The Sister and the Stoop
by Lily James
Once we had the idea to set our sister out on the stoop, and prevent her from returning to the house. We thought this would help with the problem of her meanness, and her apparent desire to turn each of the family into a lying two-faced bitch. Cindy did the job quickly, she carried our sister by force out onto the lonely stoop, there dropped her flat. While she was recuperating from the fall Cindy slammed the door that became the lockout for our sister henceforth. Our sister was not happy or pleased in the least about her new quarters. She seemed to believe her cries of rage and terrible threats could make us take her in, but it only convinced us that we had made the right decision in putting her out there, and we told her through the mail slot that some nice man would be around directly to marry her and take her away, and we tried to sound encouraging, even though we felt only rage. And she said what about dinner, and we looked at each other with distasteful smiles. Our sister loved food. To excess.

I BLAME CINDY THE MOST BUT YOU ARE ALL WHORES cried our sister through the mail slot. We had been trying to sleep for hours. We could not even imagine what people must think, except that they had unruly sisters of their own and were jealous of our cleverness. Our sister was a trollish type, and could sleep anywhere. We found her refusal to sleep to be insubordinate and rude. Finally Cindy dropped a skunk bomb out onto the stoop and the stunning blast convinced our sister to curl up as if dead. Viewing her from the upstairs window as we were, her ass was shoved into the air violently as her face was knocked against the stoop and stuck there, and she snored. It was a mercy not to have that snoring right up against our faces in the night. We slept like queens.

The next morning our sister was so hungry that she talked of foraging throughout the neighborhood for little boys who weren't so quick on their feet. She said she would develop a taste for the small ones who were dull or retarded, and would come to consider it a mission. She would have to talk to their parents later and most would not seem grateful. Getting away with murder was the least of it, we felt. The cold water bags in the bottom of the refrigerator had taken up too much space, and the cornnuts stashed in the bottom of our beds had made our feet itch and burn. A terrible sister is a burden beyond the scope of most burdens. It is a terrible burden.

Morning was when she usually made the food that would last all day and in her absence dear Betty had to cook steak sandwiches and coffee. By ten o'clock she had given up. Poor Betty was the weakest in spirit, but the beauty of her astounded most visitors, and her marriage proposals filled a small box in the hall. Cindy had friends and a talent for gardening, Maria felt sorry for herself and wrote long letters to members of the social scene, and Darice collected money. We were all grand and glorious women. Betty, Cindy, Maria, Darice, and Horror. It is not difficult to decipher which of us was bound to be a failure. Our terrible sister had raised such a clamor for food that we could not read our books in the morning after breakfast. RAISIN CAKE APPLE PIE DELICIOUS STRAWBERRIES AND MILK AND DOUGHNUTS she wailed piteously. Her knees were tucked under the stoop and her elbows were pressed on it as if praying. The matted hair around her ears had not been washed and we knew if she were with us the smell of it would make us gag more than usual. She was NOXIOUS and we HATED HER! Cindy shoved doughnuts through the mail slot and our sister in her hurry put her mouth up to it so that Cindy had to shove hard to get it all down her. Our wonderful house was stained with the dark blood of doughnuts. It was a two-story house and painted white with blue shutters. Maria worked very hard to keep the house clean, expecting nothing in return. Darice was generous with gifts from her piles of money in the basement. That stupid sister didn't even keep any doughnuts for later on. She was not one to think ahead in this way. She preferred gluttony and starvation.


All of us wondered individually about how she could prolong this screaming without any water. Then we remembered the side spigot. Darice knew the basement well and knew which hoses and nozzles to cut and which just went off into the ground. We followed her down with torches to discover a way by which we could choke our sister effectively. We were not surprised at our distrust of each other. At any moment some one of us could crack and open the door and all would be lost. The decision to put your sister on the stoop is not one which can be revoked. She will not say coming in OH I KNOW IT WAS ONLY IN FUN once the water has been turned off and the doughnuts have stopped their squishing through the brass mail slot. She will not forgive. Darice clamped her tool down onto a large brown hose and when she had squeezed it shut she wound a rope around it to hold it. We were all carrying knives to prevent insurrection. Darice's knife was in a clever satchel hung off of her leather belt. The desperation in such a move was evident.

It was not long before we heard the wail of torment burst from our sister's lips as she twisted the spigot in terror. YOU FOUL SLUTS she sighed loudly. THE WATER'S GONE OFF AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW IT. We giggled for a while and then snuggled down in the den to take naps in the afternoon. When we awoke, we heard the scratching. All knew the truth. The door was under attack with her claws and that bitch was scratching at the door wanting in or to break or to break her hands. Maria began to cry and we pulled our knives on her in silent agreement. DO YOU WANT TO BE NEXT said Cindy in a hostile knife-carrying way. Maria snivelled and we knew she was weak in the head and could be expected to crack at any moment. Yet she knew too many people. People we needed to see socially. The Martin Smythe-Farthingtons. The James Monnington-Browns. And so on. Soon she felt sorry for her display and came around with a plan. Going to the door she opened it out and closed it fiercely several times until our bad sister had been bludgeoned by the door enough to sit down hard on her butt in failure. We hugged Maria and laughingly forgave.

Yet there was a problem. We hadn't gotten food enough to last her out. Somehow we had planned that she would wander off or be stolen, but now we had to breach her guard on the house and get off to the grocery. Cindy knew how. Our last box of doughnuts was placed in a crate which she lowered from the roof down into that horrible woman's range of sight. When she had grabbed at it firmly, strong Cindy lifted her high off the ground so she would be afraid to let go anyway eating the doughnuts with one hand she had to hang on. Darice scurried out into the yard and bolted down the street carrying her pretty purse and no one saw. It was a triumph! Once in town she could buy a helicopter and that would settle the problem. The roof had a large flat space on it right behind the attic. We loved our house for its helpful ways.

Soon people passed in parades to see the sister that had been vanquished so severely from the house. Most shook their heads and muttered but we knew they would not take her home so why? Others got excited about it and threw bits of concrete and metal at our sister who had come to be known as a mountain man by some, as a hermaphrodite by others. We could not control her public image from the house, and since Darice was the only one who could fly the helicopter, she was the only one who talked to the press. She was shy. She made up something about the plague. It was a bad idea.

After several days while we saw our sister drinking out of a puddle and shitting off the curb we became too bold and taunted her from the house. SEE NOW HOW DUMB YOU ARE STUPID HORROR we yelled and threw her doughnuts but into a pile of dirt or water. She scurried her nasty legs all hairy now and pitted with mosquito bites. YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD OUTLIVE US DIDN'T YOU we said. She snarled and slapped at the bugs that annoyed her and scratched her face with her claws leaving unsightly gashes under the eyes. When we couldn't think of any more things to taunt her with we started telling her to go out into the world with her ugly face and her disastrous perm. DON'T FORGET TO WRITE said Cindy in a mean sarcastic tone. Our sister had no soul and never cried in fact she laughed and stomped around the sidewalk chanting about how she would get back in there and we would love her. She even tried to brush out her hair and smile at us. We almost gagged.

That night, Betty had a pang of conscience. She and Maria had been talking about how we couldn't have any parties now and they seemed in agreement that this sister incident must be brought to a close. They were both young and still liked men. The older sisters liked to drink at parties and did not deny that the fun had gone out of the house. Betty used the telephone to call up John who was the nicest man we knew. We also knew that John was expecting a transfer to Idaho. Our sister has fallen on hard times we said. Wouldn't you like to come and see her. We agreed that after this step had been taken, we would have done all we could and that the next step was to stone her to death on the lawn. CLEAN YOURSELF UP we shouted through the mail slot at our snoring sister. THERE IS A MAN COMING TO SEE YOU TONIGHT. Maria went so far as to toss a see- through dress out the upstairs window. But there are stones in the basement Darice assured us. Somehow we thought that we could kill her silently and without much trouble. Why she had not wandered off by now was a terrible mystery. We could not believe it.

John arrived and told his driver to drive around the block a few times so as not to intimidate our sister who was now believed to have been raised by wolves. She wore the dress even though it had popped out at one side seam. The grass matted into her hair made it seem thicker and she had smeared her hands with wormies to make them soft. Good evening said our coy and useless sister to the man. You are so kind to come and call. We were all smashed up against the kitchen window hoping to see a few things. She began by toying with his lapel and clearly had redemption in mind when she kissed his shoe and rubbed off the kiss with her sleeve. John was charmed. You have to give her credit said Betty and then we kicked her until she was silent. Our sister looked so bad and stupid in her dress and her ugly body that she almost looked good. The word cute could not have been applied but perhaps the word sublime.

John said that he liked the way she stroked him on the pants and she said that she had been reading about certain pagan cults and they got into an interesting conversation sitting on the lawn. We snickered when she pointed her chin down to make her face look thinner and we poked each other when he put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed its ugliness. The grass in her hair sparkled in the sun and the dead donut flecks nestled in her teeth distractingly. She giggled and nodded when he said so I am a business man and she said I am intrigued by the works of people worldwide. They were getting along well, and the people walking by smiled fondly and gave them the thumbs up.

When John had our sister in his car he waved his thanks to us in the window and we waved back hopefully. She might have died out there. She might have come to a bad end. Driving away we clearly made out the snarling face of our sister speaking words of hate through the back window at us. It made us smile. She was, after all, gone. We sat down in our comfortable den and made plans for a new party and how we might repair the yard.