The little girl climbed into her brother’s tree fort, plainly ignoring the sign nailed to the trunk that said, in large red letters, “No Girls Allowed”.
She was alone, for the moment, and was executing her raid while her brother was inside finishing his homework.
She rummaged through the assorted piles of toys and treasures that made up the contents of the boys’ hideaway. Swiftly finding what she was looking for, she pulled a single object from her pocket and tucked it in, back with its mates.
With any luck, her brother would find it soon. Maybe then he would believe her when she told him she hadn’t borrowed it, and hadn’t even been in his stupid clubhouse. Or maybe not.
She shimmied down the tree and was halfway across the yard when she heard her name shouted across the lawn.
“What?” she answered back, injecting as much defiance into her voice as she could.
“I saw you near my fort,” her brother told her.
“Why would I want to go up your stupid tree? It probably smells in there.”
“I know took my James Hodgkins rookie card.”
She stamped her foot, an impressive acting performance. “I did not.”
“What would you even want with that?” he muttered as he stalked across the grass to inspect the violated premises for himself.
She tried her best to hide her smile as she skipped back into the house. Next time she’d take one of his prized action figures. The disappearances kept him distracted from what she was really pilfering from his bedroom.