second sight

copyright 2011/all rights reserved




Avery washed the dinner dishes while Kori sat at the table, sketching.

“The rule is, he who cooks does not clean up.  That is the rule.  And frankly, I’m flabbergasted to hear that you’ve never heard of it,” Avery said.  “My advice?  Find a guy with plenty of money cause you don’t know the first thing about work, sister.”

Tall and sinewy with inches still to go, Avery had his mother’s good looks and a healthy dose of her wavy, red hair.  At sixteen, he towered above his sister, destined to be not only the tallest, but most loquacious one in the family.

“Hey, jabber jaws.  Easy.  I’m trying to work here,” Kori replied.  She stood up, grabbed her eraser and dropped back into the chair, her shoulder length hair flouncing around her like the head of Medusa, dark, coppery strands writhing and whirling in all directions.  Kori was older by five years, but looked younger than her brother.  She stopped to admire her long slender fingers under the pretense of inspecting her fingernails for paint residue.

“Work?  That’s not work.  That’s fun.  This is work.” Avery pointed to the mound of dishes awaiting rinsing and placement in the dishwasher.

“Hey, we could have had pizza.”


“I can’t tell you how many times I cook and clean up,” Kori said.

“For yourself, yeah.  But other people live here, too.”

“Robbie ate your food and he didn’t do any cleanup.”

“Robbie gets special treatment.  He’s taking me to see Tom Petty this weekend.”

Tom Petty?  Jesus, Avery.  He’s so old.”

“That doesn’t mean he’s not still good.  It’s better than that classical crap you listen to.”

Kori shook her head.  “You’re a cheap date.”

“And you’re just cheap.”

Avery fixed her with a top-that look, but it was useless.  She was her father’s only daughter, blessed with grace and beauty from birth; Kori was used to entitlement.  She rolled her eyes and picked at her cuticles.

Avery put the last dish in the dishwasher.  “Let me just repeat – Big Fat Checking Account.”

“I’m making my own money now.”

“What, hawking second-rate oil paintings?” Avery said.

“They are not second-rate.  What’s second-rate is your attempts at dating.”

“You suck.”  He threw a dishtowel at her and stormed out of the room, still fuming when he sat down next to Gil in the living room.

“What a b. . . .”

“Ssshhhhh,” Gil said, covering Avery’s mouth.  Gil rocked back and forth, his narrow shoulders bouncing off the couch at two-second intervals.  At almost eleven, he still maintained the little boy looks that would soon be lost to puberty.  He removed his hand from Avery’s mouth and drew it very deliberately across his forehead, anchoring his Justin Bieber haircut in just below his eyebrows.

Avery huffed, crossed his legs and practiced some deep breathing exercises.  After a minute, he forgot all about Kori and engrossed himself in the final scenes of Die Hard.  He didn’t notice Gil walk to the dining room table, roll up a stack of blueprints and stuff them into a cylinder.  Nor did he notice Gil retrieving their shoes from the hall closet.

Gil placed Avery’s shoes at his feet and sat down to put on his own.  “The bad guys are coming,” Gil said.

“It would appear so,” Avery said, his attention focused on the television screen.

“We have to go.”

“Hmmm?”  Avery turned to see Gil slipping into his sneakers.  “Gil, it’s only a movie.”

Gil picked up Avery’s shoes and handed them to him before turning off the television.

“What are you doing?”  Gil scooped up the cylinder and Kori’s shoes and walked into the kitchen.  Avery slipped on his shoes and followed.

Gil laid Kori’s shoes at her feet.

“What are these for?” Kori asked.

“We have to leave,” Gil said.


“The bad guys are coming.”

“What bad guys?”

“The bad guys on T.V.,” Avery answered for him.  “C’mon, Gil.  Let’s watch the end of the movie.”

“Yeah.  Take a chill pill,” Kori said.

“We have to leave NOW!”

Avery and Kori both jumped.  Gil covered his own mouth.   His siblings exchanged glances.

“Okay, okay,” Avery said.  He grabbed the car keys.  “I’m driving.”

Kori slipped her feet into her sandals and swiped the keys from Avery.

“I have my permit!” he protested.

“Your learner’s permit only allows you to drive during daylight hours.”  She opened the door to the pitch black night, put a hand on her hip.

“You suck.”

“That’s the second time you said that tonight.”  Kori blew him a kiss and held the door for Gil and ZiZi, the family Golden Retriever, and closed the door on her brother.

to be continued. . .

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