Monday, 12 April 2010

It is Sunday Scribblings time again. The prompt for this week is "Deadline"!
Here is a bit of fiction to share.

Darlene and Anita were twins. Not identical twins. Darlene was a leader, she had smooth shiny long dark hair which was admired by her peers. She was the boss and Anita followed her. Hung on her words, did what she said, because Darlene was always right...well...almost always. Darlene was good at netball she was the goalie, the ball was always passed to her. The team cheered her when she shot for goal and she usually got it in the ring. Daring, darling, Darlene.
Anita was a bit shorter than her sister, a bit less confident, stood in the background but still the sort of kid that the other children wanted to play with because they wanted to be near Darlene, and Anita was always near Darlene. Right beside her, her confidant, her backstop, her close ally. A special bond only apparent to the two girls, as twins.
When they were babies their mother would put them in to the same bassinet, then when it became too small, as the girls grew they shared a cot. Not because there was only one bed to share but because Darlene was fractious and putting the two girls together would calm her. Anita was calm, she settled easily, able to settle where ever she was laid to sleep.
The girls rarely fought. Darlene would share anything with her sister but Anita had to have her private things. Mum tried to talk to her and get her to see that Darlene's way of sharing was the way it should be done. But Anita wouldn't see it their way. Her snuggly bear was hers, just hers and Darlene could not have it. Darlene was not to touch her snuggly bear, it was hers, just hers, her special confidant. Snuggly was the bearer of her worries, her tears when the world was big and scary and unfair. Snuggly was there in her arms, tucked against her face catching her silent sob at the unfairness of it all. No, nobody would ever touch her snuggly except her. No one, especially not Darlene. Mum was allowed to wash snuggly, but no-one else touched her,
Darlene considered it a challenge to sneak a cuddle of snuggly. She had her own version of snuggly, but hers was called, Scruff. Scruff was usually kept under her bed amongst the screwed up pieces of artwork from last terms school basket that she had bought home, it had been admired by all and finished with. Mum told Darlene to put it away. And she did, under the bed, after all it was good for nothing now, finished with. She was not silly like Anita who had all of her silly drawings in a file in a basket in the wardrobe, neat and tidy, kept..... for who knew what. Darlene didn't have time for that rubbish.
If snuggly was left unattended on Anita's bed for a little while and Anita had left the room, Darlene would sneak across the room and gingerly pick up snuggly and put it against her face, it smelt like Anita and it was soft and warm, like her sister.
It was Friday when it happened.
Anita had been watching cartoons after school and it had been a long day watching her sister charm and play with the other kids. Charlie liked Darlene. Charlie was good at maths and he could read out loud in front of the class better than all the other boys. Anita liked Charlie, she liked his confidence and the way his hair was too long and needed cutting. She liked the way he played on his razor scooter, going fast and his shirt flapping out of the back, untucked from his school trousers. He smelt good too. But Charlie liked Darlene. Darlene knew it and laughed. Everyone liked Darlene.
Anita wanted to think it all into her snuggly. She went down the hall into her and Darlene's bedroom, as she reached the door she saw Darlene quickly throw something underneath her bed. Oh oh noooo, Darlene had snuggly. No..... snuggly was contaminated, her magic was spoiled. Snuggly was hers not Darlene's.
The tears started to gather in her eyes and she accused, "You had snuggly! You know you can't touch her, she is mine, You always take everything away from me! Give her back!" Anita's voice had changed through the discovery from a small, disbelieving quiet, to an anguished squeak.
Darlene half grinned at her and shrugged her shoulders then walked out of the room, leaving snuggly discarded under the bed where she had thrown her. Anita's tears had spilled down her face, she was so hurt by her sisters betrayal that she followed her down the hall, hands raised high above her shoulders. "Why Darlene! Why do you do that? You always take everything from me!"
Darlene turned "Oh shut up you stupid thing or I will tell Mum that you are not sharing again, then you will be in trouble!"
Anita turned and ran back into their room and slammed the door shut. Hiding behind it, sobbing.
She got down on her knees, reached under the bed and pulled snuggly out from amongst the paper and detritus gathered there. "Oh snuggly!" she cried into her bear. She held snuggly out and looked at her. Snuggly didn't smell right and fluff was stuck on her pink fur. Darlene's fluff, and some pencil shavings.
Anita started to collect all of her things then. The little dish that she got for easter, with the chocolate bunny. On Darlene's side of the room, used and dirty. Her pencil sharpener was under the bed, broken by Darlene. Her yellow socks, the ones she got off Aunty Belle, dirty and on the floor, Darlene had worn them uninvited. The whirly gig from the show last month was under Darlene's bed too, hidden, broken. No! Why should she share snuggly. No!
She ran into the bathroom and filled the sink with warm water, dipped snuggly in and started soaping her up. She picked the fluff out of her fur and washed her sister's smell away, sobbing loudly all the while. Snuggly was spoiled, unrepairably to Anita's mind. Anita squeezed what water out of her snuggly that her little hands could manage and turned away from the sink.
Darlene was standing behind her. Anita lifted her arm and let fly. Snuggly hit Darlene full and sloppily wet in the face. Darlene screamed, enraged, and ran into their bedroom slamming the door behind her, blocking it with the full washing basket. She ran frantically around the room ripping the covers off Anita's tidily made bed. Opened Anita's side of the wardrobe and threw all of her artworks into the air across the room and snatched and tore into little pieces, the painting that Anita had bought home from school and proudly stuck on the wall above her bed. Then she paused and looked at her work. She kicked it all back across onto Anita's side of the room and got a black crayon and drew a line across the center of the room. No, that wasn't enough. She knelt back down and colored it in to define it and make it heavier.
Anita was mad. So mad, more than she had ever been before. She banged on the door and pushed hard. The washing basket fell inwards and she was in. Then she became dead calm as she saw the chaos that her sister had created in the room.
Darlene screamed. "That is your side, this is mine, don't you step over that line or you are dead!"
Anita looked and didn't say a word. Dead calm. She stared at her sister, didn't take her eyes off her face, and stepped over the line.
Darlene started crying and knelt down quickly scribbling a new line ..... on her own side of the room.
"Don't you step over that line."
Anita smiled and lifted her foot.....
Mum was next door, no chance for Darlene to use tears to charm her. Darlene knew how to do that, she had done it many times.
Anita had won.


When I lived in Darwin as a child, the kids up the road were twins called Darlene and Anita. I remember their personalities a bit like this story. I liked Anita better.
Love Linda


oldegg said...

Sounds so much like my brother and I so many years ago. It wasn't until we were adults that we could have a sensible relationship. Even then I was wary!

Great description in a vividly told story.

anthonynorth said...

Ah, siblings are so often like that. And I understand most grow out of it :-)

Dee Martin said...

I have always thought it would be hard to be a twin. I like alone time and I can't imagine being that tied to someone from birth. Sounds selfish doesn't it? I think I would have liked Anita better too.

jaerose said...

This was a lovely piece of fiction and a glimpse into childhood and how cruel kids can be to each other. I like your interpretation of 'deadline' too ..jae

sg beatty said...

Old Grizz enjoyed your story. It captured me. It was well written and kept me wanting to read the next word. You have a talent for writing.

Gel said...

Wow- this is a great read! Fast paced, realistic and full of real emotion. My daughter has a snuggly she's had all her life and she is in college. Only I was allowed to wash it and even that took convincing. When our privacy is invaded, it tears at our soul.

Americanising Desi said...

ahahaaaaaa i wonder how life would be if i had a twin!

i am such a loner!

but this is a good story told :)

Deadline - Decline

robkistner said...

Siblings, don't know whether to hug them or strangle them -- enjoyed this...
Image & Verse

JP/deb said...

loved this piece!

Merle said...

Good story Linda. I enjoyed reading
about the twins. I think it would be a love/hate relationship.
Thsnks for your comments and I am much better , having seen the Specialist today and he said my lungs were OK and everything was good for my age. I asked a few questions and got very good answers. Actually treated like a real person with a thorough discussion about my tablets
so my mind is relieved, which is half the battle.
Take care my friend, Love, Merle.