Four Is Better Than One


Mia Bell McCubbin, Author

Eve’s foot banged angrily against the headboard of her twin bed as the rain pitter-pattered on the windows. 

“Eve!” I shouted angrily this annoying habit had been going on for almost an hour, “ Stop banging your foot!” Eve just turned her head at me and glared not stopping her tapping.

“I’m so bored!” She growled, “I hate rain!” I groaned I knew telling Eve what to do never worked out in anyone’s favor. Sighing, I got up and walked one door over to the boy’s room. Thomas had his head in a book ( as usual) and Caleb was shooting baskets on the tiny hoop he had gotten for his birthday. 

“Hey, guys…” I said, Thomas, of course, didn’t bring his head up from the book, but Caleb responded,

“Wanna play mini horse, Sis?” Caleb was always trying to get me to play with him because Thomas had never picked up a ball in his life, and he was always trying to convince our parents that reading was a sport, and whenever Eve played she played by her own rules, which involved an excessive amount of physical contact. 

“ Sure,” I said, anything would be better than listening to Eve complain. I’m pretty good at most sports, I just don’t think they’re enjoyable, as well as repetitive activities of any kind, I guess I just don’t get the point of doing the same thing over and over, like scoring baskets or kicking goals, it just seems sort of pointless to me. I used to play soccer and basketball, but I sort of stopped. Eve says what she does is a sport, but I’m not entirely sure kickboxing is a sport, the only people in my family who legitimately like watching her matches are Dad and Caleb. I think they think it’s cool because Eve always wins anyway. I played a few rounds with Caleb, but then it quickly got boring; and of course, he beat me. 

“Hey, look in the newspaper!” Thomas suddenly spoke up, surprising both Caleb and me. He held out the newspaper which he always got the weekly copy of, and loved reading. On the back of the front page, there was a section that talked about how the open space was being transformed into a mall! Even though there was a mall only 10 minutes away! 

“What?” I burst out and yanked the paper from Thomas’s hands I studied the article more thoroughly, it showed a picture of a dumb-looking guy smiling holding out a thumbs-up. Supposedly to be the man owning the new mall. I read through the whole article despite both my brother’s protests to see it for themselves. The guy’s name was Steven Smith and according to the article, he was wealthy. The article also showed a picture of where the mall would be, and it would take up the entire open space, due to its parking lot and outdoor restaurant spaces. 

“It’s even gonna cover the playground!” I growled, the playground was every kid’s favorite place, sure it was old, but everyone had so many memories there.
“Seriously!?” Caleb said and managed to snatch the paper out of my grasp. He studied it for about 10 seconds before speaking again, “ I can’t read all of this! It’s almost a whole page!” Thomas and I both sighed at Caleb’s lack of intelligence, I was almost positive he was still at a 3rd-grade reading level even though we were in 6th grade, he should still do work even though we were on winter break, maybe then he’d have a better chance of passing 6th grade. Thomas read it out loud to him while  I ran to get Eve. She didn’t want to come at first, but when I told her it was about the open space, she shot out of bed. The open space was like Eve’s second home, she was always running away, just for the fun of it, and no matter what, she always ended up in the open space, she loved that place. We all did. Thomas loved it because there was a huge willow tree right behind the playground, and he sometimes spent hours just sitting under the tree reading. Caleb loved the open space because everyone was always setting up sports games on the field, whether it was kickball, soccer, football, or pretty much any sport, Caleb always wanted to play. I love the open space because at least once a week I would l sit on the big hill and watch the sunset, usually I draw while I watch it, and it always relaxes me, sometimes when I’m awake early enough, I will even go and watch the sunrise, even if it was snowing. 

Eve sprinted past me and barreled into the boy’s room. 

“Give me that!” She forcefully yanked the newspaper from Thomas’s hands she clenched it so hard as she read that I was worried she’d rip it. Of course, Thomas and Caleb didn’t try to take it back from Eve, no one in their right mind would take something from Eve unless they wanted a fight. I could tell she had finished reading it because her face began to turn a dark red, and her hands tensed, clenching the paper tighter and tighter, I couldn’t help it, I wasn’t about to let Eve rip the paper,

“Quit it, Eve!” I lunged and managed to snatch the paper. Maybe I was out of my mind “poking the bear” (a.k.a Eve), but I knew I had caught Eve by surprise and couldn’t help feeling the tiniest bit smug about it. 

“What are we going to do?” Thomas whispered and I saw his face was a mix of sadness and shock.

“Well, we have to do something!” Eve shouted, though all of us were close enough to hear her whisper, “I think we should wait until the people building the mall come, then steal all their cars and drive away with the construction stuff!” Eve had the same devilish grin on her face and the dangerous glimmer in her eyes whenever she had an idea like that.

“Eve, be real. There is no way mom would let us drive without wearing helmets,” Caleb said. I let out a long sigh and heard Thomas mumble,

“Just when I thought he couldn’t get any dumber.” 

“ Maybe we could just try emailing the people who are building the mall, we could try to reason with them.” Eve and Caleb looked at me like I was crazy, but surprisingly, Thomas spoke up.
“I agree with Annie.” his voice was quiet but I knew we all heard it. Eve suddenly grabbed Caleb’s mini basketball and did a spin move dunking the ball into the hoop, Caleb leap at her and before I knew it they had forgotten completely about the newspaper, as they became immersed in their game.

“Let’s go to my room, bring the computer.” All of us shared a computer that was just an iPad with a keyboard attached, we all had school computers but those didn’t have games on them and they weren’t touch screen, Thomas had figured out a way for us all to have separate accounts, because things were often very out of hand before we all had our own accounts and privacy, for example before the separate accounts, One time Caleb downloaded 11 violent games, which practically took our whole game storage. That boy just doesn’t have common sense.

Without a word Thomas and me entered mine and Eve’s room, Thomas sat in the desk chair and I lay down on my bed. 

“Ok, so can you find the company’s email?” I asked trying to find a good starting point,

“-Already did.” Caleb flipped the computer around so I could see, and sure enough, the company was pulled up. “Now what should I email?” Thomas asked, even though he was very smart and great with computers, Thomas lacked basic social skills, and even writing an email was tough for him. 

“ Here, I got this,” I grabbed the computer from him and started to type, but all of a sudden my eyelids got heavy, and my brain began to feel fuzzy, the keys seemed to be appearing on the screen slower and slower, and before I knew it, everything went black.



“Dinner’s ready!” I heard my mother’s voice yell. I rolled over and noticed Thomas still sitting in the desk chair,

“Wait! Did I fall asleep?!” I quickly asked him

“Yeah, you’ve been out for an hour or so.” He said as if it was no big deal.

“Why didn’t you wake me up?! I need to type the email!” I said, my voice rising,

“Sorry! I just thought you looked tired, and I knew I could just research the open space and the mall company while you were napping.” I sighed, I couldn’t argue with Thomas, he was just too innocent. I got out of bed and headed down the stairs to dinner with Thomas on my heels.

“What have you guy’s been up to?” Mama asked as we sat down, Caleb and Eve had already been sitting at the table playing a card game,

“Did you read the newspaper?” I blurted out, I was surprised Mama hadn’t already brought up the open space.

“Yeah, why?” Mama seemed genuinely clueless but before I could speak, she sighed as if she knew what we were thinking already, “ What are you guys up to? I don’t know how many times I’m gonna have to tell you, you guys can’t get Eve… or Thomas elected for president.” 

“That’s not it Mama!” and before I knew it I was spiraling into explanation and it wasn’t until I completely ran out of air did I stop talking. 

“ Oh gosh, when I said I read the paper, I meant I took a glance at the cover, I didn’t know about the open space…” Mama trailed off, 

“Well, you can’t stop us from doing anything! We are going to find out a way to send this operation to the devil!” Eve shouted, already defensive. For a while, Mama didn’t say anything and I knew we were all holding our breath.

“ I think you should try actually…” Mama said, shocking us all after the silence.

“Thanks, Mama!” I leaped from the table, leaving my dinner untouched, I wasn’t about to waste a moment more talking about our dilemma, I was going to fix it, and I was going to fix it now!

“Come on guys!” I shouted and three pairs of feet pounded after me.


The End.

Part 2 is on the way!