From “Me” by Barry Rugless

“Ssshhhhh!” I hissed at my little brother, Neil, who was standing behind me giggling. I put my hand over his mouth.
“Are you ready?” I whispered.

We were standing in the hall behind a blue blanket which I’d hung across the doorway between the lounge room and the hallway. I pulled it across a fraction and peeked in. Dad sat in his chair reading the paper. Mum sat on the lounge with Laurie wriggling on her lap and Nan sat next to them knitting.

“Now!” I said, pulling the blanket across with a flourish and stepping into the room. “Ta da!”

I didn’t count on Neil being half my size and getting caught up in the blanket as he tried to follow me. I grabbed his hand and pulled him out.

“Ta da!” I announced again. Dad didn’t look up from his paper but Nan put her knitting down as I sang the opening lines of All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, even though Christmas was still three months away. I sang and danced and hoofed around while Neil tried his best to copy me. Each time we got to the chorus, Neil would open his mouth in a grin or a grimace, I’m not sure which, and bare his teeth while I pointed to the gap where his two front teeth were missing.

“Look at him,” Mum said, nodding at me with a rare smile. “He’s making us laugh!”