One warm day the following summer, I stood in the garden and called up to my brother’s window. “Come outside!” I begged. “Come and play cricket!” I saw his face loom, ghostly and pale at the window. “I’m on the computer,” he shouted, and then turned and disappeared. I hurled the cricket ball across the garden with exasperation. Enough, I thought, was enough. In through the back door I came stampeding, muddy plimsolls slapping over the living room carpet, pausing briefly at my Mother’s sewing basket, and then up the wooden stairs to my brother’s room.
“Come and play cricket!” I demanded. He shook his head. “Come on,” I pleaded, “I’ll let you bat!” My brother sighed. He sensed nothing of the dark thoughts swirling my brain, the violent rage coursing through my young veins. “No,” he said firmly, and turned his face towards the screen. I slipped my fingers through the handles of my Mother’s needlework scissors, I felt the reassuring sharpness of their blades, and I lifted them to the computer wires. My brother tapped away, numbers wriggled across the screen. I stared at the rainbow strip across its keyboard, its grey rubber keys, and felt my insides squirm with loathing. I pulled the handles close, felt them slice though cables, wire, plastic, in one sweet, bright snip.
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