The front door slams as Jinxso sails into the living room. I ignore her and continue shredding cheese at the kitchen counter.
"We can't watch TV until our homework is finished." She tosses her books on the table and glares at me. "Turn it off."
Well I'm watching Donny and Marie and I've graduated, so the rules don't apply to me. "So," I smirk, "go study in your room."
Her chin shoots up and she stomps toward the set. I knock her aside and pull the knob from the set. "Go. Study. In. Your. Room."
Fine curls trembling, she howls and lunges over the back of the couch to pull the plug. I roll my eyes, shove the sofa with my foot and knock her into the wall.
I grab her shirt with both fists. Cloth tears. If she'd listen to me in the first place, this wouldn't happen. With a sob she shoves her books off the table and runs to her room.
Victorious, I retreat to the kitchen and spread mayonnaise on a slice of white bread. As she returns, I launch into a speech about mental stability and wait for her reaction. When she erupts, I shove the prepared bread against her cheek where the mayo holds it in place.
Jinxso eyes are glassy with unshed tears. She snatches the knife I've left on the counter. Hair prickles the back of my neck. I've gone too far, so I stroll to the front door, turn and give her an airy little wave. "See ya."
The front door rocks on it's hinges as she hits the other side. I start to laugh, but now I'm stuck outside in the heat. Our old yellow station wagon is unlocked so I crawl inside and crank down the windows. Sweat trickles down my back.
Beamer and Brat saunter up the walk. Tail wagging, Bandit trails behind them.
"I wouldn't go in there if I were you." Playing for an audience, I fill them in. The Brat's eyes get wide. Beamer smirks and heads for the house, but the doors are locked, the windows are bolted. Unhappy, they glare at me and then shrug and climb into the car.
Eventually Mom and Dad return. Bandit barks, Beamer and Brat whine, Jinxso, her cheek glistening with mayo, flings open the door and adds her voice to the chaos.
I am about to die.
But in the next instant, Mom's hand shoots into the air. "I do not want to hear it."
Five angry voices fill the air. She repeats herself and Dad steps in. "Girls, you heard your mother, now everybody get a bag of groceries and while you're at it, find a way to get along."
In that moment I hear angels sing, but I know, I know, Jinxso will win the next round.