The Crimson Nightmare

January 18, 2010
There was so much blood on his face that his skin was no longer visible. A parade of dark red fluid began marching down his checks and chin. His high-pitched adolescent scream rung within my eardrums as the dog wrestled him to the grass. One paw was scrapping his collarbone and the other was dug into his neck. His delicate, Irish skin gave way like Play-Doh between a child’s vicious fingers. The dog’s colossal jaws sunk deep within his left eyebrow and eyelid.

We were only about a block and a half from our house, when we first saw the crooked, white picket fence standing only about two feet from the ground. As we crossed the street, I could already hear the profound, vociferous bark of the massive German Shepard towering inside of the minuscule fence. Yet, it was just another fraction of our average journey that we traveled every afternoon at three o’clock when the bell rang.

As my brothers and I approached the fence, the psycho dog was behaving as if it were imitating Godzilla during his destruction of Tokyo. I was now the leader of our three-person wolf pack, and the pressure was beating down. I began to talk in a stupid baby voice in an attempt to calm the dumb dog, but it was no use. Fate had begun to run its course, which triggered much tear shed, blood, and terror. Steven and I instantly ran over to Patrick, and wrapped my dark blue North Face jacket around his face. Through small hiccups between larger sobs, my poor younger brother kept whimpering, “I’m going to die, I’m going to die”, and I just kept repeating, “You are going to be okay, I swear.” All Steven could muster up was, “At least, you will look cool for Halloween”, and I know somewhere deep down under all of the horror, Patrick and I both smiled at our sanguine brother.

Fear is realization. I am, forever and always, going to need minor injections of fear and reality to stay grounded in life. It is not always going to have to be striking, new realization, but some piece of key information that was not currently drifting around in my head during that specific time period. It may be stored away in the many files of my brain, but after that wave of fear or uncertainty, it fires right back out of the cannon. Fear installs a kind of awareness that I do not usually have set up during particular events or explicit interludes in which my life is going exceptionally smooth. When my life consists of pure joy, happiness, and fun, I want to block everything else out of sight, never looking back. So, if I am going to continue being my stubborn self, fear and realization are going to have to persistently keep up with me on this extended journey, never looking back.

The devastating attack on my brother was most certainly fear tapping me on my shoulder, and then as I ignorantly turned around, realization following it up with a stinging slap across the face. I have always loved my brother, I always will love my brother, and so this attack did not necessarily make me realize that I love my brother. It made me ponder the many complex ideas of life and death. Ultimately, there will be a time for my little brother to pass on, and I understand that. I can not say that I necessarily accepted that concept during the attack, especially because he was just so young. Though, I was very grateful that his life was not cut short due to some untrained, foolish dog.

So, yes, for the next couple of days, I treated my younger brother like the king of the world, told him that I loved him between every sentence, and brought him more ice cream than he had ever eaten in his whole life. The realization that I could have lost my little brother was still so raw, so fresh in my mind. It was almost like I was guilt tripped into being so kind towards him, but it was actually just the re-realization of how thankful I truly was for my loud, sprightly brother.

Though, the weeks went on, and I continued loving my brother like I had always had, but we would fight here and there. We were simply carrying out a normal brother-sister relationship. We would annoy, anger, tease, and mock each other exactly like old times. To this day, we still carry out an above-average brother-sister relationship, though I could probably use another reminder, maybe just not so dramatic.

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