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Brother Psycho

By , Surrey, United Kingdom
Guilty.
That’s right.
It was me.
I killed him.
But until they stop talking
I’m not going to say anything.
Oh no. Not a word.

Scarlet food colouring runs through the lines of my palm like blood. I’m so exhilarated; I always am after a performance. It worked perfectly. I shot the gun, and it killed him.
He lies beside me now in a pool of red. The audience is silent. They don’t know whether to cheer or scream. Is it an act? Or isn’t it?
I throw the gun at my feet and stride off the stage. The audience won’t applaud until he gets up again, but I can’t afford to wait that long. I’ve got a date with Stella.

“Stella! You look lovely.” She’s dressed in white from head to toe. I am in black. We are two chess pieces playing out life’s game.
“You’re late,” she chides, but secretly she’s smiling. She’s proud to have a magician as a fiancée.
I grin mysteriously. “When will you learn that time can’t restrain us?”
“Us, as in who?”
“Us, as in those individuals familiar with the ways of magic.”
She shakes her head at me. “I know it’s all an act. How did it go?”
“We did all the gruesome ones: the sawing in half, the knives, the headless one... oh, and they loved the finale!”
“You shot him?” She nods.
“Of course! The food colouring/water looked unusually realistic. I’ll have to tell Jacob he got it just right.”
We find a booth and order the usual – salmon for her, prawns for me. Everything is the same as it always is. The talk, the laughter, gunshot...

That’s right; did I forget to mention that the police crashed in before our main course even arrived? That they tailed me from the theatre, and had the whole place surrounded while Stella and I conversed?

The courtroom is silent. Everybody is staring at me. I stare back; there is no point trying to hide. I have nothing to hide.

“I shot him.” I say, without a quiver in my voice. It is true. I shot him. But the gun wasn’t loaded. I checked before the show.
The judge looks sadly down from his desk at me. “James Robert Jameson, you admit that on the 6th of October, you shot your brother, Jacob Jameson?”
“I did.”
“Then I, by the power bestowed in me, condemn you, James Robert Jameson, to a life’s imprisonment.”

It’s alright. I was imprisoned already, trapped in a game where you can’t cheat. I am a chess piece, in the game of life.

But I’m not going to say anything.
Oh no. Not a word.

Scarlet food colouring runs through the lines of my palm like blood. I’m so exhilarated; I always am after a performance. It worked perfectly. I shot the gun, and it killed him.
He lies beside me now in a pool of red. The audience is silent. They don’t know whether to cheer or scream. Is it an act? Or isn’t it?

He doesn’t get up.
A woman screams, and it soon catches on. The paramedics crowd in and pronounce him dead. It must have been the guy... the other one. Wasn’t it his brother or something?

Someone moves forward to escort me back to a secure place. I shrug them off and there is a commotion. I do not fight, I only stand. Soon there is silence again.
And I speak. The words flow out of me in a stream. An artery has burst in my throat, and my soul is pouring out through my mouth.
“They won’t applaud until he gets up. I can’t afford to wait that long. I’ve got a date with Stella.”

I’m in the courtroom, surrounded by lawyers, witnesses, and a load of other strangers all wearing the same dull suit. They’re wearing grey. They haven’t picked a side.

And then the sachet of food colouring explodes at my chest, plunging a real bullet into my heart. Jacob was always great at designing these little knick-knacks. Maybe he really was magic...

He designed this model to kill us both. After all, the audience loves a drama.



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