GENRE: MG (early)
Joseph was seven the day his parents ruined his life.
They came into his room together. Mom kissed the top of his head, and Dad said, "Son, we have something important to tell you."
Joseph nodded without looking up. His ninja armies were fighting their biggest battle yet, and he couldn't just stop in the middle of it. Whoosh! A giant pointed star swung down from the ceiling of the castle and skewered a black-clad warrior. With a horrible screech, he fell backwards, soaking the wooden floor with his blood.
Dad's big hand closed around the plastic action figure. "Joe. Let's put the toys away for now, okay? Come and sit up here with us."
Joseph groaned but did as he was told. Mom moved over a little so he could fit between them on the edge of the bed. She took Joseph's hand in hers and squeezed it while Dad went on talking.
"I'm sure you remember when your little sister was born." Squeeze. "Well, it's going to happen again. Your mother is going to have another baby!" Squeeze. Squeeze.
Joseph squinted at his mother's stomach. He remembered how fat she'd gotten before Riley came along. She wasn't anywhere near that big now. Maybe there was still time to stop this But Dad wasn't finished. "Actually," he continued, "I didn't say that right. Mom is going to have two babies. Twins!"
Joseph blinked. "I don't think that's such a good idea," he said.