The Dressmaker

by: TabulaRasa | Complete Story | Last updated Mar 24, 2009

Chapter 6
Chapter 5

Carrie became a regular part of Dan’s life. Much of the time it was nice; despite looking like an adult, her behavior was increasingly appropriate for his little sister, and it became more and more natural to treat her that way. Often, when Dan got back from school, he’d fix a snack for both of them, and they’d watch television together, or play a game of some kind.

Sometimes, though, it was frustrating. They’d argue over which shows to watch, since Carrie, tragically (though predictably) preferred tedious girly shows. Dan tried to be a good older brother, and let her pick every third show, feeling that, as the older sibling, picking more was his prerogative.

And as for games, Carrie loved the many dolls scattered around the house, and rarely wanted to run around outside with Dan and Max; even when Dan pressured her into doing it, she never seemed to be as into it as him.

Unsurprisingly, Carrie eventually moved into the empty bedroom next to Dan’s, and they spent even more time together. Soon after her move, during a massive thunderstorm late one night, he heard a timid knock on his door. "Come in," he called out, and Carrie crept into the room slowly and made her way to his bed. She climbed in and snuggled against him, and Dan realized that she must have been scared by the thunder.

He pulled his covers over her and held her tight. With his eyes closed, he felt for a moment that it was absurd for a kid like him to be comforting someone a good foot taller than he was. But he opened his eyes to look at her, and saw only his scared little sister, and the moment passed.

Other than the occasional reminders about her size, it was easier and easier to forget that Carrie was really an adult. Dan’s mother took them shopping at the mall one day, a painfully tedious trip where she and Carrie gleefully picked out piles of clothes while Dan watched, bored. The pretzel from the food court was nice, but didn’t cover up the fact that, before Carrie came, his mother would never have subjected him to such a boring trip.

Once she had new clothes, Carrie started going to school with Dan, and he saw her at recess each day, towering over the kids she was playing with. One day, it finally happened: a fifth grader boy thought it would be funny to pick on Carrie. Despite the size imbalance, Dan saw him across the playground pushing Carrie around and making fun of her.

Dan filled with rage; a part of him felt like he’d been born to do what he was about to do. He charged across the recess, bellowing, and shoved the boy to the ground. The two wrestled, and though Dan was enough bigger to have a meaningful advantage, it was by no means easy, and they were soon pulled apart by teachers, covered in sand and a dozen little cuts. As he was dragged away, he tried to make eye contact with Carrie, but she was too busy sobbing to notice him.

His mother came to pick them both up, and though she feigned concern when the principal told her what had happened, Dan could tell that she was proud of him. Carrie, on the other hand, seemed inconsolable. Dan tried to comfort her on the car ride back with the story of his valiant defeat of her tormentor, but she only cried harder.



End Chapter 6

The Dressmaker

by: TabulaRasa | Complete Story | Last updated Mar 24, 2009


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