Big trouble was surely heading my way, if Dad ever found out. Not that he even liked Smokey that much. But he sure wouldn’t tolerate any cruelty towards her. And, to be honest, I didn’t really feel I was being cruel, as I dangled her over the steamy bath. It was just funny.

Feeling her wriggle gave me a kind of power.

Until she bit me.

I dropped her.

A skinny streak of panicking cat, scattering a wake of water, swooshed out through the door. The same door where my little sister was now standing. And where she was now screaming, ‘I’m telling Dad.’

I grabbed her, put my hand over her mouth and forced her into my bedroom.

I pushed her down onto the bed and held her until she calmed down.

This one didn’t bite.

Two weeks of my pocket money and the secret would be safe.

I made her cross her heart and hope to die.

Then she ran out of my room, to look for Smokey.

Power restored.

I went for my bath.


Originally published: Topically Challenged