Category Archives: Sibling Stories or How To Get Even

HOME SICK FROM SCHOOL

GO AWAY

GO AWAY

I’m fourteen years old, home sick from school, and someone is pounding on the front door.

Who comes out to the country and wants to visit in the middle of the day? No one I want to talk to.

The dogs outside are barking like crazy so I pull my pillow over my feverish head and roll over. The pounding continues.

My room is on the second floor of a cobbled-together addition Dad built last year. I raise my head and look out the crooked windows. A large yellow sedan is in the drive.

I stagger out of bed and take two steps before I realize the knocking has moved from the massive old oak front door, to the dilapidated back door. My foot is on the first step, when the cardboard door crashes open.

I run back to my bedroom and drop to the floor, ready to roll under it and hide. Only, there’s so much of my crap under there I can’t fit.

Just as a footstep hits the first tread of the stairway I run to my brother’s room and slide under their crap-free bunk bed.

Two sets of black booted feet walk by – inches from my face.

“Hurry up, Jimmy,” the small booted man says.
Robber #1

“Hold your horses, cousin,” big booted man replies.
Robber #2

I listen as they ransack my brothers’ room. Books crash to the floor. A box that one of my brothers carved, lands on the floor next to me and the false bottom drops open.

So that’s where he hides his stuff, I think. Little sneak.

Cousin says, “I’m going downstairs, you check under the beds.”

I see Jimmy’s ankles bend as he prepares to kneel down. I roll over two times and plant my face against the wall.

“Cousin,” he calls. “Wait for me. I think this place is haunted.” Jimmy’s boots pound down the wooden stairs.

For what seems like hours I hear the bang, crash, clap of possessions being ripped from our home. After the noise stops, I lay there counting to a hundred and then another hundred.

I slip out from my hiding place and tiptoe back to my room to look out the windows. My knee hits something solid on the bed. It’s a jagged knife with a long black handle. I use my pillow to slide it out of the way and peek over the windowsill. No yellow sedan.

I creep down the stairs to the wall phone and pick up the heavy receiver. With a shaky finger, I pull the round dial seven times. I ask the school receptionist to find my mom.

“It’s urgent,” I whisper.

While I wait I look around the family room and wonder how the robbers could have made so many trips through the house and not knocked over our month-long Monopoly game sitting on a rickety card table.

Mom’s irritated voice comes on. “What is it now?” she asks.

I start to cry and she says over and over “What is it? What is it?”

“We were robbed,” I wail.

“Did they?” Mom gasps …

TO BE CONTINUED.

I’M A SLOW LEARNER

The back door to the house I grew up in, swung out onto a set of narrow concrete steps. With no handrail, opening the storm door on a windy March day was like raising full sail in a hurricane. That was the kind of day my Dad called a “Winnie-The-Pooh-Day and the kind of day I called fun.

I'm Telling Mom!

I’m Telling Mom!

After the school bus dropped us off, I would convince one of my younger brothers to open the sail door first. With little brother flapping in midair, clinging to the tiny plastic handle and screaming how he was going to tell on me, I’d casually unlock the house.

After dropping my books on the floor of the hallway, I’d turn around and head back outside.

Slippery Slide

Slippery Slide

An orange rusted swing set stood a few feet from the back steps. The swings had long ago busted and been removed, but the metal slide still survived.Polished to a sheen with Mom’s precious waxed paper, it became a treacherous and savage ride.

Turns out, little brothers are also perfect for experimenting with the trajectory and uncertainty of a safe landing, depending on the number of bricks used to raise the end of the slide.

Now, where did that little brother disappear to?

Now, where did that little brother disappear to?

The frame of the swing-free swing set became my jungle gym. I started out stepping from the crossbar and grabbing the top pipe, then dropping to the ground, but progressed to hanging upside down by my knees. This was much more enjoyable when accompanied by Mom screaming through the kitchen window, ” Teresa Carol, you get down right now before you kill yourself!”

On one particularly daring day, I began to swing back and forth. The aroma of a slow-cooked pot roast wafted through the kitchen window and it guaranteed that it wouldn’t be long before I heard what I wanted.

“If you fall, I’m not taking you to the emergency room,” Mom shouted.

I waved and smiled.

Through the corroded window screen I saw her finger jab to my left, indicating a little boy with a broken arm. “I’ve already been twice this week from your brothers shooting off that slide!”

Not content with the amount of screaming coming from the kitchen window, I took a move from the Summer Olympics and decided to throw myself forward and land on my feet.

To my surprise, that is not what happened.

I fell flat on my back and, with a simultaneous thump and whoosh; all the air left my body. I tasted the tang of blood in my mouth and time slowed unbearably. Like I was underwater I heard Mom’s muffled howl, “Mike, save your sister!”

My older brother’s face appeared above mine.

I made note of the ha-ha-you-look-like-a-wide-mouth-bass-gasping-for-air smile on his face and vowed to pay him back…just as soon as I could get the oxygen to return to my burning lungs.

I should be able to tell you that it was the last time I ever tried that move. But, I’m a slow learner.