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By Jen Knox
4,487 words · 17-minute reading time

From the author: Her brother took a video game too far, and she tries to stop him before he loses everything.

I watch with interest as Allie applies for a management position at Swifts. “Managed a team of twenty-six to successful completion of a community-focused project” translates to organized and led a protest at the Ohio Statehouse after the election. “Proficient in business accounting software” means she once did Mom’s taxes online. Allie glances toward the hall, then swivels her chair, staring as though waiting for me to notice something. I do not.

“Can you get the door, Molly May?”

I nod, cupping the gauze around my right ear. My brothers never knock, and people don’t arrive at our house unannounced. Not long ago, Mom banned all kids and most adults from the property. To this day, she won’t so much as allow Girl Scouts on our porch without her consent, and she reinforces her rule with a sign on the lawn that says KEEP OUT and, for the hard-headed, a red flag planted in a pot near the door.

This war with the neighborhood began when Josh and his father moved to the sloping ranch house...


Jen Knox

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