Brother For Sale - Chapter 3
That evening, I offered to watch Todd while Mum washed the dishes. “Oh what a responsible big brother.” I stroked his head and faked a smile. “Just shout if there’s a problem. I’m only in the kitchen.”
As soon as she’d gone, I pulled the teddy suit from behind the cushion. Todd lay on his mat, blowing raspberries at the silly sea horses dangling from his mobile. I laid the suit on the floor and rolled him on top of it. I forced his feet into the hollow legs. I did the same with his arms. Todd chuckled and hiccupped. I picked him up and pulled the empty ted-head over his. Then I reached behind the cushion for the camera.
My brother looked kind of cute, wriggling in his new suit. His chubby face peered through the hole where Ted’s face used to be and his bloated belly had become a living, breathing teddy-tummy.
I had to be quick - I could hear Mum rinsing the dishes. “Ba ba boo boo. Ba ba boo boo,” I said and rubbed his fluffy, chewed penguin against his nose. Todd held his arms up and made a high pitched, happy squeak. I clicked the camera two or three times. That was all I needed.
“Do you want a biscuit? Or a drink?” Mum called from the kitchen.
“No thanks.” I tried to wrestle Todd’s limbs out of the furry suit, but he wasn’t having it. He stretched out like a starfish.
“Was that a yes Lewis?”
I tugged Todd’s leg and he let it loose with a giggle. My arm flew backwards and knocked the camera flying. It crashed into Mum’s silver giraffe, which flew sideways and bowled over the herd of African elephants roaming beside the fire.
“What the heck was that?” I heard Mum striding towards the living room. I threw a blanket over Todd. “What’s going on in here Lewis? Did you put the camera over there?” She resurrected her animals and put the camera on the mantelpiece.
I stood between her and Todd.
“Where’s your brother?” She peered over my shoulder and saw a ghost-baby wriggling on the rug. “What have you done to him? Poor thing.” She barged past and lifted Todd from the floor. The blanket fell off to reveal her new teddy bear son. I didn’t know whether to make something up or scarper. “How sweet! You’ve made a romper suit from your old teddy. I knew having a baby brother would make you more responsible.”
I forced a sweet smile and sneaked the camera behind my back. “I’m going up to my room - I’ve got holiday homework. Can I use the computer?”
“Use whatever you want love. I don’t know what’s got into you, but I’m not complaining.” She planted a noisy, long kiss on my forehead. “You’re turning out to be the best role model Todd could ever have.”
“Oh, and about my birthday - I’ll have a look at those old consoles you saw on eBay. I’ll probably need your log in details to check them out.”
“You need my details just to look at things on eBay?” Before I had time to answer, she shrugged and reached into her handbag. She passed me a little notepad. “My passwords are at the back.”
“Thanks Mum.” I pretend-pecked Todd's cheek and darted upstairs. This was going to be easier than I thought. I closed my bedroom door and switched on the PC.