"This is the dumbest idea I ever heard," my sister commented as we lifted yet another trunk onto the table. "We've lived in this house for the last six years, and now Mom decides the attic needs cleaning?" As the oldest, she believed it was her duty to say what the rest of us felt.
"Tina, will you stop fussing and help?" I called. My little sister seemed to feel that her one task in life was to sit around and make me miserable. "Shut up, Shane; you can't order me around."
"I'm your big brother."
"Who cares?" She stuck out her tongue and I stuck out mine.
""Would the two of you knock it off? Mom and Dad are going to be home in a few hours and, I don't want to be the one to explain why this isn't done." Lucy added another pile of junk to the trash bag. "Next."
"It isn't fair," I muttered. It really wasn't. The day before, I'd had to help Dad clean the garage, and my sisters hadn't had to do anything. My brother didn't have to help at all; he just had to watch my baby sister. She was four, but my mother was afraid she'd get hurt climbing around in the attic.
"Do you hear something funny?" Tina was still sitting on the dusty trunk watching Lucy and me work.
"Tina!" The two of us called out together.
"But I- Oww!" She leapt off the trunk she'd been sitting on. "Something bit me!"
"Liar." I wanted to throw something at her, but I never got the chance. There was this funny little chirrring-buzzing sound, and the all these little creatures came out of no where. It was almost funny; all these little bugs flying at us. Then they hit. "Ouch!" "It stung me," I called. "They're all stinging me," Tina whined. "Just sting, sting, sting, and prick, prick, prick." "Stop complaining and hurry up!" Lucy held the attic door open just long enough for the three of us to get through, then shut it with a bang.
My brother Fred was standing in the hallway. "What is your problem?" he asked in annoyance. "I just got Sabrina to sleep." We ignored him. "Do you hear anything?" Lucy asked Tina and me.
"What?" Fred stared at the three of us. Tina shook her head. "Nothing."
"I don't hear anything either," I agreed.
"What don't you hear?"
"Nothing," Lucy said with a sigh. "I guess they're still in the attic."
"Who? Would someone please make sense?!"
I was walking down the hallway towards the room I shared with Fred when I saw something on the lampshade. "They aren't in the attic anymore!"
"Who? Oh, never mind!" Fred stormed outside.
Apparently slamming the front door had startled the bugs, because as soon as it opened, the room was flooded with creatures. Tina got hit the hardest, probably because she was standing right under the light.
Lucy grabbed Sabrina off the couch and hauled her out the door. "Hurry up you two!"
Well, I was right behind her, but Tina, in normal Tina fashion, had decided to just stand there and cry. "I don't like bugs and I want my Mommy and this hurts!"
"Don't stand there like an idiot," I called, dragging her out the door by one arm. "These little creatures are going to eat you alive!"
"I don't want to be eaten!"
"Then come on!"
Apparently Fred had been by the window and heard our yelling because the next thing I knew he'd come in through the back door yelling and screaming and waving the hose. I took a faceful of water before I even knew what hit me. He totally drenched the living room, including Mom's precious new couches.
"What are you doing?" I yelled at him, ducking back inside the front door.
"Killing the bugs!"
"No you aren't! You're making an even bigger mess than before, and now we have two things to explain to Mom and Dad!" I don't know if he was really listening to me, but I guess it didn't matter because Lucy went around back and turned off the water.
I shoved him outside in front of me so he couldn't try any more brilliant ideas. "We could shut all the windows and start a fire to get them out," Fred suggested. "That's nuts! We'd either kill ourselves or burn the house down. With the way things have been going today, we'd do both."
"Umm, exterminators?" Lucy suggested. "Never mind, they're not open on Sundays."
"Mommy would-..." Sabrina started.
"Not right now," I told her. "Mom will be back soon enough. Tina, do you have any plan to get rid of these things?"
Lucy shrugged. "That sounds like the best idea I've heard so far. After all, it'll only be a matter of time until those things find their way out. With a little luck, they won't find their way back in. Come on."
The five of us hid in the treehouse for over an hour, picking out stingers and wondering what was happening inside the house. "I want my dolly," Sabrina told me for the hundredth time.
"I know, but there are some very nasty bugs in there."
"Use spraystuff," she suggested.
"Spraystuff?" Lucy and I exchanged glances. She turned to look at Fred and Tina. "Do either of you speak Sabri?"
"Bug spray!" Tina exclaimed. "Mom keeps a couple cans in the garage to use when we go hiking and stuff!"
"Stay with Sabri," Fred called back to her as he, Lucy, and I climbed down out of the treehouse.
"You can't order me!"
"We're bigger than you so shut up and stay," I replied. "Unless you want the bugs to have another go? They seem to like you better than us." I think that comment worked better than my threat because Tina didn't move a muscle.
Lucy stopped by the back door of the garage. "I'm the oldest, so I go first. I'll hand you each a can, and then we'll head into the house. Ready?"
Fred and I nodded.
We must have looked incredibly funny, the three of us sneaking into our own house as if the bugs wouldn't see us coming. "One, two, three, GO!" I hissed. There was a swarm right by the light switch- my first targets. One good spray and they were gone. None of us had the foresight to put any spray on ourselves, unfortunately. I was driven out of the hallway twice before I got it cleaned out. The three of us had the advantage though, and by the time the hunt was finished there were more dead insects lying around than I'd even seen in my life up to that point. There were more there than I've ever seen since, too. "I think we got them all," Fred whispered.
"What the- Kids!"
"Almost all of them," he corrected himself.
"We're in here, Dad," I called.
"What happened here? Why is everything wet? Where are your sisters? Why does my house reek of bug spray? There had better be a good explanation for this!"
"Umm, well..." Between the three of us, we managed to get out a fairly coherent explanation of what had happened and collected Tina and Sabrina from the treehouse. Mom and Dad were so thankful that none of us had been badly hurt that they really didn't seem too angry about the house. No one in my family ever figured out how the wasps got into the attic, and I decided it might not be a good idea to mention that I'd put an old nest in one of the trunks to scare my sisters. I really thought it was empty when I put it up there!