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Chapter 1

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Chapter 1
“You really shouldn’t play that card,” I said, grinning.
Mark grunted.
“See? Now you’re losing. To yourself!?”
“OK, Kate,” Mark muttered through gritted teeth.
“How can you lose to yourself?”
“Shut-up, Katherine.”
“You know, you should send those cards to Dad. He doesn’t have anything to do out there ‘cept get himself killed.”
“Katherine?”
“Actually, he can get his friends killed too.”
“Katherine will you PLEASE shut-up and leave me ALONE?!!?!?!?!?”
I stalked out of Mark’s room with more than what I came in with. I snatched his ‘mini bank’ and a playing card: Katherine 2, Mark 0. I trudged down the rickety staircase, nimbly avoiding the third stair from the bottom. It’s got a great big, moldy old hole in it. That is basically how my life is: safe until a giant monster comes and gobbles me up when I am almost there. That really didn’t have anything to do with stairs, did it?
My name is Katherine James (called Kate when I am not in trouble or if Mary is over), and I am almost nine. Two more months are almost, right? I have four, stinking, messy, lousy, loving older brothers. I’ve got a spoilt, greedy, violent mother. I don’t know if my dad is still alive or not but I can describe him for you, if you would like. He has soft orange hair (like me), brown eyes (not me), and freckles (me). He has a laugh that turns rainbows upside-down and makes the stars twinkle in the velvet sky. He is strong enough to pick me up and toss me in the air, like most parents do when their children are young. Reason being, my mom forgets to feed me. A lot. He is fighting the Nazis somewhere in France right now. I hope. Otherwise he is crrrrrrrk or injured.
My mother hates me. I mean full on smack-in-the-face-if-you-breath-because-you-were-not-supposed-to-be-born hate. She wanted five, strong, young boys to fight and bring honor to our family name. I bet she lost it all. But she got four boys and me. And she is feisty! If she doesn’t get her way, she will fight to get what she wants. Not in the respectable boxing match, oh no, no, no. She’ll break into your house in the middle of the night and strangle you with your bed-sheet.
Anthony is 22 years old, my oldest brother. He is the spitting image of my dad, but less carefree and fun. He is part of ‘Dad’s Army’ or the Home Guard. He has a lovely wife named Beatrice and the most precious daughter named Mary (mentioned before). Mary is cuter than puppies. She is only one and a half and calls me, “Kat-tea.”
Mark is 18 and a quarter and he has a bad leg so he can’t fight. He can’t even run. He is the most solemn brother and he is that way because of this putrid war. He likes me the most out of my brothers. He looks like mom, with pitch-black hair and hazel-blue eyes. He is the ‘perfect’ son that all moms want. He is intelligent, and strong and fast and a whole list of adjectives that would fill a book. It isn’t my duty to write about my brother, so search elsewhere if that is your destination.
Lukas and Luke are so identical that only I can tell them apart. They are the perfect mix of my mum and dad and they are the most attractive of the family. They have night colored hair and chocolate-brown eyes and such a smooth complexion that their hands feel like silk. But, they are the worst troublemakers in the entire world!!!!!!!!!! Is 15 the age of mess-makers? Seems so to me.
Do you want an example of how my family interacts? Here is last night at dinner.
Mum: Do you want some bangers, Mark?
Mark: Err, no, OW!
Mum: Katherine! Apologize this instant!
Me: What!? I didn’t do anything!
Mum: Don’t lie. You kicked Mark.
Me: I’m sitting at the far end of the table! How could I kick him from here?
Luke: Gee Mom, it was me. Don’t yell at the kitty-cat. She can scratch.
Mum: That’s nice Lukas dear. (I try to get up slowly) Girl! Sit back down until you are dismissed!
Me: Are you deaf? Luke just said he kicked Mark.
Mum: Don’t be stupider than you are. That is Lukas, right dear?
Luke: Kate’s right. I am Luke, not Lukas.
Mum: That’s OK Lukas dear.
Et cetera.



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