2: The Aunts from Hell

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My parents named me Edwina Eversby, Eddie for short. They got the name Edwina after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble. He was known world round for his discovery of other galaxies and expanding our understanding on how big space really was. He paved the way for future scientists to dream beyond the stars and question, "Are we alone in the universe?"

I thought of that question many times as I sat in my room playing with clay. My friends and I loved aliens and movies about them. We loved them so much we decided to make our own science fiction movies. Grabbing whatever money we could find, we managed to get enough cash to buy our first camera so our dream of claymation videos could come true. 

I was in charge of hiding the material since my friend's parents did not want anything to do with our side project. My aunts as ruthless as they were barely ever climbed the many steps to my tiny attic room. It was my little paradise, a place furthest from my aunts and closest to the stars.

A little round window rested by my bed. A telescope always aimed at the sky. My dad's books on constellations and planets lay open on the floor. Their pages filled with notes of his observations. My favorite note of his was on the page of the solar system. My dad had written, "Someday when I become an astronaut, I will fly beyond Pluto, dance on the stars, and surf on nebula clouds." I chuckled every time I read it. He knew from an early age what he was going to do as an adult. I, on the other hand, had no clue.

I kept a picture of my parents by my bed, their smiling faces soothing me to sleep on those rough nights when the lightning flashed and the wind shook my attic room. I missed them. It was hard to believe four years had passed since the tragedy and still hear the explosion and feel the heat upon my freckled face. My red hair had gotten frizzier and my nose bigger, but I was still the same girl just eleven years old, my twelfth birthday only two months away.

I thought after my parent's death I would go to live with Nana, but the judge presiding over my future chose my aunts as my guardians. They were two people I had never met or even knew existed. My parents never spoke of them guess because they lived in Louisiana, far from my childhood home in Florida, and as the judge put it far from all the memories of my parents. "Getting away is perhaps the best thing for you," said the judge as he made the final call. "Come a few years she won't even remember her parents," he whispered thinking I couldn't hear. But he was wrong. A child never forgets their parents.

Soon my bags were packed and I was off to live with my aunts, Vicky and Vera. To think the judge thought my aunts were decent people who cared deeply about their poor orphaned niece. They only wanted me for one thing, the money my parents left behind.

"You will sleep in the attic," they said as I entered the home with my suitcase. "And you will always remain quiet as a mouse. There will be chores to do. A list will be left on the table every morning. You will start on them after school before dinner and your homework. Unlike your parents, living with us will not be free."

"Aren't you taking my parent's money," I responded.

"Good lord," said Vera stamping her large foot. "Did we not say to be silent? That sharp tongue will be the first thing to end in this house."

And that was my first meeting with my aunts. Evil aren't they? Well weekends were the worst.

"Edwina!" They would chant from their couch. "Edwina!" I would hurry down the stairs.

"What is it Aunty Vicky? What is it Aunty Vera?" I asked looking at their humongous bodies sprawled out and sipping cola. I thought of them to be the two ugly stepsisters from Cinderella made flesh and unable to find a prince. Vicky raised her sagging face and snarled at the sight of me.

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