Chapter One

"Pleasant to meet you, I'm Tinsel Thompson, age thirteen." I write in careful letters on the crisp new paper of my journal.

It is September first, the year 2010, and I am at home completing one of many first day assignments for school.

My new homeroom teacher, Mr. Bates, has decided to get to know us, his students, by assigning us each a new journal to record our ideas in.

Basically, every day after school, we are to write an entry on whatever we would like to tell Mr. Bates, and at the end of each week, we submit our journals for grading and they are to be returned to us at the start of the next week.

"I live in Gregorovich, Pennsylvania. Population: 376. As you can see, Gregorovich is a small town. The type of town where everyone knows each other, and there are no strangers.

Even the local crooks are familiar.

I reside in a bright red, medium-sized home in the middle of Elfinwild Lane, flanked on either side by houses numbers 14 and 10, making our house number 12, Elfinwild Lane.

Along with me live my Mother, a competitive chef, my dad, a plumber, and my two siblings Sonia and Timmy.

Sonia is 16 and was adopted by my parents from China when she was two. Timmy is ten, but nothing really special there about him..."

I pause as I hear my mother call me. "Sonia, Tinsel! Please come downstairs!"

I put down my pencil and walk downstairs to see Sonia and my mom already sitting at the kitchen table.

"Tinsel, I'm going to be away for a while, I'm participating in Iron Chef America next week, and I need you and your sister to watch the house and take care of Timmy." Mom announces.

"I'm going to give you each separate jobs." she continues, but is cut off when Sonia quickly and smartly says. "I call cooking-dibs!"

I fold my arms and say. "That is absolutely unfair, we already agreed that 'calling' jobs was too immature for our age... But if we're calling stuff I call dibs on taking care of Kakashi." Kakashi Sensei is our cat, he is all gray except for what looks like a mask over his nose, mouth, and chin.

"Girls, after seeing what happened last time, I will be picking who does what jobs." Mom says with an air of power.

I catch a small pout from Sonia out of the corner of my eye and resist the temptation to do likewise.

"Your dad and I will sort out that matter later, but right now, I need to ask the two of you to pick up your brother from school on alternate days, after all, the two of you are only a few blocks away from him." Mom continues, but my attention wavers to something I spot out the window.

It's our neighbor, Kay Krivinko. If I am not mistaken, she seems to be digging a quite deep hole in the middle of her side-yard.

All that I see of her is the top of her silvery-blonde head bobbing up and down as piles of dirt fly out of the hole rhythmically.

I tip my head to the side and wonder what the quirky girl might be doing when my mother's stern voice finally worms its way into my head.

"Tinsel Michela, have you heard a single word I have just said?" I clear my head and say. "No....?"

Mom takes a deep breath and lets it out in a short huff. "Stop staring out the window and pay attention for once!" she says, sliding her rectangular, metallic red-rimmed spectacles up her nose.

She purses her lips and says. "I'm not going to say this again, Tinsel, so listen up." I nod my head quite seriously, though can't help flicking my focus quickly to the window: Kay is still digging.

"You and Sonia will alternate days for every duty, including cooking, cleaning, Kakashi, bringing Timmy to and from school, and the laundry. When I remember more things you might need to do I will let you know. You are dismissed."

I blink very quickly when my mother promptly rises from her seat and walks briskly to her bedroom on the opposite side of the hallway. "The way she talks you'd think she was our teacher or something." Sonia said. "My thoughts exactly." I replied with a smile.

A.N.: I just noticed while reading this that I skipped a part of the introduction (^-^) oops! I also spaced the entire thing out a little so it'll be easier to read :3 I already wrote Chaoter 2, but I'm still revising it, so expect it to be posted soon! Please review!