When Boomers Go Bad

Brenda’s short story “My Sister Caroline” is included in the 2005 anthology When Boomers Go Bad. Here’s an excerpt:

“I always felt like I was on the outside looking in, for I was the last of the baby boomers – too young to be an active participant in the free love, psychedelic generation, but old enough to remember it clearly with unabashed longing. My sister, Caroline, seven years older than me, was a child born under the sign of Pisces. In keeping with the water bearer, her life has flowed and woven effortlessly. In the late sixties and early seventies, she was the quintessential flower child in smock tops, jeans and leather sandals, her body slender and melon breasted. With her Peggy Lipton hair and dreamy blue eyes, Caroline never had to try to be popular. She just was. I was the intense one – a Scorpio to the tips of my toes – secretive, jealous and brooding – never quite fitting with the in crowd. Entering the teen years, I grew to envy my sister’s free spirit and her ability to slide from one situation, one relationship, to another without a backward glance. By the time I entered university, my envy had metamorphosed into a fierce desire to be different from Caroline, to prove myself better than her in work and in love. I would feel worthy, but it meant treating my sister and all she stood for with complete disdain.

Looking at Caroline that mellow spring afternoon, the sun spilling across her hair and face from the coffee shop window, I noticed the spidery lines around her eyes and mouth that hadn’t been there on our last meeting the summer before, for even though we lived at opposite ends of the city, we met infrequently. Caroline spent a great deal of time travelling, especially during the winter months and we’d fallen into the habit of corresponding by e-mail, even when she was home. I preferred it that way since I was able to control how much I revealed to her about my life. I’d been somewhat surprised, therefore, to get her message the day before asking me to meet her.”

An anthology by The Ladies Killing Circle
ISBN #1894917316
Published 2005

"Deeply atmospheric and tightly plotted, Cold Mourning is Chapman’s sharpest mystery yet.” ― C.B. Forrest, author of the Charlie McKelvey mysteries

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Brenda Chapman

Brenda Chapman