Valentine Amity wasn't surprised when she got the news, but it didn't matter. She swore and cried anyways. It was her mother, after all. Her mother who had taken her in, who had taught her how to shoot a gun and steal a car, who had shown her the world and then some, who had cooked her cookies on her birthday because she knew she hated cake.
She was fourteen at the time. Her other sister, Cassia, cried too. In fact, Cassia cried so much the next few months that Val gave up the entire mourning thing altogether. One of them had to hold things together. And that was clearly not going to be twelve-year-old Cassia.
But that was to be excepted, as Val was, after all, the oldest of the five sisters.
They sat down on the long couch as the policemen and women came in and out of the house, drinking coffee which the children weren't allowed to have, and donuts which they were allowed to have but didn't want.
First, there was Val, who had soft brown skin and hard brown eyes, and dark hair done up in plaits down her shoulder. Then Cassia, with almost white hair and skin, eyes such a pale blue that she seemed almost blind, and tiny, fragile frame. Then Desdemona, eleven, her black eyes liquid with tears, in a pink dress, her sable hair in cornrows. Mallory was only eight and looked almost too confused to cry, her hair it's usually wild, curly black, her pale skin speckled with freckles. Last of all Daphne, who was five and didn't understand what was going on. She was small, with long black hair that covered most of her face, slanted eyes the color of ink, light brown skin.
They sat in a row, in order of age. Now and then someone would give condolences, and other times they would offer sweets, which were better.
Their mother, Candace Amity, a renowned jewel thief, and cat burglar, had been found dead last night, October 4th, 2009. She had three bullets in her, one in the chest, two in the head. She was found in an alleyway with stolen diamonds around her neck and stolen sapphires around her wrist. She must have been shot during an argument on how to split the rest of the jewelry she had stolen, and the killer had fled the scene after doing the deed.
She would be buried in a paper's grave in a week, and the morning after the funeral her five children would be placed in their first foster home.