“Hey Mikey, whatcha doin’?”
Bare toes wiggled back underneath the bed.
“No one’s here,” a muffled voice answered, “just…ummm…dust…achoo.”
Marnie giggled. “Bless you.” She got down on her hands and knees. “Hey.”
Marnie ignored him and scooted in anyway.
Mike scowled and bit Marnie’s bare arm.
“Ow!” Why’dya do that?”
“I toldya to leave me alone.”
They both crawled out from under the bed.
Mikey saw the mark he made. “I’m sorry. Please don’t tell Mom.”
“I just wanted to play. Why’d you have to be mean?”
“I dunno. Please don’t tell. I promise I’ll be nice.”
Startled by their mom, they looked at each other and nodded.
“Alright then, I’m getting ready to…Marnie, what’s that on your arm?”
“Oooooh, what is that Marn?”
His sister looked at Mikey.
“Hope it’s nuttin’ contagious.” Mikey said.
“Move your nose out of the way. It looks like you got bit. Did you?” She asked Marnie but looked at her son.
Marnie stared at her brother and hesitated a little before saying, “No, Mommy.”
“When’s supper,” the guilty party asked.
“Later. Let’s get some medicine on that arm.”
“Can I watch?”
“No, you may not.”
Mikey was left in the room...alone…not even his conscience hung around. “She’s gonna tell, I just know it. Marnie never lies.”
Mike paced back and forth. “I hate her. Dumb girl.” He muttered under his breath. “It was her fault anyway. I told her to leave me alone. Now I’m gonna get a spanking.”
He rubbed his hand on his rump and looked around the room. He soon came up with a brilliant idea
“Mikey, supper time.”
He pulled Marnie into the room. “You told Mom, didn’t you?”
“I know you, you can’t lie.”
“Then you know I’m not lying now. Duh. Supper.”
Mikey waddled down the hallway behind his sister.
“There you two are,” Trina said. “We have a special surprise for you, Mike.”
He grinned. “Special? Why?”
“Just because. I let Marnie help me make spaghetti and meatballs.
Mike jumped up onto the chair and landed lopsided on his bottom. He forgot for a second why and then remembered and anchored himself with his feet, just before his dad walked in.
“Hey, Daddy! We’re having spaghetti and meatballs!”
“I see that. I also notice that you’re sitting up higher in the chair than normal. Something going on I need to know?”
“Maybe I’ve grown since you saw me last.”
Marnie giggled when a stuffed dinosaur’s tail peeked out from Mikey’s sweat pants.
Mike glared at her and she instantly stilled.
Aiden blessed the food and then said, “Excellent job, Marnie. This is good. I’m very proud of you!”
“Mikey’s been a good big brother to Marnie, don’t you think, Aiden?” Trina asked. “He watches out for her and takes care of her. I thought it was time to show him just how much we appreciate him.”
Mikey’s fork stopped mid-air. “You’re proud of me?”
“Very proud. We know it’s not easy being the oldest. Are you finished eating already? Marnie, get out that chocolate ice cream pie you made.”
Mikey laid his fork down and slipped off the chair. “I’m not hungry.” He waddled out of the room, the dinosaur wiggled back and forth in time to his steps.
Aiden followed Mike into his bedroom. “You have something you want to share, Son?”
“I bit Marnie. I wanted to be alone and she got in my space.”
Aiden pulled the dinosaur out of Mikey’s pants. “What’s up with this?”
“I figured she’d tell on me and I’d get a spanking so I padded my bottom.”
“You think you deserve one?”
“Because I did something bad and then I told Marnie to lie and I lied, too.”
“If you do the crime, you should be punished; do you understand that?”
“Yeah. I just wanna get it over with. Please?”
“Are you asking me to punish you?”
“I want you to apologize to your sister for hurting her and to your mom for lying. You name the rest of the punishment.”
Mikey hugged his dinosaur nervously. “Do I still get a spanking?”
“Well, you did confess, so I don’t think so this time, but Son, about this dinosaur.” Aiden wrinkled his nose. “How about you toss him in the laundry? He’s now been where no dino’s been before.”
“Okay. Daddy, can you save me a piece of pie for tomorrow?”
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