my other brother

By , Hatfield, PA
My big brother meant the world to me. When people asked me who I wanted to be when I grew up I always said my older brother because he was strong, smart, and popular. He used to teach me all the things to look out for in grade school like what corner the bullies would hide in so I wouldn’t walk by and get jumped. He was good to me and I honored him, but if I knew what our relationship was going to be like ten years later I would have never became so close to my brother.

Ten years ago I stopped talking to my brother for a number of reasons. He no longer cared about me. All he cared about now was his job as a chemist. I respected that he had such passion for his job, but not at the cost of his family. My mother had been trying to get us on talking terms with in these ten years so that’s why I just received her invitation to her birthday party tomorrow at her house. I wondered if my brother would even go since he was so consumed with his work. I decided that he probably wouldn’t so I called my mom and to let her know that one of her sons would be attending. The day of the party I got up and got dressed I looked outside my window and to my surprise I saw my brother pulling out of his driveway with a shinny present on the front seat of his car. I assumed that it was for my mom and I was surprised that he had gotten himself together and out the door before me. About twenty minutes after seeing my twisted brother, I too had gotten myself out the door and headed over to my moms’ party.

It was a nice gathering to say the least except for one tear in the sweater, one needle in the hay stack, my brother. He was as drunk as a skunk! I had never known him to be this way. I started asking myself questions like “Is this what my older brother has become?” I watched him stand next to the bar throwing back one drink after another. I thought to myself “How could he do this to my mother on her birthday?” My anger grew inside of me as I sat there watching him drink. Finally I got up enough courage to go over to him and confront him. As I approached him I felt my heart and feet stomp to the same pattern; I was in front of him. My voice quivered at first but then it relaxed and became normal again as I said to him,

“What the hell are you doing Robbie?”
“Well well is that how you start a conversation with your brother when you haven’t talked to him in ten years Chris?”

“Yes! When your brother is a alcoholic!”

“Whoa whoa calm down there squirt I don’t have a problem.”
“Yes you do I haven’t seen or heard from you in ten years and we live right next door to each other! You were my rock my idol I wanted to be just like you, but now I know exactly what not to be…you”
The conversation ended just as quickly as it had started with my father having to break the two of us up. When I glanced back, Robbie was pouring himself another beverage trying desperately to stay standing. My mom’s attempt to get us to talk worked, but only made things worse between us.

After the party, the only thing that I wanted to do was lie on my couch and think. It was just so weird talking to my brother and hearing his voice. For the first time in ten years, I was suddenly curious as to what my brother had been doing in his house after he had come home from work. I knew that he left the house around six and did not come home till four, but that meant that he had six hours until he went to bed at ten to be doing something. I remembered when he was little that he used to trap little animals like mice and throw chemicals on them that contorted their bodies but no their eyes. It freaked me out to see the bodies scrunched up and then just these huge eyes staring at you. I had made up my mind that I would sneak into his house and check it out. I knew that I had to be careful and I knew I needed to wait forty-five minutes after he left the house in the morning until I went through with my plan.

The next morning, I woke up at six to watch my brother get into his car and drive to work. I watched him drive all the way down the street and then when he was out of my sight, I listened until I could no longer hear the jerking noise coming from his engine. Five more minutes of waiting and then I would go.

When I turned the doorknob to open the door, millions of thoughts were rushing through my head, but I turned the knob anyway. Inside the house, to my surprise, it was very clean; every thing had a place and nothing looked unkept. The dishes were all washed and put away and the silver ware had been polished. I thought when I walked into my brother’s house that it would be a mess and that there would be weird things all over, but there wasn’t it was spotless. I roamed around the first floor and the second floor but couldn’t seem to find any thing suspicious or out of the ordinary. It was not until I entered the basement that I started getting uncomfortable. In the basement I found hundreds of jars packed tight with animals that my brother had mutated just like when he was younger the only difference is that the animals he now uses, are much larger. I wondered around for quite some time and found more and more things stuffed into jars with big eyes. It amazed me how this one house had two sides to it. On one side it was clean and ordinary, on the other it was mysterious and creepy. I knew that I had lost track of time and that if I didn’t head out now that I risked bumping into my brother. Before I left his house I planned another day to investigate.

That night when my brother pulled into his driveway I could tell that something had happened. I watched him slam the car door shut and pound at the door when the key didn’t fit. I wanted to go out and help him but I was to afraid that he would wonder why I was being so nice and start to suspect that I had been up to something. I later found out from my mom that he had been fired from his job. I couldn’t imagine why because he always was so passionate about his work and couldn’t wait to get there. As far as I was concerned though, that didn’t matter. I wanted to know more about his after hours job that was held in the basement of his house. That night I laid in bed thinking about the first time he showed me the jar with the mouse inside and as I thought about it, I fell asleep.

“ Chris!”

“What?”

“C’mere I want to show you something that I made.”

“Really? What is it”?

“Just C’mere. Its really cool”

“Whoa what the heck is that? A dead rat?”

“No, it’s a mouse that I caught in the field behind our house”

“Well what did you do to it? Why are it’s eyes ginormous and its body is so small?”

“I mix up all the spare chemicals in the garage and poured it on the mouse”

“Whoa this is really cool”
“Yeah it is. I wanna do more of them and to bigger animals too. This was just a test to see what would happen. ya know?”

“Yea I know.”
“Well listen don’t go telling anybody. I don’t want mom getting all upset over nothing okay?”
“Yea no problem your secrets safe with me”
“Okay good I knew I could count on you. Thanks”
“No thank you for showing this to me its so cool”


I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed. I was still curious about everything that my brother had been doing but I also woke up with a new outlook. I decided that I wanted my brother and I to be close again. I knew it was going to take some work, but I thought that if we patched things up in our relation ship, that maybe he wouldn’t feel the need to come home at night and be so destructive towards living things. I got myself dressed and walked out the door, across the lawn, and knocked on his door. He didn’t look surprised when he saw me, even though I was to see him. Not knowing how to start a conversation I just asked him how his morning was and shockingly he invited me into his house for coffee. We talked for hours about what had happened at our mother’s birthday and the ten years before that. I was glad that we had finally put aside our differences and were able to move on. The next time I had looked at the clock I realized that it was seven at night. I told him that I’d better be going and we should go to lunch tomorrow. He agreed but before I left he told me he had something to show me. I suddenly felt my lungs close up and my body go numb. He pointed to the basement door. I acted like I had no idea of what could possible be down there but I knew he knew that I had been there. He always had a way of knowing that something wasn’t right. He used to catch me when I was upstairs routing through his pokemon cards. As I walked down the steps my heart started to pound. I swear even to this day, he too heard the pounding coming from inside my chest. When I reached the bottom and looked again, at what was down there, I felt myself slowly drop to the ground. He had mutated even more stuff then when I was down there yestersday;humans. My headed ached but I felt my brother pick me up and set me on a table. I could feel him strapping me in but I was too confused to tell him to stop. When I woke up, I was smushed inside a jar, body shrunken into nothing and eye’s the size of small mice. I saw my brother laugh and put me on the shelf next to my father and mother.





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