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Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #2319260
Behind a locked door...
         As anybody with children knows, they are not quiet creatures. As infants, they coo, chortle, babble, squeal, scream, and wail often at the top capacity of their little lungs. Once they are toddlers, children begin to speak, and again they love the sound of their own voices. As children grow, so does their ability to create/generate noise. The trick is to learn, by trial and error, the subtle variances in their tones. Sudden, piercing screams do not necessarily telegraph pain, fright, or shock. Believe it or not, most kids scream while playing, and enjoying themselves.
          My youngest sister, Ralph, is ten years my junior, so, yes, I regularly performed the big sister thing and babysat her. Of course, she pulled this stunt when I was left in charge. One memorable morning, the baby of my family decided to lock herself in the only restroom in our house. It was so easy, all she had to do was turn and push in a button on the door knob. This would have simply been a minor nuisance involving a few grumbling bladders if she had just been in a contrary mood to annoy us. Alone in the bathroom, Ralph chose to explore, and until her blood-curdling scream of absolute agony, I had no idea where she was. I have never felt so helpless. My little sister, about four years of age, was beyond my reach, and comfort. I desperately tried to open that damn door; I jiggled the unyielding knob, I kicked and pounded, I first shouted, then tried coaxing Ralph to turn the lock. All she could do was shriek, and sob.
          This was an emergency, and something had hurt my sibling. Frantic, and pacing, I attempted to soothe with words, but poor Ralphie couldn't be calmed.
         At some point, I noticed that the hinges of the bathroom door were on my side, the outside, the hallway. In the basement, I found a hammer, and in the kitchen, I commandeered a butter knife. With my makeshift tools, I began to tap at those hinges. Oh, there were far too many misses, and my knuckles and the door were a bit battered, but eventually, finally, I managed to remove all of the hinges, or to be more accurate, I forced out the pins holding the hinges. The door basically fell away from the wall to reveal Ralph crying, and rubbing at her eyes.
          For some reason that definitely wasn't logical, that curious sister of mine opted to play with a can of hair spray. She set it on the vanity next to the sink, and pressed the nozzle. The counter was at the same height as her head, and she unwittingly sprayed the hair lacquer into her open eyes. I'm not sure, but she may well have memories of me attempting to drown her. It sure isn't a simple task to flush the squeezed-tight eyes of a squirming kid.
          Yep, I later had to explain to my father why the bathroom door swung to the left instead of to the right. That evening, he permanently removed the locking mechanism from the bathroom door. From that moment on our family of six implemented a knocking policy to uphold privacy.          536 words
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