Siblings. They are just plainly unpredictable. One day, they’re happy as can be, playing and getting along with each other. Then the next day rolls around and suddenly they’re the worst of enemies. They can bicker about the strangest things, and half of the time it’s not even worth the fight. But in their eyes it’s somehow worth it. Winning that worthless fight is their only goal; no matter the argument.
Michelle and Mike are shining examples of fighting siblings. Sometimes Michelle gets on Mike’s last nerve, or sometimes Mike teases Michelle one too many times. But regardless, a day doesn’t go by without them duking it out at least one time.
And today is no exception.
Mike Retro and his best friend Clarissa Clarity are walking down the tan carpeted hallway, out from his dirty room and down the spiral stairs.
Mike is holding a Spalding Official NBA basketball in his hands. Both he and Clarissa are dressed in blue jeans and winter jackets.
He has a cotton dark gray jacket. The pocket lips and zipper chain is highlighted in electric blue. He’s also wearing a blue baseball cap over his short, dark brown hair. His eyes are a shade of green.
Clarissa’s flannel jacket is purple and pink. Her hair reaches below her shoulder blades and the color is light brown. Her eyes are a deep blue.
Normally they wouldn’t bother with dressing warm, but it’s pretty cold outside, so they had to. Else they want to hear from Mike’s mom about it, which they definitely don’t.
As they made their way down the stairs, Mike swung around the rail at the bottom of the stairs, running to the front door while Clarissa just walked down, not running until she hit the last step.
Almost there. Mike thought to himself as he gripped the handle of the front door.
“Hey Mike, what are you guys doing?” A younger, light auburn haired girl asked. She’s Mike’s little sister, Michelle. She’s wearing a light blue T-shirt with a shooting star pattern, and white shorts. Her hair is pulled up into a ponytail with a white scrunchie.
Mike huffed in annoyance. She’s been following them all throughout the day, and it’s really starting to annoy him. I mean, doesn’t she have anybody else to play with? Friends, mom or dad…anyone besides Clarissa and him?
“Clarissa and I are going outside to play basketball.”
“Can I play with you guys?” She asked hopefully.
Mike and Clarissa exchanged glances, Mike’s face showing irritation, while Clarissa’s was neutral.
“No. I’ve already told you to leave us alone.” He replied rudely. “Go find something else to do.”
“I’m sure you can find something to do, Michelle.” Clarissa encouraged.
Michelle grabbed Mike’s arm and began shaking it. “Please? I wanna play with you guys!” She begged. “I’ve been playing alone all day. Just this once?”
Mike whipped his arm away. “No Michelle!” He shouted. “Mom, can you please do something?”
“Shelly, baby, why don’t you come help me in the kitchen and leave your brother alone?” Her mom offered gently.
“No, I want to play basketball too.” She whined. “Clarissa, can I play?”
Clarissa sighed. Now she’s on the spot. She didn’t want to hurt Michelle’s feelings by saying no, but she also didn’t want her to play because…well, she really isn’t that good.
She was about to speak but Mike took over for her. “Michelle, I’ve told you already, now go before I make you.” He demanded, standing tall before her.
The young girl frowned and looked away sadly. “You’re such a jerk sometimes, Mike.” She muttered under her breath.
“What did you say?”
“I didn’t say anything!”
“Yes you did, you called me a jerk!” He shoved Michelle.
“Okay guys…there’s no need to fight.” Clarissa intervened, butting in between of them. “We can just play a board game or something.”
“No, I didn’t!”
“Yes, you did!”
“Okay, well…here they go.” Clarissa just dropped out and sat on the couch. There was no stopping them until they were finished. Might as well watch Garfield and Friends to pass the time.
“All I wanted to do was play with you guys!”
“Well too bad, you can go play somewhere else!”
Michelle, out of anger, swiped the basketball from his arms and began running away.
“Hey!” Mike chased after her. “You’re gonna wish you hadn’t done that, I’ll make sure of it!”
Their mother walked out of the kitchen and removed her oven mitts. She shook her head. “I’m so sorry, Clarissa.” She apologized for her children. “You can help me out in the kitchen if you’d like?”
Clarissa thought for a moment. “Sure, why not.”
Michelle sprinted down the hall and made a sharp turn into the bathroom. The door was quickly slammed shut and the knob clicked to a lock.
Only a second behind, Mike began relentlessly trying to open the door, but it wouldn’t budge. He banged on the door. “Fine, stay in the there. But I’m not moving from this spot until you come out!” He shouted, folding his arms and planting his feet.
The bathroom was silent, save for her panting. She sat on the toilet seat and held the basketball tightly against her chest.
What could she do? The logical thing to do would be to confront Mike and make amends, but who knows what he’ll do to her. Or she could just make a living in here. She’ll never stink or go thirsty, but there wasn’t any food. There has to be another way out…
The window against the wall instantly grabbed her attention. Maybe she was small enough to fit through?
Mike waited outside impatiently, holding his ear to the door. He couldn’t quite tell what he was hearing, but he could hear something. It kind of sounded like something clicking, then that something being slid along something else.
The window… he thought.
Her feet froze against the freezing cold grass, but at last she’s free from Mike. Sure, it’s cold and she isn’t exactly dressed for the winter weather (shorts and a T-shirt doesn’t really cut the bologna,) but a freezing five second sprint to the front door beats confronting Mike any day.
Hastily, she sped around the house to the front door, still holding the basketball. She gripped the door handle and turned it.
It doesn’t open. She tried turning it again and it still wouldn’t open up. Peeking in through the curtain, she noticed Mike, and he’s sticking his tongue out at her. “Mike, open the door, it’s cold!” She shouted, dropping the basketball and hugging her body.
“You said you wanted to play basketball, so go play it!” He shut the curtain.
“Let me in! I’m sorry!”
“You’re always sorry after you do something wrong!”
“I don’t want to play alone! Mike, please, I’m really really sorry!”
“Nope, you had it coming for you!” And with that, he’s gone.
“Miiiike!” She whined loudly. Her teeth are chittering and the cold atmosphere felt like it was biting at her flesh. With every exhale she could see her own breath.
She continued banging and shouting at the door for about an hour, but as everybody was in the basement (Mike convinced his mom to play Uno with him and Clarissa down there, so she wasn’t aware that Michelle is outside,) her shouts were only heard by the wind.
That is, until Randy pulled into the driveway. AKA Dad.
Any good father would wonder why his little girl was outside in the cold dressed like it was summer. So naturally he was shocked to see her out here shivering and red nosed, hunkered in between the doorstep and the grill in desperate attempt to keep warm.
At the sound of the truck door slamming, she looked up and sniffed. “Daddy!” she cried.
“Michelle, what on earth are you doing out here dressed in shorts and a t-shirt?” He questioned.
She stood up and hugged him. Unlike herself, he was extremely warm. “Mike locked me outside!”
“Well, I guess I’ll have to have a talk with him, then.” he stuck his keys in the keyhole and unlocked the door.
Stepping inside, Michelle by his side, they listened for the others. It wasn’t too hard to find them, just follow the source of rowdy laughter and ever-ending giggling.
They turned the corner at the end of the room and walked down the stairs.
“Michael, care to explain?” Randy firmly asked, eyeballing his son.
Haley gasped, dropped her Uno cards and ran up to her sniffling daughter. She placed a hand on her forehead.
“Why are you asking me? I didn’t do it!” Mike lied.
“Oh, so Clarissa did it?” Randy questioned.
“No! Michelle probably just walked outside and forgot to unlock the door!” Mike explained, standing up and gesturing as he spoke.
“No, you locked the door, I saw you!”
He growled and pointed at her. “Well she called me a jerk and stole my basketball!”
“I only did that because you wouldn’t let me play with you guys!”
“Hold it, stop fighting!” Haley commanded loudly. “Somebody please explain the whole story. I know about Mike excluding Michelle in basketball, and Michelle stealing it the ball, but what happened after that?”
Mike spoke up. “Okay, after that, Michelle kept on bugging us about wanting to play, and after we kept telling her no, she called me a jerk and stole my basketball, then locked herself in the bathroom.”
“Okay that’s your story, so what’s yours, Michelle?” Randy asked.
“After he kept telling me no, and I said what I said, he yelled and shoved me back. I took his basketball and ran, then I locked myself in the bathroom. He told me that he would make sure that I would regret doing what I did and stood out there waiting for me. So I crawled out of the bathroom window and ran to the front door, but Mike locked me outside.” Michelle explained.
“There we go. Two separate stories. Now piece them together and we have the full story.” Randy explained. He faced Clarissa. “I’m sorry, Clarissa, but I think you should go home now.”
She nodded. “Okay, thanks for having me over…” She stood up and grabbed her stuff. “Bye Mike, see you later. Bye Michelle, Mr. And Mrs. Retro.”
“I’ll drive you there.” Haley said, leading Clarissa upstairs. She whispered something in Randy’s ear before heading out.
“Okay. You two both know what happens when you guys misbehave, especially when company is over.” Randy upsetly warned.
“No way, I’m not doing it. It’s her fault.” Mike said, folding his arms.
“Was not!” Michelle countered.
Randy cleared his throat. “I don’t hear any compliments.”
Because these two siblings are always fighting, Randy and Haley decided that whenever they argue they have to compliment each other one hundred times.
Sometimes they would rather spend their time with the paddle than sit and come up with one hundred compliments.
“Can’t we just apologize and be over with this?” Mike asked.
Randy shook his head. “One hundred more to go.”
They both sighed.
“I like your hair.” Michelle said.
“I like your shirt.” Mike said.
“I like your shoes.” Michelle said.
“I like your…I don’t know. Forehead.”
“Ninety-six more to go.” Randy told them.
They both continued their complements as Randy counted them down. It probably wouldn’t have taken so long, except after every ten compliments they asked if they could be finished.
You would think that after all this time, they would learn to get along. Even if it’s only to escape this punishment.
They’ll learn someday…hopefully..
This is a short story that I wrote February of 2016. As such, I hope the overall writing isn’t too horrible!
The story takes place in the same universe as The McWilliams Family.
Hope you enjoyed the reading!