“Hey!” He swung his head toward me and laughed. He actually had the gall to laugh. I imagined he wasn’t challenged by girls often, but he’d clearly never messed with an older sister before.
“He keeps the cards,” I said in a monotone, like my favorite superhero did on tv.
“What are you gonna do about it, girly-girl? Call your mommy?”
I stepped toward him threateningly, but he didn’t seem to find it very threatening. He clenched a fist and I worried he’d shove me too. He was stronger than me any day.
But I still hadn’t shown my weapon. I may not have had strength, but I had claws. I stared at him defiantly and when he reached toward my shoulders to push me back, I lashed out. With all the force I had, my hand connected with his neck and I dragged my nails across his skin. No, into his skin.
He gasped and clutched his neck where blood already pooled in the little red welts. “Ow! You made me bleed, you cow!”
Now, I’m not a mean person, but in defense of my brother, I’d do anything. Say anything. You do not mess with my kid brother, or you will face my wrath.
“What’re ya gonna do about it, whiny pants? Call your mommy?” I taunted. “You can tell her a girl put you in your place.”
I was still on fire with rage and I’m sure he could see it. He backed down slowly and ran away. I ran a finger over the sharp edge of my nails, feeling rather proud of myself.
“You didn’t have to do that,” my brother said.
“I know,” I replied. “But I’d do again in a heartbeat. No one messes with my brother. Ever. Unless it’s me.”
A thought occurred to me and my smugness evaporated. “Don’t tell Mom?”
He grinned. “Never.”
And we never did.