I just received my invitation to Snookie’s funeral, Yasmine’s deceased goldfish. It will be at 11:00 a.m. After an hour of dramatic mourning, Yasmine determined Snookie would not receive the ‘traditional’ sea burial. She no longer believed he would return to the sea in this manner.
No need for flowers, please send vodka or tequila for the parents who are coping with this ‘loss’ today.
“I think you and Dad killed Harold.”
Granted I wasn’t particularly fond of hermit crabs as pets. They looked less crab, and more like spiders with claws. But I wouldn’t stoop to murder. That would require touching them.
Yasmine pointed at her plate. “Where did you get these crab cakes?”
I choked on the forkful in my mouth. Harold had been a large crab, but he wouldn’t suffice for dinner.
At least Yasmine had moved past the wailing part of her grieving process and now focused on finding the killer. This was good, for the mourning period was usually quite extensive, and it involved eulogies, lengthy services, and beating of chests.
This was especially exasperating when Laken acquired—which then quickly expired—pet worms daily. Each morning we woke to the sound of weeping. Laken could be found, butter dish in hand, sitting at the top of the steps with the remnants of ‘Wormy’ rattling around the dish like a meager maraca.
One of the benefits of worms for pets was that they were cheap and easily replaced. But the daily death of Wormy became predictable, so the girls moved on to toads. Toads were more challenging to locate but livelier. Both girls found the toads cute and loveable despite their unpleasant appearance and tendency to urinate on everything.
I put my foot down on lodging these lumpy creatures in our house when a missing toad was found hiding in my shoe. I rationalized to the twins that the toads were mourning their slimy families while trapped in our human abode. I insisted their release brought them joy when they reunited with their warty relatives.
Plus, toads tended to die quickly in captivity.
With their indistinctive appearance, each time they found another toad, the girls were certain they located a long-lost friend.
Except for ‘Fatty McFatty.’ The enormous toad who appeared to be a direct descendent of Jabba the Hut. Spotting him was like a sighting of the Loch Ness Monster. You thought it was a toad, but couldn’t quite believe it.
Though Yasmine’s accusation of murder was untrue, there did seem to be foul play amongst the hermit crabs. Their numbers were dwindling rapidly, and only three of six remained.
We didn’t have long to wait before fate intervened and it was ‘Bacon Bits’ turn to die. While I pondered some kind of crab contagion, the girls examined the evidence to acquire justice for their fallen friends.
Since Bacon Bits was a tiny, tidbit of a crab, I hoped my name would be removed from the list of hungry suspects. I braced myself for the wailing as the girls huddled together over the habitat. Instead, they announced their theory.
“We’ve noticed that Jerry and Mr. Fiddlestick have been spending a lot of time together,” Laken stated with her most serious expression.
“They were both in the hermie hut together.” Yasmine threw out clue number two while placing a hand on her narrow hip. “We think they’ve killed off all the others so they can be alone.”
In their minds, the Hermit Crab Killer case was closed.
“Wouldn’t it be cute if there were a bunch of baby hermit crabs running around?” Yasmine smiled broadly as she closed Bacon Bits in his cardboard coffin in preparation for burial.
Apparently, murder was justifiable if it was done in the name of love.
This post is part of a series of essays by the contributors to our second anthology, Multiples Illuminated: Life with Twins and Triplets, the Toddler to Twin Years. Subscribe to get new posts on your favorite reader as and when they’re published.
Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu, her teen twins & alpha hubby keep her in line. Find Maureen on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.