Daphne had been kicked out of her friend Nina’s house because Nina got grounded. It happens, you get grounded. Ugh! It was so frustrating! One minute they were playing video games and the next everyone was in tears. In. Tears.
It was so unfair, too.
None of the parents would believe JUST HOW EVIL Mrs. Barkone was. NONE of them. And just because Mrs. Barkone called Nina’s house and accused her of stealing that horrible boy’s lunchbox didn’t make it true. Not at all. And Daphne had proof, but Nina’s parents didn’t want to listen. That was the problem. Nobody wanted to listen.
And so, as Daphne stood at the sidewalk in front of Nina’s house waiting for her dad to come pick her up, she thought, I wish that Daphne’s parents’ brains would explode. WHAM. WHAM. SPLATTER. Just like that. And then she bit her tongue. Literally. Bit. Her. Tongue. Until she tasted a little bit of blood in her mouth. She spat it on the sidewalk–peh peh peh–but her mouth still tasted bad.
But wishing for things didn’t make them happen. Or she would have wished a lot of things into happening.
Like Christmas every day. Or Halloween. Or her birthday. Every day. Her birthday. Or summer. If every day was summer then she could spend every day with her mom, on summer vacation. Her stepmom wouldn’t let her cook. Or a lot of things. Her dad was the greatest, except for her mom, who was also the greatest. Her stepmom was only just okay. Her dad would be here any second to pick her up in his pickup truck. He might be mad. Not at her. He’d been planning to go shopping without her…maybe for a surprise! Except really he just hated going shopping with her because she kept saying “I want this! And this! And this!!!”
Okay, really, she didn’t really want Nina’s parents’ brains to explode. Except if they did maybe Nina would come and live over at her house, and that would be cool, except Mom probably wouldn’t want to have Nina over during the summer. Mom wasn’t a “friends” kind of person. But otherwise Mom was the best.
Daphne checked her watch. Her mom gave it to her for Christmas, except it was also supposed to be for her birthday. It was gold and kind of weird and grown-up-looking but that was cool. Nobody weirder than Daphne. Except for her friend Nina! Dad still wasn’t here and it was almost lunch time. And Daphne needed to take her medicine. Every day at noon. Or she would get too wound up. And you didn’t want to see Daphne when she was too wound up! No, ma’am! Your head might explode! Except she couldn’t take it out here. She needed a glass of water.
What she should do, what she should really really do, was go back into Nina’s house and wait inside for her dad. And while she was waiting for her dad, she would, on purpose, not take her medicine. And then she would talk. She would really really talk. Everybody thought she was hyper, but they didn’t know what she was like when she didn’t take her medicine. She would go inside Nina’s house and talk. Until everyone’s heads exploded. Except for Nina. She would make Nina wear headphones so she wouldn’t hear THE FULL POWER OF DAPHNE’S WORDS. And then Daphne would talk. She would really really talk.
And let out all the words she was secretly thinking under all the words she normally said. Yeah. If she ever let all the real words out, that would do it.
WHAM! WHAM! SPLATTER!
Except nobody, not even Nina’s non-listening parents who listened to Mrs. Barkone instead of their own kid, deserved that.
Her dad’s pickup truck pulled up. “Nina got grounded,” she said as she climbed up the ladder into the seat. “Do you have all your stuff?” he said. She had all her stuff. And then she told her dad all about what happened. Except she left out the parts with the exploding brains.
“Uh-huh,” was all her dad said. “Uh-huh.”
Mom once told her that she was like her dad. Mom was so funny! Dad was the best, but she wasn’t like her dad. Not. At. All.
Afterword: This is a De Kenyon story, in case you’re curious. This tale comes from Ray and a couple of her friends. Ugh, grounded! It happens.