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Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #2294644
Ethan gets vengeance on his little sister when she practices her artskills on his bedroom.
Ella stood in the doorway of the kitchen, bawling hysterically. Her tears did nothing to wash off the dark streaks of permanent marker lining her plump cheeks. Mom just stared at her face, wordless in her horror of what I’d done.

Part of me wanted to run up and explain. There was a reason I colored on Ella’s face. She deserved it! But, I could tell, if I said a word, Mom would blow up. So I just stood there, fighting not to cry myself, listening to Ella’s howls and thinking now she’s really gone and got us in trouble.

Finally, Mother raised her eyes to mine. Lightning flashed in them. I cowered, waiting for the explosion of yelling sure to come.

When she spoke softly, fear squeezed my chest, “Why did you color with a permanent marker on your baby sister’s face?”

Words failed me.

My tongue seemed thick in my mouth. My brain wouldn’t work. Ella was three, I was seven years older, but in that moment, I couldn’t even talk as well as she did.

“Do not make me ask again, Ethan James O’Brian,” my mother hissed through clenched teeth.

Terrified, I took a step back. “I… I… I colored on her cause she colored in my room, on everything. On everything, Mom. I just wanted to show her how it felt.”

“So you colored on her face? I can’t take her anywhere looking like that.”

“Mom, she colored her own face first. I just added a little more,” I mumbled.

She shook her head. I was going to be in trouble forever, I knew it.

“Let’s go see your room.” She scooped up Ella as she walked past, patting my sister’s back and trying to calm her down.

The brat stared at me over Mom’s shoulder, her little blue eyes glassy from tears and snot dangling from her right nostril. I glared back.
This was her fault, not mine!

“Dop it,” she wailed and swiped the air towards me.

Mom glanced over her shoulder at me. “Ethan, why don’t you walk up ahead? I don’t need you two fighting any further,” She didn’t sound angry anymore, just incredibly tired. She always sounded so tired when Ella and I fought.

My anger was starting to go away too. I didn’t like upsetting my mom.

It all came rushing back when I walked into my room and saw my toys and my bed all scribbled on with black marker. Even my walls and the door, all at Ella’s height. My mother turned in dazed circles, staring in numb horror at my room.

“Oh Ella, what have you done?” she groaned.

Ella started sniffling again. Why was she crying? My room was the one that was ruined!

My mother shook her head again. I knew there was going to be a lot of that.

“Hang on, Ella.” She set her down and walked out of the room.

I thought about following her to see what she was going to do but I didn’t trust Ella alone in my room. She stared at me, I stared at her… I was locked in a stare down with my three-year-old sister.

“Dop it,” she meowed.

“You stop it,” I said, “You’re in my room.”


“Yes.” I crossed my arms over my chest and did my best to look intimidating. “You ruined my room, Ella.”

“You’re mean,” she cried out.

I threw my hands up in the air. How was I mean? She didn’t understand this whole blame thing. She was the one who colored my room. She was the one that was mean, not me.

Mom came back with a heavy bucket of water. She handed Ella and I each a white sponge.

“Okay, you two take the walls. I’m going to wash your bed, try to get some of this stuff off.” She pulled my comforter off the bed.

I dipped the sponge in the water and started obediently scrubbing the wall. Mom must have given me a Magic Eraser cause it was actually working.

Ella just stood there, glaring at me and holding the sponge.

“Ella, clean the walls,” I barked.

“No,” she yelled back.

I looked to my mother for help.

Her shoulders dropped. She set the comforter down and squatted in front of Ella, “Honey, this was naughty. You should never ever color on someone’s belongings. It isn’t nice. We need your help now to clean the room. You don’t want Ethan’s feelings to be hurt, right?”

Ella shook her head and I rolled my eyes. Like she cared if my feelings were hurt. If she did, she wouldn’t have colored my room in the first place.

“Good girl, I need you to get the sponge wet and scrub the wall, okay?”

Ella nodded her head and dunked the sponge into the water. She stepped next to me and began to scrub the wall but she was barely doing it and nothing cleaned off. I rolled my eyes again. She wasn’t going to be of much use.

Using all the muscle I could, I rubbed fiercely at the wall. My room was going to be clean again. I glanced over at Ella, her cheeks still streaked with black and smirked to myself. She may not believe it but I knew she deserved it.

Ella dropped the sponge. I was about to scold her for it when she walked over and threw her arms around my hips. She buried her face in my shirt and sniffled.

I could barely hear her when she mumbled in her baby voice, “I dove you.”

And just like that, she defused my anger.

I patted her blonde curls and sighed. “I love you too Ella.”

Okay, maybe she wasn’t all bad but she still deserved the smiley face by her mouth.
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