Once upon a time, in a town just like yours, lived a girl named Claire who didn’t get along with her younger brother, Jason, at all. In fact, she disliked nearly everything that Jason did. From the way he ate his breakfast to the way he brushed his hair, it felt as though his whole purpose was to annoy his older sister. When she told her parents, they would respond by saying, “Claire, you should just put your problems in a bubble and let them float away…” Claire never felt as though this was good advice, but she tried her best to ignore all of the annoying things her brother did.
One day, Claire had a particularly unremarkable birthday. She woke up, politely accepted all of the birthday wishes given to her by her, spent the day at the beach with her family and then came home to eat a birthday dinner of lasagne that she had chosen the week before. At night, she received her birthday presents and was happy with all of them… except for one. She loved her new clothes and hair ties and couldn’t wait to place her new stuffed toys at the end of her bed. She was grateful for the tickets to a dance concert and knew she would grow to love her new quilt cover given to her from her grandma. The one toy she didn’t like, however, was the bubble machine given her from her younger brother. “This is so you can finally put all of your problems in a bubble and blow them away!” He said as he laughed his way out of the room.
All the other presents made her feel quite grown up and mature, but the bubble machine was out of place amongst the presents which she felt proud to talk about. Before going to bed, she put the toy away on the top shelf in her cupboard, with the intention of making that its home forever. She put her new quilt on her bed and turned off her bedroom light.
The following day, Claire was quietly reading her book outside while her brother was finding fresh and creative ways to annoy her, from making clicking noises with his mouth, to ‘accidentally’ spraying her with the hose while he watered the garden. “Stop it!” she snapped.
Jason would mock her by saying, “Why don’t go and put your problems in a bubble and blow them away!”
Fed up, Claire stomped inside and slammed the door behind her. She came back out seconds later with her bubble blower and yelled, “You want to see how many problems I have!” She turned on her bubble blower and watched as the first, big bubble came out of the machine. “This one is for all of the times you’ve called me names!” Another giant bubble came out of the machine. “This one is for all the times you’ve stopped me from being able to relax!” Claire found it difficult to stop. “This one is for al the times you annoyed me in the car! This one is for all the times you embarrassed me in front of my friends! This one is for always getting sick when we have to do our chores! This one is for the faces you pull in front of me while I’m talking to someone…”
They kept coming and coming until, eventually, Claire’s bubble machine was just blowing out air. Exhausted, she turned around to face her brother and noticed something very surprising. Jason was trapped inside a bubble. Well, many bubbles to be exact. And he was floating away, high up into the sky. Claire started to panic and ran towards him trying to pop some of the bubbles but he had already floated too high for her to reach. She tried to jump up to reach the mass of bubbles carrying her brother away but she could not jump high enough.
“Heeeeellp!’ Jason yelled.
Nearly sobbing, Claire yelled “What do you want me to do?”
Jason was now floating very far away. “My sling shot! It’s in my bedroom! You need to go and grab it!”
Claire ran inside and, after what felt like a lifetime, she found Jason’s sing shot and three projectiles. She ran back outside, looked up at her brother who by now looked like a small sphere in the sky and prepared to take aim at the mass of bubbles. She fired the first projectile and missed…By a lot. “Hurry up Claire! You’ve got to get it!” Claire fired the second shot and missed again, still by a lot by her brother’s current standards. For the third shot, Claire took a deep breath, took aim very carefully, steadied her hand by holding her breath and fired the final projectile…
What happened next nobody could be quite sure, and perhaps it’s best that the details remain unclear. The outcome from this eventful afternoon, however, was very clear: From that day on, whenever Jason did anything which could potentially annoy his sister, she gave him a look and made the motion of using a pin to burst a bubble. And to anyone from the outside looking in, it looked as though Claire and her brother never fought again.