Marie placed her hands in front of her and hopped around the living room. Her older sister and brother stared at her in slight confusion, before her brother lighten up and pointed.
“Rabbit!” Oliver shouted.
Marie shook her head. She continued to bounce around the room.
“What else bounces like that?” her sister, Jane, asked.
He shook his head. Marie continued to hop.
“Squirrels kind of hop,” Oliver stated. Jane whacked him lightly on the arm.
Marie stopped hopping for a moment to catch her breath. She thought this would be an easy one, but this was harder than she thought.
It was Valentine’s Day and their parents were out for the night. According to them, they hadn’t had a date in “ages” so they asked Jane and Oliver to stay home and watch Marie. The siblings got along just fine and they were happy to spend a Friday night together without their parents around.
Oliver had the bright idea to play Charades and he was the worst one at the game.
Marie held up a finger and started to make a round gesture by her stomach. Then she began to hop again.
“Kangaroo!” Jane shouted.
Marie let out a sigh and nodded. She looked down at the piece of paper she picked out of the jar. It was “animal” and she needed to act out as many animals as she could. Except they couldn’t find the timer for the game, so Oliver had set a timer on the clock app on his cell phone.
Their little sister stretched her arm out, putting her nose to her armpit. She waved her arm up and down and stomped around, swaying heavily from side to side.
“Elephant!” Jane yelled.
Marie stopped and started to flap her arms in the air, jogging around the living room.
“Parrot!” Jane exclaimed.
“No, toucan,” Oliver corrected.
Jane looked at him funny. “Toucan? That’s oddly specific.”
“So is parrot.”
Marie continued doing the motions wondering if she should stop her siblings and give it to them. She was thinking of a bird, not any specific kind of bird, but they hadn’t exactly said, “bird” so did it count for them or not? She wasn’t sure.
“No, no, she’d be bobbing her head.”
“That’s a chicken. Wait, a chicken! Chickens are birds!”
Marie stopped and pointed to her brother. He said the magic word so she decided to give it to him. She didn’t know how both of her siblings could be so terrible at this game.
“I got it!” Oliver cheered.
Jane folded her arms over her chest looking suspicious. “I’m sorry, Marie, but that looked nothing like a chicken to me. Chickens can barely fly.”
Marie groaned. They still didn’t get it, but she wasn’t about to explain. The timer wasn’t up yet so she needed to think of more animals.
She got down on all fours and began to crawl slow.
“Horse!” Oliver shouted.
No, but that was a good idea for the next animal, Marie thought.
“No, I think it’s a turtle,” Jane said.
Marie nodded. She stood back up again. She’d keep horse in the back of her mind for a few animals down the line. If she did it right away her brother and sister were bound to get confused again.
She put the palms of her hands flat together and pointed them outward. She moved them in a smooth motion, moving in a slithering sort of way mocking a snake.
For once, Jane and Oliver were speechless. Marie sighed. At least this was less tiring than hopping around like a kangaroo or flapping her arms like a bird.
“Snake?” Jane guessed.
Marie nodded with a smile. That one took some hard thinking, but at least they got it on the first try.
Jane grinned smugly at their brother and Oliver rolled his eyes. “Who’s in the lead?” she asked.
Oliver shrugged. “I honestly lost count.”
Marie stood motionless trying to figure out what animal to do next. She squatted down and put her arms up like wings and walked around to the best of her ability while squatting.
“Duck,” Jane stated.
Oliver sighed. “I was just going to say that.”
Marie sat down on her rear and remained still trying to catch her breath. There were many animals in the world and yet, it was hard to think of a bunch at the top of her head that were easy to act out for her siblings. She had remembered the horse idea, but she was getting so tired. Maybe if she rested for just a minute, the timer would run out. They hadn’t even guessed the category yet and that’s what they needed to guess in order for one of them to have the next turn. Marie was sure both of them were caught up in guessing the animals that they forgot to guess, “animal”.
“I’m pretty sure I’m in the lead,” Jane said.
Oliver dismissed her with a wave of his hand. “Well, it’s not fair. You two are girls so you can read each other’s minds.”
“Girls can not read the minds of other girls…”
“Oh, I beg to differ.”
Marie flailed her arms to get her brother and sister’s attentions.
“Ah, right,” Oliver looked back at her. “Pet rock!”
Marie narrowed her eyes at him. It was finally proven. Her brother was the dumbest guy she knew.
Jane laughed. “No, it’s clearly… um…”
Marie sighed. “Are you guys going to guess the category or not?”
“You talked! You lose.” Oliver stood up from the couch pointing a finger at her.
“Oh, I forgot we had to guess the category… animals?” Jane said.
Marie tapped her nose and stood up. Oliver furrowed his brows at Jane. “See? You’re reading her mind.”
“How much longer is on the timer?” Marie asked exasperated.
Oliver grabbed his phone from the coffee table and tapped the screen. The timer appeared but it wasn’t ticking down. He had set it, but never started it. He looked at his sisters and chuckled. Marie rolled her eyes and Jane motioned for Marie to sit down.
“My turn, but you better set the timer this time.”