(A/N I wrote this piece in one of my creative writing classes, which was about displaying characters through dialogue. The prompt was that one character was throwing away something the other character wants to keep)
“What are you doing?”
Eddie looked up in surprise; he didn’t expect his sister back from school so soon. He stood still, holding the brightly coloured cardboard in his hands.
“Nothing. I mean, just, you know, spring cleaning. Tidying.”
River scowled. “Spring cleaning when it’s summer? Tidying when it’s already clean? Bullshit.”
“Hey,” Eddie sighed, still clutching the box. “Watch your language.”
“You can’t see language, so therefore how can I possibly watch it?”
“You know what I mean. I’m just going through the house and getting rid of anything we don’t use. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to happen in spring.”
“Then why’s it called spring cleaning? And you can’t throw that out, that’s very precious to me!”
Eddie glanced down at the box, then back to his sister. “Snakes and Ladders?”
The box was battered, and old, and when he shook it there was no noise aside from the thud of the flimsy games board against the cardboard lid. “The dice are missing, as are the counters. You can’t even play it anymore.”
“I’ll just use dice from -” She marched past her brother and knelt down to peer inside the games cupboard. “Yahtzee. That’s got dice. I’ll borrow those.”
“And the counters?”
“I’ll use anything for those. They don’t have to be the ones that came with the game.”
She pulled herself up using the top shelf of the cupboard and dusted her hands before taking the Snakes and Ladders box off of her brother.
Eddie sighed, again. “Okay. Keep that one, if you really must. But we’re not keeping all of these games. We never play them, and we could use this cupboard to store other things.”
He paused. “I don’t know, like uh -”
“This is the games cupboard. It can only have board games stored in it. Look, I even labelled it.”
She had. There was an old, peeling label stuck to the side of the peeling varnished wood. It read: The Games Cupboard.
“See, you can’t ignore a label.”