The fighting between my twin brother and me started early. Even before we were born — at least that’s what Mom always said. While still in her womb I’d punch him, then he’d kick me. What can I say? Mark was always taking up my space. After we were born, things didn’t get much better. Because we were twins, we had to share the same small space of a bedroom. Mom use to say the only time we weren’t arguing and fighting was when we were asleep. But Mark’s Bedroom Blanket Bungle proved her wrong.
Looking back, I have to say what Mark did was truly imaginative, but how he accomplished it? Well, that was pure genius. To be fair, guess I had it coming. Mark had been on the losing side of the biggest water balloon battle ever fought on Flamingo Street.
Water balloon battles were just about the only time Mark and me were split up. Bubba Hanks, Big Brother James, the kid we all called Booger, and Mark were on one team with Goofy Steve, Neighbor Thomas, Preston Weston III, Older Brother Richard and me on the other. With Goof’s natural dodging ability and Preston Weston III’s dead aim, Mark’s team was outmatched.
Even though their team had four and we had five, it was still a fair fight. Bubba was about twice as big as any of us, so we counted him as two. Mark’s team lost badly and he was pummeled relentlessly, but I’m sure I didn’t hurt him. After all, it was just water. Little did I know that under that cascade of water, he was formulating a plan for payback upon Yours Truly.
It only took a week of secret planning and testing, but by the following Saturday night, all was ready. Because we shared the same bedroom, Mark knew the chiming of the grandfather clock down the hallway striking midnight always woke me up. It was the perfect time to set his plan into motion.
Before going to bed, he had tied a string to the bottom corner of my blanket and concealed the ball of string under a dirty T-shirt at the foot of my bed. When I fell asleep, Mark retrieved the string, wrapping it around the footboard bed post, then over and through a dresser drawer handle, around his bedpost and finally under his sheet. Listening to the grandfather clock chime the time away, Mark waited.
As the clock struck midnight, Mark tugged the string, letting out an unearthly sound, “Boooah.” Sitting up, I tried to pierce the darkness with my eyes, but I couldn’t see any monsters. All safe, I pulled the blanket up under my chin and soon fell back asleep, only to be awakened again shortly thereafter by another “Boooah” and a tug that pulled the blanket halfway off.
Getting out of bed, I shook Mark and asked him if he heard anything? He mumbled, “No. Go back to sleep!”
When the clock sounded 2, Mark screamed, “Boooah! Gotcha!” Pulling on the string as hard as he could, the blanket flew off the bed. The dresser drawer pulled all the way out, crashing to the floor with a sound loud enough to wake the dead, something I thought had happened but was really only Dad stomping down the hallway.
Flying out of bed, I cowered and peeped out from behind the sliding glass door draperies, ready to make a quick exit to the outside deck and away from the monster in our room.
Suddenly, Dad flung open the bedroom door, flipped on the lights shouting, “I told you boys to …” Scanning the room quickly, he stopped in mid-scold — a rare occurrence around our house. Mark’s ingenious setup had almost left him speechless.
Before turning and closing our door, he grumbled, “You boys clean this up. It’s late. Got church in the morning.” We heard him walking down the hallway laughing and then saying, “Honey, you’re not going to believe this one.”
Did I ever payback Mark for what he had done that night? Of course I did. It wasn’t a matter of if I was going to get him back, it was a matter of how. I just hadn’t expected the “how” to cause Twin Brother Mark to be rushed to the hospital the very next weekend. But I realized, as Dad carried him bleeding uncontrollably to the car, that maybe my plan had gone a little too far. But that’s a story for next week.
[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog: storiesbyrick.wordpress.com.]