by Bianca Dawson
(As dictated to Kimber An)
My sister’s a geek. Seriously. She has the original Star Trek ringtone on her cell. People don’t believe me when I tell them Ophelia’s always been a geek. She chucked her rattle for Mom’s iPod right out of the crib, I swear.
But, the biggest early childhood geekness story is how she blew the head off Malibu Barbie. My Malibu Barbie! On Christmas morning! And everyone thinks she is so sweet and innocent. Ask the sister, people. The sister always knows!
It started out like any Christmas. We were six and always wore matching clothes because we’re identical twins. I was wearing my fuzzy pink snowman jammies Grandma made for us. Of course, Ophelia had changed into her Buzz Lightyear jammies right after Dad tucked us in the night before. Why is it they never noticed what a rebel she was anyway? They still don’t!
So, we came tumbling down the stairs, me first, of course, and squealing my little heart out at the mountain of presents under the tree all lit up with blue lights and a white satin angel on top. We weren’t allowed to rip into the presents until Mom and Dad got up, so we rounded the bottom rail and raced into their room. I leapt up onto the bed and started singing, ‘Joy to the World!’ Ophelia climbed up too and we jumped up and down like a couple of beans until they finally rolled out and staggered into the living room.
I dove into the presents head-first and shredded open Malibu Barbie first thing. I’d been begging for her since the Fourth of July. She wore a mint-green swimsuit and I announced my intention to go blond just like her.
Dad told me to dream on.
Meanwhile, Ophelia sat politely on the sofa and waited for Mom to hand her a box. You know, that’s the thing. It’s all an act! They see her sitting there, sweet and innocent, and they have no idea she’s quietly plotting world domination!
Ophelia carefully peeled back the Christmas wrapping paper, not ripping even the edges.
I wanted to throw something at her. Instead, I shredded open another one of my own presents.
“A chemistry set!” Ophelia announced a minute later.
“Robbie!” Horror filled Mom’s voice. “She’s only six!”
“I’ll supervise her,” promised Dad.
Mom glared at him.
Meanwhile, Ophelia’s eyes lit up in what I now call her ‘Mad Scientist Look.’
And I was scared.
Dad clasped Mom’s hand and nudged her. He stood up and led her back to the bedroom for reasons my adolescent mind does not want to contemplate.
As soon as their door closed, Ophelia yanked an ornament off the Christmas tree and removed the hook thing. Then, she raced into the kitchen, pushed a chair against the frig, climbed on top, and used the hook to pick the lock on the cupboard above it.
I swear to dog this is true!
She picked the lock and got out a knife. A knife! She climbed down and put everything back exactly where it was before and used the knife to slice open her chemistry set.
I kinda just cowered against the sofa and watched, clutching Malibu Barbie.
Pretty soon, she was mixing things from the set and the kitchen. I think she even grabbed something from the back porch. Finally, she grabbed Malibu Barbie right out of my arms and set her on top of a cardboard tube thing. Where she got the match, I don’t know. But, she lit it.
The black smoke blew into my face. I couldn’t see. Everything was hot. It cleared and Ophelia’s face was gray with ash, her hair stuck straight out, and the Christmas tree was on fire next to us.
Mom and Dad came flying out of their room with blankets wrapped around them.
Mom scooped us both up and ran us out the front door while Dad grabbed the fire extinguisher and hosed everything down. We came back inside and Mom started yelling at Dad.
I found Malibu Barbie, but her head was gone, nothing but little bits of singed hair scattered around. I remember gripping my doll, feeling like my own head would explode in rage.
And as I began to shriek expletives my parents were sure I shouldn’t have known, my sister sat on the sofa, hands clasped neatly in her lap, looking for all the world like the sweet innocent girl I know she is not.
Took a month for my eyebrows to grow back.
So, there you have it, the dog-honest truth, the story of how my geek-sister blew the head off my Malibu Barbie and burned down the Christmas tree when we were six.
Happy freakin’ Holidays.
Bianca is the identical twin sister of Ophelia Dawson, heroine of Sugar Rush, which is book one of the Ophelia Dawson Chronicles. If all goes well, Bianca will have her own short story in the New Year called Bianca and the Blood Sucking Dead Guy.
Please comment to enter the drawing for a free electronic copy of Sugar Rush and an Alaska holiday ornament, which I will send to you by regular mail. To participate in this drawing, you must include or link to your email address in the comment, so I can contact you. Thank you!
Find Kimber An: Website