Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Short Story- Blood Brothers

(A short story written inspired by the picture prompt (below) posted by writeworld, on Tumblr) 

Blood Brothers- Ami Hart © 2014

Even as he looked at his feet, Cale felt his older brother’s stare drilling into him, puncturing through his defenses until he was left small and bare beneath it.
"It was you wasn’t it? Garrick asked, his voice low, dangerously so. "Wasn’t it?!" Cale flinched at the loud, heaviness of his older brother’s voice. Garrick had obviously found the truck, broken and stuck in the old dry river, resting with the boulders, right where Cale had crashed it.
Cale didn’t say anything, he didn’t try to blame the Harper kids, if he did… Shit! He didn’t want to think about the fact that his words had power over life and death.

"Jesus…" Garrick muttered. Cale felt his brother turn to look back at the house, only then did he dare lift his eyes, looking past his brother’s broad shoulder toward the shack they regretfully called home.
Garrick whirled back, leaning forward and shoving his fierce, scar-strewn face close. “He’s going to skin ya, buddy, maybe worse. That truck was our salvation, made us kings, without it we’re worse than shit again.”
"You gonna tell him?" Cale squeaked, hating how reedy-thin his voice sounded.
"I don’t have a choice, do I? He’s gonna notice it is missing when he sobers up and he’ll get trigger angry if he thinks someone other than his own spawn did it. "

No, instead he’ll get fist angry when he finds out it's me. Cale’s arm muscles tensed, his own hands forming white knuckled balls of fear.

"Not if we go... try and fix it up."Cale said, his voice running on urgent.
"With what? There’s no parts around here. She’s the only vehicle in the basin. He killed for that hunk of rust you know…" Something broke in Garrick’s voice. Neither of them liked to remember that day, even Pa didn’t talk about it and he talked a lot of shit.
Cale looked down an scuffed his feet, his gut feeling heavy-like, settling down in the pit of him as if it were going ahead of him to damnation.

We gonna be cursed to hell for what we’ve done.

That blood soaked haze that lay behind Cale’s eyelids when he closed his eyes to sleep. The nightmares that made him whimper. Cale had been woken more than once with a sharp electric slap, Pa roaring like that beast from his nightmares, “stop sniveling like a girl.”

Like that girl, and her family. They had just been looking for a safe place.
And we weren’t that safe place.
Pa killed them for what they had, just cause he wanted payment for what he’d done and they had refused. The price he’d asked was too high and things had gotten nasty.  They hadn’t understood that everything was expensive in an apocalypse.

"What do I do?"
"Take it like a man," Garrick grumbled. it was easier for him had been beaten into shape already, into the misshapen form of Pa.
"No." Cale whispered. Then louder as he shook his head, "No." He looked up into Garrick’s eyes, defiance surged up, filling those weak places with crushing strength.
What did you say, buddy?” Danger was talking again, squirming out from that place behind Garrick’s battered face.

Cale breathed deep and turned walking toward the road. He threw a look over his shoulder. “I said no, I’m not going to be here when Pa wakes up. I’m gonna be already gone and he has no way to chase me with no truck.”
"Wait." Something in Garrick’s voice made Cale’s steps falter. His torn converse, baptized in dust, came to scudding stop.

"Don’t leave me with him, without you, I won’t survive."
"We gotta do what we have to to survive Garrick, isn’t that what Pa taught us." Cale countered, hating the truth of those words like they were bile in his mouth. "So, come and survive with me."

Garrick looked afraid, really truly afraid, his eyes wide, scar-twisted mouth half open. Cale turned and walked toward the old broken highway, each unhindered step, freeing him, granting him a strangely buoyant peace. Then he heard the heavy dragging steps of his brother, slowly following him and Cale smiled for the first time in forever.

Picture source-

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