THE BABYSITTER

My perfect twin sister. She has flawless skin, perfect hair, and excellent grades. She is the most popular girl at our high school, is the class president, and the head cheerleader. Plus, she gets the lead in the school plays. It will not surprise me if she becomes the Prom Queen.

She laid out her path. She wants to spend time in the Marines before using her scholarship to the ivy league college of her choice. Her goal is to become the best politician the world has seen. Not shocking. She can debate you on any topic. If you are against abortion, she will talk you into supporting it. If you are for it, she will talk you into opposing it.

You would think, being her identical twin, I would be like her. Nope, I am not. Ever since I was a two-year-old, I have caused problems at school and in my family. I got suspended from school for bullying and the destruction of property. When I got older, I skipped school, did drugs, and got drunk. My life is one big party. Heck, I pretend to be my sister to get dirty photos on her. You know, for when she becomes President of the United States, and all. Nothing like casting doubt for the voters.

I stumbled out of my chair this afternoon. My sweet, perfect sister, dressed in my clothes, asked a favor from little ole me. Why would I do anything for that stuck-up bitch? When I heard what she wanted to do, how could I refuse such a request?

My older sister, by a minute, at least that’s what’s written on the birth certificate, wants to go to a party.

She kneeled and reached out for my hands to help me up. “I want to feel what it is like to be you, little sis.”

After we stand up, I glance at the mirror. My face flush, and my eyes wide. I look back at her and point. “You want to be…” I pointed to myself, “me?”

Her smile brightens the room. She nods. “Yes.”

I tilt my head and gaze into her eyes. “What party?”

She scans the room before returning her gaze to me. “Joey’s.”

I froze, shock in what she said. It took a few seconds to gather my thoughts. I shook my head. “Joey Apt?”

My sister nods.

Joey throws parties in secluded places. They are full of booze, drugs, and sex. Those are my kind of parties, and I plan on going to it tonight.

“Listen…” she places her hands on my shoulder, “I want, for once in my life, to party. To not care about anything or anyone.” She takes a deep breath in and exhales. “I want to be you.”

I shake my head. “You got to babysit tonight for the Pengears’.”

She removes her hands from my shoulders and places on her hips. She tilts her head and gives me the puppy dog stare. “Can you cover for me?”

I take a step back and lower my chin. “You want me…” I point to her, “to be you?”

She nods. “It’s not like you haven’t done it before?”

I shrug. “Sure, why not?”

She jumps for joy and tells our parents she is going out with friends. She runs out the door before they can say anything. She’s got my moves down.

I get dressed in my sister’s clothes. I wipe my makeup off and brush my hair. I’m not used to pretending to be her like this. It will be nice to see her in trouble for once. Dad and mom are none the wiser.

The Pengears’ live a block from us. The night was cool, the stars out, and the moon lights the way — a beautiful night for a brisk walk.

When I arrive, I see Mr. Pengear in the SUV. He nods at me, and I nod back. I skip up the steps and ring the doorbell. Mrs. Pengear answers with a big grin. “It is nice to see you again.” She points down the hall, “Sam is sleeping in his crib.” She glances at the kitchen, “You know where everything is at.”

I nod to her like I understand. I will snoop later. See what I can steal.

I smile up at her, showing my pearly whites. “If you don’t mind me asking, what are you and Mr. Pengear doing tonight?”

She moves to let me inside, and she reaches for her coat and purse that hangs on the wall posts. “Dinner and a movie.” She glances down at me. “We should be home around eleven.”

I smile and nod my head.

She rushes out the door, turns, and waves.

I close the door and lock it.

I swing my arms and scan the house. When I hear them pull away, I skip to the kitchen. I open the refrigerator door, and my wide eyes sparkle with glee, imported bottle beer. Heck, they won’t miss one or two.

I stroll to the front room, and I see the big-screen television is on. The parents plugged it into the baby video monitor. I shake my head. Thought people had small ones, not big ones. A little overprotective, are we?

I plop on the couch and glance to the left, on the table was a smaller video monitor. Yes, let’s see what channels these people have. I change the HDMI to the streaming channels on the big screen. I flip through them, Playboy, awesome.

After chugging down two beers, watching one porn show, and three episodes of True Blood. I glance at the baby monitor. Shouldn’t the baby be cooing or moving?

I stand and tiptoe to the baby’s room. The only light in the room was a soft glow of a cloud shape lamp in the corner of the room.

I peer over the crib. Something is not right. I reach in and peel back the cover, revealing a small pillow with a note pin to it.

We are sorry, but we cannot let you ruin your sister’s life. We must make a sacrifice.

I shake my head. “What the Hell?”

Behind me, I hear the creak of the closet door opening. I turn around. Long skinny fingers with sharp talons appear one by one on the side of the door. The door swings wide and then darkness.

I open my eyes and see red flames dancing around me. The smell of rotting flesh burns my nose — screams penetrant my ears. Chains bound me to the smoldering ground.

My sister’s voice invades my head. “There can only be one of us. Welcome to Hell, sis.”

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