Brother

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I woke up in a dark basement lifting my head from the cold stone ground. I really hoped this time it was a dream that it wasn’t real. “Sam? Sam!” I yell into the dark void. I look around I couldn’t find him, I couldn’t even see past my hand. I panicked, did he leave me? We promised we would stay together. We were all we had left. “Sam, Please don’t leave me, I can’t do this without you.” I pound the ground in rage and start to cry. “What’s with all that noise? I’m trying to sleep” I hear in the darkness “Sam! You scared me I thought you left me alone” I was so relieved but I still couldn’t see him I wish I could stand up and go up to him. I can’t though were both chained up by the waist at opposite ends of the basement. “Max how are you holding up?” He asks. “I’m doing fine it’s you I’m worried about” The sun finally fills in the black space as the darkness retreats I can see my brother Sam. Being chained up and skipping meals for so long has taken a toll on him; he has clearly lost a lot of weight and he always looks exhausted. “Max you need to take care of yourself first, don’t worry about me” We both look up at the familiar foot steps inching towards the door. The door moans open. We hear these heavy footsteps proceeding down the fragile stairs. “Lunch time” we hear the voice say. The one we’ve come to fear and hate. He throws some fruit and bits of bread. He sets a rusty bucket of water he sets it so it’s just slightly out of our reach so we would have to work for it. I quickly crawl and grab a smashed apple and a banana. “Eat up you’ll need your strength” he laughs and climbs up the stairs. “Sam eat something” I say biting into my apple. I can see the weakness in my brother as he scoots up and grabs an orange and a peach. He throws me the peach “You eat this I’m not that hungry” I look up at Sam he looks so brittle and tired and he thinks I need it? “No Sam you have to quit doing this you have to eat more” I tell him. Sam shakes his head. “Max you’re my younger brother, you come first I have to protect you.” I hold the peach in my hand I run my fingers on it deciding if I should or not. “Sam-“ “Enough just eat the stupid peach!” He tells me. I feel so guilty but I do I eat the peach. I look back at Sam he gives me a faint smile. I push the murky bucket of water to him with my foot. “Thanks I was dying of thirst” I panic and look side to side. Dying? He can’t die. “Calm down I didn’t mean it like that, here you drink some too” He pushes the half empty bucket of water towards me or is it have full? I always considered it half full. I drink from the water it had a really bad taste like rusty water. We finish our lunch and talk to pass the time. “Sam, do you think we’ll ever get out of here?” Sam sits up and pulls on the chain. “I know we will we just need the right opportunity” The heavy footsteps return. My heart was racing I was gripped with fear so hard I dare not breath. It was that time again when he would take one of us away upstairs and do horrible things to us. Leaving the other one to hear nothing but distant screams. The door makes it signature moan and it opens. He walks down the stairs his boots making a thud every step of the way. He walks and looks at both of us his face looking as if he’s just going to pick which shoes to wear. He kneels down in front of me his piercing stare looks at me and he says “You’re turn” his voice reeking of coffee I cringe. I hated that smell. He grabs me as he pulls out this small sliver key. My heart is pounding and I’m breathing so fast. “No please” I beg “Don’t touch him!” Sam yells “Take me instead I…I’ll do whatever you say” The monster we call Ted stood up brushing his pants. “Whatever I say? You won’t try to fight back?” Sam shakes his head “No sir” I stand up “No Sam don’t!” he doesn’t look at me “I promised mom and dad I’d protect you no matter what” Ted unlocks my brother and marches him up stairs. Sam why did you have to make that promise? It should have been me. Leaving me in silence I let my mind wander back to that day of the promise. I remember that night the monster creped into our house. I remember waking up to a gun pointed to my face. Sam and I were being lead down stairs our mom and dad on their knees. The gun man walking towards them holding a shotgun to my dad’s head and without another thought fired. I Tried to yell but I couldn’t I was gagged with tape. The gun men soon turned to my mother. Mom just smiled looking at Sam “Sam you’re the older one promise me you’ll protect max” she said. Sam with tears in his eyes nods his head. She smiles and looks forward. The gun goes unleashes its rage. He takes us away he took us to his basement and locked us up. That was one year ago. I lay on the ground wondering about our freedom wondering about Sam. “I’m sorry Sam I didn’t mean to be your burden” A few hours pass and Sam and the beast come to the basement. He ruffles his hair and wraps the Iron chain around his waist again and leaves. “Sam what happened?” his eyes looked so spiritless Sam himself looked so defeated. He laid on the ground and turned to the wall “Nothing” he says. He turns around again and said “I promise you I will get us out of here” The next day during the “normal” routine when Ted would was looking for his next prey Sam volunteered again and again for the next two weeks. I didn’t know why Sam would give up himself it was stupid. Then it hit me I noticed Ted would give him extra food not just scraps but whole meals. He also gave him fresh water instead of the murky slime we’ve been drinking for a year. He also gave him one thing the thing we longed to have freedom. Sam was now able to roam around the house and not be chained up in the basement. He would come down and sneak me some extra food and water and even some books I could read to pass the time. “Max” he told me in the middle of the night. While Ted was outside, that’s how sure he was of his control over us. “I’m going to get us out of here tomorrow” I looked up at him; he started to look like his old self I guess he was being well taken care of. “Wait Sam don’t do anything crazy I can’t lose you” Sam stood up and told me I wouldn’t. He raced back upstairs leaving me alone in the darkness. The following day I didn’t hear from Sam or see Ted, I didn’t even hear any signs of life upstairs. I began to worry. Did his plan he came up with fail? Soon night falls I still didn’t hear or see anything. I went to sleep still hopeful that Sam would come through. “Max wake up” I hear. Is it really him? Am I dreaming? “Max wake up now!” there it is again I open my eyes to see Sam shaking me. “Sam your back!” he covers my mouth with his hand and holds out a silver key. I was so shocked my stomach felt like it was in knots. “I managed to get the key from him while he wasn’t looking” I take off I his hand from my mouth and ask won’t he notice. “No he’s asleep right now.” He unlocks me and the chains falls to the ground and for the first time in long time I stand up knowing I’m free. “Thank you Sam, you really did it!” He smiles at me. “He really did it I’d say” My heart stops I dare not turn around too afraid of what I’ll see. “Ted!” Sam says I turn around I didn’t want too I just needed to know if it really was him. “Didn’t I feed you and give you the clothes on your back and you go and betray me?” We just stood there. “Answer me!” Ted hisses at us sending a shiver down my spine. “Damn it had to come to his” Sam said and pulls out a kitchen knife. He clenches the knife in his hand and charges at Ted. “Ignorant child” Ted pulls a gun and points it at Sam freezing him in his tracks. “No, No, No” Sam kept saying “It wasn’t suppose to turn out like this!” Ted still pointing the gun at Sam. “What did you honestly think was going to happen? You have no parents no money or home to go to. Did you think you would run and everything would be okay?” he continued. “Put the knife down you aren’t going anywhere” Sam hesitated but threw the knife across the room. Ted walks up to Sam “Stupid boy” And grabs him by the shirt Sam didn’t even put up a fight. Ted Slams Sam on the wall over and over. Sam groaning on impact. I couldn’t let this happen Sam kept sacrificing everything for me its was time I did my share. I grab the blade. “Put my brother down” I say yell knife shaking in my hands. Ted slowly turns and faces me. “You too?” I thought I had at least one good kid” He sighs and trudged towards me. “Stay back!” I close my eyes and swing the knife violently. He stops but only for a second he knew he had the power and proceed. He swiftly gets a hold of my arm and slams the barrel of his gun into my forehead and I black out. I wake up and I see Sam kneeled in front of me I try to reach out to him but I can’t I’m tied up. “Sam?” he turns his head. “Max I’m sorry I failed you as an older brother.” His voice quivered. “No you didn’t you tired that’s all that matters!” Ted came down stairs with a shotgun in hand the very same gun he killed our parents with. “I thought this was going to work out but this act of betrayal will not stand” he held out the shotgun and points it at Sam’s head. “No please don’t shoot him we’re all we have left!” I cry out “Please you can’t take him away” I feel tears run down my face the thought of losing my brother was too much for me to bare. “Max it’s alright I deserve it I couldn’t even protect you” He turns to Ted. “Promise me you won’t hurt my brother kill me but leave him alone it was my idea” Ted looks at Sam and says I promise nothing. Sam gazed up for a moment. “Good bye Max I know we’ll all be together soon” The gun fires. It was as if time stood still for a brief second. Sam falls to the ground a small pool of blood starts to form. “NOOO! SAM!!” I slump to the floor crying, the last member of my family is gone. He was all I had left and he left me alone with him. Ted steps over me the gun hovering over my face. “Any last words?” he asked. I thought of my family and how Sam did keep his promise. He said he would get my out of here. “I’m coming brother” The gun goes off.

The End





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