The Button Pusher

by Kai Strand -

Thud. Thud.

Brent hung his head over the edge of the bed and looked upside down at his sister sitting at the desk. She blinked each time his foot hit the wall. He snickered.

Thud. Thud.

“Brent, I’m trying to do my homework. Please stop,” Cindy said.

Thud. Thud.

Thud. Thud.

“Brent, I said stop!”  Cindy yelled. “Mom! Brent won’t stop kicking the wall.”

Mom stepped into the room. “Brent, why are you always pushing your sister’s buttons?”

Brent stopped kicking. He scanned his sister’s shirt.

“She’s not wearing any buttons,” he said.

“That’s not what I mean, Brent. Now stop bothering your sister.”


The next day at the grocery store Brent snatched a bag of potato chips from the shelf as they passed and dropped it into the cart.

“Put that back please,” Mom said. “I’ve asked you to stop taking things off the shelves.”

“But I’m hungry. I want a snack,” Brent grumbled. He shoved the bag onto the shelf.

“That’s not where it belongs.” Mom’s voice sounded like a rubber band stretched taught.

Brent jumped off the end of the cart and trudged back toward the shelf.

“Hurry up,” Mom said.

At the checkout counter, Brent slipped a candy bar next to the other groceries.

Mom sighed. “Brent, what did I say? Stop trying to sneak things in with my purchase.”

“Awww, Mom, just one candy bar. Pleeease?” He gave her his biggest smile.

“Put. It. Back.”

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