I screamed out.
"Are you okay?" Peter asks over me immediately after attacking.
I gasp at the pain in my shoulder as I move my arm back down- my shoulder and my back were pounding. Hell no I'm not okay!
"Tubby, you can't go throwing all your weight on other people. Someone could get seriously hurt," Paul mused.
Peter helped me up, apologizing. "I'm sorry, but you can't call the police on guests. That's just plain rude." He is oblivious to my glares.
Mom, Dad and Jamie all rushed over to me. Peter and Paul stood back to watch. After confirming that I was only slightly injured, we all looked towards the extremely unwinding guest.
"What do you want? Why don't you just leave?" Dad asks on edge; now he begins to see why my gut tells me they are bad news.
"Why won't we leave?" Paul repeats. "We just got here. Come on, surely you wouldn't shove every guest through your door like this." We don't respond.
Peter sits down on the arm chair as Paul leans against the wall closet to us.
"All we want to do is play a game," Paul says slowly. "It's a fun game, I promise." He smiles at us expectantly. "Yes? Will you play?"
There was a moment of silence.
"What do you want us to do?" My father asks.
"So you will play, then?" Paul sounded…pleased.
Dad doesn't say anything. Mom sighs. "We will do whatever you want, just…leave, okay?"
Neither answer, but they both smile those polite little smirks. "That's awesome," Paul says. "Now let's begin with a formal introduction, shall we? Good evening. My name is Paul, and this is Peter." Peter waves at us, smiling.
He looks expectantly at us again. No one did anything.
"Come on, were you all raised in a barn? What are your names?"
Noticing Paul's face getting more and more angered, I tried to comply by giving him our names. "I'm Ethan. This is Jamie. That's our mother, Theresa, and our father, Philip," I answered with a dead edge to my voice..
I sigh and close my eyes. "Why are you doing this?"
"Why are we doing this, Tubby," he calls out to Peter.
"I don't know," Peter says in his quiet voice. How do you not know why you're doing this?
Paul "tsked" him. "Now, Tubby, what kind of an example are you setting for these people by breaking the rules? You know why."
Peter moved his mouth to the side thoughtfully. It looked like he was thinking over whether or not to answer. "I don't want to talk about it."
We all watched Paul speak quietly to Peter, whose face grew red and eyes watery.
"Fine then, I'll tell them." Paul turned to us now. "You see, Peter's father used to beat him- all the time, for little things. And his mother was a loose cannon. A different guy every night when his dad was at work." Peter was sobbing now, but Paul continued. "When they were done with his mom, they would sneak into his room and-"
"Shut up!" I screamed. Jamie was gripping my leg for dear life and crying. "You're scaring her," I stated, picking up my little sister.
Paul put on a concerned look. "If it's any consolation to you, everything I said wasn't true."
"Can you just…stop?" Mom asked.
"But your little soldier asked a question, ma'am, and every question deserves an answer."
"Please," she begged.
Paul smiled widely, clapping like Mom had a break through. "That's great. You know, the game is much easier when manners are involved. So what would you like to hear?"
"The truth," Dad hissed through gritted teeth/
"Easy enough. Why are we really here, Tom?"
Peter had stopped crying and was wiping his face with a handkerchief. "Because we can," he said with a chipper tone.
"Exactly," Paul praised, "because we can." He signaled for us to come into the living room and take seats. I sat next to Dad on the sofa with Jamie in my lap. Peter politely gave his seat to my mother and joined Paul to lean against the wall.
I wince as Jamie lets her head drop on to previously injured shoulder.
"Does it hurt badly? " Peter questioned quietly.
"I'll be fine." I didn't word it to come off as rude, but the way I said it was more like, "well, if some fat guy didn't just jump me and jack up my shoulder, I'd be a lot better."
He goes on. "I'm sorry I had to hurt you, but you were going to call the cops on us. That wasn't very friendly of you, you must admit." I don't though; if I tell you to leave my house, you leave or else. Simple as that.
"You really shouldn't go throwing yourself on others, Tom," Paul says casually. "It could give others the wrong impression of us."
Peter laughed. "What's the problem if they'll end up dead anyway?"
"Tubby, that is so rude! "
"But it's true!"
"Well, either way, it's no excuse to forget manners."
My family and I listened to them bicker in silence. I could feel Jamie gradually relaxing on me; being relatively young, she took naps quite frequently during the day. I rubbed her back soothingly as she begins snoring softly.
This interrupted their conversation and Paul looked rather surprised.
"You can't fall asleep in the game. Please wake her up."
"She's a little kid- she needs her sleep," I say on her behalf.
"She's an asset to your team. Believe me when I say I sympathize, but she must stay awake, otherwise well have to penalize her and you don't want that."
I looked incredulous at him. "Penalize a five year old for sleeping? What's wrong with you?"
"Oh, nothing really. It's just, those are the rules and where would modern civilization be without rules?"
"Anarchy," Peter answered.
"Exactly. Thank you, Tom."
"You're welcome, Jerry."
"We'd be in anarchy if we didn't follow the rules, Ethan. I can't bend them any more than you."
He signaled to Jamie and I reluctantly shook her awake.
"Hey, Tubby what time is it?"
Peter frowns. "Stop calling me Tubby." Paul rolled his eyes, mumbling under his breath. "It's nine twenty-three," he says after checking his wrist watch.
Paul questions the statement, saying how time flies when you're having fun. "It's about time we place our bets, eh, Beavis?"
They both walked to the middle of the room like what they had to say would interest us.
"What bet," Dad questions, worry plastered on his face.
"Okay," Paul began. "We bet that in twelve hours, so about nine thirty, that you all will be...dead."
"What?" Mom breathes.