The Devil’s Throne (My Brother’s Descent, Part 6)

Part 6 of the series. The full series is here.

* * * * *

“Do it,” you say again.

This end is too perfect. Too deserved. And if this ghost of your brother is the real deal this time, then this end is poetic justice.

You open your eyes. The gun has tipped slightly, so it now aims, lazy and uninterested, at your upper lip instead of your forehead. Your brother’s attention is fixated on the ground next to you.

The kid you used to know would pause, wouldn’t have the courage to pull the trigger. He’s not that kid anymore. He’s not any kid you know. He’s a young monster with a big gun. An adolescent Tyrannosaurus Rex–wild and impulsive and more frightening than the adults of his species. And you know it’s not his fear tipping that gun down because you can taste the power in the air around him. You recognize the flavor–it’s the dirty kind, gained from squashing others. Causing suffering. Taking souls. It’s a power not granted by that gun, or those two-hundred-dollar sneakers, or the gang of guys behind him. It comes from inside him.

You did send him to hell. You sold him to the devil, and he ripped out the devil’s heart and took the devil’s throne. He doesn’t see what he’s become. And you are the only one who can save him.

Cubs Fan (My Brother’s Descent, Part 5)

Part 5 of the series. The full series is here.

* * * * *

I could shoot him in the back of his head right now and he’d never see it coming. I could make this quick and painless.

Why would I want to do that?

He’s still on all fours when he looks up at me. In seven years, he’s aged twenty. His new life in god-knows-where must not have been as cushy as he expected.

“Get up,” I say.

The bastard has the balls to smile at me. And as he stands, I see a flicker of our dad dressed in my brother’s clothes. Forget this.

“Somebody hand me a gun.” I put my hand out. A gun slides in, front-heavy with the silencer attached.

He closes his eyes. “Do it,” he says, and drops his baseball cap.

I chew the side of my tongue and stare at that damn baseball cap lying in a oily puddle on the asphalt. He’s a Cubs fan now? What the hell?