Why did Jackie have a bad feeling about this? She was only eight years old, but there was a lot ticking inside that brain of hers. That alone would petrify a lot of people in the future, and somehow, just somehow the little eight year-old girl knew that, and because she knew, it probably infatuated her young mind even more.
"You should really get down from there. Seriously. I mean it, Jack."
Jack's gawky legs dangled from the tree a good five feet or so off the ground. He was awkward, mostly because he was scrawny and tall for his age. And despite being awkward, he was actually quite adventurous too, as long as there wasn't any water involvedhe was terrified of any water that was at least a foot deep ever since Jackie had pushed him into a pool at his cousin's birthday party when they were six. That was two years ago and he still had trouble forgetting all the water rushing into his mouth, and how disgusting the chlorine tasted on his tongue, and how it stung his green eyes. On bad days, he was afraid of running around outside in the rain with the other kids to jump in huge puddlesbut that was only on the bad days, and thankfully Jack had a lot of good ones instead.
"Why? Why do you mean it?" He was hanging upside down now with a goofy grin set on his face before Jackie could exhale irritably, hand on her hip like the adults she had seen on TV. Jack loved pushing her buttonsparticularly when he could jam them in for good because he and Jackie were always at each other's throats over everything. Everything.
"'Cause you're going to fall on your big fat boy head, Dummy."
"I don't have a fat head! . . . and I'm not a dummy!"
"Yeah huh," Jackie turned on the ball of her foot, "and I'm telling Mom!"
Jackie insisted addressing peopleeven her parentsby "formal" titles. Hence, Mom, Dad, and Dummy. Jack, of course, being the latter.
Now Jack's jaw hung open, eyebrows furrowed. "Don't tell Mommy, you tattletale! I hate you!"
Jack, on the other hand, could care less.
While her twin brother preceded in making weird facesmost likely due to the blood rushing to his big, fat boy headJackie walked towards the house with her little strut; her eyes were narrowed, her head tilted back, and it was one foot in front of the other with each step. Her parents were very well aware that she was going to be extremely difficult to handle once she began to realize just how much control she had. But what they noticed most was her natural born leader physique. Or perhaps it was classified as a brat in some people's eyes, but nonetheless, she could speak her mind and sometimes even hold a legitimate argument . . . even if she couldn't spell the word legitimate correctly (though, she insists she can).
"You're just jealous that I'm" Jack was cut off and the snapping of twigs and a loud CRUNCH made Jackie whip her head around. Just like she said he would, Jack had fallen straight out of the tree, limbs sprawled out, face scrunched up.
Jackie didn't flinch as she stared down at him; it was pathetic really, the way he looked writhing in pain. Or at least that's what she thought, anyway. She was surprised her bimbo of a brother wasn't screaming his head off, but she could only assume it was that "adrend-a-lin" stuff pumping through his veins that kept him from doing it. Or maybe he was just too stupid to realize he had broken his arm.
"Owww . . . " Jack cringed and lolled his head to the side so he could nuzzle it against the grass. Through diminutive pain he noticed how nice it smelled, but then he couldn't think of much after that.
"Toooold yoooou." Jackie said mockingly, sticking out her tongue as she ran into the house.
It took less than five seconds flat for Jiya to sprint outside to get her son, Jackie trailing behind her, the little dark haired girl grinning sinisterly. It took Jack exactly one broken arm and a foggy mind to start bawling his eyes out as his young mother checked over his arm, probing it as gently as she could. Now she was beginning to turn into a hysterical mess herself as she urged Jack to answer simple questions like his name and where exactly the pain in his arm was.
"Tooooooold yoooooooou." Jackie repeated (only this time much nastier), practically attached to her mother's hip.
Quietly shushing her daughter, Jiya picked up her son as tenderly as possible, trying her best not to start crying. It was almost a wonder how she had managed to pick him up; she herself was quite small, even compared to her growing, eight year old son. Jackie could only snicker, wagging her head as she watched her brother's head bob slightly on his mother's shoulder; he was completely out of it.
Jack escaped the (stupid) hospital with a closed fracture in his left armwhich unfortunately is the one he uses most. He didn't mind though; that meant no writing in school. Well, less writing. He would still have to learn and do homework. The broken arm itself didn't bother Jack all that much because he'd still run and play like an eight year old boy would (excluding climbing trees) and his cast was approved of a huge, "AWESOME!" after Jack's father, Jeevan, got him a Jack Skellington sticker to put on it.
Jackie only scoffed and rolled her eyes. Despite how narcissistic she was at that age, she couldn't help but feel envious of her brother sometimes, even though she thought very little of him. But most of the envy came from Jack spending time with their father. Jeevan had been on an unpredictable schedule lately. It seemed to Jackie that he was working almost every other day or something like that, and he explained to his two children that whenever there was an elderly woman with low blood sugar, or an overturned bus, or a fire, anything requiring firefighters, Jeevan would be there at the fire station, ready to go out and help them; that was enough to make Jackie's blood boil. It even came to the point where she would try to get him to stay home, but that was rendered useless since she was only an eight year old, while he on the other hand was a twenty five year old adult. That was one of the rare battles she lost, and quite frankly wasn't happy aboutnot in the least bit. Jackie wasn't just jealous of her brother, but of the people who needed her father in the city and in their town; she hated it.
"Jackie, check out my awesome . . . thingy!"
"It's a cast."
"Yeah, that thing!"
". . ."
"Lookit' my Jack Skellington sticker!" Jack scrunched his nose and grinned the most ridiculous grin he could muster up as he thrust the blue cast out to her proudly. There it was: Jack Skellington grinning widely with his rather large stitched smile, black eye sockets wide and alert. Now Jackie knew why her brother put so much effort into smiling; Jack's fake, stopmotion idol was a natural at it.
His sister raised an eyebrow skeptically. "Looks stupid."
"Jack Skellington's not stupid!"
"He's not real, Dummy."
Jack's jaw fell open and the usual gleam in his eyes died for a second.
"Well," Jackie rolled her eyes, "he's not. Neither is Santa."
Her brother's jaw hung open wider, and his head leaned in a little, completely disbelieving. If he kept this up Jackie was going to pop a punch square between his eyesshe was thinking about it and could picture it perfectly: all the crying, the bloody nose, the weeping for Mommy.
Pathetic. My twin brother's a stupid wimp. Jackie thought, now growing more frustrated. And it was even more frustrating to her when relatives said that Jack would get his revenge once the two siblings were older. Apparently him being taller than her would give him the advantage to get back her. Yeah right. They obviously don't know Jack.
Sure, technically her brother was older by six minutes, but it was obvious that she was the mature one, and by the look of it, she always would be. Because of thisdespite how much Jack's temper could possibly growhe wouldn't be able to break Jackie down as much as she had broken him down in the eight years they were forced to spend their childhood together.
Ten more years to go, Jack, and then I won't have to see your pathetic face ever again.
Those words set in her mind were strongtoo strong and dangerous for an eight year old to be thinking.