• "Around the Bend"

    "... so then he pulls back behind the semi and the semi's tire blows out! The kid tries to block it with his hand when it SLAMS into his face taking off his head and the hand!"

    "...Well, that's...um, unfortunate," replies the girl waiting in line with her twin brothers.

    She's actually the oldest of the triplet trio, the boys being identical. All three have dark hair, slightly wavy, with bright green eyes. Most people referred to them as "The Trio". Hardly anyone could tell the boys apart, never could. That's why her parents made them wear name bracelets. She had one too. She'd begged her mom for one for her eighth birtday, that was when she'd started to act more "girly". The three of them were ALWAYS together as kids, and she wanted something to show they were connected. So, the bracelet got her both of those things: "girly" jewelry, and a visible to all connection to her brothers. She turned to the brother to her left as he spoke.

    "Yeah, they found his head bouncing down the road and ...," he began, then as always, the other brother finished his sentence.

    "...And, the kid he was racing, he took the runaway go-cart back to the Stop-N-Play."

    "So, tell me again why we're here? Re-enactment maybe," she asks skeptically, looking between her gamin faced brothers. Looking up at them was becoming a strain on her neck. They'd topped out at six foot, three inches, both of them. She had stayed a measly five foot, three-and-a-half inches (she'd counted, it was important) since eighth grade. Not that she was sore about it.

    "We're here to cele..."

    "To celebrate our acceptance into..."

    "You guys got into Harvard?! No way!" she squealed, grabbing them both around their waists.

    "Hey! Finishing sentences..."

    "...is our thing!" All three laughed in celebration.

    "Have you told mom and dad yet," she asked, sobering slightly.

    "This is a private celebration. We'll tell them..."

    "...when we get home," the boys finished together.

    "You three are up," yelled the go-cart operator.

    The siblings clamored for the "best" cars and prepared to race. At the signal, they sped off, whipping around the course. She was coming around the last turn, planning to cut between the twins. She sped through, presumedly leaving them in the dust, but she'd forgotten to look ahead for future turns. Trying to make a hard left, the back tire of her cart hit her brothers and sent her spinning out of control. The hay bales and tire bumpers should have stopped her, at least slowed her down, but because she was such a lightweight the impact sent her and the cart flipping through the air and into a low guardrail. Once second to squeal, and it was lights out.


    Groaning, she wakes to the smell of antiseptics and the sound of beeping machines. Looking around slowly, she sees her parents. When they notice that she's awake, they come over and shower her with tearful kisses and careful hugs of joy. She didn't think she'd hit her head THAT hard on the guardrail. She scans the room looking for her brothers, but they aren't there. Without them close by she feels alone and somewhat confused as to their absence. No point in asking the overjoyed parents currently talking with the bustling doctors and nurses, so she assumes they must be home waiting for her return. The doctors give her a clean bill of health and she's released. Until now, she's forgotten to ask an important question. Most patients ask it, but she'd forgotten. 'Typical,' she thinks, for she's always been teased about having a "selective" memory.

    Turning to her parents as they exit the hospital she asks them," How long was I out for?"

    Her parents are helping her into the family mini-van.

    "Well, honey," says the mother, cautiously," you've been asleep for a few months."

    'She looks worried,' the girl thinks. 'How hard DID I hit my head?'

    Upon arriving home, she is greeted by two small boys, identical in feature. They both greet her with hugs and shouts of glee. She stiffly hugs them back, wondering who these mini-versions of her brothers are. She and the missing members of "The Trio" are all sixteen. These small clones are about eight years that she was thinking about it, they weren't really that small in comparison to her. She'd shrunk too!

    "What's going on here?! Where are my brothers and who are these boys," she demands of her parents, feeling a bit hysterical.

    "Dear, these are your brothers. See, she's not well yet. I told you we should have taken the boys to mom's," her father tells her mom.

    "Where are my twin brothers? The two that make us three," she is now fully hysterical, confused by what she thinks is true and what she's seeing.

    "Honey, these ARE your twin brothers," her mom says gently, trying to calm her.

    "No! I'm a triplet! Where are my brothers?!"

    She runs to the bathroom, feeling sick. This is a mistake! Some strange Twilight Zone of a dream! She looks in the mirror over the sink and gasps at the reflection she sees there. A ten year old girl stares back at her. Had she gone back in time? The reflection is of herself at age ten. 'I must be going insane,'she thinks. 'Maybe I need to be in a different hospital. One with padded walls and the good drugs.' Walking back to the living room wearily, she resigns herself to the fact that she must still be recovering from her head injury. After all, she'd been in a coma for about three months. 'Yes, that's it, I'm still recovering. It's all good. I'm okay. All is as it should be in reality. What I thought was real must have been a dream,' she tells herself.

    "I'm sorry," she tells the family. "I must have had some dream that seemed really, REALLY real. I'll try to get better."

    She's still confused about the situation and why she can't remember ever having brothers that weren't her twins, but she gives in to the hugs and laughter of her homecoming "party". After the family dinner, cake and ice cream, and a nice, long, HOT shower, she heads off to her room to rest. She shuts to door to various shouts and calls of "I love you's" and "goodnight's". A knock sounds at her door. Upon opening it, she's rushed by two dark haired missiles. The boys attach themselves to either side of their sister, hugging her tight.

    "It's okay, sis...," says the one on her left side.

    "You're not alone anymore," the other finishes.

    They both give her one last hug and kiss on both cheeks, then head out the door to their own bedroom. Dismayed, she crawls under the quilt on her bed and begins to seriously wonder if she does need to be committed. Sleep is slow to come.


    Opening her eyes the next morning, the girl finds herself once again in the hospital. Her parents rush over, crying and trying to carefully hug her and stroke her face. It's like deja vu. The doctors, the nurses, the coma, everything is just like before. She's deemed worthy of discharge to her parents care. Only one thing differs in this duplicate scenario. After some mysterious "accident" she falls into a coma. Unlike before, this time she's been in dreamland for three years! Her brothers are once again missing. She arrives at home thinking that this time her brothers will be there waiting, but she's not sure anymore of their age or if she's even a member of a triplet team or just a "single sibling". When she doesn't see them she questions her parents.

    "Where are my brothers?"

    "What do you mean, honey," her mother asks, a worried furrow making its way across her brow.

    "My brothers. I'm not sure what I am, but I KNOW I've got brothers."

    "'Not sure what I am', What do mean," asks her father, staring at her with that "look". The one that says they know you're crazy, they just wanna make sure.

    "I'm a triplet, with identical twin brothers...I think. That or I'm the oldest and my younger brothers are twins. I'm a bit confused on the matter. So where are they," she asks again, looking into the family room where the boys are usually playing video games. They aren't there.

    "Dearest, you're the only one. You have a little sister, not brothers," her mother turns the worried look on her father.

    "But...Wait. I have a sister?"

    "Yes. You don't remember? Come here, darling," her mother says, waving to a girl about ten standing in the kitchen doorway. "Your sister is home!" Her mother smiles at the girl with blonde, curly hair and blue eyes.

    This "Shirley Temple" is her sister? 'She looks NOTHING like me and my brothers,' she thinks to herself. She looks at her parents again. They both have blond hair as well; her mom has blue eyes, dad has green. "This isn't right," she says suddenly, and runs to the bathroom, looking for the mirror. First she makes sure she's the right age, not ten. "I'm still me, same age, same looks. Good," she says to herself. She looks toward the hallway that leads back to the living room where her parents and sister are waiting.

    "Mom and dad have brown hair, like mine and the boys. Mom has the same blue eyes, but dad's eyes are as brown as his hair! WHAT is going ON?!" She runs back out to her parents. They may have changed, but she's POSITIVE she has brothers, twin brothers, the other two to make them three.

    The girl is adament about her missing brothers. She tries explaining to her parents what they look like, how tall they are, the things they like. The adults are surprised at the great depth of detail she provides about these boys. They'd thought she was still lost in a dream from her coma, still not fully well. Thinking they're going to know she's probably crazy, she even tells them in detail about what must be dreams that she'd had. In the middle of the last dream telling, her mother gasps, turning red in embarrassment.

    "I am SO sorry," she says to her surprised daughter. She looks to her husband saying,"We never told her, did we? Oh my, how could we have never told her?"

    "Oh. Oh dear. I thought we had as well," her father says, further confusing and upsetting his eldest daughter.

    "What?! What haven't you told me? Am I clinically insane, did the doctors say that? I am, aren't I? I'm crazy!" She becoming hysterical again.

    "Darling, calm down. You are NOT crazy. This something your father and I should have told you years ago," her mother soothes.

    "Tell me what," she says, wiping her face of tears that seemed to magically appear from nowhere.

    "Well, that we.." At a loss for words, her mother turns to her father for support. She turns back to the emotional girl beside her,"Honey, you were just a baby, and infant, when we took you into our home to become our own."

    "I don't understand."

    "What your mother means is, we adopted you. When we saw you for the first time, you were so small and cute. So many black curls, a head-" His wife cuts him off with another, suprised gasp.

    "I think what you're saying is true! I never really payed much attention to it at the time, and I never told your father...I thought it trivial at the time," she looks up, glancing between father and daughter who look on in interest and confusion. "When we were filling out the paperwork to adopt you, the lady from the orphange told us that you were a member of a set of triplets, the other two being identical boys! They'd already been adopted by a family; they didn't want a girl, only the boys. I swear, at the time I didn't think it to be useful information."

    "Really," the girl asks in disbelief, but much relived to find she wasn't crazy.

    "Maybe we can find them," suggests a small voice from a nearby armchair. Her sister. She'd almost forgotten she existed amidst all the craziness. Stunned at this small bit of genius, the girl jumps off the couch to scoop the ten year old into her arms and nearly hug the life out of her. "I get it! You're happy! Lemme go, you're squeezing too tight!" She loosens her grip on the small girl, but refuses to let this small ray of hope go for fear of it disappearing.

    "Yes! That's what we'll do! I'll look into straight away. We may be able to find them," her father says hopefully, leaving the couch and dashing to the computer room.

    "We'll find them, sweetheart," her mother assures.


    After five long months of searching, the boys are found. They'd been adopted by an older couple from Colorado and lived with them there until the couple died when the boys were eight years old. The husband died of a heart attack and the wife went in her sleep only three months later. The boys were put into the foster care system and bounced around to a few different homes. Their current residence is in Florida. The family flies out and in a few days the triplets are reunited. Oddly enough, there's no akwardness between them even though it's their first time meeting. They automatically recognized one another. Amidst a round of questioning, the three siblings find that they had all shared the same "crazy" dreams with some minor adjustments. Everyone is elated. It is decided by family and state that the twins be taken in a become a permanet part of their lives. Everyone agrees and all rejoice.

    Days, months, years go by and the triplet trio once again find themselves out and about together. Arriving at their destination of fun for the day, the boys sister gets an odd sense of deja vu. The feeling doesn't dissipate as the day progresses. In fact, she begins to remember the day in detail and begins to guess future actions, conversations. When they happen, she is convinced that she's lived this day before. Her brothers grab her attention, waving at her to join them in line.

    "So I was watching this show on TV...," one brother began.

    "The one about the kid who got killed in the go-cart, right," the other confirmed.

    'This is a very familiar story,' she thinks to herself. she continues to listen to her brothers tell the story between themselves.

    Around the part where they started to talk about how the boy actually dies via tractor trailer tire tread shreds, her dream comes back to her like the tire that slammed into the victims head. She remembers everything now, how she first ended up in a coma, coming home the first time, then waking once more in the hospital, and to the present. It was like a full circle event, or maybe some weird premonition. Whatever it was, she was now prepared to avoid the coma inducing head injury on the track. Her brothers were telling her something, trying to get her attention by waving their hands in her face as though she'd left her body to head into space.

    "Hey! Ground control..."

    "...to Major Tom!"

    "What? Oh sorry, I spaced out," she said, coming back to herself.

    "You asked, so we were..."

    "...trying to tell you why we're here."

    "Oh, sorry! Yes, why ARE we here," she asked, chargined for having ignored them.

    "We're here to cele..."

    "To celebrate our acceptance into..."

    "You guys got into Harvard?! No way!" she squealed, grabbing them both around their waists.

    "Hey! Finishing sentences..."

    "...is our thing!" All three laughed in celebration.

    "Have you told mom and dad yet," she asked, sobering slightly.

    "This is a private celebration. We'll tell them..."

    "...when we get home," the boys finished together.

    "You three are up," yelled the go-cart operator.

    The siblings clamored for the "best" cars and prepared to race. At the signal, they sped off, whipping around the course. Since she knew the ending to this scene, she planned to avoid cutting between the boys for first place in their unofficial race. She'd let them win, avoid the coma, and all would be right in her world once more. She followed them around the corner at top speed. What she hadn't forseen was the brother in the blue cart slowing slightly to hit the turn. Her wheel front wheel bounced off his back one spinning her off course without any control over her cart. She was headed straight for the hay bales, bumper tires, and ultimately the guardrail. She screamed in maddening frustration knowing what would come next. Resignedly, she braced for impact.


    "She just twitched! Mom, her pinky finger, I swear I just saw her move her pinky," shouts a surprised Garrikk, standing at his twin sisters bedside.

    "I saw it too," exclaims an equally surprised Garrett, Garrikk's twin brother, who is standing on the other side of their sister.

    The twins grab the hands of their triplet with great hope and call again for their parents. Carrie and Colin Blaine with their youngest daughter, ten year old Gracie, rush into the room. They quickly find places to toss their fast food bags and join the twins by the bed.

    "Is she waking up," Gracie asks with hope.

    "She twitched," the boys answer in unison.

    Everyone starts talking over each other, then to the prone figure in the bed. Gailynne Blaine, daughter, sister, third party to a set of triplets. When she doesn't respond to further acts of persuasion, the excitement calms. Mrs. Blaine goes to call for the nurses to update them on the "twitching", asking them to notify the doctor. Mr. Blaine returns to collect the bags of food that had been tossed carelessly in a chair.

    "Now, boys," he begins, turning to the twins, "Gailynne's been in a coma now for five years. Doctors say she'll not likely come out of it."

    "They know, hon," Mrs. Blaine says, coming back into the room. "Let them be hopeful. If not for her, then at least for themselves and us," she gathers the boys into a hug, kissing them both on their cheeks.

    "Your right. This has been a nice visit so far. Let's sit, eat, and not spoil it further, eh?"

    "It's not your fault, you know," the ten year old murmurs.

    "But it...,", "If she hadn't of...," the boys sigh in unison, both feeling responsible, neither bothering to finish their thought.

    Garrett and Garrikk turn to look at their sister lovingly, both wondering if she knows that they're there. That they love her. That they miss her.


    thanks for making it all the way thru! if you would be so kind as to leave some sort of comment?...i'll return the favor!! honest!!! 3nodding