“No!” I yell, tossing my pillow at the door. I reach over to my iPod, turning up the volume of the Linkin Park song that’s already playing loudly.
“Maggie, come on. Let’s talk about this as sisters. Please?”
Fuming, I stand, cross the room, and fling open the door, shoving my finger in Rosin’s face. “Do not tell me you actually want to do this.”
She looks down at the floor, wincing slightly at the screams and heavy guitar coming from my room as Linkin Park changes to Bring Me the Horizon.
Kylie crosses her arms, frowning at Rosin. “Rose?”
She raises a hand, rubbing her thumb against her immobile sixth finger. She looks up, eyes glistening with tears. “I just want to be normal, Maggie. I want all of us to be normal. Is that really so bad? To not want to be the butt of everybody’s jokes at school? To want to get away from the cries of ‘Freak’ and ‘Retard’? You’ve gotten that just as much as I have, as much as Kylie has. We’ve all been the freaks of our town since we were born. I don’t want to be a freak anymore!”
My heart sinks.
I realize that I do agree with her on that point.
Kylie’s face reddens. “But he wants to use us as lab rats, Rosin. That serum could end up killing us, or make us even more freakish. Is that what you want?”
“The chimps were fine...”
“How do you know? You didn’t see the tests! And chimps aren’t humans, they still have differences, different genetics or whatever. This serum will affect our DNA, our minds, our appearances. It could turn us into people we don’t want to be, people like Myra Crowley. Do you want to be like Myra, Rosin? Picking on the weak to make yourself feel good?”
“Then get your damn head on straight, Rosin. We’re not taking the serum. End of discussion.”
“But, girls! Think of it! You could be...normal!”
“We could be dead, Mom. Do you really want to risk that?” Kylie says. She turns to the doctor. “I’m sorry, Doc, but I don’t want to sacrifice my life for the sake of a serum that should have neer been invented in the first place. This world is beautiful because it has flaws, like a diamond. We don’t need perfection.”
Dr. Kingley flinches from Kylie’s ferociousness. “I...I’m sorry to hear that. I suppose that’s understandable. I’ll go then.
He turns and walks to the door. As he places his hand on the doorknob, he says one last thing without looking at us. “You should know that you’d be well paid for participating.” Without waiting for a response, he slips out the door and vanishes into the night.
“We can’t let this opporunity go! Honey...we don’t have enough money to pay for Rose and Margaret’s colleges when they go.”
“But what if it does hurt them? Then we won’t even have daughters going to college! Do you really want to risk that?”
“Please...just try it. One dose. We can sneak it in. Just one dose will get us hundreds of dollars, you heard him! One dose can’t hurt.”
“...fine. Let me find his card.”
“Morning, girls!” Mom calls as Rosin make our way into the kitchen. My eyes widen.
“Mom, are you cooking?”
She smiles. “I thought I’d make pancakes, smooth over the tensions from last night. We shouldn’t have even considered accepting the offer, I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay, Mom,” I respond, wary. I peek over her shoulder. “You putting chocolate poops in those?”
“Omigod, Maggie. Why do you still call them that? It’s so childish,” Rosin groans, grabbing a bottle of orange juice from the fridge. “They’re chocolate chips. Not poops. Ugh, that’s so gross.”
I shrug. “Hey, in my mind, they’re chocolate poops.”
“Do you really still call ‘em that, Margaret?” Kylie yawns, walking into the kitchen.
“Yes, I do.” I shoot back.
She raises her hands in surrender. “Okay, okay.”
“Eat up, girls!” Mom says, sliding a plate of fluffy, chocolate-studded pancakes onto the table.