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Shellie Burg's Blended Family Challenge

Short story By: MAmberConrad
Flash fiction

Shellie Burg gave me quite a challenge. To write a story about a blended family, and to make it believable. This is my attempt.

Submitted:Jan 2, 2012    Reads: 53    Comments: 4    Likes: 1   

Blended Family Challenge

Hi, I am Josephine and I am eight years old. I am in the third grade, and I'm supposed to be writing an essay about my family. The problem is, I have no ordinary family. I mean, I do, as in they seem ordinary to the outside world.

Let me explain. My mom is Lorelai and my father is Nathaniel. They have been married for seven years. I know; I have done the math. It doesn't bother me. My brothers and sister are all my half-siblings. Edgar is the oldest. He is eighteen and is about to graduate high school. He is Nathaniel's son, with his first wife Beth. Beth died of lung cancer ten years ago, when she was only thirty. It's very sad. Mitchell is also Nathaniel and Beth's son. Mitch is fourteen and is a sophomore in high school. He skipped the eighth grade because he is so smart. He is already taking courses at the local community college. My half sister is Allegra. She is Lorelai's daughter with someone named Liam. Liam and my mom weren't together long. He supposedly went back to Ireland.

My mom has beautiful long dark blonde hair. It's very wavy and runs down her back like the ocean. I love it when she lets me brush her hair. Mom has such a romantic name. She says it's German, meaning "murmuring rock". The story behind that is a beautiful maiden named Lorelei -which is an alternate spelling of mom's name- who waited for her lover -yes I know what a "lover" is- on a rock at the narrowest and shallowest point of the Rhine River. The Rhine River runs throughout Switzerland and Germany. Anyway, her lover never returned, so she jumped off the rock to her death. The legend is that her spirit remains at the rock, seeking revenge against him. She sits on the rock, now named for her, combing her long hair and singing softly. I think it's interesting that mom also sings when I brush her hair.

My dad is Nathaniel. He's what someone may call a work-a-holic. If he's not at work, he's at home on the computer, checking his email or on his cell phone, talking to a client. He makes a lot of money, but he isn't very good at spending time with us at home. I told you about his first wife Beth. Well, apparently, according to Edgar, dad threw himself into work after that. It's amazing he even met my mom. I'm glad that he did. Dad, when he does spend time with us, is usually grouchy. Mom says he needs a vacation. He has never been on a vacation that I know about.

Edgar is the oldest of us kids. He has those movie-star looks. His hair is a deep chocolate brown, and his eyes are a piercing blue. Think Zac Effron with a more muscular build. Edgar is barely graduating. Dad had to pay him to pass his classes. Edgar has a car and likes to take off in the middle of the night. I know he smokes, because I can smell it on him in the mornings. I wish he would listen better to dad. I think Edgar is just sad and upset because of what happened to his mom.

Allegra is fifteen. She doesn't go to school like the rest of us. She is homeschooled because of her severe allergies and difficulties. She's allergic to nuts and flour. She can't be outside for long periods of time because she gets overheated and can have a seizure. Our house is temperature controlled so that her seizures are less likely to happen. Nobody knows much about Allegra's father. Mom says he ran off and never came back. Allegra calls Nathaniel "dad" anyway. She's smart, funny, and plays the piano. She says the piano calms her nerves when she feels a seizure coming on. Sometimes the seizure comes anyway. I'm not allowed to be home alone with Allegra, because I don't know how to give her the seizure medicine. Mom says I have to wait until I'm at least twelve. Allegra has a lady, Lucy, who comes to the house to home school her and is her nurse. Lucy is pleasant and is very shy.

Mitchell is a genius. He even looks like your typical genius. His mop of brown hair is constantly mussed, his serious brown eyes hiding behind glasses. He wears the same three shirts all the time. He doesn't have much of a sense of humor. I try telling him knock-knock jokes, but they either go over his head or he doesn't care. He just shakes his head at me and goes back to his work. Somehow, Mitch has a girlfriend. I've only met her a couple of times, but she's this alternative-looking girl. She wears knee-high socks with shorts, worn out Converse, with tee-shirts. Oh, and lots of black eyeliner.

And then there's me. Josephine. I'm a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. I love to read, paint, draw, and write. My favorite book is Charlotte's Web. I've read it fifteen times. I also like the Nancy Drew series. My mom says she used to read Nancy Drew, too. I have an easel in my room and plenty of colorful paintings that cover my walls. Mom says I remind her of her own father. He died before I was born. She has shown me some of his paintings. I'm not nearly as good as he was, but mom says I have plenty of time.

So, that's my family. They're far from normal, but I suppose "normal" doesn't really exist, does it? I love them, even with all their quirks and flaws.



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