"She scratched me!"

"I did not!" Lilly yelled this, only to stop abruptly when she learned how much it made her head hurt.

"Yeah, you did! See, look- blood!" Jason shoved his arm forward for inspection.

"He's lying," she said the words softly this time, but her head still hurt. Even holding her eyes open hurt.

"You're the liar!" Jason looked hurt and confused. Lilly knew this was just part of his act.

"You slammed my head into the wall!"

She pulled her bangs back from her forehead, and tilted her head up for inspection of the evidence.

Jason rolled his eyes. "You did that to yourself. Mom, she's crazy. She was banging her head into the wall when I got home, said she did bad on something in school. When I tried to stop her, she did this."

Lilly almost laughed out loud. There was no way mom was going to believe that. Jason always got home before she did. His school got out fifteen minutes before hers. Plus, being older his legs were longer. And unless someone gave one or both of them a ride, which rarely happened, walking was their usual mode of transportation.

With a sigh of annoyance, Mrs. Connor tossed her purse onto the kitchen counter, then pulled her son's arm forward for a quick inspection.

Her lips pursed, then she glared.

Sensing her brother winning, Lilly added,"I didn't scratch him- I didn't do anything! He's the one that's hurting me!"

"Lilly, go to your room!" She barked.

"But I didn't do anything!" She wailed.

"I don't want to hear it! I don't see any blood on you," she countered. "You should be ashamed of yourself telling such a horrible lie, or any lie at all about your brother. Yet your poor brother is standing here bleeding. How could you do that to him? Get upstairs right now!"

Lilly stood in open mouthed shock. How could she not see the bruise on her forehead? Maybe it hadn't formed yet, she reasoned, but she was sure it would. With as much as her head hurt, she was surprised she wasn't spurting blood from her head like a fountain.

One hand on her hip, Mrs. Connor simply motioned to the stairs.

Glaring, furious and hurt, Lilly moved to do as told, while her mother made her way to the kitchen for a first aid kit.

I didn't do a thing to him.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Jason smirking at her. When she looked back at him as she mounted the stairs, she saw him licking the ketsup off his arm like a cat.

When he saw her watching, he laughed at her. Then he smirked again and hissed as their mother approached. "I told you so. I got you in trouble. They're never going to believe you."

Tears of rage, physical and now emotional pain beginning to form, she stomped up the stairs, her mother's clucking over her brother's faked injury burning in her ears. When she got to her room she opened the door, then slammed it behind her.

The sound made her head hurt worse.

Slowly, she walked over to the bed, lay down carefully, and placed both hands over her forehead. It felt like someone were stabbing swords in it from the outside, and pounding hammers on the inside.

When the pain got worse still, she stood up, still holding her head with one hand, made her way to the upstairs bathroom, and got herself a wet-wash cloth.

As she was at her door she heard her mother call.

"Don't even think of coming downstairs, young lady! You will get no dinner either. Your brother just showed me what all you did to him. Shame on you!"

Tears rolling freely now, she went into her room and closed the door, heading again for bed.

Jason had grabbed her by the hair, tightly, without warning just after she'd tossed her backpack down in the hall, and was headed to the living room to watch afternoon cartoons. Without a word, he slammed her head as hard as he could into the living room wall.

Then next thing she knew, she was opening her eyes, looking at a blurry Jason standing over her and taunting her. And her head hurt, really hurt.

"You need to be more careful," Jason smiled. "You're such a klutz!"

"What'd you do that for?" She shouted. She tried to jump up, but sitting proved to be painful enough to keep her still.

"Because I can," he laughed.

"I'm telling Mom when she gets home!"

He shrugged. "She won't believe you."

"Yeah she will. You just tried to kill me!" She shrieked.

"Nope. Not after I tell her what you did to me."

"I haven't done anything to you, stupid."

"You just did." He ran his fingernails across his arm, scratching it. "See?"

Lilly rolled her eyes. "No one's gonna believe that. You're dumb, you know that?"

"After I show Mom what you've done to me, she won't believe a word you say."

"You're dumb. Just wait till she gets home."

He smiled and laughed again. "I know. I can't wait. You're going to get in so much trouble."

Lilly opened her eyes, then looked at the clock. Six pm. Her favorite show was on TV. Even though she was told she was too young to watch it, and honestly, she still prefered cartoons to any 'real' tv show, this was one of her exceptions. And sometimes she could manage to watch it, if she sat and pretended to read a book while her father watched the show.

But not tonight. Definitely not tonight.

So instead she lay there trying to figure out what was wrong with Jason. He'd never been mean to her before. Never even hit her. She wondered what she'd done to make him so angry.

LINE BREAK HERE

The next morning, Lilly sat down to breakfast as if nothing had happened.

"Woah!" Mr. Connor chuckled, eyeing Lilly's forehead, "you've got quite a lump there! That's gotta be the size of a tennis ball!" He nodded at it, impressed. "Did someone hit you with a baseball bat?"

She glanced openly at her brother. "No," Lilly answered him, "Jason did it. He slammed my head into the wall when I got home from school yesterday. And, don't give him any ideas," she answered.

Jason grinned wide at her,the look vanishing the moment their father's eyes were on him. He became the picture of innocence.

"Jason's your brother, his job is to protect you, not hurt you," her father smiled. "You know he'd never hurt you."

"But, he did!"

"Don't be silly."

Her mother walked into the room at the commotion, and looked at Lilly. With concern she asked, "What happened to you?"

With a sigh she answered, "I told you yesterday. Jason slammed my head into the wall."

"I told you to stop telling lies about your brother," Mrs. Connor answered quickly, disgusted. "Why would you say such horrible things?" Her voice full of disgust she added quickly, "Only white trash fights with each other like that. You're just trying to make him look bad so you won't get punished for what you did to him."

She sat down to the table and added, "That young lady, is inexcusable. Why on earth would you make up any lie about your brother? Let alone one that is so awful? Having an imagination is one thing, but an imagination like that is what puts little girls in nut houses, or jail."

"I'm not lying!" She insisted. "He slammed my head into the wall when I got home from school yesterday."

Jason rolled his eyes. "Wouldn't there be a hole, then? Or some evidence?"

Lilly pointed to her forehead.

"You drew blood," he countered. "There was even blood on the floor- evidence of you hurting me, not the other way around."

"It's ketsup," she growled. Her head still hurt so much, she wanted to cry.

"Do you want to miss breakfast too?" Her mother threatened. "And I don't want to hear about you going to school and telling your teacher that lie. Next thing you know, social services will be at our door."

"At least they'd believe me," she muttered.

"What was that?"

"Nothing."

Her father rose from the table and grabbed his suitcase. "See you all tonight," he excused himself.

"And you," he looked at Lilly, "stay away from those baseball bats! If those boys at school are bothering you, you just tell them your big brother will deal with them." He grinned.

Lilly just sighed.

She decided then to ride her bike to school instead of walk. The faster she could get away from her house today, the better. Hopefully she could think of a good lie by the time she got to school. And maybe get a bag of ice from the school nurse.

Clearly, more details to follow. Some aspects of this story have been taken from my own life, as well as from a blog I found online. No worries, I asked the author's permission. She said she'd even help write a few chapters! She's a trek-girl too, so we're good there. Her blog is here .com/- Edit: Okay, clearly that didn't publish. Dunno why. Doing what DoFH suggested. Hope it will at least show up. If you want to read the blog, it's at www(dot)stifledballerina(dot)blogspot(dot)com.