“Sadie, Emma, wake up.” The sun isn’t even up yet. “C’mon girls, let’s go.” It’s Henry jumping around trying to stir enthusiasm, so we get dressed in zombie mode. Our house on Chestnut Street is walking distance to the Penguin Feather, a dusty record store that my stepfather visits often and where Sadie just bought Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. There are hundreds of rock ‘n’ roll stickers and buttons on the wall, and behind the glass are miniature versions of the caterpillar’s hookah from Alice in Wonderland. This morning the store is the site of a live broadcast for WHFS.
I lie awake in bed afraid of the darkness, knowing how ridiculous it is, but everything can exist in the unknown and my imagination runs wild. Having another warm body in a crib in the corner helps, but my half-sister Regan is a sleeping infant, hardly protection from the bogeyman. Just above me is the underside of the top bunk – ugly, brown particle board holding up the mattress and supported by wooden cross-beams.