by Gregg Chamberlain
“Did your mother teach you that?”
The little girl gave a reluctant nod, looking down at her feet.
Her father frowned. “What have we told you about playing nice with your brother?”
“He asked me!” she retorted, with childish logic.
Her father sighed. “And you can’t fix it, I suppose?”
A defiant frown vanished. The little girl looked back down at the floor, one foot twisting back and forth as if trying to dig through the bedroom carpet. “I tried,” came a muttered frustrated reply.
Her father shook his head, sighed again, and took out a cellphone, flipping it open.
“Sam? It’s me, Phil. Call me back as soon as you can, please. We got a problem. And Sam, when you show AnneMarie how to do something, would you please make sure she knows how to undo it too?”
He snapped the phone shut and tucked it in a pocket. “It’ll be okay, champ,” he said, turning around. “Mom’ll be home soon and fix everything.”
A disgusted grunt was the only reply he got. Snout wrinkled with the effort to hold back tears, a sad-eyed little pig boy looked up at his father, then nodded with a soft snuffling sigh.
Gregg Chamberlain, a community newspaper reporter four decades in the trade, lives in rural Eastern Ontario with his missus and a clowder of four cats who allow their humans the run of the house. Past fiction credits, from microfic to novelette, include webzines like Daily Science Fiction, and NonBinary Review, anthologies like 100 Great Fantasy Short-Short Stories (Asimov, Greenberg, and Carr, editors) and the Alternative Hilarities series from Strange Musings Press, and magazines like Apex and Weirdbook.