I really, really wanted that toy.
She was three years old. There was no possible way that she should be so brave in the face of such extreme danger. I looked at her over there, happily dreaming her little dreams, and I felt envy. I should be the brave one. I should be the one defying death so nonchalantly. Who the hell did she think she was?
Not only did she sleep soundly but she awakened cheerfully, ready to take on whatever daily challenges a three-year-old is likely to face. The numbness and deadness I felt inside contrasted sharply with her blatant contentedness. It started to feel like she was being happy at me - like her enthusiasm was intentional and malicious.
Then I had an idea.
I could bring her down to my level. I could fill her little mind with images so gruesome that she'd be irreversibly scarred for life and would no longer be able to taunt me with her complete disregard of fear.
And most importantly, if I could make her scared enough to seek refuge in my parents' bed, I could use her as a sort of Trojan horse and tag along under the guise of concern.
She was my ticket to safety and I had to scare the ever-living fuck out of her.
I spent the entire day concocting the most horrifying story I could think of - an amalgamation of every single scary thing I'd ever heard. It was a masterpiece. It was the scariest story in the world. There was no possible way that my sister would walk away unscathed.
When it was finally bedtime, I waited for my parents to turn off the lights and leave the room, then I turned to my sister and said "Do you want to hear a story?"
She loved stories. She didn't see it coming.
I began: "On a dark and stormy night....