No Backing Down

His heart pounded as he stared at the makeshift cage which imprisoned his fearsome foe. He tried to convince himself that he was ready for this moment. But was he? He had spent hours studying his dad’s fearless techniques, but could he trust his training?
It didn’t matter. He had no choice – his parents would not be back for several hours, and this was no task for his little sisters. It was up to him.
He wiped his forehead with a shaky hand, feeling the perspiration gathering there. He nervously dried his hand on his Iron Man t-shirt and took a deep breath, trying to steel his nerves. He could do this. He had to do this.
He tightened his grip on his weapon, feeling it bend and twist in his tense fist. He crept forward, his heart thumping like a drum. He could feel the echo in his ears. He slowly raised the tightly rolled magazine over his head and, with his other hand, tentatively tapped the top of the plastic cup. The cup moved! It wasn’t supposed to move. That wasn’t part of the plan.
He jumped back, shrieking in terror. The magazine fell from his limp fingers, hit the tile floor and rolled to a stop in front of the refrigerator. He scrambled to retrieve it, careful not to let his gaze waver from the cup. He faced the table again, holding the magazine above his head.
“You’re twelve years old,” he said fiercely, glaring at the cup. “You can do this.”
With renewed determination, he stormed towards the table and in one graceful motion, lifted the cup off the table and slammed his weapon down with excessive force. Thwack! A second went by. Then another.
Had he succeeded? It all happened so fast. He needed to make sure. If he had failed – he shuddered to think of the consequences. He slowly picked up the magazine with trembling fingers, and to his joy and disgust, the mangled corpse of the spider was plastered to the table.
With a victorious shout, he threw the magazine in the air and ran off to tell his sisters, content to let his parents clean up the mess.