The Brothers of Gladiolus


The young man marched through the bright and empty area, quite disturbed and quite irritated with his surroundings. “This isn’t fun at all. Wondering around here like a lost little one doesn’t do my mentality any good…” He thought in an almost bitter tone. He paused and glanced around himself. “Grass, grass, flowers, flowers… Emptiness. They could have thought of something more original.” He chuckled a little. Whether if this was coming from his own head or if this is something that consciousness without a body really wonders to, either way, it was rather boring. Man-kind is boring. He shook his head and wondered ‘further’, if that was even a word here, deciding to follow the flowers instead. “What is this, gladiolus’?” He thought, pondering at the pink tones littering their petals.

“Ugh, more flowers again, huh?” He almost rolled his eyes, almost.

Eventually hearing running water he paused in excitement. “Something new!” He picked up the pace and halted at the sight of a small river along with a man on the other side. He was sat cross legged, staring down at the running water, almost pondering to himself. This man looked a little older than the first as the youngest approached. “You’re late…” The man spoke up, still staring down at the water. “That voice…” The youngest man paused, frowned and placed his hands on his hips… Then it hit him. A beaming smiled graced his features as the other slowly looked up and ever so slightly leaned back.

“Nice to see you again, brother!”

The other man’s lips tugged ever so slightly at the corners, a smirk almost as he nodded. The youngest bounded forward, popping in front of the other on the other side of the river, grin still in place as he crossed his legs.

“You’ve been here a while…” The youngest pointed out. The eldest nodded and went back to staring at the water. “I was waiting.” “For what?”

“For you, of course.”

The brothers stared. “You’ve been staring at water… For over a decade?” The youngest stated, trying not to laugh. The other almost growled, a small frown in place, but you could still see the kindness. “It’s boring here. And you’re late.” “As you keep saying.” “Wishful thinking never comes true.”

“You wanted me to come here earlier?! That’s mean!”

The other protested, crossing his arms with a playful pout. This time the eldest smiled a little more.

“This is a time of remembrance, a time to let go…”

The youngest watched the other in thought.

“… I’ve been confined, trapped almost. In a box with very little light and very little company. And terrible music to which plays way too loud…” He mutters. “Your ceremony was beautiful, I understand.” The brother nodded and smirked. “And of course with yours we only came along to make sure you were in the box.” The eldest chucked and stood, the youngest following. “I’ve waited to take the plunge with you, dear brother. But you must decide what you wish to do… Drift to somewhere else, let the water flow for you, or walk the empty road…” He looked around. “Which doesn’t seem very fun.”

The brother looked down at the water the eldest was so fond of. “You know, I heard your daughter say you couldn’t swim…” The other puffed out his cheeks. “Yeah…”

“Looks like I’m going to have to carry you on this one then!”

The youngest held out his hand. The eldest however wavered and looked around the familiar area. “I don’t want to leave… But I have to leave.” He felt something of a wave of sadness, no more four walls, no more bad music… No more being turned now and again. He sighed and grasped his brothers hand, someone he’s been waiting for far too long now.

“We’ll support each other this time. Even if I do sink to the bottom.”

“For our family?”

“For our family.”

After taking the plunge, the brothers held hands all the way. Waiting for the next to come to them in peace. The gladiolus flowers swaying a little in the light breeze, a weight was lifted off many hearts.

This year seems to be full of either success or deaths. A few months’ back I posted a short story; The Forget-me-Not Man. Which of course was written in remembrance to a close family member who passed away. I hate to take advantage of a sensitive situation – But I couldn’t help it! But in many ways the story made people smile.

And again a few weeks back we lost another loved one. And this man so happened to be the brother of another that my mother keeps quite close to her heart – Or furthermore, on the bottom shelf in the back room!

These pieces are quite personal as you’ll understand, dear reader. But I hope it might inspire you to look at these situations in a different light. This piece isn’t as detailed as my last short story, that was written on the day he died and as you can imagine – Emotions and imagination was flying off the roof! Here I have time, and as much as there isn’t much to it, I wanted to do it for someone.

There’s a plan in place to have the brothers ashes placed near or dumped in a river (sounds bad like that). But apparently it’s a lovely location that the youngest used to live nearby. And yes, the eldest couldn’t swim. So I wrote this, not just for the brothers, but mainly for my mother.

Who will, if she decides to go ahead with this, may feel a little loss when that little box is gone. Of course this is for the family as well that those closest to the youngest brother, but to my mother – It will be fine.

Thank you for your patients, dear reader! Now run along! Niles is back to bugging mode instead of soppy! Don’t forget to check out chapter 4 of CD either; To Be Broken, came out yesterday! Haven’t read it yet, not told others, haven’t shared it? Well why the hell not? I’m not doing this for my own sanity, Y’know!


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