“It’ll be perfect,” I snickered, rifling through the Kool-Aid packets with glee. “They’ll turn on the water for a nice, relaxing shower– and get splattered with blood instead!”
“I dunno,” my sister drawled. She was packing away the balled up newspapers we stored our Easter decorations in. “They might get mad. Or it might stain the tile.”
“Nah,” I scoffed. “It’ll be hilarious. And it’s Kool-Aid, what could happen?” Pushing aside the instant gravy packets, I cried: “Success! Found them. We have Blastin’ Berry Cherry, Orange, and Tropical Twist.” I grabbed the Berry Cherry packet and smirked. “This’ll be awesome.”
“I dunno,” said my sister, ever the skeptic.
Thumping down the stairs, I ripped open the Kool-Aid. The powder was purple, which was a disappointment– I had hoped for red. But this would have to do. My plan was to unscrew the shower head and empty the drink powder into it; then reattach it and wait for my victims to turn the shower on. Instead of water, Berry Cherry would blast out of the tap, looking like blood– a sweet and sticky April Fool’s prank! I sifted through the possible outcomes in my mind. My parents might be angry; but outweighed by the possible repercussion was the lovely scream I planned to listen for tomorrow morning. The flavored dust shifted inside the small envelope. I inhaled; it smelled of fruit and destiny. MAKES TWO QUARTS!, it proclaimed. I grinned mischievously. That should be just enough, I thought, for the perfect prank.
My sister trailed into my parent’s bathroom after me. “All I gotta do,” I explained, “Is unscrew the shower faucet,” I grunted, turning the head round and round. It wouldn’t come loose. “–Dump the powder in–” I continued, rattling the faucet carefully to encourage it to come off. Success! It dropped into my palm, dripping. “And wa-la! A bloody shower.”
“Huh,” mused my sister. “We should probably suggest that mom or dad take a shower when they get home from their walk. Just so the prank is actually on April 1st.”
“Nah,” I said; “It’s funnier if it catches them by surprise.”
“But then it won’t be on April Fools!”
“Still an April Fools’ trick!!” I grinned, setting the faucet into the sink, tipping the powder into the attachment. Water rolled into the the Kool-Aid, beading into the purple powder. I lifted the shower head and cradled it carefully in my palms to prevent it from spilling out. Coursing from the holes was bright red water. It startled me.
“That looks… a lot like blood.” I said after a pause. Then I grinned. “A lot like blood!” This was perfect.
“Uh,” my sister said. “You’ll wanna get that back on,” she pointed at the bare pipe sticking out of the tiled wall. That’s right! I had to put everything back together, just the way it was, before my parents got home. Hurrying back to the shower, I lifted the attachment to the pipe. It would not be a good prank to be caught in the act. To be caught…
Red handed. “Uh,” I said.
“What?” my sister asked. I held out the hand that had clenched the shower head. It was dripping red, bleeding Berry Cherry scented blood. My hand looked as though I had sliced it open!
“Ack,” my sister said. I flicked the excess of the tips of my fingers, splattering the mottled tiles and grout. I lifted my other hand to screw the faucet back in place– more ‘blood’ dripped down my arm and pooled at the tip of my elbow, gathering momentum until droplets of sticky ‘blood’ rained down from my arm.
“Ugh!” I tried my best to get the faucet back on. It wouldn’t screw– I had it threaded incorrectly and it only spun round and round. Taking the pipe with one hand, I tried to join the two with sheer force of will, hoping to press the threading of the screw back in to place. All I managed to do was get Berry Cherry Blood sliding past my elbow, dangerously close to my clothing. “Yikes!” I hurriedly set the shower head town and turned to the sink. I turned the water on and scrubbed at my hands… still bright red. Pooled around my nails and flowing through my life line, the fruit scented ‘blood’ stained my fingernails, knuckles and palms a bright, garish red. “It looks like I’ve murdered someone!” Alarmed, I tried harder to buff the color off my hands.
“Yeah it does!” my sister laughed. “You could be a serial killer!” She watched me for a while, while I worried that the water wasn’t running clear. Berry Cherry was prolific, it seemed. She nudged me and tugged my attention back to the Kool-Aid filled shower head. “You’d better get that cleaned up.”
I looked over. Sitting on the shower floor was the shiny faucet, leaking Cherry Berry ‘blood’ everywhere. Some of my mom’s hair left on the drain had caught it like a sticky web, preventing it from draining away. I took my jacket off, and with renewed determination set to putting the shower in order.
Clumsily, my hands slippery with ‘blood,’ I tried to wiggle the shower head into the correct position, trying to push the threading together. It wouldn’t connect! Frustrated, I applied more force, frantically twisting. With a small ‘pop,’ the faucet came apart in my hand. The sieve to dispense the water and the outer bell-shaped apparatus fell in two pieces. SHIT, I thought. Taking the pieces into either bloody hand, I tried to fit them together again. “Oh no, no, no, no!”
“I’ve broken it!”
My sisters’ eyes got big. “Oh no.”
She eyed my struggling, and then said: “Mom could probably fix it.”
“Probably!” I agreed, exasperated. “But I don’t want her to know I broke it!! Oh, man, I really broke it…”
“Well, Home Depots open today,” my sister said reasonably. That made me feel better. As a last resort I could always buy a new shower fixture. More blood dripped from the faucet, down my arms and onto the tile. This was much, much messier than I anticipated.
“Maybe we should just cut our losses,” I thought aloud. “Clean up this mess, fix the shower, and pretend this never happened.” Fiddling with the shower head, I noticed a small plastic rim that had come loose. Fitting it into a slot in the sieve, I was able to get the outer hull back on as well. It was still very loose. I shrugged an began attaching it to the pipe anyway. “Definitely cut our losses,” I muttered.
“Yeah, okay,” she agreed; “Did you get it back on?”
“No,” I grunted, then– “Yes! I got it!”
“Wait… no. Oh no oh no oh no.”
“I did it wrong. See?” I adjusted the faucet to be more upright, and it fell limply back; pointing straight down. Bright red droplets fell more quickly from the broken shower. I knew my parents would not appreciate that. Fumbling with Kool-Aid stained hands, I managed to get it off again.
“What are you doing?”
“Cutting my losses,” I replied. “April fools! They have no faucet now.”
“APRIL FOOLS!” I bellowed. “Forget the blood. They’re just not gonna have a shower head.” I put it back in the sink, turning the water on to wash out all the Kool-Aid.
She shook her head. “How are we gonna clean this up?”
“Well, just turn the shower on…”
We both realized at the same time that I still had the shower head in the sink.
“Can we turn it on without the faucet?”
“I dunno,” I replied. “But I gotta get that water off the ceiling.” I looked to the floor. “And the tiles. Fetch me a towel?”
She jogged off. Stretching on my tippy-toes, I could just touch the ceiling if I jumped a little. My sister had returned with a dish towel. Hopping in place, I dabbed at the ceiling. This wasn’t working.
“Uh,” said my sister.
“This color’s not coming off.”
“It’s stained the tile.”
I wailed. “We cannot stain the tile. That’s not an option. What do we do?”
She looked up from scrubbing the shower floor, a mass of soggy paper towels in her hand, seeping red.
“Mr. Clean Magic Eraser fixes everything, right?”
“Perfect!” I jumped again; it looked like my hop-dab technique wasn’t working. “And will you get me the step stool?” Dutifully she turned away to go back upstairs. When she returned with it, I was still trying to mop up. “Thanks.” Gratefully I stood on the stool to wipe away the water on the ceiling. With that done, I looked to the tiles again. It looked like Psycho had been filmed in my parent’s bathroom. I began scrubbing with more vigor.
Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser was falling apart. My bloody hands were a red blur as I scoured the tiles frantically. Cherry Berry Blood ran in rivulets from my arms and into the drain. I threw the Eraser down in a pout.
Grabbing an empty glass from the side of the sink, I put it under the tap at full blast, filling it up as quick as I could. I shut the water off and dumped the water directly over the bloody tile. Rather than washing it away, I only managed to splatter it everywhere. More ‘blood’ pooled in the grout, not diluting the color, but just creating and spreading more. Shit, I thought. This had better not stain the tile.
“Hey,” I hollered to my sister. “Will you bring me the pitcher?”
“Sure,” I heard.
“Thanks!” In the meantime I continued using the water glass to try and do damage control. The more water I poured, the more blood there was.
“Got it.” I turned to see her with the pitcher in hand.
“Thanks!” I pushed it under the sink and put it to full blast. Hopefully, with enough water, I could just wash away this murder scene. No such luck. I glared at the empty envelope in the trash. MAKES TWO QUARTS! was two quarts too much. “The more I pour over it, the worse it gets!” I complained.
“Want me to get that tile cleaning stuff?”
“Yes!” I snapped, irritated that I hadn’t thought of it earlier. She scampered off and I heard her pounding up the stairs. I went back to my futile task of washing two quarts of Cherry Berry blood from the tile, with more dripping every minute.
Soon she returned, squirting over my shoulder while I scrubbed and huffed. Narrowly missing my ear with the spray, she doused the entire floor.
“Now it says to let it sit for five minutes,” she read; out of breath: “then to wash it off.”
“Perfect,” I said, also breathing heavily.
“Mom and dad still aren’t back,” said my sister.
“Yeah,” I said. “At this point we could probably try again with a different color before they get back.”
She glared at me, pursing her lips and pointing as if to say: “don’t you dare!”
I grinned. “Just kidding. April fools.”