End of the Beginning

With little more than a sigh Miranda tugged on her sneakers. As usual she’d been sleeping in her jeans, done up, belt in place. Garret’s cough reminded her to put the towel at the base of the door.

“Wake up, dipstick,” she said quietly, giving her brother a prod, “And told you so.”

Tossing a few more things into her pack throwing open the window she reviewed all the signs from the past weeks. Her mother had turned cold, detached, even hostile at times, all while Aaron, her latest beau grew warmer and suddenly interested in the life and times of a scrawny thirteen year old girl, Miranda. As Aaron’s eyes had coursed over her young body she could see her mom’s glaze over, wandering to the lighter fluid by the back door.

Garret swore far more than one might expect from a 10 year old, then asked, “Should we wake Aaron or something?”

Miranda paused at the window, letting the emergency ladder unroll. She shrugged, slung on her pack, and muttered back, “If he wakes, he wakes. Now shut up, and let’s go.”

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