Monday, April 26, 2010

Original fiction: The Kingmaker Plays Her Hand

You think that you’ve got problems; try being younger sister to the most popular guy in school.

I am only too aware of all the ways in which we differ, so there’s no need for you to point it out. My brother is an all-star athlete and I’m picked last in P.E. He’s in Gifted and Talented Education and I’m not, even though our IQ test scores differ by a mere three points.

“Don’t drive like my brother!” Did I mention that my brother gets to drive his own car? While I have to ride the bus.

Everybody loves my brother, and I have no friends at all. Not even my own family. My parents always ask me why I can’t be like my older brother.

I am always picked on at school, with some fascinating gender differences. While the girls at school merely put me down for qualities intrinsic to myself, the boys all want to be like my brother and they constantly rub it in my face that he is everything I’m not.

You'd think my brother would stand up for me, but he can’t stand his tag-along sister who can't make friends on her own. He’s always first in line to let me know that, next to him, I’m nothing but a toad.

My brother has always been well-liked but he wouldn’t be so hugely popular if someone hadn’t catapulted mashed potatoes at him in the school cafeteria. He reacted with a sort of wounded dignity that won everyone to his side.

Did I mention my brother is in drama? He gets the lead in nearly every play.

No one gave a thought to the underclassman troll whose well-aimed volley catapulted my brother to instant high-school stardom.

Last night, a plan occurred to me and today I put it into action.

Four boys came up to me and began taunting me in the cafeteria. I took careful aim at the leader of the boys and let fly with my spoon. The glob of mashed potatoes hit him squarely in the chest.

The boys were taken by surprise and I used their surprise to my advantage. “I have just given you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” I told the startled boys. “You are on equal footing with your hero. Please sign this waiver acknowledging that results may vary by individual.”

I proffered additional copies of the waiver to the other three boys, advising them that I had plenty of mashed potatoes left on my tray. “I gave your friend a free demonstration but I’ll offer you the same opportunity for a mere $5 each.”

My tray was considerably lighter when the mashed potatoes were gone, but I’m going after school to the comic book store. I’ve got $15 to spend.

Copyright © 2010 by Cynthia M. Parkhill. Published in “Creative Expressions” in the Lake County Record-Bee

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