“Victory is mine!” Shannon jumped from the couch, landing with his legs spread shoulder-width apart, gray sword held high.
Mandy merely rolled her eyes. “Get real, Little Pigeon. I’m the Hawk here.”
“Then be prepared to die!”
“Nah, I’m tired of the game.” Mandy dropped her toy sword and turned away.
Shannon lunged toward Mandy, striking her right hip. “You will not leave this village alive.”
“I’m already gone, and stop hitting me.” She turned toward him, her eyes blazing. “Or do you want me to tell Mom and have her take your sword away again?”
Shannon frowned and Mandy wondered if he was going to cry. She was supposed to be playing with him this afternoon, while their mom was at a doctor’s appointment, but sometimes she just didn’t want to play his super hero games.
“I’m sorry, Shanny. I’m just tired of the game right now. Would you like me to fix us a snack?”
At the mention of food, his eyes lit up, just as Mandy knew they would. She popped a bag of popcorn into the microwave and poured them both a glass of milk.
“You’re a good super-hero, you know,” Mandy said softly, trying to make up for earlier. “Mom’s going to need a super-hero around here for a while.”
“Well, that’s me!” Shannon stood tall, his sword raised, face lit by a big grin. “But why?”
Mandy wasn’t supposed to tell him about their mom’s injuries, and how her latest boyfriend was even worse than the last one. She wondered when her mom would finally find a kind man to date.
She smiled at Shannon, then reached out to ruffle his hair. “Because you are the man of the house and super-heroes are always in demand to kill the bugs that sneak in to bother us.”
“Popcorn’s ready,” he shouted when the timer beeped. “Can we watch a movie?”
“Sure, champ. What would you like to watch today?”
his pain, that day
Beth drew her sword, sliced through
their love, left him stunned, heart broken