It was Grandfather’s idea; Grandmother helped but it was Grandfather’s idea for Tabias to hide the plane tickets in his report card envelope.
A gift for Parent’s Day (coincidentally closer to Grandparents’ day) but a trip for all parents, step-parents and adopted-family-friend-parents alike. A trip to Vancouver to spend a few days at Play Land Theme Park.
That’s where Tabias decided to be the best kid he could. He didn’t argue about holding Sister’s hand. He didn’t complain when he stood in the line up waiting for cotton candy, the hot sun beating down on his thick bear hat while all the parents sat on a shady bench. He stood guard while Sister went to use the bathroom every fifteen minutes.
Tabias was doing the best any young boy could do. And when Sister insisted on going on baby rides, Tabias agreed to every single one.
Until the wooden rollercoaster lineup. That’s where Tabias drew the line. And it wasn’t because of how high it was; that was only a small deciding factor. It was because Sister wouldn’t stop whining. She wanted cotton candy, she wanted slurpees, she wanted stuffed animals. Specific ones.
“No, the big pink llamacorn at the back, behind the frog, not the one beside the frog!”
She had screamed after Tabias spent the last of his snack money on arcade games.
But the rollercoaster line, had a pretty girl in front of Tabias. He just couldn’t do it any longer.
Sister was singing, “Tabias and cherry shirt girl, sittin’ in a tree. K-I-S-S-…”
Tabais covered her mouth before she could finish. He gave up on the one ride he wanted and dragged her to the furthest corner of the park, right in front of a haunted house.
“If you don’t stop that right now,” he growled, and pointed at the dark building, ghosts sounds coming from the broken windows.
Sister gulped but stood straight. “OK. Let’s do it.”
Tabias smirked and let go of her. She swallowed hard and took two steps toward the house. There was a slight hesitation as a bloody scream came from behind the crooked mirror.
“Watch out for biting rats,” Tabias mocked.
“There ain’t none.”
Sister swayed as her feet took her closer to the dark entrance.
“No? Then how did that guy lose his eyeball?” A clown with an eye patch walked past.
“That’s,” Sister gulped, “not real.”
Sister’s piggy tails shook from nerves as she stepped into the haunted house.
“There you guys are!” Father hollered from the opposite side of the mini donut stand. “Are we ready to go?”
Sister bounded from inside the haunted house to reappear back next to Tabias, grabbed his hand as if nothing ever happened and said, yup.
“When’s Brother’s Day?” Tabias grumbled.
Norma Rrae is an author based in Fort St. John. Read more of her works at notmewriting.com.