Ode to the Bros
My feet slam against the wet grass as I sprint for cover. Weaving through trees and bushes as familiar as the freckles scattered on my cheeks, I dive for a small patch of shelter. I afford myself a couple of breaths to ease the fire in my lungs, but I know I can’t stay here – they’ll be close behind. The cricket helmet stripes my vision and the swimming goggles make me feel like I’m lolling around in a fishbowl, but I still manage to spot the entrance to my safety. If I can just make it inside, I know they won’t be able to get me.
Now or never, girl. I dig my palms into the dirt and push myself into action. I dart out into the open and make a break for it. Five meters into my dash, I feel a BB gun pellet strike my arm. Ugh! Bastard, that stings. I glare behind me to see Ben hot on my heels. I drive my little legs harder, pumping my arms as fast as I can. Ten meters away…five meters away – wham! Luke whips out from behind the couch and slams into me.
My back hits the floor and rips my breath away. Even through the life jacket strapped to me, I know this one will bruise. While I gather little fragments of air into my lungs, I look up to see Luke standing over me with a huge grin plastered on his face. “We win!” Yeah yeah, I get it boet, no need to shout it to the heavens.
Ben catches up to the party and I’m immediately struck by the fact that he has more than a BB gun in his hands. He jiggles a little bottle of whiteboard cleaner and a lighter in front of Luke with an expression of pure mischief. “Oh yes!” Oh no. Ben plus something flammable equals a potentially bald Katherine. No thanks, time for me to make my exit.
Before I’m able to remove myself, he sprays a generous cloud of mist, flicks the lighter, and ignites the air. For a second, we all stand gaping, utterly mesmerized by the electric flame.
Then, a sharp voice cuts us out of our shared reverie. “Has anyone seen the whiteboard cleaner?” Mother dearest stalks out onto the patio and inspects each of us with a narrow stare. Luke wearing his permanent aura of trouble. Me wrapped up in a life jacket and sporting a “swicket”-chic headpiece. And Ben holding both hands behind his back, hiding absolutely nothing about the situation. Her eyes widen. Here we go…