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Twisted Sisters

suspense by Sandra Seamans

“Easton Library, Serenity Jones speaking.”

“Hey there, Nitty.”

Serenity sighed at the sound of her sister’s voice slithering through the phone line.

“What do you want, Serena?”

“Your vacation starts tomorrow doesn’t it?”

“And how would you know that?”

“I called Mom, she said you were coming for a visit.”

“That’s the plan.”

“Not any more. I told Mom that I needed you to drive down to San Pesaro and pick me up. My car broke down and I need to get out of here fast.”

“Catch a bus, Serena. I’m tired of pulling you out of scrapes. Why can’t you get a job and settle down instead of traveling all over the world falling into trouble?”

“Where’s the fun in that? Besides, Mom said she’d forgive you for skipping out on her as long as you were helping me. You know she’ll be pissed if you don’t come get me. C’mon, sis, I’m up against the wall here.”

“How do I find you?”

“I’ll meet you at Manny’s Jewelry Store on Old Mexico Boulevard at two tomorrow afternoon. Thanks, Nitty, you’re a peach for doing this.”

The connection went dead before she could answer.

“Who was on the phone, dear,” asked the head librarian as Serenity replaced the receiver in its cradle.

“Just a wrong number.” It was easier to lie than explain her sister to her boss. And how did one explain Serena anyway? Even though they were identical twins, Serenity never understood how her sister’s mind worked. Truth was, Serena scared the crap out of her.

Serenity entered Manny’s at exactly two o’clock the next afternoon only to find herself staring into the twin barrels of a sawed-off shotgun.

“I told you never to come into my store again, Serena. Get out, before I blow your head off your shoulders. And don’t go trying to bullshit your way in either.”

“But I’m not Serena, I’m her sister, Serenity, from California. She asked me to meet her here.”

“Oh, no, you’re not going to play that trick again. You stole an antique pocket watch and a nice fat wallet from my best customer with that lie two days ago. I don’t fool so easily a second time. Leave now, before I shoot you dead.”

Serenity backed out of the store and climbed into her VW bus, turned the engine and headed for home. She could feel Serena’s eyes on her, knew that her sister couldn’t resist watching the results of her…what? She felt the dreaded shivers of fear climbing her spine. What was Serena planning this time?

As her eyes searched the sidewalks for a glimpse of her wayward sister, she muttered, “That’s the last time you drag me into one of your messes, Serena. I don’t know what you’re up to, but I’m not going to be a part of it. Whatever trouble you’ve tumbled into this time, you’re on your own.”

An hour later Serenity was on her knees in the dust of a lonely stretch of dirt road with Manny waving his shotgun in her face again. Her only hope of intervention had flown by in a cloud of dust just before Manny’s truck had barreled past and blocked the road in front of her.

“Where is it?” he shouted.

“Where’s what?” asked Serenity. Clearly the man had lost his mind.

The butt of his gun swung toward her head, stopping just short of giving her a concussion.

“I want the emerald you stole from my shop.”

Fighting the waves of nausea that washed over her, Serenity rolled over and sat up. Her hands cradled her aching, bleeding head while tears of pain dampened her cheeks. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I drove into San Pesaro for the first time this afternoon.”

Manny lowered his gun. “You spin your lies so truthfully, Serena, I could almost believe you. But it doesn’t change the fact that you were in my shop this afternoon and when you left, the emerald was gone.”

“But you met me in the doorway. How could I possibly steal your emerald when you didn’t even let me into your shop?”

Manny closed his eyes, thinking hard. “I don’t know, Serena, but I know you‘re a thief. I’ve fenced too many jewels stolen by your clever fingers to believe that you didn’t steal my emerald. Now hand it over and perhaps I won’t shoot you.”

“I don’t have your emerald, Manny. You can search the van if you’d like, but you won’t find it because I didn’t steal it. And for the last time, my name is Serenity. I’m Serena’s twin sister.”

When she could no longer see the dust from Manny’s retreating pickup, Serena crawled out of the bushes where she’d been hiding. Manny had tossed all of Serenity’s belongings out of the van in the hunt for his missing emerald. He’d even strip searched Serenity’s body, his fingers invading every crevice.

Serena giggled, “That was probably the only sex you’ve ever had in your life, my darling sister. Too bad you weren’t alive to enjoy it.”

Keeping an eye on the road, she searched through the scattered contents of her sister’s purse until she found Serenity’s passport. “You know, maybe you’re right, Nitty, maybe it’s time I settled down, maybe work at the library for a while. Do you suppose anyone would notice that you weren’t you anymore?”

She pulled the emerald from her pocket, watching it sparkle in the afternoon sun. “The cash I get for this emerald will set me up for life, Serenity, too bad things didn’t pan out as well for you. Well, I’ve gotta go. Sorry to leave you like this, but you never can tell when Manny’s brain might kick in and figure out that you were telling the truth all along.”

Climbing into the VW she saluted her sister’s body. “Thanks a bunch, Sis, I knew I could count on you to get me out of Mexico in one piece.”

Copyright 2009 by Sandra Seamans

Sandra Seamans lives in Pennsylvania. She blogs about writing at My Little Corner.

[Return to the July 2009 stories]

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3 Responses

  1. […] Twisted Sisters […]

  2. With relatives like that…

    great story, Sandra.

    –dj

  3. Oooh, that’s harsh. Nasty twist. Nasty sister.

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