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It had taken all my efforts to get the pair of them to finally settle down for the night. Being the first day of summer holidays my twins were too excited to sleep. But it was 10-30 in the night and I was at the end of my tether. As a last resort, having failed the firm-parent role, I simply yelled at them to go to bed and to stay put, hurting my already sore throat in the process.

It had been a really long day for me, trying to complete my assignment and also seeing to it that the twins were entertained and did not get into mischief, not to mention the housework too. I sighed wishing Shekhar was home and not travelling on official work, that too for two long weeks. A fortnight?! I balked at the thought. By the time he was be back, I would surely be sticking straws in my hair.

I sighed and sat down at the dressing table for my before-bed-time ritual of applying night cream on my face. This was one thing I insisted on doing however tired I felt, especially when the mirror had started showing me the fine lines on my face,  as also the crows feet at the corners of my eyes. Dammit, I was only thirty!

I picked up the iPod and earphones from my table. Listening to some music before sleep is my form of unwinding. Shucks. My throat felt really bad. I better have the cough syrup if I did not want to end up coughing in the middle of my presentation tomorrow.  I remembered I had left the bottle on the dining table.

Opening the bedroom door I walked down the corridor without switching on the light. There was enough filtering in through the curtained window anyway, from the street lamp outside, to make my way. I rounded the corner and froze in shock, the scream that wanted release, trapped and struggling in my throat.There was a leering demoniac face in neon peering at me, and one more behind. What really shook me was the blood curdling yell that the demons let loose.

“Shut up!” I hissed. “You will wake the neighbours.”

Of course, a second too late perhaps, but I guessed who the demons were. The brats of mine had disobeyed orders and were roaming the house in their silly costume, a gift from their indulgent Uncle.

“Mom! Is that you?”

The voice was small and a little scared.  The other one piped in reproachfully,

“You scared us! Why have you painted your face?!”

And then,

“And your hair is different too!”

Aww… the poor things. I felt sorry for having inadvertently scared them even though they had no business to be up past their bed-time, particularly when they had been ordered not to. I reached for the light switch, flooding the room with fluorescent light.

“That’s not paint, silly!” I said ruffling both heads. “Mom has just applied some face cream! And my hair is in curlers. Look, there is nothing to be scared of!”

Then remembering, I said in a stern voice,

“What are you boys doing out of bed?”

They exchanged sheepish looks and giggled, then as if on cue said in unison,

“We wanted to scare you!”

Aha…!

“And instead you yourself got scared by me, right?” I asked cheekily and added in a saccharine sweet voice,

“That’s what happens when you disobey Mom!”

They groaned as I led them back to their room and tucked them in. Poor dears, their prank had backfired on them. They will have to live that down for the next couple of days. I had just bought myself at least two days of respite.

Your post should contain the three words, earphones, cough syrup and prank.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

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