Family Ties: Super-save Mart

They took the bikes, because they wanted to look normal. They left the unspoken question of what normal meant anymore hanging in the front yard, waiting for them to return like some sort of hungry ghost.

“You have money?” Tamy asked.

“Of course. I found it in Alex’s desk.”

Tamy’s feet stopped pedaling. “You stole it from Alex?”

“She wasn’t around to ask!” Tara protested. “Besides, we’re helping her out; surely she can give us twenty-two dollars in return.”

“I guess that’s fair,” Tamy muttered. She added, “But we’re telling her the next time we see her.”

“Obviously,” Tara replied, rising from her seat and pedaling harder. Tamy slowed instead, because they’d almost reached the road where the neighborhood ended. Tara suddenly exclaimed, “The crosswalk’s gone!” and slammed her brakes, tires skidding.

Tamy glided to a stop beside her, at the edge of the sidewalk. She shrugged at the black road as a pair of cars whizzed past. “That’s weird.”

“Great,” Tara muttered.

Tamy glanced both ways before speeding into the road. “Jaywalking!” she shouted. “I mean, jaybiking!”

Tara zoomed past, pink streamers billowing. “That’s not a thing!”

Tamy pedaled harder. “But we’re doing it!”

Tara suddenly stretched, rising and then snapping her bike up to her. Remembering the curb, Tamy gaped, right as Tara landed neatly on the sidewalk beyond the strip of dead grass.

Tamy grunted, swinging her right leg around and skidding both shoes on the asphalt long enough to leap, dragging her bike by the handlebars. She cleared the curb, landing and awkwardly running until her momentum ran out. She lowered the bike. “That was fun.”

“You could’ve just jumped it on your bike,” Tara said, hiding a grin.

“I don’t trust this thing,” Tamy answered. “Besides, you cheated.”

Tara scoffed. “You just super-jumped. Off both feet. How was what I did cheating?”

“Okay, we both cheated,” she sat back on her bike. “But who cares?”

Tara grinned. “No one, assuming the people in Super-save Mart didn’t see us.”

Tamy peered suspiciously at the building across the parking lot. It stared silently back. She sighed. “You know, I almost expected Mr. Latem to shout over the intercom that we weren’t going fast enough.”

“Hurry up,” Tara imitated gruffly. “Quit standing around talking.”

Tamy laughed. “More like ‘why haven’t you thrown your bikes at the robbers yet? Get moving!’”

Tara’s eyebrows wriggled. “Because we are the robbers, remember?”

“But we’re the good kind of robbers. Because we have superpowers.”

“Exactly,” Tara’s face twitched, and then they both burst out laughing.

***

Twenty dollars was both more and less money than Tamy thought. More in the sense that seven bananas barely cost anything, but less in the sense that three boxes of cereal–the most sugary kinds on the shelf–and two scoops of ice cream ate up the rest of the money.

“This is the life,” Tara said, unpeeling a banana and dipping it in her chocolate ice cream.

“You know you have a spoon for a reason, right?” Tamy asked, sticking her mouth into her own styrofoam cup. She slurped loudly. “I wish we could eat like this everyday,” she sighed, puckering strawberry-pink lips.

Tara broke her banana into chunks and tossed the peel past Tamy. She flinched, until realizing there was a trash can beside them. “We do eat like this every day,” Tara proclaimed, flourishing grandly.

“No, the cafeteria hardly ever has ice cream,” Tamy said, slurping more of her ice cream. She pointed behind Tara. “There also aren’t sunsets.”

Her twin twisted around. Tamy stared at the orange horizon too, grabbing a banana from the middle of the table and peeling it.

“Maybe we should suggest that to the principal,” Tara spun back around in her seat. “Giant windows so you can see the sunsets inside the cafeteria.”

Tamy scoffed. “So the high schoolers can take the best seats? No thank you.”

Tara plucked her plastic spoon from the mesh table and tore the wrapping from it. She glanced around before stretching her arm towards the trash. “I’m worried I’m going to forget to check one of these times,” she whispered.

“I already did forget,” Tamy replied. “Twice.”

Tara stabbed her spoon into the bowl of banana covered ice cream. “At least you didn’t pick up a car or something.”

“Just two bikes. And I jumped a curb. Speaking of which…do you think the theme park has one of those whack the bell games?” she pantomimed swinging a hammer. “I bet I could win.”

Tara nodded. “You would also get caught, because those games are complete scams.”

Tamy grinned. “I bet I wouldn’t. Besides, I thought we were robbers.”

Tara grinned back. “Robbers and cheaters. But the good kind, because we cheat the cheater.”

A smile tugged at Tamy’s lips. “I think you mean all of the cheaters. All the scam games at the theme park.”

Tara’s eyes widened slowly. “Let’s do it.”

“Ooh, Mr. Latem would be so proud of us.” She emphasized her point by slurping the melting ice cream.

“Or, like, halfway proud of us,” Tara amended. Tamy just slurped more ice cream.

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