((Written in January 2014, this one started out as a subversion of the phrase that gives its title, and was planned to be nothing more than a 55 word piece at the time but, eventually, the concept was fleshened out just a little bit more.))
“I’m tired of doing all the work around here so I’m leaving!” Stephen exclaimed quite proudly.
Sitting on the sofa, feet dangling in the air waiting for the nail polish to dry, Jenna sighed. Upon hearing the commotion, her twin sister, Melanie, opened the bedroom door and peeked outside, saying:
“Don’t tell me it’s that time of the month, again!”
“I’m afraid so,” Jenna replied whilst reaching for something small and silver hidden under one of the cushions. Stephen only saw a faint glow before an anesthetic dart was fired at his epiglottis. His resolve wavered soon enough and he fell to the ground, fast asleep.
“I’ll get the kit,” Melanie said.
“You know, sis, you really have to find a way to make the conditioning process permanent! These constant rebellion attempts of his are starting to get on my nerves!”
Melanie entered the room and fitted the end of a syringe with a hypodermic needle. A vial of yellowish liquid with mind-altering properties came afterwards. The shot was swift and rather painless.
“Working on it, but it’s easier said than done! I got lucky when I stumbled upon the compound, remember?”
“How many doses do we still have?”
“Ten, I believe… no, wait… twelve!”
“Then take a couple to the lab and convince someone to help you with the research!” concluded Jenna, wondering why she hadn’t thought about that, sooner.
Melanie smiled wickedly, in obvious agreement with that line of reasoning. She sat next to her sister, and waited for Stephen to wake up.
When he finally did so, his head throbbed, his muscles were sore and his memory was fuzzy, just like usual. The first words that came out of his mouth were confused ones, and the first complete sentence a question so often repeated:
“Huh, what was I saying, again?”
“Just how lucky you are to be our pet,” Jenna answered in a firm tone, making sure that the information was duly processed by his still groggy neural pathways. He cocked his head to the left before accepting her words as true.
“Yes, of course,” he meekly agreed.
“But we already knew that, pet. We don’t need to hear it every single day,” Melanie intervened, even though her body language said exactly the opposite. She tossed her shoes to the floor and held her favorite nail polish next to his nose. “You already did hers. Now, do mine!”
As commanded, Stephen got to work. After all, he was lucky to be their pet, and would continue to feel that way, at least until the effects of the chemical wore off again.