Happy Family

"Get up Brad or you're gonna be late for school!" called Brad's mother from down in the kitchen. Upstairs, a boy rolled out of bed and crumpled onto the carpet bellow. With his face against the furry floor, Brad thought about what bear cubs must feel like when they wake up in the morning with their faces snuggled against their mother. This thought was interrupted by the aroma of a pair of dirty socks that lay in front of him. With a look of disgust on his face, Brad rose from the floor and headed out into the hall.

As Brad entered the hallway, he bumped into his older brother, Todd. "Hey! Watch where you're going, dork!" and then with a smile Todd added, "and do something about that killer morning breath." Brad was amazed that his breath had been so noticeable even though he hadn't even opened his mouth yet. As Brad entered the bathroom he noticed that the floor was wet around the shower. Todd had obviously been here earlier.

Brad brushed his teeth, which was an exciting event as always. As he brushed, he noticed that the bottle of mouth wash was almost full. This was strange because he remember that it had been almost empty the day before. He figured that someone had opened a new bottle, probably Todd. After brushing he flossed and wondered why nobody had ever used floss to make a yo-yo. Dentists could use the Floss-Yo's as toys to give to children when they came for a checkup. As Brad threw the used floss away in t he waste basket, he noticed an empty bottle of Windex. It pleased him that someone was finally getting around to cleaning the windows in the bathroom. There had been a layer of some sticky residue building up on the tinted glass, which looked pretty disgusting when you looked up close at it.

Brad grabbed the nearly full bottle of mouth wash and poured the blue liquid into his mouth. As he swished the stuff back and forth in his mouth, Brad began to notice a strange bubbling feeling surrounding his tongue. He also noticed a strange taste in the mouth wash. His glance caught the empty bottle of Windex in the waste basket again. Brad eyes widened.

Spitting soapy blue liquid all over the wall, Brad could see bubbles float from his mouth and rise upward toward the ceiling. In trying to catch his breath, Brad ended up swallowing a gulp of the window cleanser. He began coughing up bubbles, and over the sound of his own coughing he heard a sound coming from the hall. Someone was laughing.

Brad's mother, Janine, was packing lunches for her two boys. It was getting fairly late and they still hadn't come down for breakfast. She yelled upstairs, "Get up Brad or you're gonna be late for school!" Janine put the sandwiches in the bags and sealed them up. She was just going to start washing the windows when she heard a scream followed by laughter from upstairs.

Brad ran out into the hall, and stared at his laughing brother. White foam bubbled from his mouth and dripped off his jaw, as he clenched his fists in rage. His brother's smile faltered a bit. Maybe he had gone too far. Brad just stood there for a moment, foam dripping onto the clean carpet. Finally he unclenched his hands and lowered his head. Todd lit up and started laughing again. Suddenly Brad rushed up to his brother and grabbed him by the throat. Caught off balance, Todd stumbled backwards and fell hard to the floor.

Janine was upset that her kids still hadn't come down for breakfast. She felt like she was doing a terrible job of disciplining them, especially since it hadn't always been her problem. Her husband, Jim, had said before the kids had even been born t hat he had wanted to take care of their upbringing and that she would never have to worry about them. Indeed, that's how things were going until the incident the previous year.

It had been a morning not unlike any other morning. The kids had gotten up early so Jim could drive them to school on his way to work. Janine had just finished making breakfast for the family. As she was setting the table, the rest of the family sat down at the table. Brad had been whining about something Rusty, the family dog, had been doing. She had ignored it, because it seemed like Brad was always whining about something, usually something his brother had done. As the family began to eat, Br ad was still blabbering something about Rusty. Janine remembered that Jim had told Brad to shut up and eat his food. She would always remember that, because those were her husband's last words. Before anyone could move, Rusty leaped across the table an d sank his sharp teeth into Jim's throat.

Janine had grabbed the kids and locked them in her bedroom, where she called the police. When the police came, Rusty was still chewing on Jim's body. They had to bring in a shotgun to put down the rabid dog. Later, Janine found out from Brad that Rusty had been acting really strange after he had gotten into a fight with a wolf in the backyard. After her husband's death, Janine had promised herself, that she would never take things lightly again, especially when it came the safety of her family.

Todd was gasping for air when Janine reached the hallway. She saw Brad tightening his grip around his brother's throat as he foamed from the mouth. Brad's mother muffled her scream with her hand and ran for her bedroom. When she got to her room, s he slammed the door behind her and stood with her back against the door, crying in hysteria and panic. She could hear Todd's breathes getting shorter and shorter. With her hands shaking she flung open the closet doors and grabbed the shotgun off the top shelf. The weight of the weapon steadied her frantic hands and she calmed down a little bit. She knew what she had to do.

When she got back to the hallway, Brad had completely cut off his brother's breathing ability. Janine aimed the shotgun at her son and told him to stop, but Brad couldn't hear anything but his brother's laughter. Even as he was choking the life out of him, it still seemed like Todd was laughing at him. The only way to stop it was to kill him! Janine asked a second time as Todd's flailing intensified. But still Brad persisted. Finally Todd stopped squirming and his body went limp. Janine scream ed and pulled the trigger.

Ian Chase

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