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Turtles, Siblings and Hondas

Turtles, Siblings and Hondas

by Caitlin Cording

My brother, Kirk, did this weird thing with the turtles inhabiting our garden pond. Every summer he would construct a metal den, grab an industrial-sized cosmetic sponge and a few wayward fellas, then polish their shells. Honestly, it was like some sort of luxury car wash, stroke spa treatment.

I would taunt him for it of course, but his smile never faltered as he scrubbed. He’d tell me removing algae from their shells enables turtles to absorb heat better, which, subsequently, helps them live longer. He’d tell me it was his way of honouring nature.

I would laugh and call him crazy. But then, what did I know? The closet I ever came to preserving nature was pouring my water bottle over the front lawn after a session at the gym.

My half-sister, Elouise, is a tomboy. When we were younger, she’d spend her days frolicking in the mud with the boys next door while I painted my nails with pink varnish and laughed at her from my bedroom window.

Everybody thinks Elouise is my cousin; I guess it’s because we look nothing alike—something I was glad of back in those days, but karma hit me once we reached our teens. She developed the type of figure that adorns Playboy magazines, while I maintained my boyish build. She'd play football and flirt with the neighbouring boys, then toss the ball over the fence to smack me off the sun lounger.

Elouise always fancied herself as a mechanic. Every summer she would grab a torque wrench, one of my dad’s old bangers, and fix up their faults.

I would taunt her for it of course, but her smile never faltered as she clanged. She'd flick her hair and tell me she was doing it for the women of the world.

I would deem her mentally unstable. But then, what did I know? The closest I ever came to doing it for the women of the world was when I’d saved my best friend the trauma of kissing Johnny Jones after she’d lost a dare.

One day Elouise repaired the brakes on my dad’s Honda and took it for a test run while Kirk let out the turtles for a stroll. I suppose it was lucky she only made it to the end of the drive before she realised she’d botched the job. Darn unlucky for those turtles though.


Caitlin Cording wants to live in a world where love letters are always handwritten, ice cream vans come around in the winter, and watching funny cat videos online every day is a legal requirement. When she’s not wrestling with the thesaurus or bashing the keyboard, you can find her snoozing in the back row of the cinema, or writhing in the local tattoo parlour’s chair. From the foot-swelling world of retail, to the back-aching world of call centres, Caitlin has worked a variety of jobs. Now a full-time freelance writer, she is working toward finishing her first novel for young adults. Learn more about Caitlin at