Will to Live

(scene opens in homeschool parlor)

Me: (gingerly steps into room, clad in bathrobe)

Delta: Mommy! (runs over, slam hugs)

Gamma: Mom! (runs over, bear hugs)

Me: (wanly) I love you too. (pats children) Don’t hug me so hard, my stomach hurts.

Delta: (lets go) Are you better?

Me: Mostly. I need to get something to eat. I’ve not eaten in five days. (moves gingerly to kitchen)

Beta: (looks up from table) How are you alive if you haven’t eaten in five days?

Me: Gatorade. Spite. Mostly spite.

Beta: Your hatred for all humanity?

Me: Something like that.

Groady to the max

(scene opens in cluttered dinning room)

Beta: (poking at Alpha next to him, on laptop, earbuds in)

Husband: Beta, focus, I’m trying to explain something to you.

Beta: Alpha’s not listening.

Alpha: (eyes don’t leave the screen) I can hear you just fine.

Husband: Excellent, so as I was saying…

Beta: (licks hand, smears it across Alpha’s face, runs out of the room)

Alpha: (rises like a monster from the deep, rips out earbuds) Oh hell no. (spits copiously into his hand, makes to chase after)

Me: (screams) OH MY GOD THAT’S SO GROSS DON’T YOU DARE (proceeds to collapse in hysterical laughter)

Husband: (hard won patience) Alpha, go wash your hands. (Alpha exits)

Me: (still laughing, in tears) I blame you. And your brothers. No way in hell any of mine ever would have done that. That is so…boy.

Husband: (reprovingly) You’re making it really hard to be the disciplinarian with all that laughing.

Me: (more shocked defensive laughter) IT WAS SO GROSS! WHO DOES THAT!?

Mercenary

(scene opens in dim cluttered parlor)

Me: Got your ID? Have a good day. Or try to, anyway. And find about about Cross Country.

Beta: (dismissively) I don’t want to do Cross Country.

Me: (surprised) I thought you were going to run this year?

Beta: Yeah, dad said if I ran this year, I could have a cell phone. But what he’s actually going to do is get Alpha a new one and I’d get his old one. What Alpha ever done for me? He doesn’t even like hanging out with me. (acidly) Why should I help him get a new phone?

Me: (bemused) He’s not getting a new phone, its a second-hand phone.

Beta: (sassy) Yeah, and then mine is third-hand. Again, why should I help him?

Me: So…no phone is better than a third hand phone?

Beta: (nose in the air) Exactly. (sails out, stage right)

No Justice

Me: (enters, drops backpack and duffle bag)
Husband: (gives welcome home kiss) Did you have fun?
Me: Yes. I’m also starved. What was for dinner? (opens fridge, hunting left overs)
Husband: Bacon and eggs.
Me: (disappointed) Oh. (continues to look for something else)
Husband: I had gotten them for breakfast but we ended up having them for dinner because the kids let me sleep in.
Me: (snaps up straight, repeats as if tasting unfamiliar words) They….they let you….sleep in?
Husband: (working hard for straight face) I asked them why they did that. They said that I looked tired.
Me: (lets ‘fridge door drift close, repeats slowly as if to understand alien concept) They let you sleep in (pause, as if thinking) because you looked (significant pause) tired?
Husband: (gives in to helpless laughter) I told them you were going to be pissed.
Me: Pissed, nothing. I’m going to straight up murderlize them.