Gen 2 – Chapter 4

Lucina Black

Penny finally came home in the early hours of the morning. I was asleep, but Mom sure woke us all up fast enough. She was furious.

On top of the dress, the hair, and the eyebrow ring, Penny had been gone all night. Mom had given us an eleven o’clock curfew, but she’d gone to be early herself. If Penny had wanted to get away with what she’d done, she should’ve come home just a few hours earlier. As it was, she stumbled right into Mom when she came waltzing through the front door. It’s a sad day when I know more about breaking the rules than the sister that actually does all the rule breaking around here.

I crawled downstairs when Mom started yelling, but I wished I hadn’t. Normally she looked so sweet and kind. That was just who Mom was. But that morning, her face absolutely terrified me.

I never understood how Penny could keep her face so calm through that. And then to turn around and keep breaking the rules? I didn’t want to see Mom yelling again, so I never tattled when I noticed. But I knew what Penny was up to. The whole school talked about it right from day one.

Peter Symphosia’s small-town girlfriend. They were good at evading paparazzi (because his family threatened to sue if the kids weren’t left alone), and spent a great many midnight tucked away at the club.

It shouldn’t take a genius to figure out just what they were up to.

At least she got her wish, I suppose.

There were other things Mom knew about though, like when Penny skipped school. The punishment never swayed my sister though.

She was on a downward spiral. All for the affections of some boy…

……………………

I had many nightmares in my childhood. It seemed I could never lay my head down without seeing something horrifying the moment I fell asleep.

But of course I had to try. The body can’t function without sleep.

I tended to cope by reading every time it woke me up. Sharing a room meant it wasn’t really all that nice to scream and thrash after all.

The stories helped a little, but I have no stomach for horror in any capacity.

In high school, though, my nightmares were hitting far closer to home.

I didn’t want to think too hard about it.

Some nights it was hard to sleep at all. I woke up from that dream every time, and sometimes it occurred every hour. Nights like that were getting more and more common as high school went on.

Sometimes, if I laid in bed quietly enough, I could fall back asleep.

Sometimes I had to go for a walk. That’s what I was getting up to do the night I saw it.

I’d known about all of her sneaking out, but I’d never known her to behave like that. We lived in a rather elderly neighborhood, all of those houses were full of grandmothers and grandfathers.

There was no point to her behavior. I might have understood if it was someone from school she wanted to get even with. But this was just the people across the street or up the block. They had done nothing to her.

I woke dad up. He promised to tell her that he’d just gotten up for a drink, then he want out and dragged her back inside.

She was grounded without computer or cell phone privileges for the rest of the school year. Dad even threatened to get a security system so that they’d know when she was trying to leave the house.

She was livid, of course, but she wasn’t about to completely ruin everything she’d been building up for. My sister decided to lay low for a while and be good. Peter seemed to understand, probably because he was under similar treatment after my dad called his parents.

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