Friday, January 2, 2015

1st Half of 2nd Assignment-
How does it begin, how does it end? What were they fighting about? Frame it as a conversation-
"So tell me about your brother."
The demand for information hung in the air between the two men for a couple of beats too long, growing into an awkward silence which the other man was at length compelled to.
"Do you know how it is with sibling rivalry? The simplest thing is two brothers or sisters, older and younger, first born and usurper... the baby comes along and upsets the rightful order, doesn't he? That's how I imagine it to was between my younger brother and I; there were two younger sisters, not far behind, but my brother, the first interloper, was target and threat."
The second man glanced at the first, saw the dark, suspecting look, shrugged.
"No, I didn't want to go full-bore Cain and Abel, but I'm quite sure it, the shape of it, was crouching in my hind brain, stirring up trouble all along. I found ways to boss my little brother around and make his life, if not miserable, then a source of amusement. "
"I don't recall what we were up to in the barn that afternoon; about that time, we were enthusiastic, cheap, unskilled and low-impact, labor for the landlord and a check on people coming in to buy straw. They didn't help themselves, didn't try to cheat two boys. We dragged and fetched or dropped bails of straw, or sometimes hay, into truck beds and took the money up to the house for safe-keeping, after we were done loading up..."
"But I don't think we had just loaded straw, that afternoon. Probably some childish play, the point of which I have forgotten. I know that I must have pushed my little brother too far, because he came at me, and I was the biggest all through our childhood. He had to have been good and motivated."
"Bigger and heavier (but not yet fat, I suppose), I ended up on top of him, holding him down, him struggling and... I think I was enjoying it, but a little uncertain how to end it. And then he started choking, on some chaff, I think."
"I was panicking, scared. I thought he was dying and I thought that I had killed him. I was mostly concerned about myself, I think, but I was also so very sorry I had done this-"
"Of course, he didn't, die right then."
"No, he didn't. And of course, all of this didn't stop me from fighting with him many, many times since. One time he took a hoe to me. I don't remember what older brother shittiness prompted that, but I'm pretty sure I deserved it. A nasty cut in the top of my scalp; maybe he was trying to scalp me?"
"And now?"
"I wasn't the worst older brother, but I surely wasn't the best. Wasn't as good as he deserved. I wish that I could tell him that and take all of it back."
The first man inclined his head towards the still, bloody covered form which lay off, away from their little camp. A quieted corpse, put down for good and always after it had gotten back up again.
"Why don't you?"
"He's long gone. I'd just be flapping my lips, talking to hear the sound of my own voice."
"That... might be what you should be doing. What you need to be doing."

No comments:

Post a Comment