by Kim Schuelke
Another drop of rain slid down Joe’s nose. He stirred his left foot around in the tall grass again, but didn’t find anything. Across the yard, his five year old stepsisters yelled out their latest triumphs.
“Mindi! I found a yellow one!” Mandi called out.
“I got a green one!” Mindi answered.
“I got nuthin’,” Joe grumbled under his breath. “Nuthin’ but wet feet.” He sneezed. “And a cold. Stupid Easter egg hunt. Whoever heard of a rabbit layin’ eggs! Stupid girls!” He tripped over a half-buried rock and stubbed his toe. “Ow!” With his other foot he kicked the willow tree.
“You okay over there?” Mom called.
“Yeah, just fine.”
“Stupid kid games,” he complained to himself, “I’m thirteen now. I shouldn’t have to do this stuff. Why did Mom have to go an’ get married again, anyway? We were doin’ okay. Now I have to put up with stupid little girls stealin’ my Lego.” He glanced over his shoulder at his grandparents’ house. “Maybe I could sneak inside and play on my Gameboy.”
“Okay, kids! Two more minutes and that’s it.”
“Finally,” Joe thought. He looked at the twins racing to find a few more eggs. “Plastic eggs! How stupid! Now a Tony Hawk II Game—that would be worth finding! Fat chance. Mom doesn’t even hear me when I talk about it. I’m probably the only guy in the whole school that dun’t have one.”
“C’mon, kids! Inside for cookies and cocoa.”
The twins pranced toward Joe with their damp blonde hair swinging , oblivious to the clouds blocking the sun. Mindi bounced to a stop when she got up to Joe. With wide blue eyes, she looked up at him. “Where’s yours?”
“Didn’t find any,” He growled.
“Want some of mine? I got a bunch!”
“Naw, that’s okay.”
“Yeah, sure.” He reached out his hand and took an egg.
Mandi pranced up beside her sister. “And look what else!” She held up a small square, smiling.
Joe swallowed hard. Stupid girls!
“Here,” Mandi said, “ It’s yours.”
He looked down at the wrinkled white paper. It was covered with crayon eggs. Slowly, he stretched open his hand.
“Take it!” the girls chorused. Joe knew as soon as his hand closed around the package. It was hard and plastic. He peeked under the paper. Black. Could it really be? As butterflies flitted inside his stomach, he tore open the paper. It was! Tony Hawk II !
“Wh . . . wh . . . why?” he managed.
“’Cause you’re our big brother now! Happy Easter!” Mindi and Mandi jumped and giggled. Joe slipped the game into his pants pocket and grabbed the twins’ hands. Above them, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds.