We had been home for half an hour when our mother called. We were all sitting at the table, doing our homework, so Lyre picked up the phone. Immediately, our pencils were still; we were all ears, sponges soaking up conversation. “Wait, why?” She paused and scrunched up her nose in confusion. “But Thanksgiving is in, like, three weeks. Why do we need a ham now –” she broke off, listening. “Okay, okay. You don’t have o freak out. I’ll put them away.” She hung up and turned to us. “Mom’s got a ham. We have to put the dogs in the laundry room. I’m going upstairs with Per-Per.”
“What? She told you to put them away. We’re busy,” Locke interjected.
“No. Actually, no. She said we need to put them away. I’m taking care of my dog. My responsibility. You two can handle the others, I’m sure.” I rolled my eyes.
“Whatever,” I said, in unison with my twin. He whispered something under his breath. Lyre stared at him, her eyes flashing menacingly.
“I didn’t say anything,” he spat. She turned, snapping in Paracelsus’ direction. He followed her obediently up the stairs. It took us five minutes to put the other two dogs away; our border collie kept stalling, giving the terrier time to slip through the cracked door. Finally, we managed to contain them in the laundry room, and not a moment too soon. The garage door opened, and we looked up to see our mother carrying a very tiny animal. I felt my eyebrows rise into my bangs, and I’m sure Locke looked just as stupid.
“Hobbes,” she began. “Locke, I want you two to meet our new puppy.” She looked around the kitchen. “Where’s your sister? LYRE,” she yelled up into the high ceiling of the living room.
“YES?” Our sister’s irritated voice floated dreamily over the balcony.
“Come down, I need your help.” We laughed as she stomped from her room, her dog close at her heels.
“…trying to apply to college…” she muttered darkly as she descended the stairs. She stopped abruptly, her mouth falling open. “Mother.”
“Mother, that’s a puppy. That’s another dog.”