TITLE: Crooked Little House
GENRE: Contemporary women's fiction
My mother steered our late model Sunfire down the narrow dirt road. Driving twenty miles per hour, as the pitted road necessitated, couldn't stir up a breeze of enough significance to battle the oppressive August heat. I fanned myself with my damp t-shirt while my older sister Norah folded her arms over her chest and glared at the dense line of pine trees outside her window. Though the same sweat beaded her forehead, I knew the heat was the least of her concerns.
"Would it have killed you to wait one day to get the air-conditioning fixed?" Norah said, marking the first words she'd issued in the six-hour drive.
"Why would I pay someone hundreds of dollars to fix it when Darren can do it for free?"
The pride in my mother's voice as she said her Internet lover's name almost awakened a long-dormant bitterness inside me, until I remembered I didn't care.
Gravel crunched as she slowed the car and signaled to turn right. I didn't know why she bothered; we hadn't passed another car since we'd stopped for gas ten miles back. We pulled into the driveway, and the house came into view. My mother drew in a sharp breath. "Oh, look girls, isn't it beautiful?"
The house stood nestled in a pocket of pine trees overlooking a huge, glimmering lake. A big white porch--a stark contrast against the charcoal grey clapboard siding--wrapped around the house, flowerpots of every size and shape sitting on its ledge.