American Drama Friendship

I woke to a knocking near my head and a mouth cracked dry. My bones popped and creaked as I stretched for the first time in months. It was great to be out of that cramped coffin.

“Good evening lazy pants, you hungry?”

I nodded to Jules, my brother born 80 years before me, but my best friend.

A tickle ran across my face, which I seized with my thumb and index finger. I crunched the spider in between my teeth. The blood of arachnids was never as tasty as those from mammals.

“So winter’s come already? Seems like just yesterday we shut in for sleep.” I say grabbing the iron door of our long abandoned crypt.

I opened it to a world of white. The worst part of winter was about to begin; a long trek to the bottom of Mayvern Hill.

A genius once suggested that we make our own sleds and get down the hill that way. It’d be more fun and efficient; Jules told me no. Saying that I’d hit a tree and if worse came to worse, people would find them stored in the crypt and know something was up. I always suspected he just hated my ideas.

From the top you could spot a city in the distance, the only thing that could be seen. With vision receding in months of hunger, all I saw was blurs of yellow light in unshapely dark whiteness. Bluntly, I wanted my health back as soon as possible.

“Come on, let’s get to the truck and find somewhere to eat.” Jules said, pacing out ahead of me.

I sighed loudly, “If we had sled, we could already be eating.”

A while later, a hot sensation entered my nose and the air vibrated with the beat of a heart. I trailed away from my brother to search it down. A cave held the scent of a creature, natural and musky, meaning it was an animal.

My poor eyesight adjusted to the cave. I could see a gray outline of a bear. A thick fur coat. Full of hot blood.

Jules would have stopped me if he knew what I was going to do. He told me multiple times before that it was bad luck to kill sleeping animals. I made sure it was quick, before Jules could notice me missing.

After downing as much as I could, I caught up to Jules. With my vision clearing I could make out his facial features.

“Where’d you wander off to?” he asked with a frown. From his tone, I knew he was onto me.

“A call of nature…” I lied, soon spotting the roof of our garage, “There it is! Let’s go.”

In the garage were winter clothes, so that we’d appear like normal people who’d die in the freezing weather. There was Jules’ truck, which we’d take to the outskirts of civilization as Jules described our plan of action.

We walked along the roadside, just close enough to sense what was inside the homes. Our ears and noses on high alert since humans were warm-blooded and kept their homes the same way.

“There’s two sitting downstairs right now.” Jules whispered, “And one upstairs. I believe a child, so it won’t be a problem.”

People were getting smarter about letting strangers into their home during the dark months. If you wanted to be let in, you had to get creative. Jules had no shortage of these ideas.

This little number featured me falling and slamming my head against a rock. Since that would hurt, it would be made real with fake blood.

Jules dabbed some of the substance on my forehead and then to a jagged rock near the home. I screamed as if in pain and we went over to the front door. Jules knocked with false urgency.

“Please! Can you help us?” he yelled.

The door cracked open, a woman peeped through before the whole thing swung in. Heat from the fireplace escaped past us.

Jules held the charade excellently, “He slipped on a patch of ice and hit a rock. Can you call an ambulance?”

The man ushered me towards his wife as he spoke to my brother, “Don’t worry, my wife is a nurse. She’ll make sure he’s alright and I’ll call an ambulance.

Jules’ voice grew further as I was taken inside, “I really should be with him. I’m his brother and-”

The woman’s hand shined and swung at me.

A phoenix burst in my chest, silver itching at my valves. Hurting like hell itself. My hand wavered to my chest, feeling a solid object impaled into my heart. 

I’d stumbled into the man, or maybe he had grabbed me. But he tore the crossed dagger from me, making the wound burn like a summer wildfire. I saw Jules as my useless body was thrown out the door.

His eyes were as wide as they could’ve been, and he was frozen where he stood. Caught me anyways.

“Don’t you even think of coming around here again-

-calling the police.”

The world faded in and out of existence until it all stopped.

I opened my eyes. Feeling less pain, but more confusion.

My hand touched a fabric taped to my chest. Bandaged up to stop the slow moving blood, if there was any left. 

Where was I? It felt like driftwood, lifting and falling over waves in the ocean. 

I was being carried uphill by my brother

More agonizing than what had broken it. A loudness like a firework, heard in my head alone. Coming to my senses, I felt my muscles were tense in my hands and arms. We were in the cathedral above our crypt, and I was laid on my back. My brother sat over me, hand closed over my writhed fist.

“They saw remnants of blood in your teeth. I was so flustered by not being let in… I wasn’t fast enough. I’m so sorry.”

I breathed in to speak, but he shook his head, “You really don’t have to-”

“I should have listened to you-” I said. I‘m the one who should be sorry, and I love you.

But my eyes fluttered shut, lungs out of fuel, and a brain fogging over; I fear I never told him that.

March 26, 2021 17:35

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