her own idea, I knew she was right. I did owe her for life.
On my sixteenth summer, filled with sand-castles, flippers and blue skies, Cassidy laid next to me. She'd laugh absentmindedly -a little too hard at jokes that weren't funny- and I realised how hard she was trying. Next year she'd be in university, four hours away. It seemed like it already happened, by her hysterical laughter and awkward silences.
She saved me from a lifetime of strange wordings by saying, "That guy over there's cute. I'm gonna go talk to him." She must've confused the admiration on my face with surprise, because she added, "Another rule to live by: whenever you see a cute guy, talk to him. Make it a rule, an obsession. You game?"
"I'm game." Then I add, nonchalantly, "There aren't any cute guys my age, though. Oh well. Guess I'll have to lay low."
She winked at me, knowing precisely that her shy little sister needed more time. The world was too big for Lifa Jordan -too vast, too complicated. Therefore, she needed to make every decision for me.
I didn't speak to her for a whole week. She'd ask me what was wrong, but I gave her a silent treatment. Thus, that was the last summer I spent with my older sister. Where she left for university, found a lover and somehow ended up pregnant.
My parents were overjoyed. Darling Cassidy, always taking things a step further. The golden girl, the miracle. She was the person they wanted me to be.
That's when I lost it. How dare Cassidy see herself as greater, better than me. She must think herself more talented at some level; why else would she offer me advice? Make me feel ignored, alone, lost -and then come spinning around, pretending she didn't do anything wrong.
Two days before she was in labour, I told her how she ruined my life.
Two days after, she died giving birth to a baby girl.
I was the one who lived with the guilt. Lifa Jordan, who truly was the worst human to ever roam this planet. I killed her; an accidental murder. The doctor said they didn't know what went wrong: the baby was healthy and she wasn't supposed to have problems giving birth. Throughout their apology, my lips remained firmly pressed. They didn't know.
They didn't have to know I killed my sister.
When the baby finally stopped crying a week later, I held it in my arms for the first time. Little toes, fingers and a scrunched face. So small, I had trouble believing it would grow taller than me one day.
Nobody knew who the father was. Some believed Cassidy had a one-night stand, and others claim the father was a long-time boyfriend who didn't want commitment. Regardless, the baby grew up without a mother or father.
Just an auntie called Lifa.
"Little Belle," I whispered. Cassidy loved that name; it was the least I could do to name the child this. "Your mother isn't here. I loved her; I truly did. But she had to go."
The baby smiled back, no idea of I was saying. I sighed, and before flicking off the switch, I turned back to the cot. "When you love somebody who dies giving birth, you raise their baby. Game?"
Little Belle doesn't respond.
I scurry away before she sees my tears.
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