Chapter One

 Instead of three windows, this house had one that was above the door. It was a small house, but inside it was a family larger than life itself—or so Abernath would say. He followed in the old dog’s paw-prints up to the battered front door where Lewin was scratching at the already chipped paint.

“I’m home!”

He watched Lewin bound down the hallway and skid into the first door on the right—which led to the family room, where his family was gathered no doubt. A narrow staircase on the left of the hallway led up to the first floor. Abernath glanced up at the dark landing longingly, it had been months since he’d seen his bed. The thundering of footsteps brought him back to reality as his younger siblings burst through the door that Lewin had vanished into and stampeded towards him. He found himself pinned against the front door as he was enveloped in a mess of arms and bodies and excited hysterics.


Feeling suffocated, Abernath sucked in the air as they let him go. The twins stood before him, eyes wide and mouths agape, bouncing on the balls of their feet as if they expected something from him.

“What?” he asked them. “Not looking for…these?”

He pulled his bag off his shoulder and pulled out two parcels wrapped in crinkled brown paper and tied with simple string. The twins snatched them from his hands and ripped the paper off their parcels eagerly. Abernath mussed up the mop of black hair on each of their heads and stepped between them to reach the family room.

“Perry! Penny! Get your butts in here and leave your brother alone!”

The End

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