Picking up a stick lying near by Lainey began drawing random patterns in the dirt. Mark stared off into space with his usual goofy grin plastered on his face and emitted a low sinister chuckle every few seconds.
“Whatever it is you’re thinking about doing, Mark, just forget it, okay? I’ve had enough for today.”
Lainey was in no mood for an argument but Mark took no notice of her.
“Here’s what I think. You know all those earthworms we saw at the back of the house yesterday? We dig some of them up and we go in the house and fry them up and put them between two slices of bread and we tell him it’s a bacon sandwich and watch him eat it.”
He was laughing so hard he was having trouble breathing. Lainey gave him her best evil stare but he wasn’t having any.
“Oh, c’mon, it’ll be great. I swear he’ll love it. He’ll eat every bite.”
Standing up Lainey put one hand on her hip and stabbed him in ribs with the stick.
“Hey, what the hell!”
“You’re evil Mark.”
“Oh right, like you don’t enjoy playing pranks on him. He’s our little brother, Lainey, it’s what we’re supposed to do.”
“Mark, it’s not enough that you got him with those water balloons this morning? Honestly, I know we’re on vacation but you could be doing other things to have fun.”
“Yeah? Like what? It’s boring here is all.”
They had been staying with their mother’s sister in the back country of east Texas for the last two weeks and after exploring the creek and the nearby fields in the first few days they had quickly learned there was nothing much of interest. It was hot and dry and they weren’t used to all the crawling things they encountered. They had gone into town a couple of times, but with a population of less than five thousand it wasn’t exactly a children’s paradise. Not even a movie theatre.
“I don’t know. They have a soda fountain at the store in town. Maybe we could talk mom into giving us some money and we could go get some ice cream.”
“Yeah, but she’ll make us take Tommy with us.”
Lainey rolled her eyes and went back to drawing patterns in the dirt. Tommy was five, four years younger than Lainey and six years younger than Tommy. They just couldn’t relate to him. Being that he was their half-brother didn’t help matters.
As they sat wondering what to do next Tommy came around the back of the house and walked past them without so much as looking at them. They exchanged a look. It wasn’t like Tommy to ignore them. He usually wanted to be involved in whatever they were doing.
“Hey Tommy, what’s up?”
Tommy stopped and turned slowly and pointed a finger at Mark.
“Mark bad. Buggo!”
Mark laughed and elbowed Lainey.
“Okay, Tommy. What’s that supposed to mean?”
Tommy glared at him and raised his voice.
“Lainey bad too. Buggo!”
He toddled off down the path leaving his siblings staring after him, perplexed.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
Lainey shrugged. “He’s five.”
They both laughed and went inside to watch some television.
Part 2 tomorrow.