Authors: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
The Sisters 8
By Lauren Baratz-Logsted
With Greg Logsted & Jackie Logsted
Illustrated by Lisa K. Weber
Table of Contents
Text copyright © 2011 by Lauren Baratz-Logsted,
Greg Logsted, and Jackie Logsted
Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Lisa K. Weber
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Sandpiper, an imprint of
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
SANDPIPER and the SANDPIPER logo are trademarks of
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book,
write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company,
215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.
The text of this book is set in Youbee.
Book design by Carol Chu.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Rebecca's rashness/by Lauren Baratz-Logsted with Greg Logsted and Jackie Logsted.
p. cm.—(The sisters eight ; bk. 7)
Summary: When Rebecca demonstrates superhuman strength she brings unwanted
publicity to the Huit octuplets, but much greater danger is in store when she
acquires the power to shoot fire from her fingertips.
[1. Abandoned children—Fiction. 2. Sisters—Fiction. 3. Humorous stories.]
I. Logsted, Greg. II. Logsted, Jackie. III. Title.
ISBN 978-0-547-55433-4 paper over board
ISBN 978-0-547-55434-1 paperback
Manufactured in the United States of America
DOC 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
for Betsy Groban:
Thank you for publishing our series.
Annie Durinda Georgia Jackie
Marcia Petal Rebecca Zinnia
I'd have put an exclamation point after that but I'm not feeling very exclamatory at the moment. Then again, neither are most of the Eights.
Now there's a word for the old vocabulary list.
a noun meaning "a great fear, especially in the face of impending evil."
—we'll get back to this shortly.
I suppose you're wondering what will happen to the Eights next. "And then what happened?"—this is the question that has driven storytellers for centuries, for millennia even. It's the question that drives readers to turn to the next page.
But before we begin turning pages, we must once again do a brief recap for those of you who have been away from the story for a few months, although the story itself is ongoing even in your absence.
The Huit octuplets need to figure out what happened to their parents, those parents who so inconveniently disappeared around ten o'clock at night on December 31, 2007. But before they can do that, each sister must discover her own individual power and gift. Thus far, six of the eight sisters have done their parts.
Annie: p ower—can think like an adult when necessary; gift—purple ring
Durinda: p ower—can freeze people, except Zinnia; gift—green earrings
Georgia: p ower—can become invisible; gift—gold compact
Jackie: p ower—faster than a speeding train; gift—red cape
Marcia: p ower—X-ray vision; gift—purple cloak
Petal: p ower—can read people's minds; gift—silver charm bracelet
Two of the Eights, Rebecca and Zinnia, have yet to do their parts. And that is the problem currently facing the Eights. You see, like you, they would like to get on with the story. They would love, perhaps even more than you, to discover the answer to the burning question "And then what happened?" They'd particularly like to know that because at the end of
Book 6: Petal's Problems,
some new and interesting information came to light.
But what happens next may be a big problem:
Rebecca is next.
Oh, if only Zinnia were next,
seven of them say to themselves, particularly Zinnia. I can't say I disagree. If Zinnia were next, everything would be sweetness and light; adorable Zinnia cares hardly at all about getting her power and mostly focuses on her gift. Oh, if only the Eights could leapfrog right over July and into August.
Unfortunately, time doesn't work that way. There is a natural order of things even when dealing with an unnatural creature such as Rebecca.
Durinda might have been concerned about the nature of her power, but Petal is the only Eight to ever flat-out not want hers.
Well, seven out of eight Eights polled don't want Rebecca to have her power.
And now we come full circle to...
Let the fireworks, as they say, begin.
We would have liked to be solving the mysteries of the universe, or at least the mysteries of our universe. In particular, we would have liked to be focusing on the recently acquired knowledge that, in addition to having a crazy younger sister, our missing mother had an identical twin named Queen. In super-particular, we would have liked to be focusing on the fact that Queen and her husband, Joe Ocho, had some offspring, number unspecified, that we had strong reason to believe were those ominous beings known as the Other Eights.
But we couldn't do any of that, could we?
We couldn't do any of that because (1) we were asleep, it being that time period ridiculously referred to as "the middle of the night"—ridiculous because dead in the middle of the period most people are asleep, night formally becomes morning; (2) we had something more immediate that was weighing on at least seven of our minds, even if those minds were currently slumbering; and (3) just as the clock turned over to 12:01 a.m. on July 1, seven of us were rudely awakened by the sound of "Hup one! Hup two!" shouted from below.
We tried to ignore it. We really did. Some of us needed our beauty rest, some of us needed that nighttime respite from the active duty of daily life to regroup for the next day, and one of us was still recovering from having a monthlong nervous breakdown over getting her power. But try as we might to ignore the shouts of "Hup one!" and "Hup two!"—not to mention all sorts of annoying pounding noises—after fifteen minutes we realized we'd never get back to sleep under these conditions, so we went to investigate.
We found Rebecca hanging by her arms from the chandelier.
Rebecca had on workout sweats, even though it was the dead of summer and the dead of night, and a sweatband around her head. As we watched, she used her arms to pull her body upward.
"What are you doing?" Annie demanded.
"And here you think you're so smart," Rebecca said, chinning herself again over the edge of the chandelier. "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm doing pull-ups."
"But it's the middle of the night," Georgia objected.
"Technically," Marcia corrected, "even though it won't be light for another five or six hours, it's morning."
Six of us stared at Marcia. We respected that she was the most observant among us, but she could be so annoyingly precise at times and we were cranky from being woken up.
"Sorry." Marcia blushed. "Sometimes I just can't help myself."
"Middle of the night, beginning of the morning—who cares?" Rebecca said. Then she dropped to the ground and began doing pushups. "Hup one! Hup two!" We were shocked to see that Rebecca could push herself up so hard that she was able to clap her hands together neatly before beginning the next pushup.
Jackie was the fastest of us, in terms of sheer physical speed, but we were quite certain even she couldn't do this pushup thing the way Rebecca was now doing it.
"I could see that you were doing pull-ups on the chandelier when we first came in," Jackie said in a reasonable tone of voice, "and I can see that now you are doing hand-clap pushups. Oops! You just switched to jackknife sit-ups—that was fast! But what I don't think any of us understands is ... why?"
"Hup one! Hup two!" Rebecca rose from the floor and began sprinting around the room, talking as she sprinted. We must say, our heads got a little dizzy trying to keep track of her progress. In particular, Petal grew very dizzy, as did our eight cats—Anthrax, Dandruff, Greatorex, Jaguar, Minx, Precious, Rambunctious, and Zither—who'd just entered the room, no doubt awakened by all the clatter and clamor Rebecca was creating. Well, Rambunctious didn't remain dizzy for long because soon Rambunctious was sprinting along with her mistress.
"What I'm doing," Rebecca said, "which should be obvious, is getting myself in shape. You know—preparing my body to receive my power."
" Annie demanded.
"Getting in shape, preparing my body," Rebecca said. "Did you not hear me the first time?"
"We heard you," Georgia said. "But you're not making any sense. This is the middle of the night." Immediately after speaking the words, she raised her hand in Marcia's direction in a stopping gesture. Georgia was right to do that, for Marcia's mouth was already open to speak. "This is the very dark beginning of the morning and none of us sees any reason why you should be doing this right now."