Babysitting an Electrician

Zap!’ my brother giggled, holding out the electrical plug like it was a live wire. I ignored him, flicking through my book on the couch. I could almost hear him frowning behind me, that he hadn’t managed to provoke a reaction, and had to suppress a little smile.

Zap!’ he yelled again, this time actually poking me with the prongs. This time I looked up, shooting him a glare that only made him grin. Squealing, he ran off, probably pretending I was a dragon or something.

I sighed and put down the book, bored. Babysitting always made time slow down, especially when the little monster was awake and I couldn’t just take a nap.

‘Bailey!’ my brother called out from a different room. ‘Bailey, look, I’m an eeleck-elc-trishan!’

‘Riiiight,’ I called back at him, scrolling through my phone. ‘Can’t wait to hear your take on the best place to get electrical supplies in Cheltenham.

He didn’t answer me back, which I was initially grateful for. A thought wormed its way into my mind, and I slowly locked my phone.

Electrician? What did that mean?

I jumped up and half-ran into the next room, following the sound of childish giggling.

‘Jack?’ I called out, nervously. ‘Where are you?’

‘Down here!’ I heard him say, from just behind me. I twisted around – to see him working a fork behind a wall socket, trying to prise it off.

‘Woah!’ I yelled, waving my hands to quickly grab his attention and stop him from shocking himself. ‘Over here, Jack. Stop playing with that!’

He saw he was getting under my skin – so giggled and kept going.

‘I’ll take you to the hardware store near Bentleigh!’ I blurted out, trying to think of something to get his attention.

He looked up, confused – and I sprang forward, knocking his hand away from the fork and grabbing it to–


‘Bailey?’ I heard him calling my name, as if from far away.

‘Nicely played,’ I managed to wheeze. ‘Very nicely played.’