The writing prompt meme- #50 "I’m starting an idiot jar. Any time you do or say anything idiotic, you have to put at least a dollar in it—more depending on how stupid the thing that you said or did was.” The Starklings. It's such a sibling prompt!
“What? It’s a great idea!”
“Robb, it’s a terrible idea! Mom doesn’t even like hockey,” Sansa protested.
Her older brother looked at her as if she’d lost her mind. “Of course she likes hockey! She has never missed a single game any one of us has played in unless two of us were playing at the same time in different rinks! She’s been to more games than Dad, Sansa!”
Sansa rolled her eyes. “OK. She doesn’t like hockey unless one or more of you idiots are playing. This isn’t just Dad’s anniversary! Stanley Cup playoff tickets are a terrible anniversary gift.”
“You’re just saying that because you’re the only person in this family who never played, Sansa! You probably want to send them to the dumb old ballet!” nine year old Rickon protested.
“No, I don’t,” Sansa said, in a voice alarmingly like their mother’s when her patience was nearly at an end. “I’m perfectly well aware that Dad has no interest in the ballet unless I’m dancing.”
“Well, ballet’s boring,” Rickon pronounced, making a face that had Robb, Jon, and Bran all laughing in spite of Sansa’s glaring at them.
“I hate all of you!” Sansa exclaimed as she dramatically turned causing her hair to swish around her shoulders and flounce out of the room.
From her perch on the back of the couch by the window, Arya sighed. She’d never admit it to a living soul, but she did envy her sister’s ability to do that kind of stuff with her hair, even if Sansa was acting like a baby.
They were all acting like babies. Stupid babies.
Before she could mention that to them, however, Robb turned on Rickon. “Nice going, kid!” he said sarcastically. “Now she’d bailed on us!”
“You laughed!” Rickon protested, throwing his empty Coke can at Robb’s head.
Robb ducked of course, and the can, which apparently wasn’t entirely empty, hit the wall behind him, splattering Coke on a portrait of their family taken on a vacation to the beach about seven years ago. Their mother loved that picture.
“Nice,” Arya said, swinging her legs over the back of the couch and standing up. “You all are just brilliant. We’ve all been saving money for a damn year, and now that it’s time to actually plan this thing, we’ve talked for an hour, decided nothing, chased off Sansa, and gotten coke all over Mom’s favorite picture.
As Robb and Rickon both started to protest, Arya spoke over them. “Robb, go get Sansa back here. I know she’s bossy, but she listens to you more than the rest of us, and does anybody think we can actually plan this without her?”
She looked around the room at her siblings and cousin. Nobody actually disputed that statement. “Go on, Robb!” she said when he didn’t move. “Grovel if you have to, but get her back here.”
“Rickon’s the one who pissed her off!” Robb protested.
Arya loved her oldest brother, she truly did. He was a wonderful guy. But sometimes when he felt angry or unjustly accused, he could be the biggest baby of all of them. “Yeah. And he’s NINE. Your twenty. Suck it up, Robb. You all laughed, and it was your dumb suggestion that we send Mom and Dad to the playoffs as our gift which got Sansa riled up in the first place. Besides,” she turned to glare at her youngest brother, and the smirk he’d been directing at Robb disappeared immediately. “Rickon has to go get a rag and clean his damn mess. None of us will be alive to give Mom and Dad anything if Mom sees that picture that like that!”
Rickon, fully aware that he couldn’t escape responsibility for the Coke can incident and with no desire to end up on the receiving end of the wrath of Catelyn Stark (in spite of the fact that Mom tended to let him skate more often than anyone because he was the BABY), scampered toward the kitchen in search of cleaning supplies immediately.
Robb made a face at her that caused him to look alarmingly like Rickon, but he then agreed to go in search of their sister, muttering under his breath as he went. “And she calls SANSA bossy!”
“Well?” Arya asked as Bran and Jon stared at her in silence.
“Well what?” Bran asked.
“Well where do you two think we should send them?” she asked in exasperation. These two had contributed very little to the discussion so far, although to be fair, neither had she–except to give them an update on their general budget.
Even the older kids agreed that fifteen year old Arya was the best of all of them at math, so while Robb had opened the bank account last year because only he and Jon were over eighteen and could do it without their parents’ knowledge, Arya had managed it. The others had given her their contributions and she’d made deposits with Robb’s permission and kept track of the balance. Considering that only Jon, Robb, and Sansa had jobs–and they weren’t exactly full time or well-paying, they’d managed to collect quite a sum over the past year. Arya herself had done some math tutoring to raise money. She’d even babysat a few times, which was torture. Of course, she’d never tell the others that the primary way she’d managed to make her contributions almost as big as those of the older three was by giving Gendry money to bet on various sports events. First of all, she wasn’t supposed to still be seeing him and she didn’t want Dad to murder him, and second of all, Dad would likely murder HER if he found out she was gambling. Even for a good cause.
“They’re not really my parents, Arya,” Jon mumbled. “I really think you five should …”
“And THAT has got to be the stupidest thing of all the stupid things said in here so far today!” she exclaimed, rolling her eyes. “You’ve practically lived here your whole life, Jon, and you gave the most money out of anybody! You get a vote!”
“I didn’t put money in to get a vote,” Jon said almost sullenly. “I did it because Uncle Ned and Aunt Cat have given me pretty much everything I have.”
“They love you, Jon,” Bran insisted. “You’re as much their kid as any of us.”
Jon nodded a bit, but he didn’t smile, and under his breath he muttered something like “But they never had to do that” which caused Arya to roll her eyes again.
She adored Jon. It was almost funny because even though he wasn’t technically her brother, his was the face that came first to her mind if anyone asked if she had a favorite sibling. After all, he’d been the one who convinced her mother to not only allow her to play hockey, but to let her play on the boys’ team. But if Robb could drive her crazy sometimes with his belief that things were always supposed to go his way, Jon could make her equally nuts with his insistence on martyrdom at times.
“Seriously, boys, we’ve got enough to give them a really nice vacation somewhere. Not airfare, but Grandpa Hoster said he’d kick that in so we need to come up with something great.”
“What about Disney World?” Bran asked. “They both said that was a great trip when we all went three years ago.”
“Because we were all there,” Jon said. “It was a great family trip, but neither of your parents cared much about most of the rides. I think for just the two of them, maybe someplace else will be better.”
Bran frowned. “But what will they do anywhere without all of us there? I mean … they never go anywhere without us–except for Dad’s work trips. Won’t they get bored?”
Arya met Jon’s eyes and both of them tried mightily not to laugh. Bran was thirteen, old enough and smart enough to understand what went on between men and women, but still young enough to be completely oblivious to the idea of their parents as anything other than just their parents. Heck, she was fifteen and had a not-so-secret much older not-a-boyfriend and still didn’t like to think too closely about what went on in Mom’s and Dad’s bedroom when the door was locked, but she had no doubts they wouldn’t get bored on a kid-free vacation!
“They won’t get bored, Bran,” Jon said. “They do like each other, you know.” He laughed just a bit and reached over to ruffle Bran’s hair.
Bran blushed then. “I know that!” he sputtered. “I just meant … I just …”
“Don’t worry, Bran,” Arya laughed. “It wasn’t even close to the stupidest suggestion we’ve had.”
“What about you, Bossy?” Robb asked as he came back into the family room, followed by a still pouting Sansa. “What brilliant ideas do you have?”
“I don’t know,” Arya said. “But it should be someplace they would both like. So no hockey. And no ballet.”
“I never said …” Sansa started.
“I know you never said ballet,” Arya interrupted quickly. “I’m just trying to make a point. Nothing that just Dad loves or just Mom loves. It has to be something they love together. What do they both love?”
“Me!” Rickon offered with a grin as he walked back in with glass cleaner and a rag.
Everyone laughed. “Well, yes, Rickon,” Bran said. “We’ve already established that Mom and Dad love all of us, but this trip is just for the two of them.”
Before Arya and Jon could even cover their smiles at Bran’s about-face on couples trips, Rickon grinned more widely. “I didn’t say us,” he said, sticking a tongue out at Bran. “I said me. They only had all you losers trying to get a kid as awesome as me! That’s why they stopped once they got perfection!”
“You wish!” Bran told him, pulling the little cushion he kept behind his back in his wheelchair out and flinging at at the youngest Stark. Of course, he hit a vase which fell to the floor and broke instead.
“I’m not cleaning that!” Rickon announced.
“Could everyone refrain from doing anything stupid for longer than five minutes?” Arya asked in frustration.
Jon, who’d been standing closest to the vase, bent to start picking up the pieces.
“They both like the country as opposed to big cities,” Sansa said. “I mean, Mom likes the city, but Dad hates it. And even Mom is happier surrounded by green.”
That was actually a useful observation. Sansa really was good at this stuff. Even if she was constantly in other people’s business and wasn’t as perfect as everybody thought. “That’s good, Sans,” Arya said. “What else?”
“Water,” Robb offered. “Mom loves being on the water. And Dad does, too, as long as it’s not too hot. No place tropical.”
“But warm enough to swim,” Jon put in, having somehow dispatched Rickon to fetch a broom and dustpan without making a fuss or raising a protest from the kid. “Aunt Cat loves to swim, and Uncle Ned loves watching her do it.”
“Eww!” Robb protested. “That’s my mother you’re talking about Jon.”
“Yeah, I know. And it’s obvious your dad thinks she’s the hottest woman around every time he looks at her, and this IS an anniversary trip.”
“Just shut up already, Jon,” Robb said, getting a bit red in the face.
One look at Jon told Arya that wasn’t going to happen. Jon and Robb were almost exactly the same age and had been closer than any real twins their whole lives, but they did love to aggravate each other. With a wicked gleam in his grey eyes, he said, “We definitely need to make sure the hotel room is really nice–in case they never leave it.”
Robb flew at Jon and tackled him. Thankfully, nothing fell to the floor except the two of them, and neither of them was truly angry so they just wrestled for a moment with Jon laughing so hard the whole time that Robb finally couldn’t help laughing as well. “Idiot,” he muttered, as he stood up to let Jon off the floor. “Just shut up about my parents’ sex lives, okay? Five times. That’s all I’ve got to acknowledge, man. Five times.”
Of course, that comment caused Sansa, Arya, and even Bran to dissolve into laughter until Rickon finally asked, “Five times what? And you’re not supposed to talk about sex. Big Walder Frey got sent to the principal’s office for talking about sex to some girl on the playground. She called him a dirty liar and told the teacher!”
That stopped the laughter pretty quickly.
“Hey, bud,” Robb said, going to put an arm around Rickon. “Whatever that Frey kid says about anything is probably wrong.” Arya was honestly quite impressed at how quickly he’d gone from total dork into mature responsible big brother mode.
Rickon looked up at Robb a moment, as if considering his words. “Yeah. He lies a lot,” he said finally. “Is it true that …”
“Later, Rickon,” Robb interrupted with only the slightest hint of red returning to his cheeks. “Ask me later. Or better yet, ask Dad.”
“Please,” Arya said. “We need to stick to the topic at hand. Mom and Dad will be home soon, and who knows when we’ll get everybody here at once and them gone again. So no more acting like idiots. Are we all good with finding someplace in the country–on a lake maybe?”
“With a great big bed …” Jon mumbled, before bursting into laughter again.
Normally, Arya loved seeing Jon’s playful, teasing side, but as Robb punched him hard in the arm, and Rickon looked as if he were trying very hard to puzzle something out, she’d had enough. “That’s it! I’m starting an idiot jar. Any time you do or say anything idiotic, you have to put at least a dollar in it—more depending on how stupid the thing that you said or did was.”
“Hear, hear!” said Sansa. She turned and pulled a little basket down off one of the shelves. “This will do for now,” she said. “We can get an official jar later. Now, let’s get this trip planned.”
All the boys adopted serious expressions, and everyone who’d been standing found places to sit. Arya looked gratefully at her sister. She couldn’t even remember the last time she’d wanted so much to just hug Sansa.
“The mountains,” Robb said. “Dad likes mountains, and it doesn’t get too warm there ever. But as long as it gets sunny and warm at all during the day, Mom will swim. You know her.”
“Yes!” Sansa nearly squealed. “And there are places with warm springs. I bet I could find someplace like that! And they could take long walks and go hiking and watch sunsets and have breakfast in bed and …”
Arya smiled as Sansa waxed poetic about the ideal vacation spot for Mom and Dad. The others actually all looked pretty excited now as she talked about it, and Arya had every confidence that their sister would get on-line and find a real-life place that wasn’t too far from the image in her head now that it seemed they’d agreed on a general idea.
Maybe she’d keep the idiot jar (or basket), though. With this bunch, she could likely raise enough to do a vacation for the entire family next in no time at all.
He totally commanded the stage! (I will never forget…) Kit, Jamie Lloyd(Director) Jade Anouka are awesome! They’re soooo cool and nice people!!
Dr.Faustus post soon (June, I hope ;D)
Nunca olvidaré esta obra de teatro y la interpretación de Kit, y la manera magistral de tratar después de la obra a todo el mundo… Me quito el sombrero! Bravo Kit! (my gifs!!!, TYSM to my great friend Raúl for the vid, for be amazing with me in London, TYSM to the amazing Lara, Tania, Miguel, Julia!! Carolina and Laura!!! I love youuuu guys!!)
“I’m tired of fighting! It’s all I’ve done since I left home. I’ve killed brothers of the Night’s Watch, I’ve killed wildlings, I’ve killed men that I admire, I hanged a boy, younger than Bran! I’ve fought, and I lost.”