Skin Like Cotton Candy

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Tonight, Jimmy and I want to go to the fair. Mom and Dad say no, they have work in the morning. But we beg and tell them that all of our friends will be there, and we can take care of ourselves.
Mom puts on her stern face and says if she lets us go, we have to stick together. Take care of your brother, Mom says. Don’t leave him like last time. And Dad nods his head.
I say okay, like last time, and Jimmy complains because it’s embarrassing to be looked after by a girl.
At the fair, Jimmy and I do not stick together. He runs off with his friends, but I don’t care. I’m talking to a boy with nice curly hair, and I make sure to laugh at all the right times. We wait in line for corn dogs and cotton candy, and a girl behind me yells my name. She says Jimmy is bleeding. I ask where he is, and she says in the parking lot.

He’s probably fine, I say.

No, he’s really bleeding.

I get nervous so I tell the curly boy I’ll be right back, and I walk out to the parking lot. I see Jimmy sitting on a car, and I stop walking. I watch from the gate as a strange woman wipes the blood from his face. It’s flowing out of a slice in his forehead, and dripping down his nose and into the corners of his mouth. It mixes with his tears and makes lines like red rivers down his cheeks. His shirt is soaked dark and wet, and I can see his stomach sucking in and out as he breathes and moans.
I feel like I’ll be sick if I move, so I stand still as the woman does what Mom told me to do. A clump of boys behind me laugh about how some kid ran straight into a parked car while they were playing frisbee. I tell them to shut up, that’s my brother.

At home, Mom tells me I’m irresponsible, and she won’t talk to me for the rest of the night. Dad brings Jimmy home from the hospital, and Jimmy wants to show me the stitches above his eyebrow. He thinks they make him look tough.

You are tough, I say. But I won’t look at his face until the strings fall out, and leave behind a a patch of swollen pink skin like cotton candy.





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i<3you said...
Jul. 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm
This is good. It's blunt and to the point. I appreciate it. The ending is superb, like the last sentence. It's full of regret and misery, almost. Good ending(: PLease check out some of my stuff(: Thanks <3
 
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