"I was trying to hold her hand but she pushed me away and ran off."
Gerard, Jennifer, Penina, Mia, Eva and Jude walked up to the school. There was a Halloween carnival and they were all attending. All the kids there were dressed in halloween costumes. Jude was a ninja, Mia a fairy, Eva a vampire and Penina was an angel complete with a halo. Gerard gave Jude some money and he ran off to hang out with his friends while Penina, Mia and Eva stayed with their parents.
First Gerard paid for Penina to have a go on the BB guns shooting balloons. She was really good at it and managed to shoot them all. And then Penina noticed something called 'The Haunted Maze.' All three girls ran over to Gerard and Jennifer and begged to be let in by themselves. Gerard sighed "Alright fine, so long as you hold Mia's hand."
"I will." Penina smiled, taking Mia's hand and the three girls went into the maze together. Penina lead them both through the dark.
Mia started to look scared. She nearly jumped out of her skin when a rubber faced ghoul jumped out at them but Penina just laughed and Eva laughed nervously too. Mia saw that they were both laughing and started to laugh too. Soon all three of them were giggling and running through the maze without fear.
Finally they emerged out of the other side. Eva giggled and Penina turned to Mia "Let's play hide-and-seek." Penina smiled "You go first."
"Okay!" Mia giggled, let go of Penina's hand and ran off to hide. Eva looked confused. She hadn't heard Penina suggest that they play hide-and-seek.
Penina looked at Eva and gestured for her to follow. They ran over to Gerard and Jennifer. Their parents smiled at them but then they noticed Mia wasn't there "Where's Mia?" Jennifer asked.
"I don't know." Penina frowned "I was trying to hold her hand but she pushed me away and ran off."
"Oh my god!" Jennifer gasped.
"It's okay." Gerard whispered, taking Jennifer's hand "Did either of you see where she went!?"
Eva shook her head but Penina said "This way, I think." She pointed in the opposite direction that Mia had ran off in.
Jennifer let go of Gerard's hand and took Penina's hand and also took Eva's hand and started dragging them in that direction. Gerard ran and stood on a bench so he'd get a better view. Jennifer started grabbing people walking past "Have you seen a little girl in a fairy costume? She has jet black curly hair." Nobody had seen her though.
By this point Jennifer was getting pretty frantic "Mommy, I want some cotton candy." Penina said in a sweet little girl voice.
"Not now Penina!" Jennifer snapped.
"Jennifer, calm down, it's gonna be okay." Gerard told her, running over to them.
Then Jennifer noticed Jude walking towards them holding onto Mia's hand. Jennifer let go of Eva and Penina's hands and ran over to her then threw her arms around her for a tight hug "Are you alright? Don't you ever run off like that! What were you thinking?"
"They were playing hide-and-seek." Jude said "I saw Penina let her run off."
Penina gave him a sharp look and Gerard turned to her, furious "Did you lie to us? What did I tell you about holding her hand?"
"I'm sorry Daddy." Penina looks like she's going to cry. Gerard sighed and turned back to Jennifer and Mia. Penina shot Jude a death glare through her tears.
The next morning the kids were getting in the car for school when Penina dropped something behind Jude and then pretended to find it "What's this?" She asked loudly, picking it up.
Penina showed the bag of weed to Jennifer who's eyes widened. Jude turned around and noticed it then flinched. The secret stash of weed from his tree house...
Later, when Jude came home from school and Gerard was back from a day at the studio they sat Jude down at the dinner table to talk to him "I wasn't taking it to school." Jude told them.
"Then what was it doing in your backpack?" Jennifer asked him.
"I don't know. She put it in their to get me into trouble."
"Where would Penina have got pot?" Gerard asked, shaking his head.
Jude was reluctant to tell him but knew that he had to "She saw me with it in the tree house."
"Is that what you were doing up there with your friends?" Gerard exploded, really angry. He took Jude's arm and dragged him outside.
Twenty minutes later the tree house now had a large, fancy lock on it. Gerard climbed down the steps of the tree house and rattled the key at Jude "Off limits until further notice." Gerard hissed. He walked down towards the house where Penina was playing by herself. She took Gerard's hand and walked inside with him. Jude watched them.
Jennifer pulled out of the driveway with Penina in the back seat and just as she did, Joyce jogged past them in her skimpy jogging clothes. She waved at them and Jennifer politely nodded back even though she couldn't stand her "Why does she have to dress like that?" Penina asked.
"She just likes the attention." Jennifer sighed.
"Well I think it's immodest." Penina spat "I don't know why Daddy likes her so much."
Jennifer was silent for a moment before daring to ask "What do you mean?"
"He's always smiling at her and talking to her. She wants him to come over to her house. Did you know that?" Jennifer was silent. It was clear that she Gerard hadn't said anything to her about it "Please don't tell Daddy I told." Penina begged "I don't want him to get mad at me."
Jennifer didn't respond. She was too annoyed to reply.
She was silent for the rest of the journey until they made it to the dentist. Jennifer got out of the car but Penina stayed stuck to her seat. Jennifer groaned loudly "Penina, come on."
"I told you, I don't like the dentist."
"There's nothing to be afraid of."
"I know because I'm not going."
"Penina, get out of the car right now!" Jennifer yelled.
For a long moment they just glare at each other. And then Penina rolled her eyes but did as she was told. Jennifer brought Penina through and asked if she wanted her to come in with her. But Penina shook her head and said she'd do it alone.
She sat back in the chair and the Dentist lowered it "She hasn't had a check up in about two years," The Hygienest told the Dentist "So she's a little nervous."
"She doesn't look it to me." The Dentist smiled "Now let's take a look." Penina stared up at the ceiling with her mouth firmly closed "Come on, darling, open wide." Penina eyed him anxiously and reluctantly opened her mouth "That's it, a little wider."
Penina opened her mouth more. The Doctor leaned in to take a look and suddenly Penina snapped her mouth shut, trapping his finger between her teeth. The Hygienest froze in shock "Ahh!" The Dentist shrieked "Goddammit! Help me with her!"
The Hygienest held Penina down while the Dentist pried his finger out of her mouth and then cradled it painfully. Penina hissed at him like a cat, her mouth speckled with blood. The Dentist and Hygienest shared a started look.
The Hygienest went outside to have a word with Jennifer. Jennifer was confused for a moment before she saw Penina standing behind him with a little smug smirk on her face.
The ride home was torture for Jennifer. She passed a liqour store and under all the stress she was nearly tempted to buy a bottle. But she knew she couldn't. After that though it felt like everything she passed had something to do with alcohol. A bar. A poster for wine on the side of a bus stop. All the while Penina's little voice drilled into her head "La la la la la la la..."