Each one of the Harrison quintuples posed on stage with their first initial spelled out in their arms as Timmy and Tammy both glared at each other for having the same first initial.
“And this is our show!” They shouted in sync.
The audience was small that night. Despite having the whole school auditorium, no one except their father and a woman showed up. It was obvious to all that no one trying cared about the quintuples’ play but the quintuples. Especially Tammy who had written the entire thing in dedication to—
“I’m sorry.” One of the audience members piped up. “Did you say your name was ‘Whammy’?”
Whammy hollered back. “MOM WAS TOO TIRED FROM BIRTHING FIVE CHILDREN TO THINK OF AN ACTUAL NAME.”
Tammy clapped her hands together, her brown curls bouncing off her shoulders with every movement of her body. “Alright back to our play! We start off in a far away land called—“
“Wait. Why didn’t your mother just prep the names before hand?” The audience member inquired.
“SHE DIDN’T KNOW SHE WAS HAVING FIVE KIDS.”
“Wait how could she not know?”
Cutting in, Tammy quickly explained. “She thought we were quadruplets. Now, back to the show! It was a stormy night in the country called—”
“Well, couldn’t your dad just have picked a name? My dad named me Reagen.”
“NO, HE WAS RUSHED TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM SHORTLY AFTER WE WERE BORN.”
Tammy felt her eyes twitch as these two ignorant fools talked during their show. “What?” Reagen gasped. “Why?”
Timmy stepped up to answer. “I don’t know can you hand-le the truth?”
“Mama squeezed his hand too hard and broke it.” Limmy explained.
“You GUYS!” Tammy bellowed. “The SHOW! Okay! So, one mild sunny afternoon in Alabama—”
“Dude, that sounds crazy!” Reagen continued. “So did your dad’s hand turn out all right?”
“No, it was his left hand.” Timmy joked.
“Besides,” Sammy added. “His hands only got into the emergency room. It wasn’t why he stayed.”
“Sammy!” Tammy cried out. “Can we please get back to the show?”
Taking a step back, Sammy fell back into line with the others who were still holding their initial poses. Limmy didn’t look like they could take much more of this. He was never the athletic kind. “Finally! Monday morning, we begin with the birds singing—”
“Why did he stay in the emergency room?” Reagen interrupted, earning a face plant by Tammy.
“Because of the nurse with pretty blue eyes!” Sammy said.
“Pretty blue eyes? No! Don’t tell me, your father was looking at another woman on the night he became a father!”
“The nurse was a guy.”
“Wait, what? Why was he—”
“You guys!” Tammy shouted exasperated. “Stop getting side tracked! It was the end of the world, but just the start of our story when—”
“So was your dad gay?”
“No, our mom was straight.” Timmy elucidated.
“Yeah, a straight up slut.” Sammy remarked with a snort.
“SHE HAD SLEPT WITH THE NURSE.”
“Which is why we have blue eyes, instead of green ones like our dad.”
“Shut up!” Tammy rubbed the temples of her forehead. “The play. Come on, guys! I spent so long writing this. Can we just please get on with it.”
“Yeah, sorry.” They apologized.
She calmly exhaled. “The boat was not just beginning to sink, half of it was gone by the time our story commences, because we took so damn long to get here,” she glared at her siblings. “But that doesn’t matter because—”
The fire alarm went off.
“Are you freaking kidding me?” Tammy exclaimed. “Why is the high school having a fire drill on a Saturday!”
So they stood there, rubbing their seven collective brain cells for a painfully long time before Limmy piped up and said. “You guys, I think there might actually be a fire.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Well, okay, then maybe we wanna ask that growing flame creeping up behind you if it thinks the building might be on fire?”
“What fire…” Tammy spun around on her heels. Her bouncy brown hair spun with her, but at a far greater radius.
Which was her downfall.
Within a split second, the flames leapt across and lashed out at Tammy’s hair, instantly igniting it.
Seeing his baby girl in danger, Tammy’s dad jumped up and dunked his lemonade over her hair, extinguishing the flame. Then he scooped her up and bolted for the door. “Come on, kids!” He hollered. Like ducklings following the mother goose, they all ducked out of there and left the flames behind.
Reagen also made it out and she noticed Tammy’s father doing a group count outside by the flagpole.
“You literally carried me out here.”
Their dad placed his hands on his hips. “Alright, looks like everyone is here. That’s good. Oh, Reagen. Looks like you made it out too.”
“It’s nice to see you’re all together. After all, flame-ily is what’s important.” She gave a sad smile, though Timmy cracked up at her joke.
“You are family,” Tammy said with a sly smile. “Though, I started to question it with all the times you interrupted my play.”
Reagen laughed. “Sorry, I guess love hearing about the first night I met your dad.”
“That’s what the play was about! And you already knew all of our names!” Tammy claimed with irritation. “There was no need to interrupt me!”
“Like how you kept interrupting me during my toast at our wedding?”
Tammy crossed her hands and glared.
Giggling again, Reagen ruffled the remainder of Tammy’s hair. “Awe, kiddo. You can still do it now. Hell, you even got more of an audience now with the firemen here.” She winked. “In fact, why don’t I round a few up for you?”
Immediately, a grin grew on Tammy’s face. “Really? That would be great!”
Reagen chuckled. “Anything for you, kiddo.”
With a jolly stroll, she went over to the firemen just as they just finished their job. Using only a wave of her finger and the tease of her smirk, she allured over five of them for the show. “Tammy! Start it now!”
Taking a deep breath, they began.
“Wait, is that kid’s name really Whammy?” One of the firemen asked.
“YES!” Everyone else shouted in reply.
Tammy cleared her throat. “And this play is dedicated to Reagen! Our new step-mom! So, we begin, in a clear August night, outside Saint Claire’s hospital. Jack Harrison was standing outside with a newly bandaged hand and a heavy heart when one of the orthopedic surgeons from his surgery came out.” Limmy and Timmy mimicked and matched Tammy’s narration.
“Bad day?” Limmy asked.
Smiling, he said. “I think I know something that can make it better.”