Short Story Sunday 207: Joke

Short Story: "Joke" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

            “It was supposed to be funny.” Monica said dully. She shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyes turning the other way folding her arms across her chest. It was a bit too much of an I-don’t-care gesture, in Blake’s opinion.

Blake closed his eyes and tried to think. He was exasperated and he certainly didn’t think his night would end up like this. How was he supposed to deal with a situation like this?

Maybe, just maybe, if he counted to ten, he’d open his eyes and both Monica and her sister Carmen would be gone. He’s be back home and he wouldn’t want to yell at his mother for forcing him into babysitting his cousins.

One, two, three…

“What are you doing?” Monica asked.

Blake opened his eyes. He gasped recoiling backwards as Monica’s face was directly in his as though she was leaning for a kiss.

He groaned. “I was thinking.”

“Thinking about what?”

“About what to do.”

“What to do about what?”

“About the fact that you smeared gum in your sister’s hair!”

Monica giggled.

Blake rubbed his temples. Poor little Carmen was sitting so nicely on the couch watching her older sister and cousin talk back and forth to one another. Carmen was only two so she didn’t have a lot of hair, but it was enough that Blake wasn’t able to get the gum out without damaging her mane. The chewing gum was all over her head so he wasn’t even able to give her a small haircut without anyone noticing.

Then Blake paused. He turned his attention to the four-year-old with narrowed eyes. “Monica,” he said darkly, “where did you even get the gum?”

Monica froze and she didn’t say anything.

“You went into my bag, didn’t you?”

Monica remained frozen, but this time her eyes grew wide and they shifted side to side.

Blake grunted. What a little snot.

“Okay, okay. We can fix this.” Blake sighed. He took a couple of deep breaths. Then he looked up at the clock. His aunt and uncle said they would be home around 11, but the kids had to be in bed by seven. It was now around five-thirty, which meant that Blake had an hour and hour, if not less, to figure things out. Worse came to worst, he would have the kids go to bed later. No one would know, right?

Blake ran over to his bag and fished out his cell phone.

“Now what are you doing?” Monica asked.

“I’m going to look up how to get gum out of someone’s hair on the Internet.” He replied.

Monica watched him intently. Blake typed away on his phone reading various articles and answers while occasionally looking up to make sure Carmen was still seated where she was and to make sure that Monica wasn’t getting into any more trouble.

“Peanut butter. Okay, that’s fine. They have peanut butter.” Blake muttered to himself. He put his phone in his pocket and made his way over to Carmen. He picked her up and glanced over his shoulder at Monica and said, “Come into the kitchen with us.”

Without waiting for her to respond, Blake kept walking. Once he made it into the kitchen, he put Carmen in her high chair. Monica was right behind him climbing on one of the kitchen chairs. She watched Blake in silence in awe at what he was doing.

Blake reached into one of the taller cabinets and found the jar of peanut butter. He put it on the table and unscrewed the lid. It smelled good and he loved peanut butter just as much as the next person, but he never imagined that he was going to have to stick his hands in a jar and smear it all over someone’s hair… on top of already-chewed gum, no less.

He stuck his tongue disgustedly and grabbed a handful of peanut butter. Then he proceeded to rub it all over Carmen’s head as though it were shampoo.

When Blake was finished, he took a step back with peanut butter covered hands and smiled. “Great. Now we just let it sit for a couple of minutes and the gum should slide off. Then I’ll give you a bath.”

He turned away to wash his hands in the sink when he heard Monica giggle. He looked over at her and she smiled brightly at him. She too was covered in peanut butter, but not just her hair. No, she had covered her whole body.

“Look at me!” she beamed.

Blake remained frozen with his oily hands underneath the faucet of warm running water. He stared at Monica not knowing what else he could possibly say to her. All he knew was that he was going to have to give both of them a bath now.

And he was never going to babysit the two of them ever again.

Words: 816

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