There are some things that one cannot be expected to resist. Some things for which it seems the word ‘irresistible’ was invented.
Like a bar of chocolate, sitting on the counter, just waiting to be eaten, to be broken off, piece by piece, and devoured. Like the perfect dress in the perfect color, hanging on the sale rack at the store you were walking past and just decided to go into on a whim.
Like the hot pink feather boa draped across the mirror in your older sister’s room.
She knew she wasn’t allowed in there… Certainly wasn’t welcome in there by any means. She had heard the words “Stay out of my room!!” screeched across the house at top volume frequently enough to understand that getting caught in Kasey’s room would be no small crime.
Kasey was seventeen now and did not take encroachment upon her property lightly. Miranda remembered the earring incident of last year very clearly – when she had ‘borrowed’ a pair of sparkly hoop earrings and somehow managed to lose one. The rage had echoed through the house then.
This was different, she somehow convinced herself. Kasey had loved those earrings – or at least sort-of liked them. The boa had sat neglected for months…
Kasey wasn’t home. And she had play rehearsal after school, so she wouldn’t be home for hours yet.
The boa had been flung carelessly across the top of the mirror – Miranda caught tantalizing glimpses of it on the rare occasion that the bedroom door was left open. Kasey didn’t even wear it anymore. Something as beautiful as that, Miranda reasoned, deserved to be worn. It deserved to be loved.
So she really could not be blamed for slipping quietly into the room and liberating the boa from its imprisonment. She wrapped it around her neck with a swish, posing and blowing kisses at herself in the mirror, her heart beating a little faster from the illicit thrill of being in her sister’s room.
She stroked the feathers gently with her fingers. Maybe she would take the boa with her and hide it away in her own room. It wasn’t as though Kasey would miss it, would she?
She swirled it around her neck and twined it around her arms, covering herself in feathers, and gave her mirror-self an exaggerated pout. She did a little twirl, allowing the feathers to fly.
She decided she liked that… and that was when she started twirling, going round and round the room until she got dizzy and knocked into the dressing table.
Grabbing onto the table with both hands to steady herself, she looked into the mirror and saw herself, flushed and happy, and, of course, covered in pink feathers.
The house was completely silent. She could hear was the sound of her own breath and the blood rushing in her ears…. So she heard the slamming front door loud and clear.
There was only one person who slammed the door like that. And, judging by the way she stomped up the stairs, loudly enough to do some structural damage, Kasey was already pissed.
Miranda wasn’t sure who the rage was directed at this time, but she didn’t want it to be her… She had, she discovered, exactly enough time to run into the closet and shut the door most of the way behind her. Or at least she discovered it as Kasey threw open the bedroom door, slamming it behind her without noticing the additional presence in her room.
To be fair, she didn’t look around very much, immediately throwing herself onto her bed with a sound that was somewhere between a growl and a sob. Miranda held her breath, watching through the crack in the closet door, as her big sister picked herself up off the bed, moving slowly now, as though each movement caused her pain.
Kasey sat up on the bed, and ran her fingers through her hair, attempting to compose herself before slumping over, letting her face fall into her cupped hands.
Both girls jumped when a cell phone rang out, buzzing and chirping out some pop song, out of Kasey’s back pocket.
She pulled it out and looked at the screen, hesitating only for a few seconds before answering.
Miranda had never heard her sister’s voice sound so hesitant before. She couldn’t hear the voice on the other end, but paid attention when her sister spoke again.
“Yeah, I’m ok,” she said. “I went home… I just didn’t want to be around him, you know?”
The voice on the other end spoke.
Kasey let out a heavy breath before answering again.
“Yeah…. No, I don’t think he would… I don’t know.”
Then, quieter still.
“Yeah, I took it. It was….. It was positive.”
The voice on the other end of the phone let out a shriek that even Miranda could hear.
“I don’t know,” Kasey said. “I just … I don’t know.”
The voice continued her side of the conversation in shrill, panicked tones.
“I said, I don’t know,” Kasey said, voice still quiet, but now firm, edging towards angry. “You’d better not tell him.”
The voice squeaked something else.
“Because it’s none of your business, that’s why!”
The shout was almost a relief.
“Look… I can’t talk right now,” she said, after a brief silence. “I’ll call you later, maybe.”
She pressed the end button, letting the phone drop off the side of the bed without checking to see where it had gone. Miranda watched as Kasey grabbed a pillow, clutching it tight and curling her body around it like a comma.
And for the first time in a long time, and without quite understanding why, Miranda watched her beautiful big sister cry.
(write for) 10 minutes * a child * feathers
(exceeded time limit, obviously)
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