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“Let’s play a game!” My older sister, Jonah, would suggest whenever our parents went out on a Friday night. As her younger sister I had to abide even though all I really wanted to do was eat cheese puffs in the living room while I watched television. My parents hardly ever allowed us to indulge when it came to our guilty pleasures, but Jonah always bent the rules whenever she was left in charge.
I groaned at the thought of having to stand up, but I obeyed nonetheless. “Shut up, it’ll be fun.” she snapped with a sly grin on her face that made the room feel dim then scurried out of the living room. The thudding sound her feet made against the hardwood floor made my heart do the same, but I stood still, hoping for her to return quickly.
I tried to listen closely to her commotion, figuring out what she might’ve been searching for, which could’ve been anything since these games were Jonah originals, but it was difficult to hear over the television.
Her running quickened and soon arrived in front of me with a metal bat dad always left in the closet underneath the staircase for emergencies and a brown overthrow blanket. “Take this,” Jonah handed me the bat and I payed attention to every twitch her eyebrow made, every curve that her lips crept upon her face, every direction her eyes looked, but she was cool and collected and focused on me,”now close your eyes and spin around seven times.”
I felt the delicate material from the overthrow blanket on my face as the rest of it draped over my body and the metal bat was freezing and heavy, it was an intimidating object to possess. I could feel the warmth of Jonah’s hands on my shoulders, guiding me to turn around multiple times in place. The sound the television made whenever it was turned off or on stung sharply in my ears and my shoulders grew cold again.
On my seventh turn around I began to realize the significant silence. “Jonah?” I involuntarily whimpered, but she didn’t respond. I pushed the blanket off of me and felt my shaking hands grip around the handle of the bat, the weight no longer a concern of mine. Jonah had disappeared, but I could pick up the subdued thudding coming from upstairs. I swung the bat over my shoulder for support as I tiptoed up the staircase, my body sensitive to any sudden movement. Jonah knew that I was an easy scare, but I also knew she was manipulative and mischievous.
Once I reached the top of the stairs the thudding had stopped and so did I. Every bedroom I entered was dark and hushed, making this game much more disturbing to participate in. The panic increasing with every step I took, making the thudding noise myself gave me the sudden urge to urinate. “Jonah I don’t want to play this game anymore!” I cry, trusting that she heard me. I was afraid now. Listening to myself call out to my sinister sister who was possibly ignoring me with that same sly grin she had on before, made me tremble because I was alone and left in the dark.
“The bathroom!” I breathed swiftly, recalling that I had forgotten to check the bathroom down the hall. Jonah had to be in there, unless she decided to go outside, but that would probably be against the rules (whatever the rules were). The bathroom door was left cracked open and my eyes started to water from the dreadful silence. Even though my grip on the handle loosened, I quickly kicked the door open with my foot and shrieked from the bursting adrenaline. I heard someone scream with me, but my arms didn’t stop from swinging the metal bat.
“I told you to stop the game! Why didn’t you listen to me?! I said stop the game!” I wailed, hot tears feeling like acid against my cheeks, my vision went black, but my arms were on fire. I couldn’t stop beating Jonah with this metal bat. Was this considered an emergency? If I didn’t have the bat would Jonah hurt me? We’re both still screaming and crying uncontrollably, but then it softens and I quiver as I raise my now exhausted hand up to the bathroom light, switching it on, I see Jonah in a puddle of her own blood, lying dead before me.
Why did she hand me the bat in the first place? Did she know this was going to happen? Did my older sister plan her suicide and deliberately make me her murderer? Jonah knew that I was an easy scare, but I also knew she was manipulative and mischievous.