In One Breath

Chastity panics. Her legs will not move as she looks out the garage window hoping and dreading mom or dad finding her and Billy. He is laying on the ground and she is sure he is turning blue. His eyes are wide and tears are rolling down his temples as he grabs his throat. It was not supposed to be like this.

She was bored. No one was paying attention to her. No one wanted to play with her even though it was her eleventh birthday party too. No, they all wanted to play with her perfect twin sister, Vicky. They wanted to spend the day with the girl with the perfect hair, perfect eyes, perfect smile and perfect skin. Vicky was not covered in pimples like Chastity. They weren’t even real twins. “Fraternal” is the word Vicky would use. Chastity didn’t even get to be the smart one.

So when Billy said he had something to show her she went along with him to the garage. At first she thought he wanted to play “doctor.” She had done that with their cousin Kevin once. It was icky and weird. Instead he grabbed an empty can of whipped cream, stuck it in his mouth and pushed the tab.

“Try it,” he grinned, “it’s fun.”

So she did. He was right. It was fun. It made her head go light and she felt like she was on a roller coaster without being on one. She giggled as her eyes rolled back in her head. This was way better than watching everyone make a big deal about her perfect sister.

Billy did it again, only this time he did not hand her back the can. Instead he acted like he was choking. His face turned colors and he thrashed around a bit before falling to the cement floor. Chastity went to her knees and begged him to tell her what to do, but all he did was stare at her.

Now she was frightened half to death. She was sure he was going to die. She should get an adult, she knew, but then everyone would know what she did. Frantically her head turned back and forth, looking for someone, all while her legs betrayed he. She wanted someone to find them, and she was scared to death they would.


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