by Rick Benson

"Which one of you filthy pigs left this pot in the sink?” Lorie holds up the oatmeal pot that Evan just used to cook our breakfast in.

“Well I did but we’re not finished eating yet,” Evan says, head down.

“You little pigs know better than to leave a dirty pot in my sink. Get over here and clean it.”

Her skin stretches across her face as the tension builds up in her wrinkly body. She looks like a bat. She reminds me of the junkies hanging around Prince George when she gets like that.

“You useless little assholes,” she says. “Every day I have to retrain you, retrain you, retrain you.”

Suddenly my sister Marilyn stands up from the table. We wonder what she’s about to do. Lorie turns around and stares her right in the eye, right. I’ve never seen anything like that before, except for on the animal channel when 2 male lions fight for their territory or a woman lion.

“You know you don’t have to yell like that. We’re just kids,” Marilyn says.

Lorie steps towards Marilyn. Evan and I slide out of our chairs and make a break for it. We hide around the kitchen door.

“What did you say? I thought I heard something,” Lorie says.

My sister puffs out her chest. “I said. You don’t have to talk to us like were animals. We’re just kids.” Lorie takes a few steps closer in reaching distance and extends her pointing finger out to Marilyn’s chest.

“You… you don’t talk to me like that, young lady.” Lorie says. “You don’t have the right to speak to me at all you little bitch.”

I stood for years outside that kitchen to see if my sister would finally tell her how it was. “I just don’t understand why you have to be such a cunt to us all the time,” my sister says.

Lorie lunges in for the moment we’ve all been waiting for. She leans in and shoves both arms hard into my sister’s chest and throws her against the kitchen cupboards. My sister gets up and shakes her hair. She raises her fist, holding it just right like my brother had taught me that day in the shop. She hits Lorie square in the face.

My stepmother flies back a couple steps and crumples against the counter.

Marilyn, red-faced and rushing with adrenaline, looks over at us. “Come on guys,” she says as she catches her breath. “I’ll give you a lift to school.”

Manton, Evan and I hurry outside to my sister’s car. My sister gets in and says nothing. She starts the engine and we begin to pull out the driveway and onto the dirt road.


Wanna bowl cut? See Mister Benson about that.

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