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“No. I absolutely forbid it.”

He gave his daughter a sharp look across the table, as if daring her to argue. She looked back at him with big eyes, ready to cry.


“I said no!” He stopped eating long enough to brandish his fork at her. “My word is final.”

She stood up and ran from the table. Her mother winced at the sound of a bedroom door slamming.

“She’ll thank me for it later,” her father said, digging into his bangers and mash.

With a sigh, his wife stood up and went up to her daughter’s room.


The door opened. Her daughter stood there, her mascara streaming down her face.

“Oh, love,” her mother said with a smile, “You can’t go out with your make-up smudged like that!”

Her daughter pouted. “I’m not going out, apparently.”

Her mother pushed past into the room, picking up her daughter’s make-up case with a smile.

“Of course you are. I’ll manage your father. But first, let’s get your make-up fixed.”

© Kari Fay