Kids Will Be Kids


Alara Rogers

"These are my marbles," Lisa said firmly. "Touch and you die."

"Who'd want to touch your marbles?" Eric asked. "Euw. They're probably corroded."

"Lisa! Come wipe me!"

"Coming, bratface!" Lisa yelled to her sister. "You smell, Eric." She got off the floor and ran to the bathroom.

Eric couldn't resist it. He touched five of the marbles and made them vanish. Then he, too, disappeared.

Lisa returned from wiping Diane and inventoried her marbles. "ERIC!" she shrieked. There was a snickering, somewhere in the room. Lisa tossed her hair and said, "Okay, I'm telling."

She stomped out to her mother in the kitchen. "Mom, Eric-- "

"Please, Lisa!" her mother agonized. "Go away and leave me alone! I don't want to hear about it!"

"But, Mom--"

"No buts. If you or Eric bother me once more today, you're both going to be sent directly to bed. Do you understand?"

"Yeah, Mom," Lisa grumped, and stalked back to her room.

Eric had been playing with Lisa's marbles, after making them all visible. He looked up as the figure of his mother stomped into the room. "Eric!" she said. "Put Lisa's marbles down, right now!"

Eric obeyed, but was suspicious. Whenever Lisa got her way, she usually showed up to gloat. So where was she?

"Now, I want you to go to bed right now, and don't get up again tonight! That will teach you to harass your sister!"

Eric got up and went to his room. As soon as he heard his mother's footsteps recede, he opened the door. It was tricky, because it was latched on the outside. So he touched the door and, concentrating, lifted the latch.

Lisa stood in the hallway only a split-second before she blurred into her mother's form, but that was enough for Eric. "You heard me!" Lisa shouted in her mother's voice.

"Can't fool me this time, jerk," Eric said.

Angrily Lisa blurred back into her own form. About ten of her marbles sailed out of the room and flew at Eric's head. Eric repelled them toward Lisa and vanished, running around behind her.

Lisa split apart into 12 Lisa images and hurled what looked like 700 marbles through the air randomly. Eric grabbed at one that seemed real with his TK. It spun about in mid-flight, proving its reality, and slammed into a Lisa, passing right through the image.

Diane came out to watch. Her eyes turned inward, and she knew that she had to stop Lisa and Eric's battle. If they didn't stop fighting, something terrible would happen. "Mommy!" she shrilled, running into the kitchen. "Lisa and Eric are fighting again!"

"Please! Leave me alone!"

"But Mommy!"

"Tell them to stop and then LEAVE ME ALONE!"

Diane ran back to the marble-filled hallway. "Lisa, Eric, Mommy says to stop fighting!"

"Big fat hairy deal!" Eric retorted. This gave away his position, and Lisa brought all the marbles flying toward that spot. Eric had to dodge away fast. He wasn't quite ready to teleport yet-- he hadn't been in this battle long enough for second-stage abilities to manifest.

"But Mommy says!"

"Shut up, bratlet!" all the Lisas chorused. Then all but one winked out. The real Lisa lifted into the air and flew toward the back door, trailed by marbles. Eric grinned. That meant the second level was open. He instantaneously transported himself to the back yard. Moments later, Lisa showed up, flying at him. "You're slime, Eric!"

"Who's slime?" Eric asked, teleporting above her.

"You are."

"I know you are but what am I?"


"I know you are but what am I?"

"You sound like a broken record!" Disgustedly, Lisa filled the air with flying images of herself. Then she hurled her marbles at where Eric was. He wasn't there anymore, he was on the roof. Lisa flung the marbles there, but then he was on the ground again.

Diane came out just as a pair of bikers passed. Stunned, the bikers stopped to watch the fight. Lisa looked at them, and they froze, not breathing, not moving.

"Mommy will be mad you did that, Lisa!" Diane shouted.

"Take a real long walk off a real short pier," Lisa snarled at Diane, and bounced a marble off her head. Diane yelped and ran inside.

While Lisa was distracted with their sister, Eric picked up the next-door neighbors' house, froze everyone in it, and hurled it at Lisa. Lisa screamed and dropped to the ground to avoid being hit. The house crashed to the ground, wrecking the pavement. People were coming out of their houses to gape. Lisa and Eric teamed up briefly to freeze them all, then resumed fighting.

Inside, Diane watched the battle through her mindseye. She knew that somehow, the fight had to be stopped. Maybe dinnertime would intervene. "Mommy, when's dinner?"

"In a few hours. Don't bother me!"

"Can't we have it sooner?"

"Don't tell me you're hungry already! You just had lunch!"

Outside, Lisa shot a bolt of freezing cold at Eric. It missed, but hit a water pipe, exploding it. Eric smiled grimly-- third-level abilities were finally open. He shot his own bolt of crackling heat at Lisa. She dodged, and it struck the grass, setting the lawn on fire.

"Ha-ha, missed me!" Lisa yelled.

"Drop dead, Lisa!"

"Drop dead twice, jerk!"

"Who's a jerk?"

Lisa called up storm clouds. Lighting flashed, striking the spot Eric had been at a second ago. Rain drenched Eric, without touching Lisa. At the same time, the ground heaved at Eric's command. It split open, and lava shot up at Lisa, freezing in midair as her cold bolt struck it. The rain around Eric turned to steam, and Lisa's hair suddenly caught fire. Rain poured down on Lisa, drowning the flames.

Diane was terrified. Dinnertime wasn't coming soon enough to stop them-- Lisa and Eric would split the planet apart long before then! She ran outside to try to make them stop.

"Lisa! Eric! Please stop fighting!" she shrieked.

Annoyed, Eric sent a burst of flame Diane's way. It singed her fingers, and she ran to her mother, howling. While Eric was distracted, Lisa pulled up a tree and struck him with it. "That'll teach you to touch my marbles!" she crowed triumphantly.

"Didn't hurt!" Eric taunted, and threw a shed at her.

Diane reached her mother. "You're filthy!" her mother exclaimed. "How did you get so dirty?"

"Mommy, they hurt me!" Diane sobbed.

"Give it to me. I'll kiss it and make it all better."

The burns healed. "Thank you, Mommy," Diane said tearily. "Make'em stop fighting?"

"I suppose I'll get no peace until I do," her mother sighed, irritated. "LISA AND ERIC!!!"

The shout resounded throughout time and space. Eric teleported into the room. "Yeah, Mom?" he asked, surly.

Lisa flew in. "Yes, Mother?" she asked sweetly, trying to make brownie points.

It didn't work. "Clean up that mess out there, wash up your sister, and then go to bed," their mother ordered. "And I don't want to see your faces again today. Is that clear?"

"Yes, Mom," Lisa sulked.

"Yeah," muttered Eric.

The two went outside to clean up the mess, and Diane smiled happily. This was the third time this week she'd saved the world from destruction. It must be some kind of record. After all, she was only four.