The Great Jelly Disaster

Amanda stared long and hard at the jar of jelly sitting before her. It sat there... mocking her... completely unaware of her frustration, her anger, her focused eye of relentless fury... all directed at it.

Amanda breathed deeply, trying to find a calmer place in her mind. She breathed out, and opened her eyes to the jar, seeing it was still sitting there, just where it was before, it's lid still as tight and sealed on as before. She glared at it a moment, her anger returning, before she quickly took a deep breath again, closed her eyes, and tried to think, to think without the ever watchful eye of her enemy sitting before her.

What were her options to getting this monstrous beast open...?

She could always call for one of her older brothers. Surely they would be able to open the jar... But that would be like giving up; quitting; throwing in the towel... and she couldn't have that, now could she? No. She may have been only seven, but everything had to be done her way and by herself. It gave her a sense of pride that outweighed the hunger she felt for the delicious treat lying inside of the horrid, insufferable jar. Her pride was her biggest weakness... but also her biggest strength, and to her, that was all that mattered. The incredible pride she felt from doing something so hideously insurmountable was worth the risk of shame she'd feel afterward if she were to fail. After all, she was Amanda F. Shortman, and no stupid jelly jar was ever going to best her!

But then, the only other option she could see would be to get the jar open by herself, but she'd already tried that... several times, actually... So if she couldn't open the jar, then how was she supposed to win this battle?

She opened her eyes, seeing the jar still sitting on the table in front of her, the lid screwed on tight and the manufacturers unknowing of the anger they were instilling in the young girl. Finally, her strength and frustration melted for a mere moment, and a small spark of sadness flashed in her eyes.

Mom and Dad had been gone all day; Mom off running errands, and Dad still at work. The only people home were her brothers. Zack, having been ditched by his latest girlfriend for a date, was lounging on the couch in the living room, sulking, while Phil was beside him watching whatever fancied him, completely ignoring Zack as he rattled on about how he didn't know what he could have done to set her off. And whilst all that went on in the living room, Josh was off lifting weights in his room, IMing his friends during breaks and very rarely coming down for water. Amanda worried about him sometimes...

But while all that went on, Amanda had been sick for the last few days, and was just getting over the flu. She was hungry, and, not wanting to seem weak to her brothers, came down to make herself a sandwich as opposed to calling to someone for some soup.

But of course, the only sandwich she knew how to make was peanut, butter and jelly, just like any other respectable seven year old would. She really needed to branch out a little... but that could always wait until she was eight.

Amanda breathed deeply through her mouth one more time (Seeing as her nose was stuffed up), and then reached forward to grab the jar, as her other hand came up to rest on the lid. She took a moment to gather her energy and to breath out, before twisting the lid of the jar as hard as she humanly could, shutting her eyes tight for a second as she grunted lightly in her strains.

Just when she thought it was time to stop and give up (just for a few more minutes of deep breaths, mind you), she thought she felt the lid give a little. Feeling a spark of hope, she twisted harder, and harder, and harder, until...

A sudden deliberately rushed shout came from behind her, right in her ear, "Amanda!"

She screamed, jumping almost a foot in the air, and in effect, the lid popped off, and along with it, the freshly opened jelly jar jettisoned into the air.

Phil's look of jollyment vanished when he saw the glass and very breakable jar go flying, and he jumped forward quick, and his arm flew out to catch the jar...

...but he wasn't quick enough, and the jar fell straight to the floor, a hideous smash sounding from the now broken pile of glass and grape jelly on their Mom and Dad's clean floor.

They both stared at it with wide, shocked eyes and agape mouths, Phil's hand still stretched out in his vain attempt to stop what was now a reality.

Amanda stared at the last jar of jelly she wasn't allergic to, shattered on the floor, a heap of sharp, broken glass and gloppy, purple jelly, shining in the dim light of the kitchen window.

The first thought that went through her mind, humorously, was that she got the jar opened, all by herself. But just as that sense of pride and victory started to brighten within her, a deep grief and sadness overcame those feelings and left her standing there, staring at the jar, and as if the whole universe were laughing at her, her stomach grumbled, loud and clear for all to hear.

Phil stared down at the jar, his arm still stretched, and his eyes wide. He had only meant to frighten her, and then out of nowhere jelly was flying out of her hands. So perhaps what that old man was always saying about "horseplay leading to tears" was right-Tears! His eyes shot to Amanda, afraid that he would see tears.

Fortunately, though, Amanda just looked pale and sad. Still, it struck him through with guilt, and he stood straight again, anxiously running a hand through his dark, brown hair he'd inherited from his great-grandfather. He didn't know what to say, though. Apologies just weren't his thing. But unfortunately, though he had acquired his pride and wits from his mother (not to mention his complete lacking of the ability to say he was sorry in a none-insulting way), he had gotten his conscience from his father. Though he'd spent years trying to stomp down on that, it never failed to come back full force when he did something shameful, just as he had now. He felt horrible for her sadness, his own sister, but knowing that if he did speak it would only do to make her more sad (since he knew something conceited or jokey would be all he could come up with to say), he kept his mouth shut unsurely.

Finally, though, Amanda took a deep breath through her mouth, sniffled a little through her stuffy nose, and then brought her now blank eyes up to meet his fearful ones. "Could you please make me some soup?"

Phil just blinked a moment, having not expected this... but then he just nodded, glad she wasn't bringing up the rather humiliating incident.

Amanda nodded back. "Thank you. I'm going back to bed." She dragged herself out of the room then... and then Phil jumped a bit at the sound of her punching a wall almost as soon as her small form disappeared from sight, causing a loud bang to go off and resonate throughout the house...