Mystery author June Shaw lives along a lazy bayou in south Louisiana. She became a young widow with five children, completed a college degree, and started teaching junior high students. Then her deferred dream of becoming a writer took hold. Learn more about June and her books at her website.
One Twin Sister
Frustration? Mental health issues? Did someone decide they would create a special place for people like me to air out my problems?
My name is Sunny Taylor, not to be confused with my twin Eve Vaughn who looks exactly like me—five foot ten-and-a half without shoes. Eve wears them high. I tend toward lower ones, and mine aren’t so showy. Neither are the clothes I wear or my makeup. Both of us also have red wavy hair and sky blue eyes. We look exactly alike, except she was born with a mole on top of her right breast, and I have a fleck of gold in my eye that looks brighter when I’m happy. Our common love interest, Dave Price, told me about the gold fleck that nobody else seemed to notice. I’ll tell you more about Dave after awhile.
Our mother came up with our names—Sunny for the weather when I come out to greet the world six minutes after my sister Eve, short for Evening, the time of day we were born.
My frustrating years arrived early during my first years of school when I couldn’t keep up with others in reading and getting numbers straight. By the time I reached fourth grade, my teacher gave us the wonderful revelation that I wasn’t stupid. I was dyslexic. The order of words and numbers was more difficult for me than for most others because of my dyslexia. Teachers created special tests for me that made studies not quite so difficult. In the halls, though, I heard two teachers grumbling about needing to do more work for me. Knowing a name for my problem did not stop my peers from saying I was slow.
My favorite teacher who discovered my problem told my family about people with brilliant minds who’d been dyslexic—Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Leonardo di Vinci, to name a few. Probably nobody made them special tests or teased them. In the case of twins, normally both have the problem. Disappointment hit me when we discovered my twin did not.
If having that health issue made me feel less intelligent, the one that struck when I was eight almost slaughtered me. My mother and Eve had gone shopping, and I remained home to shoot hoops with Crystal, our teenage sister, in our driveway. Since we live in south Louisiana next to a bayou, swampland separated our house from any others, so nobody else saw when somebody drove past and shot her. I dropped to my knees, calling her name, urging her to wake up. Once I saw the blood and knew she was dead, throbs started in my throat and continued. Sobs struggled to come out, but I realized even then that if I started crying, I would never ever stop.
Instead of letting tears come, I felt thrums emerging. Songs would be better while I waited for help near Crystal. I only knew “Happy Birthday” and some Christmas carols. Hums rolled around in my mouth and came out as “Silent Night.” That may not have made Crystal feel better, but it helped calm me.
That singing or humming Christmas tunes when I was afraid stayed with me. I couldn’t cry, wouldn’t cry. I’ve struggled with that problem for years. With all my counseling, it’s finally gotten better, but not totally.
Now I’m divorced. So is my twin Eve. A major frustration for me is that we care about the same man, only she isn’t aware of my feelings. He’s told me he cares for me. She’s told me she’s certain he’s her soul mate.
Do I hurt her? She’s my sister. My only sister.
A Fatal Romance
In a small town in south Louisiana, the divorced sisters attempt to build their remodeling and repair business when their newest customer drowns beside a seating area they created. He didn’t just fall in, his wife pushed him, the sister with the eye for detail decides after the wife falls at his funeral, and his ashes fly, some of them landing in this twin’s pocket. Out to prove it and return the ashes, the twins rush ahead and wind up twisted with another death and with threats and as murder suspects. Their mother and her cadre of friends at the retirement home offer advice about murder and romance while the twins rush to find the real killer before their similar looks drop down to one.