“You’re too little,” was what he kept telling his sister Trudy each time he leveled the air rifle at the makeshift targets lined up near the stone wall out back.
“But Dad says to share,” she reminded and that much was true but Trudy was, well, Trudy and anything he could do to aggravate her he took full advantage of however at this rate he’d be looking at a really long vacation week if he pissed her off this early into it.
“Fine,” he said handing the rifle over to her, “Don’t forget the rules…”
“I know, I know — don’t point at people, or animals or anything else with a face,” she repeated in the same sing-songy pitch as when their father made him repeat the phrase literally 100 times before the BB gun became a reality in his hands and not just some fragment of a wish that lingered in the sporting goods section of Walmart.
Trudy took a number of decent shots at the wood targets but grew bored pretty quickly and started firing at the budding tree branches; despite his sister being a major pain he sort of found her scrunched up aiming face with her left eye squished closed, right eye peeking over the sight lines, top teeth dug into her lower lip sort of cute, that is until something, a bird, a Robin, fell from an oak limb above to the rotted, leftover Autumn leaves below — Trudy looked at him horrified, screamed and ran to the house balling her eyes out.
Later, when his father interrogated him he stuck to his story — that Trudy was upset because he wouldn’t give her a turn and called her a brat, the bird remained an unmentioned and unnamed casualty entombed and hidden among the leaves — he knew losing the rifle would be the punishment, either way it would be gone but at least this way his sister wouldn’t have to feel any worse about having taken a turn.