We Were Swans

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The Twins

“Morning, lover.” She murmured, stroking his hair, sensing he was almost awake. He stirred and opened his eyes, blinking.

“Morning.” He raised himself slightly, stretching, shaking off sleep. “What time is it?”

“Doesn’t matter, does it?”

“S’pose not.” Nevertheless, he turned his head to look at the bedside clock. It was a little after 10am. Early for them. “What did you wake me up for?” He grumbled.

Raising herself up on one elbow, she stroked his chest, raising the hairs on his chest between two fingers. “You need to start shaving them off. I don’t like them.”

“Mmmm? Oh. Yeah. Whatever.”

“We need to start thinking about our big day, sleepy. Would you like some tea?”

“Yeah. Good.” He rolled over and closed his eyes as she shuffled off the bed. He could vaguely hear her rummaging in the kitchen and then the creak of her footsteps on the stairs. Setting his tea beside him, she climbed back in beside him. She snuggled up, stroking his neck to soften his mood and continued where she left off.

“It won’t be long now. Mummy promised.” She wiggled her right leg, the tag annoyingly tight.

Awake, he rolled around and she settled into the crook of his arm.

“We can’t get straight into it, you know. Even when they take them off they’ll still be watching. And there’s that cow from probation.”

“I know.” She said. “But we’re moving along. Aren’t we?”

“S’pose.” He granted, reluctantly. “How’s it going on the web?”

“Ok’ish. I’m in a group, we chat. It’s mostly school and fashion.”

“How old are you this week?”

“This week I’m mostly 11. They’re so easy. All desperate for ‘friends’. How about you?”

“That stupid old man. Giving all that money to a drunk. Our money, Sis. Our money! I’m working on it. I think the best way to get at him is through his ex-wife. Did you see him in court! Useless twat.” His voice deepened, a threat in it. “I know where she is. Once we get these tags off, we’ll go and get her. Do you remember the way she looked at us? Fucking snotty bitch. We’ll have some fun with her before we don’t give her back. Anyway, whatever, he’ll cave in and we’ll get back what’s ours. Don’t worry. Don’t worry about people, don’t worry about the system. I can fix all that. Don’t worry about anything except us. It’s all about us, nothing else.” He stroked her arm.

“Have you found him yet?”

“Dear old Daddy? No. But I will. He can’t hide forever but listen, I’ve had an idea.”

She looked up. Getting used to his new face hadn’t been easy. It was for their own good, they said. To protect them. His nose had sharpened and his chin reduced. They didn’t look like twins anymore and it was that more than anything else that she hated. She knew her own face wasn’t the way she wanted it but did quite like the almond shape of her eyes and being a girl, she could have mad coloured hair. All those weeks looking through magazines at the models, trying to make choices. They’d been perfect as they were, just perfect. What had been done to them was wrong. Just plain wrong. She resented what had been forced on them.

“How about, once we’ve got the cash, we fuck off to America, get a motorhome and cruise. It’s a big place and kids get lost all the time. We can have some fun. Like the old days.”

“We can’t drive.” She said flatly, disappointed.

“We can learn and when we do, we can do whatever we like, wherever we like.”

“Sounds like a plan.” She said brightly, not entirely sure of how they’d overcome some of the more obvious issues like passports and driving licences but she knew what Eddie was capable of. He could do anything on a computer.

“What about Mummy?”

“Fuck her. While we’re at it we should think about ways of losing her. It can’t be suicide though. I think that fucks up insurance claims. I’ll have to check. But we need to get the money, all of it, hers, his and that pissed up fuckwit. Then we’ll be free.”

“You know best.” She murmured. Now he was on his back, she was stroking his tummy, getting closer. She could feel him stir. She giggled, looking up at him with her new cat’s eyes, eyes he’d picked for her. She kept her gaze locked on him as she disappeared, her head slowly going under the sheet. Her voice was muffled as he heard her talking. “Morning sleepy. Time to wake up. Mummy’s here.” He lay back, feeling the moistness of her mouth envelop him.

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