Day 10: mild
Kahrin, Alec, and Brecken spilled out the door to the deck, a bundle of elbows and knees and so much energy that Ma had declared it was too nice to be inside. That suited the Quirke siblings just fine, and they took advantage of Ma’s patience ending to forego jackets and boots, and took off running across the north ten acres before she could be the wiser.
They wove back and forth through the withered and broken corn stalks, skeletal remains of the late summer harvest.
“I’ll race you to the knob!” Brecken yelled. He puffed his chest, happy to finally be growing into his body.
“You’re on!” Kahrin wasn’t one to shy from a challenge, especially one extended by the eldest. “Loser has to do the winner’s chores for a week. She bounced on her toes, excited to get moving, energy coursing through her as if she were a collection of photovoltaic cells drinking in the sun.
“Isn’t it your week to muck the pens?” Brecken crossed his arms over his chest. “It was my turn last week.”
“That doesn’t matter in a bet!” Kahrin shot back, planting a fist on each hip. “And last week was Alec’s week.”
“Was not!” He spit onto the mushy ground. “And I’m not doing it again.”
“Then I guess you better not lose,” she taunted, beginning to skip backward on the balls of her feet.
“That’s not fair!”
Kahrin let a frustrated growl. “Alec, tell him that you—“
Both siblings looked around, realizing their middle sibling wasn’t there. “Where did he—“
“Hey!” Kahrin and Brecken whirled around in the direction of Alec’s voice, far across the field, tucked onto a branch of the big oak that grew on the knob. “While you’re fighting, you should decide who’s going to muck the pen for me this week!”
© b.r. hill-mann 2019