Wednesday March 23rd, 2011

The exercise:

Today we're writing about: the brothers.

I spent part of this afternoon hauling old fence posts out of the way of our slowly developing backyard. There were two piles of them, but I hadn't noticed before I started that one pile had thicker posts than the other. They were... significantly heavier than the thinner ones.

Ah well, it was a good workout.


Alexa watched through the kitchen window as her two boys played in the backyard. The setting sun was still lighting the clouds high above them, but the trees lining their property were marching their shadows towards her little men. She'd have to call them inside to get ready for bed soon.

Wiping the dish soap off her hands with a tea towel, she poured herself a glass of iced tea and moved to the back door. Just as she was reaching for the knob, the phone in the living room began ringing. Alexa hesitated but, after a glance at her boys, she hurried to answer the call.

The moment she was out of sight a man emerged from the shadows of the trees and walked quickly to the brothers, a cell phone pressed to his ear. They didn't notice his approach; they were too engrossed in the battle their action figures were acting out in the grass.

"Hello," the man said, both into the phone and to the boys. "Do you want to play with Daddy?"

The brothers squealed in delight and wrapped themselves around his legs. With great difficulty, he turned and began walking them back to the darkened side of the yard. They were speaking over each other, anxious to know where he had been and why he hadn't visited in so long.

"Oh, don't you worry," the man replied, the phone still at his lips. "I'm going to make up for all that lost time."


Greg said...

Blogger ate my post again :( I'll try and recreate it.

Kidnap today? Does Kat ever look over your shoulder, read a little, and then go and hide the knives in the kitchen?
I liked today's, but you've put a lot into six short paragraphs and I had to read it twice to be sure I'd got everything that's going on (that's not a bad thing). It feels like it wants to be expanded a little, given room to grow. I'd suggest taking it over to Protagonize (a new solo project for you?) but you owe us a chapter in How the Best was Won first....

The Brothers
The volcano exploded.
Pressure had been building for years; an old lava cap had sealed in gases and a weak spot in the crust below it allowed gas in but not out. Finally a magma plume heated the gas beyond containment and a column of molten, burning rock geysered up, tearing the volcano apart.
Luckily this happened when humans were still roaming the savanna of another continent trying to figure out how to turn evolution on, so although local wildlife got toasted there was no-one to mourn it.
The sides of the volcano that remained standing, now half a mile apart, became known as the Brothers when humans eventually arrived. There was a recognition that these things were related, even if there was no understanding as to why.
Which is why when the Brothers began to tremble and shake, early indications that another eruption was on the way, that people gathered to watch instead of running away.

Mama Zen said...

This is chilling!

Heather said...

This needs serious work, but I'm not up to it tonight.
Tired from a long day of bickering and forced compromise, Johnny climbed into bed. As always, Tommy followed him. "Johnny, I'm not tired yet," he said in a half whine, half complaint."Let's stay up for a while yet."

Johnny ignored him, pulling the covers over his shoulders to make a point. Tommy pleaded. Johnny sat up slightly to readjust his position, causing Tommy to have to do the same. Then he reached for the light and turned it off, tunneling back under the covers as quickly as he could considering he had to fight the resistant body of his brother.

"Come on! Don't be like that! Look, I'll leave you alone and let you go to sleep if you hand me my book and turn the light back on." Tommy crossed his arms over his chest and stared hard at his brother. When Johnny didn't respond, Tommy reached over and poked him, repeatedly. He knew it would annoy Johnny to no end and he would get his way.

Johnny finally groaned in frustration and flung the covers off. He sat up briskly, pulling the book off his side of the headboard and dropped it in Tommy's lap with clear disdain. Without a word, he reached up and turned on the light before flopping down as much as he could flop in the queen size bed he and his brother shared and pulled the covers over his head. He heard his brother smile.

Being a twin could be tough. Being literally joined at the hip seemed impossible most days.

Aaron said...

I really liked your writing today Marc. I love how your story has multiple levels. The effect and connotations of the phone in "Daddy's" hand is brilliant. Well done.
Greg great concept. I'm sorry your original was lost.
Today I wrote something "chilling" as well. Enjoy.

The Brothers
I stood staring at my twin brother, James. My best friend since I had been born. My blood matched his as my heart never would. Most siblings go different ways, live different lives. It must be so we can excel in our own way free from fraternal rivalry. I wish we were the same. We could have been the same. We had the same everything; toys, bikes, schools, love. Didn’t we? Damn this misty memory.
I look into my brothers cold eyes. We are not the same. He was always so good, so proper. He was the perfect student, athlete, and son, everything I should have been. But I was always the antithesis.
“Why can’t you be more like your brother? Why can’t you be more like your brother? Why can’t you be more like your brother?” Whispers mommy in the corner.
Turning towards her, knowing I failed somehow, knowing James wouldn’t have failed. I feel numb. This is not how I imagined it would be. Everything was supposed to get better. But his goodness isn’t transferring to me. Something is not right. I know he stole my goodness when we were in the womb. Didn’t he? I still feel wrong. I still feel like a bad boy. Tears blur my vision as I turn back to James.
“Where is IT?” I ask as calmly as I can. But he just stares at me, a little smirk on his perfect fucking face. He just keeps staring and smiling like I hadn’t just eaten his beating heart. He keeps staring at…Mom. She has my goodness? She has my goodness. I take my knife from James. Knowing I am about to get my goodness back from mom makes me feel almost like I have it already. Almost.
“Please don’t hurt me. Take anything you want. Just don’t hurt me,” she says, “Take it all. There’s money upst---.” She begins to scream when she sees what has become of James. Not so perfect anymore.
“Why are you doing this? Who are you?”
“It’s me, Mommy, John, your son.” She has my goodness. Doesn’t she?

Marc said...

Greg - jeez, Blogger is a hungry beast. When will it be sated? When!?

I never write while Kat's reading it as I go - I just can't work like that. But sometimes she gives me funny looks when she reads it afterward :P

"... trying to figure out how to turn evolution on' is brilliant.

Mama Zen - thank you - I'm choosing to take that as a compliment :P

And thanks for stopping by, feel free to share your take on the prompts.

Heather - oh man, I would go insane. I need time alone like I need water. That would not end well.

Aaron - thanks very much, I'm glad that worked out.

Ugh, that was certainly chilling. Made me squirm. Very well done!