"Please Don’t"

Copyright © 2013 C.L. Mannarino
All rights reserved.

“That’s a lot of blood.”

Fifteen-year-old Clare spun around. In the doorway to the upstairs bathroom, her little sister, ten-year-old Harriet, stood staring at the bathtub. In it, a tall white tub of food-coloring and corn starch had fallen open and was spilling out all over the white porcelain. Clare’s cheeks turned pale.

“It’s not blood. It’s fake. It’s prop stuff. The kids in the play asked me to get rid of it as part of our clean-up.”

Harriet looked at her with clear blue eyes. The freckles dusting her nose and cheeks looked sharper in the light over the cabinet. “They needed you to clean it up for them?”

Clare sighed and turned around again. “It’s not like that. You wouldn’t understand,” she said as she got to her knees and plunged her hands into her mother’s yellow kitchen gloves.

“I understand that mom’s going to have a fit when she sees this place.”

Clare scoffed and tossed a wayward lock of of hair out of her eyes. She looked at Harriet over her shoulder. “Then don’t tell her, okay?”

Harriet laughed and walked out of the room. “Oh, I won’t have to! You’ll never get it cleaned up in time for her to not see it.”

As if on cue, they both heard the sound of a door slamming in the driveway. Both girls froze and then looked at each other.

“Harriet…” Clare warned.

Her little sister clapped her hands over her ears, her long fingers like pudgy spiders against the sides of her head.

Clare’s body slumped and she shook her head. “Please don’t say any—“

“I DIDN’T SEE ANYTHING!” Harriet called. She spun around on her heel and almost knocked herself over when her elbow hit the doorframe, but she caught her footing and marched off to her room, her short hair bouncing on her shoulders. “LA LA LA LA!”


Prompt: “That’s a lot of blood.” from writeworld



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