Brother, Sister Part 1

Since I’m writing a novel this month, here’s a short story to tide over my avid readers. This is part one:

Our mom was on the other side of the store, promising to return to the toy section as soon as she finished stocking up with groceries. We had a solid thirty minutes to blow running around looking at Legos, Hot Wheels, and Beyblades. I’d never been into Barbies. I was always more interested in the boyish things because it gave me a good reason to spend time with my younger brother.

I threw the ball; he caught it. He threw the ball; I caught it, barely. He had always been more adept at sports than I. He was faster and sometimes smarter, but also younger. It was the only time in our lives that I was stronger than he. His speed only helped him win in tickle fights.

Next, we picked up the plastic swords hanging on the aisle. They awkwardly had cardboard hanging off of them that clashed as we swung them towards each other. Neither of us knew anything about sword-fighting, but we had seen the movies, so we knew enough. Despite the cardboard, these plastic swords were much better than the pool noodles we used at home.

After I’d gotten both a hand and a foot “cut off” I surrendered my blade and moved to the next aisle. He lingered behind to look at the newest Pokemon cards. I was only gone for a minute or so. There wasn’t much interesting on the next aisle aside from pool toys and water guns. We had plenty of those and I didn’t care to have more. I could, however, go for some more Pokemon cards to add to my collection.

When I returned to the cards section, my brother was no longer alone. A much larger boy loomed over him, hair a mess and cheeks red. My brother was just looking at him quizzically. He never had been one to say much.

“Give me those cards,” the bigger boy hissed.

“Why?” My brother replied. “I was going to get them.”

“Because, they have my lucky Pokemon on the front. I can’t get any other ones. Those have the best cards. All of the others are crap.” The boy held his hand out expectantly as if my brother would hand over the card pack he was clutching.

“I don’t think they do it that way,” my brother whispered. He wasn’t helping his case.

“Give me the cards, kid,” the boy growled.

My brother shook his head.

The boy moved quickly, shoving my brother squarely in the shoulders. A string of insults left his mouth. They were all elementary school insults—butt face, two-legged freak of nature, and the like—which are harmless enough, but were enough to infuriate me. No one touched my brother. No one insulted him. Except for me and, occasionally, our dad.

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