I decided to have a little fun today, since my social media just will not cease reminding me that I haven’t posted anything in twelve days, by God!
The kind of fun that I will have tonight will be decided by a phrase that has floated more-or-less spontaneously to the top of my brain. In preparing for this, I actually had two or three phrases come up. The first was: “I’m sure they’ve taken over.”, but I dismissed it as a little too 1970s horror. Next came: “I’m sure he’s up there.” shortly followed by: “I’m sure he’s down there.”
And since ‘down’ is far too obvious a direction, I’m going to with ‘up’. Free writing, three paragraphs, no further rules. And off we go:
I’m sure he’s up there. The house is two floors, two doors – obviously, both at street level – so he can’t have left. On the other hand, he’s been up there a long time; how many hours now? Six? And he hasn’t come downstairs yet. I tell myself, ‘He’s always been on the slow side.’ One time a car hit him and he had to miss cricket training. The driver ended up in hospital and the car was written off; that’s why they call him The Wrecker. No one’s tougher than my brother.
Six hours. I really would like to go soon.
But I can’t leave without him; it isn’t safe. I tell myself, ‘He wanted me to stay safe, that’s why he left me downstairs.’ He’s checking it out. I’m . . . I’m not really sure what the point of me is right now. I’m an excellent student, but he’s The Wrecker, and this is no time for brains, it’s a time for action, and that’s that. Besides, you can’t just leave family behind, not even I can do that, no matter how much my legs desperately just want to go. Just cross to that door and run.
No. This isn’t some mystical, fraternal, inner strength. I’m lying. My jeans are soaked all the way into my left slipper. I’m terrified; static buzzing through all my muscles like taser-fire, forcing me to stand here, paralysed. Because we both heard it. I was halfway to the stairs myself before his arm shot out and barred my path. He reminded me; she’s been dead for years. And then he went up to find out who had called for us in her voice. I tell myself, ‘He’s all right. He’ll be down any minute.’
No one’s tougher than my brother. But he hasn’t come downstairs yet.
edit: All right! I admit it: it’s a little more than three paragraphs. Think you can do better? I’d certainly like to hear from you.