God Came Running


A Season For Ribs

Occupational therapist Creighton Harms has had it with her identical twin sister, Maddy Kennedy. Maddy has always been manipulative and conniving, forever conning Creighton into standing in for her in difficult situations. Now at the point of no return, Creighton vows to stand up for herself, even if it kills her. And it just might.

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A Season for Ribs

If it weren’t for my sister, my life would be great. In fact, let me say this--if you have the chance to be born an identical twin, run the other way.

Since my earliest recollection, I’ve hated being a twin. Even in the crib, Maddy Spencer was always hogging the covers and jabbing me in the ribs with her elbows.

Well, I don’t exactly remember that, but it would certainly be in keeping with her character if she had.

My name is Creighton Harms, and I’m fifty-two years old, which might lead you to believe I should’ve gotten over abuses from infancy. And maybe I would’ve, if I weren’t the ongoing target of plots by my cagey sister to ruin my life.

Maddy and I are the only children of Diedre and Mark Spencer, who, in their own way, dote on both of their identical twins, Creighton and Madigan. Back when we were born, identical twins were still somewhat of a novelty, and though the blessed event took place over fifty years ago, our parents have never quite gotten over thinking we’re exceptional.

We’re not. I’m an occupational therapist, and my sister is a putz, to put it bluntly.

Take today, for instance. She phoned, woke me from a sound sleep and said, “Hey Crate, I need you to do me a favor. I’m in a jam, and I need you to go to court today and pretend to be me.”

“What? And don’t call me Crate. My name is Creighton.” I stammered, rolling my eyes. What had she done now?

“As if I didn’t know your name. Well, listen. I got picked up for speeding. Of course, I wasn’t speeding much.”

After a brief lapse, while I gathered a head of steam, I huffed, “Let’s get down to brass tacks here, Maddy. Exactly how much over the speed limit were you going?”

“Well, umm--I was doing seventy in a thirty-five mile zone.”

“And what were you doing that you felt you had to speed, may I ask?”

“Well, you remember Scarlet Davis, my friend from high school. I thought I saw her up ahead while I was driving downtown a couple of weeks ago. I had to see if it was her, so I floored it. But doggoned, if that cop didn’t pull me over, just when I was within shouting distance.”

“So was it her?”

“Was what her?”

Annoyed, I demanded, “Was it Scarlet?”

“Oh, I don’t know. She turned her face away when she saw I was getting pulled over. Can you imagine?”

“As a matter of fact, I can,” I said with a sigh. I could imagine it very easily, since I would’ve done it myself. I shook my head. This is the way my life played out on a daily basis, having Maddy as my sister.

 After a brief pause, I said, “Listen, sister dear. I have obligations today, so I guess you’ll have to make a personal appearance in court after all.”

“Oh, nuts. Couldn’t you just help me out this once?”

“No, I couldn’t. I have a couple of therapy sessions this morning.”
     “Oh, well, that will work out perfectly, because my court appearance isn’t until twelve.”

“No, now, you aren’t listening, Maddy. I can’t go. In fact, pretend we’ve never met, will you? Because I can’t go.”

“Sure you can. You’re never too busy to help out your twin, are you?”

Funny how I never seem to win this argument.

I’d been standing in my pajamas, having leaped out of bed when she told me how fast she’d been going. Now I was freezing as I pondered how to answer.

Finally I said, “Listen, Maddy. Can I get back to you on this—tomorrow?”

She laughed. “You’re such a kidder. Listen, you have to be in courtroom number 212 at noon. Don’t be late.” As quickly as she had appeared, she was gone, and I stood there, frowning at the receiver and shivering, in my bare feet.

I pushed speed dial, but got a busy signal. Nuts. She had done it to me again.

After today, I would just slam down the phone as soon as I heard her voice.


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