I hated thunderstorms. The way everything threatened to go dark and the lightning cast the shadows of unknown and terrible things everywhere you looked. The thunder shook you to the core, unnerved nd disoriented you, and left you vulnerable to the monsters lurking in the rain.
I was almost 18 now and I wasn’t supposed to be afraid. I went to the place I always did when I felt afraid, I went to the garage. We’d fixed it up to be a combination man-cave/workshop for my father, but he worked too much to ever use it. So now I used half for reading and my brother used half for….whatever it was that he did.
I focused on my book to keep myself from having to admit my fear to myself, but when the garage door suddenly opened I jumped and could no longer deny it.
“Brayden! Oh, thank God you are here, I need your help.” With a crack of thunder, my brother stepped in, soaking wet and covered in dirt. He was carrying something big. It was flung over his shoulder and rolled in a black tarp. In his other hand, he was dragging a garbage bag that looked close to rupture from the amount of stuff crammed inside. I wasn’t exactly happy to see him, he looked like trouble, but I was glad not to be alone in the storm anymore.
I grabbed the bag from his hand and allowed him to place the big thing on our father’s work table. It fell hard and from the shape I suddenly knew what was in it, a body.
“Brody, what the hell is that?”
Brody looked back at me with sadness and pleading in his eyes but he said nothing. Sometimes I hated how much we looked alike. How much we looked exactly alike. Twins ran in my family and so did weird shit like this.
“Brody, who the hell is that?”
He didn’t have to answer me, there were only two possibilities. There was the possibility that my brother had had a strange and violent encounter today that resulted in him having to defend himself in such a way that it looked like a murder and we now had to get rid of a body, or this was that girl he’d been obsessed with ever since we were kids. The one who lived across the street and died two weeks ago from a car accident. The one who’s boyfriend had killed her by driving her home from a party shit-faced.
“Brayden, you know I have always loved her! I can’t let her go like this. I can’t let her go without at least trying something! I can’t stop thinking about her, ow beautiful and free she was and how they put her in that box and then put her in the ground. How could they do that to her?” He was crying now.
We were supposed to be identical twins but sometimes it was hard to believe. I was always careful, independent, and disciplined. How did Brody turn out so sensitive, stupid, and bat-shit crazy?
“Look, brother, I usually have a high tolerance for your bullshit and shenanigans but this, no this is too much. I can’t deal with this shit. Get it out of here!”
“She has a name! You know her name! It’s Lacey! Lacey!” He was yelling now and I worried about someone coming in, wanting to know what was going on. The garage door was still open. Then again the rain was still pouring and the thunder was rolling too. No one could hear us.
Another crack of thunder and the lights flickered above us. I briefly hoped the lights would not go out on me, my crazy brother, and the dead body of the girl he loved and who never even knew he existed. The lights stayed on and allowed me to forget my fear again.
“Just…wait…why do you have her body? How do you have her body? Wait, no, don’t answer that. What do you expect us to do with her body?” I didn’t want him to answer that either but I needed to know to figure out how to talk him down.
“Well, I want to bring her back, obviously.”
“Obviously? No, Brody, that is not obvious! What people will think is that you wanted to do something perverted to her body.” That one made him think.
“No one saw me and if we don’t succeed we can put her back.” I was speechless. He was actually, seriously, literally insane.
“Brody,” I tried to talk calmly, I touched his arm, I looked him in the eye, “we can’t bring her back. She’s gone. I know it hurts but she’s gone.”
“Ok, I should have told you what I was up to sooner but I knew you wouldn’t help me! I’ve been planning this Brayden, I have everything ready. I thought with all those books your reading all the time you might be able to make this work! I thought with the storm outside this is our chance! We can do this brother.”
“You are right about one thing, I wouldn’t have helped you. Where you are wrong is thinking I am going to help you do anything to help you now.”
I couldn’t tell if he wanted to cry, or punch me. His whole body was shaking and mud had begun to pool around his feet. He leaned on the table over the rolled black tarp that contained poor Lacey and he started to cry. Then he started to sob. Then he looked up at me and we both knew that we were going to to whatever Brody wanted us to do.
He might be an idiot but all our lives he’d been there for me, and I had always stood by him through his craziness. This was by far the most insane thing he had ever done but looking at him there, looking like a mirror image of me, needing my help, I don’t know why but I couldn’t say no. Especially when he was crying.
My brother smiled when he realized he had won, and with a pat on my back he turned and began removing everything we would need from the large lawn bag next to him.
Author’s note: The plan for this challenge was to post small pieces of fiction that read more like excerpts rather than stories with a true beginning, middle, and end. I think instead, these have turned into something in between, some more, some less. Please bear with me, these are my first attempts at writing fiction. You can find them all under my AtoZ2016 tag.
Featured image via Unsplash