“Where are we going to start from?” John asked, flinging his arms. Everything was so confusing to him; the cobwebs, the layers of dust, he just felt like he was in a different planet. James felt like kicking everything in his path, ‘Stupid room,’ he thought, and now they had to clean it for the most detestable person in the world. Patricia was quiet, calculating, and her indifference irked her brothers.
“Patricia!” they exclaimed in unison, “You aren’t going to say anything?”
“quiet!” Patricia proclaimed, “I’m thinking.”
“You’re always thinking,” said John, “and it’s boring.”
“Think, guys, think,” Patricia continued, “it’s obvious we all don’t like him. I mean, he’s despicable. So think, how do we make his life a living hell in this house? Are we going to actually clean the room for him to come have a nice time? Think, how can we cause real damage?”
John and James nodded in unison as though the spirit of sense had finally descended upon them.
“So what’s on your mind, Patricia?” James asked.
“Ugh,” she sighed, “it always has to be me.”
“Okay–okay, guys, I have an idea,” John interjected. Everyone turned heads to him. “Uhm… what if we put a syringe under his bed so that when he’s about to lie down we get a big scream from him.”
“That’s not quite smart,” Patricia rebutted, “what if they find the syringe and figure it was us who put it there?”
“Everyone is always wrong but you!” John blurted.
“Calm your horses, John, I didn’t say your idea was totally bad,” a resistive smile erupted on John’s face, “you just failed to state explicitly how we put the syringe in the bed and how we leave no traces,” she paused, “except for his blood,” she chuckled.
“Eww!” John rebuffed.
“Shut up, sissy, always whining like a crybaby.”
“I’m not a cry baby, you are the–!”
“Quiet!” James cut him short, “she right, we have to think this through. Patricia, we would back you up, any idea you come up with.”
Patricia smile wryly.
They set out cleaning the room. James did the dusting of the cobwebs as he was taller than John. The disjointed webs fell on his head, and it disgusted him but amused his siblings. John was asked to mop and clean the furniture. Patricia supervised them, pointing to parts they missed while she plotted.
Soon they were through, and it was time to implement all the ominous ideas they had brooding. James’s body was coated in dust while John was sodden and dripping water.
“Oh my, John,” Patricia pondered, “are you sure you mopped the floor or yourself?” she chuckled, “not bad. Now it’s time to make our dear dear Uncle pay. He is going to come thinking it’s home as usual, but we are going to make him think twice even if it gets bloody,” their eyes popped, “oh no, guys, not so bloody, just teeny weeny bloody,” she chuckled once more, “let’s reconvene at nightfall for the details.”
It was time for dinner and dad asked about the cleaning of the room. They narrated how they dusted the cobwebs, cleaned the cupboards, among others. Dad was impressed.
“Remember, your Uncle is coming tomorrow, so no one should enter the room, it must remain sparkling. Your Uncle would be so pleased to see you guys again.”
‘But are we pleased to see him?’ Patricia thought.
The next day, as told, Uncle Patrick arrived with his box. Patricia, James, and John stood sullen across the door looking broodily.
“My bubbles! So nice to see you!” Uncle Pat exclaimed, “Look at them, so pleased to see me they can’t move. I totally get you, even I would be pleased to see myself.”
Patricia pouted and uttered a low-toned ‘narcissist’.
Uncle Pat patted her hair and said, “My namesake! You’ve grown!”
Patricia felt like jumping on him and stabbing his yes with a fork continuously until the insides were a red pot of darkness.
“John, you still the naughty boy?”
John just wanted his Uncle’s hand to disappear from his head. How dare you pat his head like he were still a little boy?
“James, look at you,” Uncle Pat wore a tasteless smirk on his face. He didn’t pat James.
James hated that his Uncle thought he was the odd one out. He felt like biting his Uncle all over his stomach until he bled out.
“Guys, give your Uncle a hug,” dad instructed.
But it was over their dead bodies. In fact, the thought of giving Uncle Patrick a hug made Patricia’s stomach turn upside down. James almost uttered ‘never’, and John just followed suit.
“Nah, don’t bother them. They are so pleased to see me they can’t even move a muscle.”
Uncle Pat settled into the guest room with ease. The bed felt fluffy as ever. He relished the number of days he had to spend at his brother’s and the fun times he would have with the kids. He was in town for a construction project that would take a month. After a cold bath, all he wanted to do was rest.
“Patricia, what do you have planned? Tell us,” James barged into her room and asked.
“Next time when I say we meet at nightfall, we meet at nightfall.”
“What does that mean?” James asked impatiently.
“Whoa! Tempers rising in here. James, you really have to calm down.”
“I’m calm, but I need to know what you planted in the guest room.”
“Planted? Do you think this is one of those ridiculous movies you watch where obstinate children go planting spiders and whatnot in their stepmother’s room?” she paused, “I have something else planned for our dear dear Uncle Pat.”
“Share it with me, you know you must.”
“Hmm,” she hummed, and then she began circling James as if inspecting him, “that decision rests with me. You must show me that you have it takes.”
“You can’t talk to me like that, I’m still your older brother,” James uttered, Patricia behind him.
“You are no such thing, mum said you came out first, that’s it. We could argue how the fact that I was born minutes after you doesn’t make you older or we could do some actual planning on how to make that fat pig of an Uncle’s life miserable!”
James cowered in shock. He thought for a moment he saw someone very unlike his twin sister.
“Chill out!” James exclaimed, worried at his sister, “we just want to scare him, that’s all. I think you are taking this too far calling Uncle Pat names and all.”
“I knew you didn’t have the grit for this, you talk big but act small. Maybe John will be a better accomplice.”
“You would do no such thing,” James fumed, “all he does is play and jump on everything he sees. You will get ratted out in no time.”
“Then I’m left with you, it seems. I just hope you don’t let me down.”
Patricia began pacing up and down her room as James watched avidly for her to let him in on the plan.
“Not now!” she uttered in amazement, “dinner’s in like ten minutes, we can’t plan effectively before then. I think we should be our normal selves for now, tomorrow when they’re at work we will plan.”