The Tea Party

 Crystal’s favourite time of the day was her tea parties with Rodney and Patrick.

Crystal would get the little plastic cups out.

The tea was imaginary and they’d all sip the tea with their pinky fingers up in the air.

Rodney was happy to play along, it didn’t bother him, it was only an hour of his day - and he got to go upstairs and out of the basement for a time.

The basement was damp and dark.

Patrick hated the tea parties. Patrick was a stubborn sort that did everything through gritted teeth. But he held on, not wanting to upset a little girl like Crystal, nor upset himself too much.

The tea parties weren’t going to last forever. Crystal might get bored of Patrick and ask somebody else to do it or she’d simply outgrow them, like all good girls…

Well, the tea parties did come to an end on that wet Wednesday evening, for Patrick.

They were on their crossed legs and sat around the miniature tables with their miniature cups in their hands, pretending to sip from the empty plastic. Rodney was making Crystal laugh, he always made Crystal laugh.

He was pretending to eat a giant cake and Crystal held her belly in a fit of laughter.

Crystal loved Rodney.

Patrick saw the rain fall out the window and something inside him just broke.

“This is fucking bullshit,” Patrick shouted.

Everybody held their breaths.

There were two of the house’s servants in the corner of the room watching. One rolled their eyes.

He had seen this before.

“Sowwi?” Crystal said in that cutesy voice.

“I just can’t waste my fucking life playing tea parties with a fucking child!” Patrick shouted.

“Patrick, you can’t use language like that in front of a…” Rodney interjected.

“Fuck you, Rodney, fuck you. You’re complicit in encouraging this… this… thing, as much as any of us,” Patrick said.

Rodney looked over at the servants, they had left the room, and the door swung shut behind them.

“Patrick, you are saying bad words that we are not allowed to say,” Crystal said.

“Fuck you,” Patrick said.

With that, Crystal started crying, big loud sobs. She screamed and screamed and threw her cups and plates at the window. Her face went red. Every sob echoed throughout the room.

Rodney gently got up and walked towards the door. He grabbed the handle.

But it was too late.

Patrick’s guts splattered over him and caught him just as he was opening the door - a red gush had drenched Rodney.

Crystal was walking towards him.

“Now Crystal, I love tea time, and I love you, and I didn’t make Patrick go cuckoo, please Crystal,” Rodney screamed.

Crystal was angry. Her face was bright red. Tears on her cheeks.

She extended a hand to Rodney.

Rodney delicately took it.

“I wuv you, Rodney,” Crystal said.

Rodney saw the smear of Patrick’s guts meshed into the carpet.

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