"Something's wrong with Mom," Kyler said. "She's been acting weird."
"Uh-huh," said Ronnie, his attention focused on their over-full fridge. "Where the heck's the milk at?"
"I'm serious, Ronnie. Something ain't right. Ever since the other night when she came in there and woke us up, crying and telling us how much she loved us and all. Didn't you think that was weird?"
"Nope. She's our momma. That's what they do. Aha!" Ronnie pulled out a half gallon of two-percent. He checked the date, sniffed for good measure, and poured a glass.
The phone rang. "Hello," Kyler answered. Ronnie downed his glass and filled another. Just like Kyler, always freaking out over every little thing. What a dork. Ronnie knew everything was fine. In his ten years of life he'd had to learn some hard lessons, and one of those was that whenever things got tough, their momma would get them through it. "Okay. We will. Love you too. Bye."
"What'd she want?"
"Said she's gonna be late tonight. Had something come up at the Compound and told us to make sure and not let anybody in the house."
"Naw dip. This ain't the first time we've been here without a sitter."
"I know. But like I said, she's been acting weird. She said she took off the rest of the week, though. The President was giving everybody a mandatory vacation. Maybe we'll actually do something this year."
Ronnie shrugged and wiped his milkstache away. "Maybe. Beats staying around this place."
It was nearing midnight when they heard the garage door open. They'd spent the night playing video games and killing each other a thousand different ways. Their mother popped her head in the room. "Hey you two. Had a good night?" They each mumbled something unintelligible. "I'm gonna hop in the shower and then I'll be back down. Stay awake. I've got something to tell ya'll. Love you!"
She wasn't gone a minute before Kyler opened his mouth again. "Did you see her clothes? Different than what she went out in this morning. Something's up with her, Ronnie. Something bad. I can feel it."
"Mm-hmm." Ronnie said, his attention focused on the screen in front of him.