The Cleanse

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I am a HUGE believer in character development, so please please please give this story some time to build up. I like to let that sibling romance ripen on the vine a bit before I pluck it off, makes it sweeter and juicier.

That’s a little weird, sorry about that. Anyway, hope you enjoy!

P.S. This story starts out briefly from the point of view of the mother, but the sexual stuff is only between the siblings. So if you’re turned off by mother stuff, never fear! And if you’re only interested in mother stuff…read on anyway!

*

Penny sat alone at her kitchen table, deep in thought and slightly troubled. She was having one of those moments where you question whether or not every decision you have made in your entire life has been completely wrong, and maybe you should just off yourself and hope for a fresh reincarnation.

Well, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but still, she was doing some questioning. She was taking a break from her work (yes, she worked from home, and no, not because of the ‘rona virus…since this is a work of fiction, let’s just pretend that little nuisance doesn’t exist for the time being) and had just finished reading a very intriguing article. Her best friend/business partner Takeisha had sent her a link to an article written by some new age hippie schmuck that she followed, and told Penny that she just had to read it. Penny typically didn’t go for that kind of thing, but was looking for a break from the monotony that was her current project, so she had clicked on it and given it a read. Forty minutes later, there she sat, contemplating the habits and inner dynamics of her family.

The article had talked about diet mostly, touching on how the things we eat affect not only our physical well being, but our mental, social, and emotional well being too. It mainly stressed the importance of eating an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, getting into lots of specific details for specific foods and exactly what benefits they have. The article also touched a little bit on a trend of a lack of closeness that exists in a modern household, and how we need to get rid of some of our distracting vices get back to the basics of just loving our family more.

Come to think of it, Penny was a little irked that her friend seemed to think that she needed advice on her diet and the way she took care of her family. Then again, Takeisha was a true friend and certainly meant well. Besides, there had to be something to it, given the jarring affect it seemed to be having on Penny.

She got out of her seat and headed towards the living room, where she was pretty sure she would find her oldest child, her daughter Talia.

Yes indeed, there she sat on the couch, just like she had done every single day for the past few weeks since she had gotten home from her first year away at college.

Penny took in her daughter for a moment. She was a pretty girl. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and an ass that wouldn’t quit. Of course, Penny was biased, not only because it was her daughter, but also because Talia was basically the twenty year younger version of Penny herself. Despite having gained just a tiny bit of weight during her first year of college, Talia could certainly turn some heads, that was for sure. Well, maybe if she showered first or something.

“Talia?” Penny called out.

Talia did not answer, but continued to stare at her phone. Penny was pretty sure she was messaging (or tweeting, or snapping, or whatever the fuck it was) her boyfriend, because of the intense googly eyes she was giving the screen. Then again, that just seemed to be how people generally looked at their phones these days anyway.

“Talia,” she said again, this time a little more firmly.

Not surprisingly, there was still no answer.

Penny walked right up to her daughter, leaned in so that her face was mere centimetres away from Talia’s face, and blew a huge puff of air right into her eyeballs.

“Ahhhhhh!” Talia exclaimed, eyes only briefly breaking contact with her screen. She almost immediately fell back into her stupor.

“What are your plans for today, daughter of mine?” Penny asked.

“This,” Taila responded dryly.

“Seems riveting. What have you eaten today?”

Without losing focus on her screen, Talia gently waved a hand in the direction of the coffee table. There sat a partially eaten bag of cheese puffs, a half empty sleeve of chocolate chip cookies, and a couple empty cans of soda.

“Ew Talia, why have you just been eating this junk food?”

“You do the grocery shopping, Mom. If you don’t want me to eat it, then don’t buy it.”

“Fair point,” Penny replied. “So, you talking to that boyfriend of yours?”

“Yes.”

“Miss him?”

“Yes.”

“When do you think you’ll see him again?”

Talia continued to type away on her phone, apparently putting her real life conversation on hold in order to finish her virtual one first.

“Don’t know. It’s a three hour drive, and Ken is super busy this summer. He doesn’t know when he can get here to visit. keçiören escort Of course…”

For the first time during their conversation, Talia made eye contact with her mother. Penny knew exactly what her daughter was getting at.

“Nope,” Penny stated simply.

“Why not, Mom!?”

“Come on sweetie, use that nineteen-year-old brain of yours and answer your own question.”

Talia stared at her mother, her face looking somewhere between irritated and bewildered.

“Okay then,” Penny began after a long pause. She spoke in that slow, condescending tone people use when they want the other person to feel dumb. “Let me explain it to you the best I can. This family has one”, Penny held a single finger up to give her daughter a visual, just in case she got confused, “car. If I let you borrow it to go visit your boyfriend three hours away, then that will leave this family with no cars.” She lowered her finger, continuing the visual presentation. “And then we wouldn’t be able to drive places.” She mimed driving a car as she finished her last sentence.

Talia simply gave her mother an annoyed look and returned her focus to her phone.

“You had the option to get a job or take summer classes and stay at college for the summer, Talia, but you said you didn’t want to. So, here you sit, I guess.”

“Guess so,” Talia responded with a sense of finality in her voice. Penny decided she had badgered her one child enough for the time being, and decided to seek out her younger one.

Quinn, her son, had recently turned eighteen. Even though it had been a pain in the ass at times having two kids so close together in age (mainly when they were really little and her useless lump of an ex-husband decided to head west on his own to “mine for gold”), she was really glad most of the time for their small age difference. Growing up, the kids had been really close to one another, their year and a half age difference barely noticeable, at times even getting confused for twins. They were inseparable for the longest time, even choosing to share a bedroom for most of their childhood. That made it all the more upsetting for Penny when they reached an age somewhere in their mid-teens when they drifted apart, each deciding that the other just wasn’t worth their time anymore. Their family was so much stronger, so much more enjoyable, when her children had been best friends. Now, as far as she knew, they hadn’t even spoken once since Talia had returned home for the summer.

When Penny reached the end of the hall where her son’s room was, she discovered that his bedroom door was closed. She put her ear to the door in order to try and figure out what he was up to. Upon doing so, she heard the unmistakable noise of his soccer video game Fifi, or whatever it was called. He had been addicted to that game for a while now, and spent most of his free time playing remotely with his friends. She had recently suggested to him that he simply walk the seven minutes down the road to his friend’s house and play the game with him in person. He had explained to her how silly that would be, since then they would have to share one game instead of them each playing their own. Then he rolled his eyes and went back into his cave of a bedroom.

“Quinn?” Penny called out as she knocked on his door.

Not surprisingly, there was no answer. Penny opened the door and stepped inside. Quinn was sitting in his chair, facing his T.V. screen, which meant his back was to her. He wore a headset with a microphone while he played. He was deeply focused on his soccer game, unaware that his mother had entered his room. Penny took a few moments and looked around the room. There were a couple of empty pizza boxes on the floor, which was disturbing since she was pretty sure they hadn’t had pizza in at least two weeks. A couple of empty soda cans and various other food trash lay scattered about as well.

Quinn was in pretty good shape, despite his affinity for junk food and sitting on his ass playing video games. He had been on the school soccer and baseball teams all four years of high school, which made him lean and sinewy. He tanned pretty well too, which made him different from both Penny and Talia. Otherwise, he looked pretty much just like his sister.

“Quinn, this room is disgusting,” Penny said, finally announcing her presence.

“Get the fuck outta here!” Quinn called out rather violently.

“Excuse me!?” Penny replied, completely appalled. “How dare you talk to me like that, Quinn! Get your ass out of that chair and-“

“I told you not to come at me with that weak shit, son!” Quinn interrupted. “You’ve got to do better than that if you want to score on me, bitch!”

Penny rolled her eyes. She wasn’t too thrilled with the language, but at least she didn’t have to kill him now for talking to her like that. She walked up behind him and flicked him in the back of his head as hard as she could.

“Ouch!” Quinn cried out, looking back at his mother and removing his headset.

“Hey Quinn, just wanted to keçiören escort bayan get your attention.”

“Ever think about just calling out my name?”

“Hmm, maybe I’ll try that next time.”

Quinn paused his game and rubbed the spot on his head that Penny had just flicked.

“So what’s up, Mom?”

“Eh, nothing much. Just wanted to check on you. Make sure you hadn’t died in your chair or something.”

“Nope, not dead. Just enjoying life.”

“So what are your plans for today?”

“Uhhhh…”

Quinn seemed genuinely confused by the question, thinking that the answer should be obvious. He simply pointed to his headset and television.

“Right, of course,” Penny replied. “And what nutrition have you had today?”

“Nutrition?”

“Yeah, you know, things you eat that provide healthy sustenance for your body?”

“Uhhhh…”

Confusion once more filled Quinn’s face. He looked around the various food trash littered about his hell hole of a room, found a partially eaten box of fruity kids cereal, and held it up for his mother to see.

Penny simply shook her head. She decided then and there that she needed to take her children’s health into her own hands before it was too late.

She left the bedroom without another word and returned to the kitchen. She grabbed several garbage bags from under the sink, opened the snack cabinet, and started getting rid of anything undesirable. Then, after cleaning out all cabinets and the refrigerator of unwanted junk food, she made a long grocery list and made her way out the door. Her kids were going to be in for a real shock when they woke up the next morning.

*

“Good morning, fruit of my loins!”, Penny exclaimed as her children stumbled into the kitchen the next morning.

Talia and Quinn sat down at the kitchen table looking utterly exhausted.

“Mom,” Quinn began, “one of the main perks of a summer vacation is the whole sleeping in thing. Why on earth do we have to be awake at such a ridiculous hour?”

“It’s 9:30,” Penny sighed.

“Exactly!” the siblings said in unison.

Penny side-stepped their complaints and explained further.

“I’ve got a surprise for you guys!”

Their eyes lit up with curiosity.

“Oh my gosh, is it a new car!?” Talia asked hopefully.

“Nope.”

“Ooh, are we finally getting those ponies we always asked for as kids?” Quinn asked sarcastically.

“Don’t be silly, dear.”

“Dad’s not coming to visit, is he?” Talia asked.

“Ew, no,” Penny responded. “Gross, of course not.”

“Then what the heck is it, Mom?”

Penny retrieved two cups from the counter top behind her, full to the brim of some sort of green liquid, and slid one to each of her children.

“Surprise!” Penny said elatedly.

The kids stared at back and forth between their mother and the drinks for several moments.

“This some sort of new Kool-Aid flavor or something?” Quinn asked.

“Not at all, my dear. That is celery juice, and it is jam-packed with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and…well, all kinds of bullshit that’s supposed to be really good for you. So…drink up!”

“You can squeeze juice out of celery?” Quinn asked.

“Wait a second, this doesn’t sound like you,” said Talia. “Did you read another article that Takeisha sent you?”

“So what if I did?” Penny responded. “Look, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this family, guys, and I’m not very happy with it at the moment. We hardly talk to each other, especially you two. I mean, you guys used to be best friends, and, well, it hurts me that you don’t even seem to communicate at all anymore. I mean, have you guys spent any time together since Talia got back from college?”

The siblings looked at each other uncomfortably.

“Does this moment count?” Quinn asked.

“No!” Penny replied.

“Wait a second, Mom, I’m confused,” Talia said. “What does me and Quinn spending time together have to do with celery juice?”

“Well, it’s all-encompassing really. We are going to do a family cleanse!”

“Didn’t we cleanse our family when Dad left?” Quinn asked.

“No…well, yeah, sort of I guess. But what I’m referring to is a cleanse of the body, mind, and spirit! Or…was it the body, spirit, and soul. I don’t remember what the dude said in the article verbatim, but the idea is that we are going to eat a shit-ton of healthy foods for the next thirty days, rid ourselves of all our vices and distractions, and come out on the other end all the better! You know, one big, strong, healthy family unit!”

“And these vices that you are referring to…”, Talia began to inquire.

“Well, you’re going to love this part. For you sweetie, that means your cell phone.”

“What about my cell phone?” Talia asked, panic slowly creeping into her voice.

“I’ll be holding on to your cell phone for the duration of the thirty day cleanse.”

“WHAT!?!?!?”

“Now, I’m not unreasonable, so this is what I’m going escort keçiören to do for you. I’m going give you about twenty minutes this morning to contact Ken, explain to him what’s going on. Tell him that you’ll be incommunicado for the next month so that he knows what’s going on.”

“You…you can’t do this! I won’t give you my phone! It’s MINE!!”

“Well…did you buy the phone?”

“No!”

“Do you help me pay the phone bill in any way?”

“NO!”

“Then, ‘technically’, it’s mine, right?”

“I’m nineteen years old, Mom! It’s embarrassing that you are taking my phone from me. I’m an adult!”

“An adult with no means to pay her own cell phone bill. Look, you’ll get it back at the end of the cleanse. Now Quinn-“

“Let me guess, you’ll be taking my video game console from me,” Quinn interrupted.

“Indeed.”

Quinn just lowered his head and didn’t say a word.

Talia looked at Quinn with an annoyed expression.

“What the hell, dude? Aren’t you going to put up a fight?”

“Eh, you already kinda said everything that I would’ve said. It’d just be redundant at this point.”

Talia turned on her mother.

“And what ‘vice’ will you be giving up for the next thirty days, Mom?” she asked.

“Coffee. And believe me, I’m going to have a much tougher time with that than you guys will with your phone and video games. Now, I’ll be working from home every day during the cleanse, I’ve already worked that out with my office. That way I’ll be able to manage your eating habits and activities in person. Every morning we will begin our day with a full sixteen ounces of fresh celery juice. The rest of the day will just basically be fruits, veggies, and various grains and nuts. Any questions?”

Neither sibling spoke.

“Great. Look guys, I know this is kind of out of nowhere, and you can hate me all you want. Hell, I encourage you to hate me! That will give you guys something to bond over! Take advantage of this cleanse, regain a sense of family and love for one another. You loved each other so much when you were younger, and I know you still do. Lean on one another, help each other. We can do anything if we work together! Go team!”

Penny’s kids looked at her with disgusted faces.

“You sound like you should be talking to a Muppet on Sesame Street,” Talia said.

“Alright, well I’ll leave you to your juice. Let me know when you’re done and I’ll tell you what you need to eat next. Love you guys!”

With that, Penny left the room.

The sibling looked at each other, still not fully comprehending their situation. Quinn picked up his glass and lightly tapped it against his sister’s.

“Cheers,” he said as he took his first big gulp.

*

The first day of the cleanse was pretty rough for both siblings. They had never in their life been forced to eat anything, and certainly not anything so healthy and foreign to their palates.

Later in the day, just before dinner, Quinn walked into the living room to find Talia sitting on the couch, staring mindlessly at the wall. Quinn took a seat beside her.

“So how’s your day been, Talia?” he asked.

Talia, without blinking, turned her head very slowly to look at her brother. She stared him in the eye for a few seconds, then very slowly returned her gaze to the same spot on the wall she had previously been focused on.

“I see. Me too, Talia. It’s been pretty rough. Can I ask you a question though?”

Talia gave an almost imperceptible grunt of a response.

“What’s your stool situation been like today?”

Talia looked at her brother in disgust.

“My what?” she asked.

“You know, your bowel movements. Has anything been off in that department for you today?”

Talia shook her head in awe.

“This is literally the worst day that any human being has ever had in the history of the universe,” she said dramatically.

“Come on, it’s no big deal, we can discuss our poops openly. Like today, for me, with all these fruits and vegetables, I swear I’ve been like six times! And last time, the sheer amount that came out was-“

“Is this your idea of bonding, Quinn? Because I’m not really feeling it.”

“Fine, we won’t discuss our poops. Mom’s right though, if we’re going to survive this next month, we’re going to need each other. Today was pretty awful. We could try playing some games tomorrow or something? You know, just to help pass the time.”

“Oh goody,” Talia replied.

“Great, it’s a date then.”

Just then, their mother called out to them from the kitchen.

“Alright guys, come get some dinner!”

Although neither said anything, they were both pretty famished and actually looking forward to a hot dinner. All the cold fruits and veggies had really gotten old.

What little excitement they were feeling dissipated instantly when they entered the kitchen. In the middle of the table saw a hot, steaming bowl of some sort of haggard looking mush. Their mother spooned a generous helping of the substance onto three separate plates and sat down at the table, gesturing for her children to do the same.

“Mom, what is this stuff?” Quinn asked nervously.

“It’s called millet,” Penny replied.

“The fuck is millet?” Talia asked angrily.

“Some sort of grass seed, grain thingy. Supposedly really good for us.”

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