“How many times have I told you to keep your views to yourself?” asked James. “Every time we get together we have this same talk over and over.”
“What are you talking about?” his brother, Norris asked him with a questioning look.
“You know damn well what I’m talking about. Every time we have a gathering you are among groups of people espousing your views. Your political views. Your religious views. Everything you agree with and everyone else should follow your lead.”
“Following my lead will make sure you stay prosperous in life,” stated Norris with a smug look.
“There are people here who have opposite views of you and they are doing well.”
“By nefarious means, I say.”
James threw up his hands. “Of course. Anyone with differing views is living a ignorant and senseless life.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Listen to me closely, Norris. These gatherings are for people to get together and have a fun time. Not to feel uncomfortable as you preach away.”
“I believe you have similar views.”
“If I did, I wouldn’t talk about them unless we are at an event discussing our views. Not every time we have to get-togethers.”
“I suppose I’m hurting people’s feelings, and now they have to go to their safe zones to suck on their thumbs?” asked Norris in a whiny voice.
“Lack of feelings by you will drive everyone away,” said James.
“Sorry for ruining your gathering,” said Norris as he headed to the front door. “I will take myself out.”
“Should have done it earlier,” muttered James.
“What did you say?” asked Norris, turning to him.
“Have a goodnight,” said James with a smile.
“Until next time,” said Norris, opening the door and leaving.
“I doubt it.”
James went over and plopped himself on the couch.
“Another lovely send off to your brother,” his wife, Renea said as she came out of the kitchen, and sat down in the chair.
“I’m done with him.”
“You say that all the time.”
“I’m serious this time,” he said in a serious voice. “I’m cutting him off. Period. I don’t want to see him anymore.”
“You can’t be serious.”
The two sat there in silence.
James thought of the many occasions he had chats with his brother. Many of those times as just the two of them drove to a destination. Both had similar views on certain subjects, but as years have gone by Norris’s views have become more radical. It was like he was out on a vendetta against the ones of differing views. To James it was okay to disagree, and still be friends, but Norris labelled them as enemies. Enemies that must be vanquished.
“He is not only embarrassing me,” he told his wife awhile back. “But he scares me.”
“We don’t need to contact the law, do we?” his wife jokes.
How many times has someone spoken in a radical and violent tone to end up following through with some crazy act to get themselves into the media. James couldn’t picture his brother going off the deep end, but…
“If you don’t invite him at the next gathering, you might not see him ever again,” Renea said, breaking the silence.
“Maybe that is a good thing,” muttered James.
“You can’t just have anything to do with him anymore,” stated Renea.
“I might call him once in a while.”
“You need to see him once in a while.”
“He scares me,” joked James, but to a point he did.
“I think cutting him off is not a good thing,” said Renea. “You might be the only one keeping him from going off the deep end.”
“Maybe true, but right now I need a sanity break from him.”
“I would have to say that probably most people will agree with you,” said Renea, standing up. “I’m going to clean up the kitchen.”
“Do you need any help?” he asked.
“I got it,” Renea replied as she walked back into the kitchen.
James laid down on the couch. He closed his eyes and pondered on his predicament.
Memories of his days with his brother and hanging out frequently. Many fun times went by. James remembered many times when they talked of their views on life. They would joke about it mostly for the opposite view. But as time went by, James was more open-minded to everyone’s views. Unfortunately, Norris remained the same and became even more radical in his views. He could not care less what the other side had to say. They were wrong and will always be wrong. There was not a chance in hell that he could be wrong. He knew he was right, and James would just shake his head as he watched the ones around Norris would have looks of disgust. There are friends and family that stopped coming over since they were tired of listening to him. The only times James saw them is when it was a beautiful, sunny day so people could go outside and away from Norris.
“Did I help lead you down this path?” muttered James.
It was him that mostly brought up controversial views to Norris. Norris liked to talk about parties and women most of the time. Two subjects James had little interest to talk about since he was the shy type, so neither went well for him. Instead, he brought up what he was interested in. Little by little Norris spoke more about it. James didn’t realize he was taking his brother down the wrong path. It’s amazing how something that you figured was completely innocent could go so wrong. Use little sense back in the day and there is a possibility you and others will pay for it later by producing a radical lunatic.
“Sorry about what I did to you,” said James. “Now I need to depart from you. But I know of ones to send your way to possibly help you out. Get you back onto the right path before it’s too late, and you end up falling off the path. Take care, my brother.”
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Cain and Abel — still at it 😑
As long as humanity is two or more.
Hi Corey, loved this piece, especially the way you described the relationship between the two brothers. Very well done👍 BTW my newest story "The city of Ciu-Marina" has been made visible now, so please read it whenever you get time and please let me know your thoughts regarding it.😊
This is a great depiction of interfamily conflict due to radicalization. It's a sad predicament, but you do an excellent job portraying how it can creep into our lives and be damaging if we're not careful. I especially enjoyed reading the conversation at the beginning-- it starts off with a bang! Great story.
Well written realistic conflicts between brothers.
You described this as if it really happened. I didn't lose interest, like sometimes a story is a bit too long, but yours wasn't. I wanted to read until the very end.
Thank you for the uplifting feedback
You're welcome 🙂
This story felt so real to me. I suspect friends and family are having similar conversations/thoughts in recent months. Your dialogue flowed naturally and you kept it all very tight and moving along. A powerful piece.
Thank you for the comments!
Damn this is fantastic Corey,the punctuation marks and the dialogue is ideal and those are the areas I'm trying to work on. I can see James seems like your muse ,he appears in most of your stories.
Just between you and me, it's my middle name. :)
Thought as much ;) You sound so regal in your writing as if you've seen it all in the world of creative writing, no more confessions required but I felt like telling you that your writing has an aura of high quality if there's something like that . You are truly an inspiration. Thank you again for being here on Reedsy it means a lot to me.(Forgiveness the ranting it's a habit) I hope we'll speak one of these days , something tells me you can teach me a lot
I greatly appreciate the comments. I have been writing more years than I can remember. Time goes by so quick. Some days that is a good thing, other days I miss the days of my youth. Anyway, hoping to get back to writing eventually, but just got a puppy a month ago so taking up most of my time now. Take Care!
I hope you named him Maisey. Until next time old and wise soul
Ha! Ha! Probably compared to many on Reedsy, I am old. Named her Knight Star
Interesting story, I loved it!! Great job!! The descriptions were particularly well done :)
Nice story. The last sentence was killer!
Thank you for the comments!
Hi Corey. Btw, thanks for liking my story. This is a pretty neat perspective, and totally relevant to today's world. The only thing that stood out to me while reading was your repetition of the word "views". A few variations should do the trick, if indeed you want to change your writing. I always believe style is king over pc. Great ending.
Thank you for the comments!
Hi!! I really liked your story and the emotional balance of it. You took me on an emotional rollercoaster and that's really hard to do so thank you for this experience. And your story is so light and airy but still held a heavy message to it. OMG YOU'RE AN AMAZING WRITER I LOVE IT!!!!!! Can you read my story "Noah Adir" and leave feedback? I'm trying to perfect my writing on racial problems :)
Thank you for the comments! Let me check out your story.
No problem! And thank you so much!!
There is a saying in Spanish: "Hablando se entiende la gente", the idea is "talking is the way people will understand each other". And your story explains that clearly. Very nice!
Thank you for the comments! Personally, I have never split entirely from someone, but it has been close.
Awesome, captivating and totally great are all things this story is. This was a great read and I’m kind of hoping for a part two but obviously it’s up to you. I’m super intrigued by the plot and think this could actually turn into a great book since it’s such an amazing short story. Congrats again and hope you keep writing so I can keep reading you stories.
Greatly appreciate your comments! I haven’t thought of a part two but if the right prompt comes along who knows