Sibling Rivalry, Fairy Tale Style, Fiction


My stepsister is so spoiled.

She insists on sleeping up in one of the attic rooms although she has a perfectly good bedroom down in the main part of the house. She says she needs her space. Then, she complains that the bed she sleeps is worn and shabby. Well, yeah, it was a nursery. The furniture is older than she is.

So that’s where she sleeps, of her own volition. Except for the time that she slept on the hearth. It was during a cold snap and we were low on heating fuel. We all slept in the kitchen next to the cooking hearth for most of a week. It was the warmest place in house at that point. To hear her tell the story, she slept there for months.

Speaking of the kitchen, it still needs to be cleaned even though we had to let most of the staff go. Since she’s the tallest, she can reach the farthest into up the chimney. So she cleans the fireplace. She carries on and & cries so much that her face gets smeared. Boo hoo. Scrubbing the kitchen floor is no joy, but no one calls me Bubbles.

Of course her clothes are rags. She refuses to wear anything Mom buys her. Only Daddy’s clothes will do. You wear anything day in and day out, it’s gonna get ratty. When my sister and I offer to share our clothes, she screams about hand-me-downs and second-hand clothes. I don’t know what she’s complaining about. Thrift stores have great deals, especially if you go to the rich parts of town. I shopped there back when we had money. But no, that’s not good enough for her.

Okay, sometimes we talk about people we knew before we meet her & her father, or places we went when we were younger. We can’t help it. We had a life before her. When I try to fill her in, she flounces off with an injured air.

I get it, she’s an orphan, that’s tragic. But she’s not the only one who has lost a father. Hello, that’s why my mother was available to marry her father, because we were down one parent. In fact, you could argue that my sister and I have now lost two fathers. We did not live with our stepfather for long but we liked him.

She seems to forget that he was our parent as well. She hates to share him. Frankly, she hates to share anything. Again, I get it. It’s hard to go from being the only child in a rich, single-parent household to one in a family of five. Even if there are no financial reversals, more people equals less money per unit person.

Speaking of reversals. De mortuis nihil nisi bonum. Our stepfather was not without flaws. Yes, he was a fun guy. But maybe less party, more on task, we wouldn’t be so broke now.

Herself won’t hear a word against her sainted father. The way she sees it, all the evils in her world are her stepmother’s fault, or her stepsisters, in other words, us. It is never her fault nor her father’s.

She gets away with it.

That’s what really frosts my cookies. She tall and blond and beautiful. People believe her. My sister and I are already getting looks. Nothing obvious, but a little less conversation, a little more whispering when we go out and about.

Speaking of looks. Once a week, some guy comes to our door to declare undying love for her. I saw your sister at the market. I talked to her at the Town Day celebration. I ran into her at the shops. I must see her. She is my everything.

Yeah, because sharing pleasantries with someone for ten minutes in a public setting is such a sound basis for a relationship.

~~~ Curtain ~~~

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