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1789 French revolutionaries storm Bastille, 1798 Sedition Act becomes federal law, 1986 Father of Streamlining Raymond Loewy dies, 1864 Confederates defeated at the Battle of Tupelo, 1963 Rupture between USSR and China grows worse, 1881 Billy the Kid is shot to death, 1966 A mass murderer leaves eight women dead, 2003 Claudette crashes into Texas coast, 1099 Jerusalem captured in First Crusade, 1918 Influential Swedish director Ingmar Bergman born, 1811 Byron returns to England after a twoyear trip, 1995 A revolutionary new technology is christened MP3, 1882 Gunfighter John Ringo found dead, 1913 Future President Gerald R Ford is born, 1968 Hank Aaron hits 500th homer, 1964 North Vietnamese regulars are fighting in South Vietnam, 1968 Clifford visits South Vietnam, 1918 Quentin Roosevelt killed, 1974 Carl Spaatz dies,

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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