The coast was clear. But he checked the kitchen and living room one more time. Nope, no one was home. He stealthily tiptoed over to the china cabnet and reached behind the clock, his fingers fumbling until their tips hit the cardboard, then they seemed to rear back and suddenly lurch ahead like a predator attacking its prey. They entwined themselves around the cardboard box and gently removed it from behind the ticking clock keeping it as quiet as possible in case someone caught him in mid motion. Then, prize in hand he ran to his bedroom.
Mom was busying herself doing housework. She hated a dirty house and muttered under her breath about how the kitchen table had now become a catch-all! It caught everything under the sun a kid could think of to throw on it. School books, empty lunch bags, dirty empty milk glasses and a baseball glove. She'd get to that later as she knew it wouldn't move until she did it. First she'd get her dusting done. The china cabinet had at least an inch of dust on it she was sure! She started to grin to herself quite proud of herself for buying a box of chocolate covered almonds and hiding them behind the clock so she'd still have them for Christmas. She pushed the clock over a bit so she could dust behind it and also check to make sure the almond stash was still there. It was! She reached out to move them so she could spray the pledge where they sat. It took her a second before it sunk in that the box full of almonds was deafeningly quiet. Mom blinked and then shook the box vigorously, then she noticed the box had been opened! Empty! She didn't get mad often, but when she did, she resembled a volcanoe, quietly rumbling and burning inside until it bubbled to a head and overflowed like a shook coke bottle! How could they?! "YOU KIDS GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW"!!! she bellowed! In the kids scrambled. They knew no good would come of this! Mom meant business! "Who ate the almonds?" She asked this quietly and calmly. The way she spoke made the kids quiver. They sensed it was worse than they thought! "Ok then, I'm going to spank each and every one of you unless the guilty culprit owns up" She waved the wooden spoon menacingly! The youngest girl was terrified of getting a spanking. She knew the only hope she had was to own up to a crime she didn't commit! But it was the only way out of a spanking! "It was me! I ate the almonds mom!" There, it was out! The lie had popped out like lightning and then it turned around like a boomerang and struck her down. Mom advanced on her and put her over her knees before she could run for cover. As the wooden spoon came down repeatedly on her bottom she could only cry out "you said if we told the truth we wouldn't get spanked! I didn't eat them!" she wailed!
Brother watched wide eyed then turned and slithered down the hall to his room. That was a close call! He almost felt bad that his sister was taking his punishment for him, but then he smirked to himself as he popped a chocolate covered almond into his mouth which he had hidden under his pillow. After all, he thought to himself , that will teach her to tell a lie!