Coming of Age Sad Drama

Jack looked out onto the frozen, white wonderland; his eyes darting around, following the dancing snowflakes. His frustration grew into a ball of fury in his gut as he grunted and pushed away from the cold window and flopped onto his bed. The colourful Spiderman duvet brought him no relief of the growing anger from being stuck inside. “I didn’t even do anything wrong,” he grumbled as he turned over and traced the outlines on his bed. He shot to his feet on the bouncy bed as the door creaked open. His anger amplified as he saw the round face of his younger brother. 

“What do you want?” He asked angrily, jumping off his bed roughly. 

“I want to play with my toys,” Tom said quietly, not moving from the doorway.

“Well, you can’t! I’m stuck in here because of you, so you don’t get to play in our room!” Jack pushed Tom’s head until he fell backwards in the hall and slammed the door. He listened as Tom started to cry and run off. Feeling no guilt, Jack turned and surveyed their shared room, trying to decide what to do. Laughter floated up from outside, bringing his attention back to the window. He jumped back onto the bed and watched his neighbourhood friends play in the snow and felt his heart twist in jealousy. With his nose pressed to the window he watched Joel and Brody throw snowballs at each other, the snow perfect for making sticky creations. 

“Jack!” Came a voice from the hall. He whirled around to see his mother in the doorway, hand in hand with a tearful Tom. “Jack, did you push your brother out of his room?” Jack just looked angrily at his brother. 

“Tattle-tale!” He yelled at Tom, whose face was red with tear tracks running down his big cheeks.

“Jack!” Their mother walked into the room and sat down on his bed, bringing Tom with her. “Your brother is only six, you have to be his role-model.”

“He got me into trouble!” Jack started to argue. Tom looked like he was going to start wailing as he climbed on the bed next to their mom.

“You got yourself into trouble young man,” their mom scolded. 

“He was the one who told you I didn’t put my toys away,” Jack’s anger was mounting but he sat down on the other side of his mom.

“You were the one who didn’t put your things away,” his mom corrected him.

“But he was the one who told you,” Jack began whining. “He is such a tattle-tale!” Jack’s voice trembled.  He could feel tears wanting to form which made him embarrassed and angrier. 

“Jack Frost!” His mother scolded, quickly shutting down any thought of tears. “You are in time out because you lied about putting your toys away.” 

Jack looked away for a moment in guilt, but turned back and pointed to his younger brother, “he was the reason you knew though!” Tom just looked at his brother as tears started to form again.

“Jack,” his mom said soothingly, “we would have noticed your toys eventually.”

“But…” Jack’s chest tightened some more and his breathing picked up as he pushed back against tears. “But… Tom’s the one… “ tears started to form in the corners of Jack’s eyes as he realized he was losing this fight. “I want to go out and play,” Jack started crying. “I’ve been in here for days!” Tom started crying again next to their mom.

Their mother took a breath and looked at the ceiling in irritation at her sons crying on either side. “You’ve been in here for ten minutes, Jack.” Their mom sighed and stood up. “C’mon”, she reached for both their hands, “lunch should be ready now. If you’re both good you can go outside and play after you’ve eaten.”

All three made their way down the grand staircase and into the open-space dining room. Their father was settled into the couch in the living room with his iPad on his crossed legs. “Lunch about ready, dear?” he asked without raising his head. The open concept main floor allowed the family to all see each other as the boys sat at the dining room table, their mom worked in the kitchen and their father sat in the living room. 

“Just getting it served,” she replied as she spooned steaming tomato soup into two big and two smaller bowls. There were already four grilled cheeses on plates that she brought to the table. She placed the crust-free sandwich in front of Tom who was sitting across from Jack.

“How come he gets the one with no crusts?” Jack whined as he looked between the two sandwiches. 

“‘Cuz you’re a big boy now, Jack,” their mom replied absent-mindedly as she kept setting the table. Tom was already shoving the cut up pieces of sandwich into his mouth while Jack watched him angrily.

“I don’t want crusts,” he declared and crossed his arms. 

Their father was settling into his own chair as he asked, “what’s wrong with the crust?” He picked up his sandwich and took a bite of the crust to prove his point. 

Jack looked back to Tom’s sandwich and pouted, “I don’t like it!” 

Their mother was having none of it, “Jack, eat your lunch or you don’t get to go outside.” She was just settling into her chair after giving them all napkins as Jack picked up one piece of his sandwich and chucked it at Tom. The sandwich hit Tom’s small bowl of soup, knocking it over and splashing Tom and his entire seat in a red, hot mess. Tom instantly started to cry as the hot liquid dripped down his arms. 

“Jack!” Their mom rushed over to Tom and led him over to the large sink. “Hon, can you please help me with your son?” She asked her husband over the crying. 

“What do you want me to do? They are just being boys.” The father went back to his iPad once he established that Tom was indeed alright, only shaken. Their mother finished cleaning Tom- thankfully most of it was on his bare arms and easy to clean. She wiped up the table and chair all while Jack sat there pouting and Tom began to recover on the kitchen counter. Once everything was cleaned, she brought Tom back to his chair with a fresh bowl of soup and slid the remainder of his sandwich closer to him.

“Jack, can you please eat your lunch?” She sat next to Tom trying to get him to eat. “You are almost ten years old, yet you act like you’re younger than Tom. You need to be the big brother and help him.” 

“Help him with what?” He asked savagely, “you already do everything for him.” He was watching her test Tom’s soup to make sure it wasn’t too hot. She gave a heavy sigh, put the spoon back into the bowl and faced her eldest son.

“Sometimes, we need to do things that we don’t want to do. Like put away our toys, and help your family,” she tried to not eye her husband on his iPad. “There will be moments in your life…” she paused, thinking on how to get through to him, “there will be moments in your life that you need to act like a superhero.” She watched this sink into his thoughts. “Even though you don’t have powers, you need to be brave and tough and do things that are right, even though you may not want to do them.” She saw that his attention had drifted off once she mentioned superheroes. “Jack,” she waited until he looked at her, “I need you to be a superhero for Tom. Can you do that?”

“Like a superbrother?” He asked curiously. 

His mom gave him a big grin, “yes, exactly like a superbrother. And like a superbrother, I need you to eat your whole lunch so your brother follows your example and eats his too. For all that strength you’ll need when you go outside and play.” Her grin became a knowing smile as first Jack, and then Tom, dug into their lunches. 


Once lunch was finished, Jack saw his friends run by the window. He jumped off his chair and asked rather spiritedly, “can I go outside and play now?” Their mom was clearing the table and, needing some peace for herself, she nodded. Jack ran off to the mudroom and began putting on his snow pants. His mom was right behind him with Tom. As she started to dress Tom in his snow gear his heart fell, “does he have to come out with me?” He whined.

“Jack,” she said sternly, pinching the bridge of her nose. “I need you to take your brother out and play. Like a superbrother,” she tried to add excitedly. 

Jack wasn’t buying it, he rolled his eyes and just grunted.

Feeling like he was wrapped up in pillows with his snow gear, Jack ran outside making that swishing noise only snow pants can make, leaving Tom to catch up on his short legs. “Jack!” Their mom called from the doorway, “watch out for Tom! And stay in view of the house!” She then turned around and went back into the warmth. 

Waiting for Tom to finally catch up with him, Jack ran off towards his friends. The open blue sky made Jack’s chest expand in gratitude for his freedom as he threw out his arms and inhaled the cold air. The fresh layer of fluffy snow gave the entire yard an open, clean feel. The sunlight streamed between the branches of the birch trees near the pond, making their scattered icicles shimmer and dance.   

As Jack ran past the pond he fondly remembered playing on the frozen ice last winter with his brother. The boys got pushed by their father, speeding by on the slick surface until they slammed into the snowbank. It was one of his fondest times in the snow. The ice was covering the surface but Jack doubted they could walk on it yet; maybe a few more days. 

Jack shook his head clear as he neared the small, partially built forts and their architects nearby. “Hey Joel! Hey Brody!” A third boy had joined the group. “Oh, hey Jared,” he waved at the smaller boy. All four boys started to work on the forts to fortify their snowball fight while Tom sat in the snow nearby playing on his own.

Once the snowball fight started, however, Tom got interested and went to his brother trying to join. “No Tom! You’re not invited!” He pushed his brother back and he fell into the soft snow. Seeing Tom's hurt face, Jack remembered what his mom said. Jack took a few hits as he helped his brother up and handed him a snowball.

“We need you to make as many snowballs as possible, okay buddy?” Jack said. Once Tom was settled in a fort making rather weak-looking snowballs, Jack headed back to the real fun.


Once the fight was over, Jack was laughing so hard his belly hurt. “Boys!” Their mom called from the window, “time to come in!” Fingers and nose numb from the cold, Jack started to head back. He had lost track of Tom in the excitement. He twisted around looking for him but there was only a small pile of snowballs where he had left him.

Jack walked around, following his brother’s footprints and began calling for him. Ugh, why couldn’t he just stay put? He’s always getting me into trouble, he thought as fear and frustration started to mount at the thought of what his mom would say if he went home alone. “Tom!” Jack’s cries grew louder and more frantic at the thought of getting into more trouble. As he got closer to the house he finally spotted Tom sitting on the pond playing with the snow on the slippery ice. 

“Tom! We need to go inside! It’s getting dark!” Jack yelled from the side of the ice. Tom looked over to Jack and got to his feet, but his foot slipped on the ice and he slammed onto the cold surface. Both boys froze as a shattering crack sounded from under Tom. Water began to slowly seep onto the ice where Tom lay, merely meters from the edge of the pond.

Jack met Tom’s wide eyes, staring at his older brother as he raised himself onto his elbows and started to breathe faster and faster. 

“It’s okay,” said Jack holding his hands up. “Don’t move, okay?” Jack’s heart began to race. “Look at me, not at the ice,” he added as Tom was fixated on the fractured ice below him. “I’m going to come get you, okay?” Jack’s voice was steady but he began to shake.

Jack took a few steps towards the water remembering what his mom said about doing things you don’t want to do. About being a role model. Looking after his younger brother. He understood what she meant in this moment. He needed to be a superhero like the posters on his walls. He needed to be brave for his brother. Jack took another tentative step onto the broken pond, slowly working his way towards Tom. The water began to darken the ice under Tom’s body, gradually seeping towards Jack’s boots. Tom looked up in fear and met his brother’s eyes.

“Jack,” his younger brother’s voice cracked in fear. 

Jack took a deep breath. “It’s okay,” he said. “I’m going to be a superhero for you.”

He took another tentative step towards his brother as the ice kept cracking under their weight. 

I am a superbrother.

January 22, 2021 19:02

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B.C. Barlow
17:07 Jan 29, 2021

Loved the ending!


Alyson Ackman
18:58 Jan 29, 2021

Thank you! :)


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Amy McInally
19:40 Jan 28, 2021

This is really heartwarming and very well done!, I loved how you showed the dynamics between the brothers. Very realistic and very well set up. Fantastic. The storyline was lovely. Jack's character came through and was believeable. I felt i had met Jack after this story.


Alyson Ackman
19:07 Jan 29, 2021

Wow thank you! I had to ask my sister (who has two kids) if he was believable and for some feedback. Thank you so much :)


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Karen McDermott
18:11 Jan 27, 2021

What a cliffhanger of an ending! Great story.


Alyson Ackman
19:07 Jan 29, 2021

Thank you :) That means a lot!


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