Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 118,221,339 Issue: 237 | 2nd day of Hunting, Y8
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The Dark Before the Dawn II: My Other Half - Part One


by jambammer

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The bonds between brothers and sisters are strong. The bonds between twins are even stronger. Twins are joined in a way that we can't understand. Not even they can, really. My sisters, Cream and Sugar, are perfect examples of this.

     I am Adrianna, a tall, red Wocky, with a bent right ear and dark brown hair that reaches my waist. My sisters are yellow twin Kacheeks with jet black hair that wasn't quite as long as mine was. Halo, my younger bother, is just like me, a red Wocky with dark brown hair.

     My life, as you may know, has been strung together with happiness and sorrow. The sorrow began just over a year and a half ago when my owner left. For months after that, my siblings and I struggled to get by. Things had been getting better since Phoenix, 16 year old (my age) blue Wocky with golden brown hair, joined the family. Things were running smoothly. At least they were, until the twins had a fight.

     It started out a normal day. Halo was watching the snowfall at the window. His two year old mind was so fascinated by it. I was getting breakfast for the twins who were running late for school. Cream came down stairs with a scowl on her face. A cold chill swept through the room even though it was perfectly warm inside our home. She ate breakfast quickly and left for school without Sugar. That was odd because they never did anything unless they were together. Sugar's mood was no better.

     When they had gone, Phoenix came over to me.

     "What's wrong with C and S, Dri?" he asked me. I didn't know. Something was definitely wrong though. Even Halo had noticed it.

     When they arrived home, things weren't any better. They wouldn't talk to each other at all. They wouldn't even look at each other. Phoenix and I decided to talk to them individually. Cream was down in the kitchen doing homework and Sugar was in their room. I decided to talk to Sugar.

     I rapped gently on the door. She looked up with an expression that spooked me. Sugar was usually sweet. I swear, no pun was intended. Her expression softened when she saw it was me.

     "Hi Dri," she said trying to smile. Anyone could see that there was pain on that twelve year old's face.

     "What happened with you and Cream?" I asked, sitting down beside her on her bed.

     She gave me the classic response of 'nothing.' Tears began to brim up in her eyes. She collapsed in my lap and began to sob. Her story slowly spilled out.

     The night before had been as all nights were. She and Cream were up studying and chatting as they always did. Cream started talking about how every girl in their class had short hair and their ears pierced. She mentioned how she couldn't wait until she was like that too. Sugar had asked her what was wrong with the way the two of them looked now.

     "What's wrong with Cream getting her hair cut?" I wasn't sure I'd let her get her ears pierced, but a haircut, definitely.

     "I'm not done, Dri. If she gets her hair cut, we won't be identical anymore!" Sugar had always loved it when people couldn't tell her apart from Cream. It was kind of like a game they had going. I asked her why she didn't tell this to Cream. Sugar explained that she did. Cream said that she was tired of being the same as Sugar. Cream had said she wanted to look unique. Sugar had asked why she didn't want to look like her own sister, yet she wanted to look like every other girl in the class. That's when they had started arguing.

     "Then, I suppose you won't look identical unless you get your hair cut as well." I didn't even need to wait for Sugar to respond before I knew what her answer would be. I knew that there was no way she'd get her hair cut. Her long, jet black hair was her most prized possession. "Sug," I said softly, "I know that you want to look identical, but I don't think you are considering what Cream wants. You both have different opinions. I think you need to discuss them before you reach any decision."

     Sugar looked thoughtful. She was beginning to realize that what Cream wanted was important too. "I guess I never really thought about it that way. I probably owe her an apology, huh?" I nodded in agreement.

     "Yes, you do. She owes you one too. It takes two to start an argument, and it takes two to finish it. You should go get cleaned up. I'll go see if Cream will talk to you." Sugar nodded, than hugged me.

     "Thanks, Dri," she whispered. The yellow Kacheek headed off to the washroom to clean herself up. I headed downstairs. Phoenix was setting the table.

     "Is this a sign that you want me to make dinner?" I teased.

     "Please, ma'am, if you can," Phoenix replied using a high pitched child's voice. I laughed, then looked around.

     "Where's Cream?" I asked, pulling a pot out of the cupboard.

     "She wanted to go for a quick skate to blow off steam," Phoenix explained. I looked out the window.

     "Is the ice thick enough to skate yet?" Phoenix's reply to this was that I worried too much. I suppose I did. Sometimes I couldn't help it. I only wish now that I had listened to that worry. Things may have turned out a lot differently.

     Sugar came downstairs to talk to Cream. I told her that Cream had gone out to the park ice rink to skate. Sugar eagerly asked if she could go to try to catch up to her sister. I told her it was all right, as long as she dressed properly for the weather. Sugar rolled her eyes and began to pull on her winter things. She zipped up her jacket and grabbed her mitts. She always put them on outside so she could open the door to get out. The Kacheek rushed out the door to try to catch up to Cream leaving the door wide open.

     Halo saw the open door and snatched the opportunity. He began to slowly walk over to it. Luckily, Phoenix saw the baby Wocky in time. Phoenix closed the door. Halo started crying fake tears so he would get some sympathy and maybe get Phoenix or me to take him outside. Phoenix sighed and picked up the unhappy toddler. He then looked out the window.

     "Hey, Dri? I'm going to take Halo out to the park. It'll cheer him up and I can keep an eye on the twins." I agreed to this. Halo giggled. He had gotten just what he wanted. It was a good thing too. Phoenix put on his winter things while I struggled with Halo. Halo seemed to think it was funny to go limp while I tried to dress him. Finally, they were out the door as well. I stayed at home and continued to make supper. I should have gone too. Maybe I could've changed what happened.

     I finished setting the table and dished out supper once it was done. I thought for sure that Phoenix and the girls would be back by then. I was wrong. They weren't. It had been about an hour and it was starting to get dark. I figured that Phoenix was having problems getting Halo off the swings again, so I thought nothing of it. Halo would want to go once he noticed the dark.

     Another hour rolled by but they still weren't home. It was as dark as night outside right now so there was no way they were still at the park. Halo wouldn't allow them to stay after the dark set in. So why weren't they home? I was beginning to worry. In my heart, I knew something was wrong. I didn't want to admit it. I decided to give them a little longer. If no one showed up in fifteen minutes, I was going to go see what was wrong myself.

     Fifteen minutes dragged by. I wasn't the type to panic, but I was coming pretty darn close. I was ready to call the Chia Police. I talked myself out of that. Maybe they were still at the park. There was no need to involve the police if that was all that was wrong.

     I pulled on my things and went to the park. They weren't there. The park was empty. So was the ice rink. I could feel my anxiety building inside of me. Something wasn't right.

     I told myself to calm down. Maybe I had missed them on the way home. Things like that seem to happen all the time. I headed back home. The snow was starting to fall heavier now.

     There was no one at home. I was sure something was wrong now. I was about to head out again when Phoenix burst through the doors. There was worry written all over his face. It also looked as if he had run a long way.

     "Phoenix! What's wrong?" I asked. He took a few deep breaths in. I realized the twins weren't with him. His next words pierced my heart.

     "Dri, Cream is in the hospital."

To be continued...

 
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