Everybody calls me Front Porch. It might be ‘cause I’m always in front of the house or maybe it’s just a pet name. Either way I answer to it. I hop down off the railing of our front porch and walk around the big oaks all over the yard. I like the way they turn me all green and how the grass tickles the bottoms of my bare feet. I wonder what I’m gonna play today.
“Hey look, it’s the clown!” a kid yells from the gate, “You know the circus left weeks ago right?”
“Yup!” I yell back, my hands on my hips, “Why didn’t you go with ‘em, Archie?”
“Dang! You look like paper!” another kid, Patrick I think, shouts as he joins Archie at the gate.
“Like you look any better.” I say, turning my nose up at them the way Granma said to when people tease me.
“Hey don’t get mad us at us ‘cause you’re a mutant.” Archie says.
Despite my intentions to ignore them, he’d quipped my interest, “Whadyou mean?”
“Don’t you know?” Patrick asks, snickering.
“Apparently not, dimwit.” I say. He glares flamin’ arrows at me, but I ignore him.
“Bein’ albino is a mutation, you know.” Archie says, and gives me a superior look.
I roll my eyes, but make a mental note to ask Momma about it later. I take a few steps back toward the porch to go play soldier and a rock bounces off the grass near my foot. I turn around and one hits me on the arm. It’s gonna leave a bruise.
“The confederates are coming! Protect the flag!” I shout and duck behind an oak. I know Mississippi was part of the confederates, but I’ve always liked the unions. Besides the Civil War was 147 years ago.
“Weirdo!” Patrick yells and throws more rocks, but they become confederate bullets in my imagination. I let loose some fire of my own, the rocks that have landed near me, and I peg Archie right in his pug nose.
“Score!” I shout and pump my fists in the air.
“Alright, that’s enough.” Daniel says, shooing the boys away. “So Momma finally let you dye your hair? Looks nice on you Front Porch.” He says, ruffling my now fire engine red mop.
“I’m not speakin’ to you.” I say, turning around and crossing my arms across my chest.
“Why not?” he asks, scooping me up in a hug.
“A good brother would stop aging and wait for his little sister to catch up. You’re eighteen today, that’s eight years I gotta catch up.” I say, frowning because he’s laughing.
“I’d stop if I could.” He says, setting me on my feet.
“Well I got you a present anyway.”
“What is it?”
“I can’t tell you or it wouldn’t be a surprise.”
He sighs and looks disappointed, but I know he’s faking it.
“Does Momma know you’re out here?” he asks, as we walk up on the porch.
“Nope. She doesn’t ever want me outside, so I had to sneak out.” I say, moving in front of the box with the frog I caught in the creek behind the house in it, “She thinks I’m upstairs.”
“How’d you get down here then?”
“I climbed out the window.”
“Frontia Ann Porch, if you don’t get yourself in this house, you’re gonna get sunburn again!” Momma yells from inside.
“Busted.” Daniel whispers, with a smile.
“Alright Momma, I’m comin’!” I yell back, givin’ Daniel the evil eye. I pick up his amphibious birthday present and hope it doesn’t croak.