“This is a hell of a lot harder than knit one, purl two,” Chris said. Her tongue stuck out a little while she concentrated over her needle and thread.
“Language young lady,” aunt Nancy said as she rocked in the rocking chair. “Remember you’re the silly bitch who wanted to learn this old timey crap.” Aunt Nancy took her niece’s embroidery hoop and demonstrated a French knot for the fourth time. Their heads like mirror images bent over the taut fabric.
“Did you know during World War II women ran the factories and farms and were even girl lumberjacks?” Vivi was very serious. Her mother and great aunt made affirmative noises in her general direction.
“I know it,” Lena said, half to her big sister and half to her stuffed kangaroo, John John.
Vivi ignored her and returned to her new book of useless yet inspiring facts for girls. “They were known as lumberjills,” Vivi continued.
“Everybody knows that.” Lena glared at her sister. Vivi matched her stare.
“you’re a baby. How would you know anything.” Measured, Vivi’s voice was sharp as a switch.
“V you cut that out right now. You gonna get it if you keep at your sister.” Chris put down the hoop, stitches forgotten. Every day was another battle with these two, she thought.
Lena rubbed John-John’s long velvety ears. “Jordy tells me things.”
Turning the pages angrily, Vivi returned to her big girl book. “Liar,” she hissed. “There’s no Jordy.”
“Jordy is my friend. She not yours. She’s mommy’s twin sister. She comes to me at night. Jordy got real sick and went away and Grammy Susie wouldn’t let anybody talk about Jordan. We play with my toys. She chased away the people who knocked on the upstairs windows. Jordy can be little like me or a grown up lady. But she’s always mine not yours.” With that Lena popped up, tucked John-John under her arm, and walked off. “She’s not alive but she’s not just bones, stupid.
Vivi sucked her teeth. Chris turned to her aunt. “Can you believe this….” Her voice trailed away as she looked into her aunt’s crumbled face. Covering her eyes, aunt Nancy ran to the kitchen. Chris chased her.
“During the war women spies sent coded messages in knitting patterns. Isn’t that cool?” Vivi said to the empty living room. Behind Vivi, the rocking chair began to rock gently.

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