Eighteen-year-old Katie McGowan left for her best friend’s house one summer night with her makeup done and a red backpack in hand. She was a legal adult, she was leaving for college soon, and she wanted to celebrate her last days with her friends from high school before the demands of adult life set in. She told her mom that she was spending the night at her friend Taeya’s house, who lived just across the cul-de-sac – she and Katie were practically sisters. Katie swore to her mom, Stacy, that they wouldn’t go anywhere else.

The two girls waited for Taeya’s parents to go to sleep, and then they left in Katie’s car, bottles of Fireball and Captain Morgan in her backpack. Katie turned off her phone so that her mom wouldn’t be able to track it. If Stacy found out that she really wasn’t at Taeya’s, there would be consequences.

But Stacy was ahead of her adult daughter.

A week or two before, Stacy went into Katie’s room to borrow a bag for a weekend trip. She found Katie’s red backpack, and the bottles of alcohol inside. She wasn’t entirely shocked, but she certainly wasn’t happy. Katie wasn’t home, and so Stacy couldn’t immediately confront her. Feeling a bit mischievous, she set up a different punishment for Katie.

With help from Megan, Katie’s older sister, Stacy replaced the whiskey and rum with perfect amounts of water and food coloring. The Captain Morgan went to Stacy’s older daughter. The Fireball went down the drain.

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