"Mom! Peggy's in our room. We need to talk to you." It was mid-week, an hour before the children were expected to go to bed.
Joan flinched whenever Robert's voice sounded like a command. She took a deep breath. If Peggy was with him, he wouldn't have a chance for mischief. She finished folding one of her husband's polyester pants. Like them, he had proven drip-dry. She set it into the basket and made her way to the boys' room.
"What's this about, Brat?" Peggy gnawed on the end of a pencil. She had been in a rare mood to do homework, when Robert invited her to talk with Mom in his room. She couldn't decide which would waste more of her precious, teen years.
"Gee, I thought I might help to get Mom off your back, and you insult me." Robert frowned and filed her snotty rebuke in an account she would one day pay for.
"Peggy? Are you two fighting again?" Their mother looked nervously around the room before entering. Spying Peggy calmed her.
Her daughter didn't notice. "Mom, Robert's probably just playing a prank."
"Have more forgiveness, Peggy." She couldn't believe she said it. Her son's deserved nothing but suspicion and contempt, but they weren't the only ones who had to keep up appearances. As long as they played their roles as darling sons, she had to pretend to dote on them.
"Mom, I just wanted to tell her that I know she struggles with history, and to offer my help. If you could explain that I'm studying at her level these days, maybe she would accept."
Tommy burst into the room. "Peggy! Dad's really got it in for you. You have to see him in the living room, right now! The young boy pushed past their mother, grabbed his older sister's hand, and dragged her out of the room, slamming the door behind him! They had practiced this for days, going as far to fabricate evidence against their sister.
Robert leaped from his chair and blocked the door. "Tommy will be back soon, Mom. You had better be naked before then!" He ordered.
Joan flinched again. "Th-this is reckless! We'll get caught!" Her hands clutched at her bosom. Both her husband and her daughter were just down the hall, in the front room! She despaired at having been trapped so easily, but the boys must be out of their minds, to take such a risk!
"We won't get caught, if you act fast." The boys had to leave their usual implements for taming their mom, in the basement. Peggy was known to snoop in their room, hoping to find dirt on them. Robert considered the wooden ruler on Tommy's desk. It was used to good effect, days ago, but that wasn't the older boy's style. He had been lifting weights and practicing in the cellar, to create his own. He stepped up to his mother and struck her across the face with his hand! Their days of work, below, had put callouses on it.
Joan knew better than to cry out loud. She nearly did, surprised by her son's rough and strong strike. But one slap failed to break her sense of their danger, however humiliating it was to be punished by one of her children.
Instead of slapping, Robert grabbed the meat of her right cheek and gripped it hard. She ground her teeth and lips together to mute her yelp. He shook her face with her cheek. "I said, get naked."
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
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Changes last made on: Tuesday, February 19, 2019