|Among the Gerard kids, it was the boys against the girls, and it was relentless. The two boys were the oldest, and that didn’t help. They were bigger, stronger, and faster than their two sisters. The kids were even divided by the alphabet: the boys were the A’s, Aaron and Aiden, and the girls were the Z’s: Zoe and Zephyr.
Not that the Z’s weren’t up for any challenge. They never won, but they were game for anything. Ping pong. Soccer. Kick the can. They never backed down and it went on from dawn to dusk. Watching the boys pummel the squealing girls with nerf balls one day in the backyard, their mom, Annie, asked her husband, Joe, “Why can’t they be like normal kids? You know, sit and read a book. Work a puzzle. Heaven forbid they should do homework.”
“Well, it’s summer,” Joe replied.
Annie looked at him. “You know what I mean. Everything’s a game. Where does this come from?” Joe shrugged.
Half an hour later, the nerf balls were gone, replaced by Super Soakers. Aaron held one, Aiden the other. They hid behind the apple tree that shaded the whole yard. Zoe and Zephyr emerged from around the corner of the house, immersed in a conversation about X-Men. Aaron tightened his grip on the trigger of his Super Soaker and said to Aiden, “They won’t see it coming.”
Annie watched from behind the screen door of the back porch, shook her head, and thought, I give up. Then she heard the leaves of the oak tree rustle. She gazed upward where, nestled in the branches directly over the boys, Joe crouched with a bucket of water.
Annie sighed, turned back into the kitchen, and said to herself, “How did I end up with five kids?”
(Word count: 299)