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1884 First roller coaster in America opens, 1738 Patriot printer publisher and postmistress Mary Katharine Goddard born, 1903 Ford Motor Company incorporated, 1862 Union thwarted at the Battle of Secessionville, 1961 Russian ballet star Nureyev defects, 1999 SLA member captured after more than 20 years, 1896 Tsunami ravages Japanese coast, 1958 Leader of Hungarian uprising executed, 1963 First woman in space, 1977 Brezhnev is Soviet president, 1943 Charlie Chaplin marries Oona ONeill, 1904 James Joyce meets his future wife Nora, 1965 Bob Dylan records Like A Rolling Stone, 1890 Alaskan explorer Fred Fickett leaves Army, 1858 Lincoln warns that America is becoming a house divided, 1968 Lee Trevino wins his first US Open, 1961 Kennedy agrees to send instructors to train troops, 1965 More troops to be sent to Vietnam, 1970 Communists isolate Phnom Penh, 1918 Battle of the Piave River, 1940 Marshal Petain becomes premier of occupied France,

Stories

How To Outplay A Ten Year Old.

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The fish fell out of the sky and flopped to the ground. As had been occurring since the past half-hour, the fish would now struggle for about five seconds before it miraculously disappeared, only to appear again at the start of the game. When the said fish had performed all the predicted feats, Eric sighed again.

His sigh was a mixture of irritation as well as elation. Irritation at the fact that he had failed to clear this level of the game yet again, and elation because he knew that I would not dare to take the laptop away from him, so he had all the time in this world to keep on trying. For the hundredth time, I cursed the fact that his parents, and mine, were right outside my bedroom door. They had passed on to me the responsibility of 'looking after' Eric and were now chatting about some profitable deal that their company had made. Believe me, if I could hear their muffled voices through the door, they would definitely hear Eric's ensuing wail, were I to snatch away the laptop.

Eric gave me a malicious grin before returning to his game. I wondered if I was that conniving when I was ten years old. Maybe I was just irked that he had seized my property, but I truly could not understand what was so engaging about a game whose sole objective was to keep the fish from touching the ground. Then again, maybe I had just not liked the condescending glare he had given me when I had said as much.

Just five minutes ago, I had politely requested him to stop playing since I had important 'work' to do. He had pretended to ignore me, and when I had asked him a second time, he had given me a dissaproving frown and told me that I should be kind to guests. I was so astonished by this patroninzing attitude, that I was still staring blankly at the screen. When I finally processed what he had said to me, I felt a wave of fury wash over me. This brat had just been introduced to me an hour and half ago and had, in that time, managed to invade my privacy, seize my laptop, order me around and annoy me with the sound effects of that stupid game.

I decided that enough was enough. Lying on the dressing table was something Eric had brought with him, a lucky charm of sorts.He had been clutching at it like a life jacket when he had first entered, but had let his guard down when he had started to play that game. Slipping the charm into my pocket, I walked out the bedroom door with the appropriate amount of nonchalance and escaped through the backdoor unnoticed, making myself scarce for the next couple of hours. It was childish, but it was an act of blind rage. I figured the guests would be gone by the time I got back.

I was wrong. When I returned, my father, after grounding me for going out without permision, informed me in the most infuriatingly calm manner that Eric had decided to stay the night. I went to my bedroom only to find him playing the game. This would go on for hours, I thought. All my thoughts of revenge thoroughly squashed, I went dejectedly to bed, ignoring the sound effects of the game, wanting to wake up to a house that was Eric-free.

I got my wish. I was very happy with the fact that there was absolutely no sign of Eric in the house the next morning. I wasn't so happy when I discovered that he had changed my password. The only reason I did not sulk was because I knew he would tell me sooner or later.

I had his lucky charm.

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