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What Happened

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There are many people in this world who like to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Jake Mist is not one of these people.

He often finds that moments of inspiration strike him at three in the morning. He cannot, will not, let them slip out of his mind, so if he happens to be lying awake in his bed, he will immediately get out from under the covers, switch on his computer, power up his electric keyboard, open up a new audio file, and pound away on his keys until every note has been recorded.

Unfortunately for him, Jake is also the kind of person who doesn't think anything of leaving his bedroom door wide open, letting the glow of his computer leak out and under the door of his twin sister, Victoria.

Victoria is one of those people who prefer to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. She is also one of those people who can be woken up by the slightest disturbance, including the presence of artificial light. It follows logically that Victoria, when disturbed from her sleep, will express discontentment towards the source of said disturbance.

This is exactly what happened on one October night. Jake sensed a creak in one of the floorboards in his bedroom, knew instantly who would be causing it, and so dutifully paused the playback of his latest masterpiece, while lowering his headphones. In his doorway stood Victoria, in a crisp white nightshirt, chocolate hair disheveled, and eye sockets dark.

"Jake." When his sister hissed, it sounded like a piece of paper slicing the air. She had her fists clenched for emphasis.

"Can I help you?" He whispered courteously.

"Third. Time. This week." She stepped towards him and his computer threateningly. "Do you realise I've got state finals coming up? And a geometry test tomorrow? I need to sleep."

"Look, I'll be off in a sec, I promise- "

"I don't care. You've woken me up, it'll take me forever to get back to sleep now."

"Well, I'm sorry, but I just had to get down this chord sequence- "

"That's what you said last time. It's gotta stop, Jake. You have no idea how stressed I am."

Her voice was rising into a whine, so Jake made a shushing motion.

"Careful, you'll wake Mom and Dad."

"Oh, so it's okay to wake me, but not them?"

"That's not what I meant."

"Get off your damn keyboard!"

"I will, in a minute." He saw the classic eyebrow raise, and delivered the foolproof line, "Promise. And to make up for it, I'll buy you a Starbucks tomorrow."

The eyebrow stayed in place, but the fists became unclenched. Victoria let her gaze linger on the hypoallergenic cream carpet, and then sighed.

"Americano. Skinny, with- "

"-not too much froth, and piping hot." Jake finished, keen to return to his composing.

With a flourish, his sister turned on her heel, hair whipping around her neck.

"Damn straight."

On her way out, she closed the door. Jake bit his lip, but allowed himself another two minutes on the keyboard before powering down again.

Victoria collapsed onto her bed in the room opposite to Jake's. As she glanced at her digital alarm clock, which indicated that she only had two hours before getting up for school, Victoria fantasised about trapping her twin onto his computer, and downloading him onto a pen drive that would never be used.





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