“Now,” he began, glaring at me whilst he sipped his tea, “I want the truth. The full truth. No embellishments.”
I sighed irritably, levelling my brother with a glare similar to his own, “Why does it matter?” Lazily, my eyes trailed to the large window behind him, “It’s not as if it hasn’t been done before…”
The boy, for he would always be that to me, rolled his eyes and turned to look out of the window, leaving his dwarfing, throne-like chair.
I knew that he wouldn’t give me a straight answer, he would to anyone else but I was his sister and he revelled in how much he could annoy me with little consequence.
“Fine,” I conceded, rolling my eyes, “I’ll tell you everything.” Silence followed for a time, stretching between us as I thought out my story.
“Honestly, there wasn’t any other way it could have happened.” Twiddling my gloved thumbs, I began, “You can’t imagine how it is, brother, stuck in a dreary, boring life. Colourless and vile, the days blended together with nothing to fill their wretched hours of vague dislike and annoyance.”
Brother snorted, most improper of him, but regardless motioned me to continue.
“But that all changed.” I took a deep breath, a sinister smirk pulled back against stark white teeth, playing upon my red lips, like blood on snow, “I never believed that this could happen, but he was so perfect. He changed my life really, from the second I saw him I knew that things would never be the same ever again, I couldn’t go back to the way it was before.”
“He certainly changed your life, sister, and not for the better.” Brother was glaring at me once more with crossed arms; I stuck my tongue out at him childishly.
“He beckoned me over at the ball and, like a good Victorian lady of proper standing, I did as requested. It would be uncouth otherwise, correct?” I asked him, a quirk of my brow and a smirk on my lips, “We danced and danced all night long, everything was perfect. He was perfect.”
He glared at me once more, muttering something under his breath before I continued, “I tried explaining it to you, what with you being the head of the family now, but you forbid me to see him.”
I saw him roll his eyes dramatically, “I know what I did. What I want to know is what you did.” I arched an eyebrow at him, not amused with his rudeness. I was to remain his perfect sister until the end of time, our family name untarnished and our pride in place.
“Time flew by. He would visit me, throwing stones at my window and whisking me away in the dead of night.” The dirty look received from brother was worth the admission, but some things were perhaps better left unsaid in decent company.
“But that is not enough for you, is it?” I asked, playing with a piece of cloth I found on his desk.
He sighed, “I need everything, everything you can tell me.” Opening my mouth to protest he sent a poison glare at me, “And I know you are not giving me it all.” I made to roll my eyes but stopped myself. He was right; I wasn’t telling him everything I knew because if I did then it would ruin everything.
We play house, we pretend that we’re perfect. Two lost souls grappling to each other in the dark of life, we clinging to any shred of humanity that remained within us, the good and the bad.
Broken and battered, I picked up my brother’s delicate body from the echoes of a past life, destroyed and tampered with I held him in my young arms and prayed for life to return to him.
And it did, warmth filled his exposed limbs and I carried him from nightmare’s deadly chill and into the fires of the living once more.
I had protected him from all, the death of our parents hung heavy on his head and pushed his shoulders, filling his young heart with darkness and hatred. I watched the vengeance and revenge fill him like a poison, twisting my beloved brother into something other than human.
Once returned to our home, he changed and I gave all I could to return the light to him, to be a mother, to be a friend. Nothing was enough and the child within cripple and twist into something of less than savoury nature.
Demon’s clawed and savages ran free in the confines of my mind, debauchery and desolation became a necessity in my time of need, born from unbroken chains and scattered lies. I became the deceiver, the purveyor of truth and with a mask of calm serenity, kindness locked forever on a pleasant face, I fought for us.
Brother believed me to be free from it all. The burden that he took himself, the hatred blossoming and the rage flowing, a forest of nothing but darkness and deprivation. Thick canopies connecting every growing branch and the sap of blood bled from chipped bark.
He thought that I was innocent, young and still cherished the life I held onto with clinging claws, chained to the ground by nothing but my desire to be free. He was an idiot at times; he wasn’t the only one that suffered.
I levelled his gaze, “You would do anything for me, would you not?” I asked him, my grin gone as the mask fell from my face, seriousness adopting my expression.
My question caught him by surprise but he answered, “Do not change the topic.” It was an order, a hint of false warning lingering behind the cold words from his acidic mouth.
“It is relevant, answer me?” I replied, one delicate eyebrow raised and a tone of hope resting on my tongue.
He grunted again, folding his arms and capturing my eyes with his own, the very same eyes we shared with our late mother. For a time we just waited, hoping the other one would speak up first and break the deafening silence that rarely followed us around.
“Yes.” Simple and truthful, he spoke. A small smile graced my mouth.
“There is your answer.” I said, leaning back on the chair and fiddling with the necklace around my neck.
He glared at me, “That was not the answer I meant.” I giggled lightly, and smiled at him.
“You’re so childish, brother. Let me elaborate,” I began, standing and moving around the desk that separated us from each other to stand by his side, “Look out of the window.”
He did as I requested, rolling his eyes, “Why? What does this serve?” I sighed and put my hands on his shoulders.
“Just look, what do you see?” I said, standing right behind him as we both gazed out into the evening air, the sun setting in the distance.
“I see nothing.” He said.
“That is because you are not looking.” Placing my hands on his shoulders I brought my face next to his, my whisper right next to his ear, “Look and you will learn. What is every creature’s one ultimate goal?” In the reflection of the glass, understanding dawned on his face as the sun finally set in front of us.
Gloved hands clapped, “Exactly! What wouldn’t I do to survive? What wouldn’t I do to ensure you survive?” I had hoped that this would be enough for him, the memory of it all was fleeting, a feeling of loss and abandonment swept my heart into a cold embrace.
“You are not as invincible as you believe yourself to be.”
I froze at his words, eyes wide and smile gone, I regarded him cautious curiosity, knowing the lengths he had gone to before to require information. Whether he meant emotional manipulation or honest truth I knew that I would say more than intended.
“What makes you think that?” I asked him, my hands resting near my abdomen as they held each other.
His eyes flicked to mine for a brief moment, “This world will give as it will take. You are young and naïve, forever wanting to believe in all that’s good.” My eyes narrowed.
“But you are wrong. You are a silly little girl, you are my chess piece. The board is constantly moving and you are my strongest piece.” He didn’t look at me once as he spoke, too focused on the darkness outside and the raging storm that suddenly claimed the night.
“And what makes you think you are not the same to me?” My words were cruel, my tone was biting and I’m certain I could have frozen him where he stood. But the fire raging inside of me would die down enough to provoke the ice to take hold; the fire would not let me burn my brother.
He turned his head and looked up, finally meeting my gaze, “Fight. Struggle. Do what you must, but listen, sister.” He commanded, standing on his toes and staring at me with softened eyes, “You are not alone.”
He was mine to support, he was mine to comfort. Promises made in the night and lies told in the day, I was there for him. How the mighty fall, once a queen turned into a pawn.
“I may have friends and I may have you, but he wanted me too, he wanted everything.”
My smile twisted and turned into something that would make event he devil shiver in fear, “Yes, he was perfect.” My heart sang the second my dagger slit his throat.
“He was the perfect fool.”