"Caitey!" When Lizzie spoke, Caitey didn't even look up. After sharing a room with her sister for 12 years, she was used to the background noise.
"Did you hear me?" Lizzie started to whine.
Caitey knew better than to tell the truth. "Yes."
"You did not."
Caitey still hadn't looked up from the computer on her lap. "I did so, in fact."
"Then what did I say?"
Caitey thought about it. Lizzie did have one thing she always said when she had nothing to say. That was as good a guess as any. "You said 'something big has been here.' "
"Ha! I did not."
This was worth a look over the laptop at her sister. "Oh? Then what did you say?"
"I said, 'When I want to run away, I drive off in my car.' "
Caitey sighed. "Him again?"
"It's an awesome song!"
"Yes, but I do not have to hear you sing Peter Gabriel every day of the week."
"I didn't sing it, I said it!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Caitey went back to whatever game she was playing.
She would probably have gone back to ignoring her sister too, except that Lizzie didn't let her. "Well, the least you can do is listen to me when I talk."
"Even when you're saying pointless things?"
"That wasn't pointless."
In her best condescending-older-sister tone, Caitey informed her, "Young lady, as you well know, you cannot even drive."
"So saying something about driving in a car is pointless."
"Is not. What if I go out driving every night and you don't know it?"
Caitey could have gone right on arguing, but that would take too much time and energy. Instead, she took an idea from her sister. "Something big has been here," she said, and starting in on the ignoring again.
This time Lizzie didn't let her off so easily. "What?"
"What do you mean what?"
"What something big has been here?"
I can't even get her to be quiet with her own nonsense words. "I don't know."
"I don't know?"
"How'd it get here?"
"I. Don't. Know."
"Well, you should have paid more attention, and it wouldn't have left," Lizzie finished with a flourish.
Caitey barely managed to keep from laughing. "Lizzie."
Caitey paused the game and looked across the room at her. "We don't make sense, do we?"
Lizzie shook her head sadly. "Never could."
Lizzie thought for a second and then said, as if she'd just thought of it, "We don't make sense, do we?"
"Oh, I make plenty of sense. You're the one who doesn't."
"Well, you're the one who just said 'something big has been here,' aren't you." Lizzie didn't even bother making it a question.
Shutting her laptop, Caitey smiled sweetly. "You're the one who says it all the time, aren't you." She got up and started across the room.
"Where are you going?"
"Um... so I don't make sense, huh?" Lizzie was desperately trying to think of a comeback before her sister left.
"Well, you are too dramatic."
"You are too clueless."
"You are too smart-mouthed."
"You are too nonsensical."
"You are too...showoff-y."
"You are too out of it." Caitey had her hand on the doorknob.
Lizzie desperately searched for something to call her sister. "You are too... sane!"
That wasn't what Caitey had been expecting. In response, she announced (as dramatically as her sister had accused her of being), "I am not sane! Take that horrible insult back this very instant!"
Lizzie hadn't expected her sister to take the 'insult' seriously, of course, but she hadn't expected her to put on a dramatic performance either. It took her a minute to play along. "Take that back?! Of course I'm not taking it back!"
"Take it back! Take it back! Take it back!" Caitey ran back to her bed, grabbed a pillow, and waved it. "Or prepare to face your doom!"
"Is that a threat?"
"Jedi don't threaten," Caitey quoted, "we warn."
Lizzie grabbed her own pillow. "What are you saying?"
"I'm saying you have two seconds to take back calling me sane, or else..." Caitey held up the pillow in a fighting stance and repeated, "prepare to face your doom."
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes!" Lizzie yelled, stood up on her bed, and threw herself across the room, pillow out in front of her.
Caitey lunged forward to meet her, pillow-to-pillow.
Lizzie put up a good fight, but Caitey was older, faster, and stronger. Also, there was a shoe in the middle of the floor. The second Lizzie tripped over it, Caitey was ready. Lizzie crashed to the floor, and Caitey put her pillow to Lizzie's throat. "You have been defeated, Sith. Say it."
"Say...what...?" In the excitement Lizzie had completely forgotten what had started the duel.
"Admit that I am not sane."
It took everything Lizzie had to keep from laughing. "I will not say it. Jedi do not surrender."
"Jedi know when they are defeated, Sith. Admit your insult is untrue. Now. Or you will die."
"I will never-"
The voice drifted upstairs. "Caitey! Dishes!"
Caitey jabbed her pillow into Lizzie's throat, as well as a pillow could jab. "Say it!"
"Caitey!" the voice called again.
"Catherine Lydia Hartford!"
"Say it or die, Sith!"
Lizzie barely breathed out the words. "I...will...never..."
At that minute, Caitey heard and Lizzie saw the door fly open. "Caitey," started their father, "your mother is yelling at you to go do the-" He stopped when he noticed Lizzie scrambling to her feet. "Are you two all right in here?"
"Fine, Dad, just fine," Caitey practically sang, tossing her pillow onto her bed and pretending to dust her hands off. "What was I- Oh, yeah, dishes." She brushed past her dad and out the door. Then she stuck her head back in. "Oh, Lizzie- say it."
"Uh-uh," Lizzie said emphatically, sticking out her tongue.
"Say it!" Caitey said again. Their father looked back and forth between them, slightly confused.
"No way," said Lizzie. As her sister pulled her head back out the door and started down the hall, she added firmly, "I will never."