Friday, April 8, 2011


Guess what? This is fiction, so don't freak out!

"Give it back!" I heard my brother yelling, and I walked around the corner of the apartment building toward the playground to check it out. He was standing nose to nose with another boy who appeared to also be eight. The two boys were mirror images of defiant children, with their chins jutting out, hands fisted on their hips.

"No! It's mine!" said the other boy. He held up his prize in one fist, intent on keeping what was in his grip.

I sighed loudly. I had told my brother that if he brought one of his Marvel action figures outside of the house, some other kid would want it. When we got home from school, Albert had wanted to take the Hulk outside to play in the sandbox. I had told him not to do it, but he didn't ever listen, and since he was my baby brother, I almost always gave in. Now I got to clean up the mess, without any thanks from him. I waded through the sea of bystanders into the center of the arena.

"What is going on here?" I pitched my voice a little louder than usual to get their attention. It did no good.

"Give my Hulk back right now!" My brother's face was starting to turn crimson. It was the color that meant he would either explode or cry. Or both. I did not want to have to explain the situation to my mother when she got home.

"I told you, it's mine!" The other boy was being kind of a jerk, I decided. Considering that his size was extremely round, I thought that Jerk-boy should be more polite.

I was ready to take Albert and go home, back to our apartment, to get started on our homework before supper. I marched over to Jerk-boy. Being thirteen and taller, I roughly grabbed the wrist holding the action figure and extracted it from his smaller hand. I wasn't gentle, and I heard some cracking as I pried the fingers open, but I was the more determined, and so I was the victor.

When I had the toy back, I let go of Jerk-boy's arm and he fell right on his butt onto the ground. The sound of the bystanders laughing reminded me of their presence, and I vaguely wondered why it was so entertaining to watch two eight year olds fight.

Jerk-boy struggled to his feet, holding onto his hand and crying. He gave me an angry look and ran off, shoving the crowd out of his way. A few jeers followed him, but I was more interested in Albert.

"Are you okay?" I put my hand on his shoulder. Albert jerked angrily from my touch. He whirled to face me, and I noticed the dirt on his face, and on his clothes, from playing in the sandbox.

"Why do you always have to do that?" Albert raised two fists and slammed them into my chest as hard as he could. I didn't even pretend to flinch.

"Why do I have to do what?" I responded, bewildered. I expected his gratitude. I had retrieved his toy for him. Why wasn't he happy about this?

"You get in my way!" Albert screamed, and began trying to hit me repeatedly with his small fist.

"I think that you should show a little gratitude that you have a big brother to help you out when you need it," I was starting to get angry. My brother was not ever grateful when I helped him out like I did today. He never thanked me or hugged me or anything!

"All I am trying to do is help," I insisted.

"Don't help!" Albert screamed at me, and started to cry. He began running toward our apartment, and the crowd began to disperse. I looked down at the Incredible Hulk toy in my hand, sighed again, and turned around to follow Albert. I took two steps before I stumbled over something in the dirt/sand. The Hulk looked back at me from the grass. I did a double take. I held a Hulk in my hand, and there was one on the ground. I looked from one to the other for several second, my brain not processing what I was seeing at first.

There were two Hulks, which meant that someone else besides Albert had decided to take their toys outside today. I was horrified that I had taken a toy that belonged to Jerk-boy. I didn't even know his name. I had no way to find him. I was ashamed. I was a bully. No wonder Albert was so angry and ungrateful.

Just then I heard a loud popping sound, and a scream. I looked up and saw my brother standing for a second, people running from him, before he crumbled to the pavement near the door to the building. I began to run to him. Jerk-boy was standing a few feet away, and in his hands was a gun.

As I reached him I heard a rattling sound as the last breath Albert ever took left his body. I had heard that sound before. I shook him, as if trying to wake him up. It was too late.

I turned to look at Jerk-boy, who was still standing there, holding the gun, as if he were in a trance. His eyes were round and locked on Albert's body. My tears did not prevent my vision from suddenly going red, nor did they stop my feet as I stood up, nor did they stop my movement as I walked over to Jerk-boy and grabbed the gun from him.

"Here, this one is yours," I gave him his action figure back. There were sirens in the distance, getting nearer. I raised the gun, pointed it at his head, and pulled the trigger. The loudness muffled the sound of my sobs for a moment. Jerk-boy dropped to the ground and didn't move. The gun fell from my hand. I woodenly walked back to my brother's body, sat down, and waited for the cops to arrive.

At least our mother would be grateful not to have us around anymore, I thought.


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  3. Oh my God. I understand that this is fiction, but why would you right this? I am sorry, I read your blog often and I have to say, this is the most shocking thing I have ever read. It might be written as fictional, but I am sure there is a story just like this out there that is real. WOW. I really am not sure what to say more than that. ~KM

  4. I know it's horrible, but when I was writing it, that is the way it came out. It is definitely something that I would never want to happen to anyone!

  5. Wow! This is...powerful, to say the least. I don't know that it's the most shocking thing I've ever read - more sad than anything else. But like you said, sometimes you just write things and that's the way they come out - that's all.

  6. Wow. I may need to read this again before I can truly process it. Wow, it's heavy, I am totally lost in the last few moments. I first thought it was a big sister, because you're a woman (fiction or not) and it got me thinking of how I protected my brother once growing up and how I should have written that story ... and then I kept reading and was like, holy crap. Holy sh!t. Seriously. Wow.

  7. I"m here from #TRDC and this was powerful. GOOD. Very good and sad. I'm a Law & Order addict and this stunned me the way the end of those episodes do sometimes,.I think that that writing like this having this kind of prose come out of you is always a good thing. Don't apologize for what your brain works out for you.

    it was GOOD.

  8. I like the Hulk figure and the appearance of two - I think that's very creative. One thing I would've like to have seen is an early clue that maybe it was a rough neighborhood. I think then the events might not have felt as abrupt (but then again, maybe you were wanting the abruptness)

  9. IjI I, too, am visiting from #TRDC. This reads authentic and because of that, you drew me in. I like how you depicted the impulsiveness of youth - just how they can act without thinking and I felt the tension between the main character and his brother. An emotionally charged piece.

    A good read.

  10. Wow! I'm in shock. I have nothing to add This did NOT go the direction I assumed.

  11. Yes, shocking ending. Yes, horrible ending. Yes, good writing!


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