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Shawna gnawed at the pad of her right thumb. Checked. Gnawed. Stupid roses, stupid thorn, it would leave a bigger hole coming out, than it had made going in. She pressed the welt with her opposite thumbnail and raised a tiny bead of plasma. Not even blood. Shawna ran her tongue over the spot, sensed the thorn was still there, just below the surface and gnawed at it some more.

"Stop it!" said Julie. She slapped Shawna's hand away from her mouth. "You'll only make it worse." Julie was right of course, a big sister's prerogative.

"I don't want it to fester," said Shawna.

"Sucking it won't help."

"Get me some tweezers or a needle."

Julie grabbed Shawna's hand and pinched the tiny red speck on her thumb so hard that tears sprang to Shawna's eyes.

"Ow, ow, ow!"

"There. Got it." Julie showed off the microscopic prick balanced on her thumbnail, then flicked it away. "Now. What are you going to do about Jason?"

"Dunno," Shawna mumbled. She sucked the raw spot on her thumb and glowered like a two-year-old. Julie waited for a better answer, a trick learned from their mother. Shawna glanced at the bouquet of roses on the kitchen table. Yellow for apology a dozen of them which was just about right. Shawna inspected her thumb, it felt better already. The thorn was gone.

"You're right, chuck them."

Story by:

Hermine (Minkee) Robinson

21 September 2013