“Rolo, don’t touch the fire,” Roxy said, staring directly into her seven year old brother’s eyes.
Rolo nodded excitedly before dropping his coloring supplies in the center of the living room. With a bright smile he started drawing something on the paper and Roxy couldn’t help but smile as well. She settled herself into a chair and started on her cross stitching. She’d found a flag for lesbians, women who liked women, and she couldn’t help but like how the term felt. She was still sort of unsure about it, but she wanted to make a cross stick anyway. Plus, it was a good simple design to practice with.
“Rolo, what did I say about the fire?” Roxy asked, not looking up.
“Not to touch it!” Rolo replied proudly.
Then he seemed to realize one of his hands was reaching towards the fire, and took it back. With a little hum he was back to his drawing. It wasn’t long before Roxy realized she was missing a color for her stitch. With a glance to Rolo she went upstairs to find the box full of thread. She got as far as looking through the box when she heard a scream from downstairs. Roxy nearly fell down the stairs in her rush to Rolo, finding him crying, with blackened fur on one hand. Grabbing his non-injured she dragged him into the kitchen, shoving the blackened fur under the faucet and turning it on. Rolo whimpered the entire time, and Roxy hated that there wasn’t anything else she could do.
“I’m going to call the store,” Roxy said, “please keep your hand under the water.”
After getting a confirmation nod Roxy rushed over to the phone and dialed the general store where her parents had said they were going. They both rushed over as fast as they could, and soon Rolo’s hand was bandaged and he was assured he was going to be ok. That night the two of them snuggled together on the couch, far from the fire.