“Bed time, young lady,” Mom said.

“Aw man,” Kathy said.

“Go on, honey,” Dad said.

I stuck out my lower lip. Without looking up from his crossword, Dad laughed and said, “That is some pout.”

From the kitchen doorway, I reached around the dark corner with my arm and checked for my younger brother. Absent. I darted the five feet from the kitchen doorway into the formal living room and turned on the lamp.

Standing next to the lamp, I reached around the corner into the hall and once again checked for my brother. My hand encountered clothing and I grabbed it and pulled.

“Hey!” he shouted as I threw him to the ground.

“Don’t like it, don’t do it!”

He rose to a crouch and rammed his head into my abdomen. We rolled on the floor trying to get a hold on one another. We heard the kitchen chair push back and paused. Our eyes met with the same question, “Mom or Dad?”

The solid tread of slippered feet walked toward the living room and we released each other and jumped to separate sides of the room.

“What’s going on?” Dad’s deep voice said.

“Nothing,” we said simultaneously.

“Make sure it stays that way,” he said and went back to his crossword.

We stuck our tongues out at each and heard Mom go down to the basement. Henry went to his room. I walked down the dark hall and flipped on my bedroom light.

Mom’s babushkas were still on my bed. I picked up the sheer yellow one and waved it in the air and at the apex released it and watch it float down and grabbed it before it hit the ground. I tied the blue and red paisley around my neck like a cape and held the sheer-yellow in one hand and the sheer-blue in the other.

I executed a series of leaps around my bedroom while waving the babushkas and watching them float along behind me.

“Bedtime!” Dad yelled from the kitchen and “Pajamas!” from Mom in the basement.

How did they know I wasn’t in bed yet? I dropped the babushkas on my bed, shed my clothes and put on my PJs. I gathered up all the babushkas. At my door, I took a giant step across the hall and gently placed my foot along the far wall, thus avoiding the squeaky place. I brought my other foot in front of the first along the wall causing me to teeter. I regained balance and put one foot on the threshold of Mom’s room and second next to her chest-of-drawers.

“Are you in bed, Kathy?” Dad said from the kitchen.

I pivoted to the front of the chest and opened the top drawer. I shoved the wad of babushkas into the drawer and closed it. Mom would never know I’d been playing with the them.

I heard a heavy tread walking up the hall and flattened myself against the chest-of-drawers. What do I do when he Dad sees I’m not in bed? There was enough light from my bedroom that I could see the lighter rectangle of the doorway and Dad’s figure.

I copied my brother and jumped out yelling, “Boo!”

“You little vixen,” Dad said laughing and pushing me down on the bed.

I had a rush of adrenalin wondering what game Dad had in mind.

“You’re not Mom,” he said, frozen with his hands on my shoulders.

The game in his mind was for adults. My stomach flopped.

He stood aside quickly, brushing his hands off. “Bedtime,” he said, and I ran for bed.

606 words

Today’s prompt is to write about a surprise gone wrong.

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