My Brother Is an Egg [Short Story]

My brother is an egg. He is oval, white, and very fragile. Seeing him so fresh to the world, and so unknowing, it pains me. He is the purest form of life, waiting until the day of his hatching, not knowing when it will come or what will come of it. I know. Our mum knows. We don’t have a dad, they don’t need dads.

My brother is an egg. He sits around all day, waiting for his time to come. But he will never have a time. He is a boy. I cry sometimes, knowing that he will have been an egg longer than he will ever be a chicken. I am merely a chick myself, but I know more about the world than he will ever know. I know that it’s cruel; my mother has gotten so used to it that her eyes don’t flinch anymore. I remember when she used to try to warm us all. Not just me, but all of the girls. All of her many, many daughters. We’re in a cage, you see. People don’t call it a cage; they say it’s not a cage because it’s a barn, and that we’re cage-free, but I can barely breathe here. My mother has gotten crushed accidentally so many times that her feathers are mangled. She isn’t that positive anymore. I try to be, but I’m so young that they don’t believe what I say. They know I haven’t had the worst of it yet. Even after the debeaking, the most painful experience I have ever been through, they’re telling me that was just the start.

My brother is an egg. He is starting to shake. He wants to see the world, to be free, to dance. A little crack here, another crack there. He is ready. But he shouldn’t be. What awaits him is a horror story. I have only heard folk tales of what goes on but we all know the basics. They talk about it sometimes. There is a conveyer belt, and there is blades. He will not live to tell the tale.

My brother is hatching. His body is shivering, he is starting to wonder. Where is he? What is he? Where will he be going? We all know the answers, of course, but he doesn’t. He is a baby, and I want to wrap him in my wings and keep him close to me.

My brother is a chick. A hand reaches down and snatches him. He lets out a soft startled squeak. He wants to be with his mummy. Is that too much to ask? He is dragged away, and that is the last time I ever see my brother, but it is not the last time I imagine him. I imagine his scream amplified as he falls off the conveyer belt, I imagine his body being ripped apart — but that is nothing compared to what I imagine next. I imagine him running around, in a field, happy. That is what breaks my heart the most.

My brother is dead.

Daniel [Short Story]

Everybody is different; we all have something that separates us from our peers, but mostly we can deal with it. Mostly, we can put our differences aside and move on. In Daniel’s case, he couldn’t put it aside, because it was a difference no one shared. It was a difference no one could put aside – because they didn’t know about it. He had always been shy, Daniel, which was why nobody noticed. I was the only one, I suppose, and that was why he confided in me.

He’d sometimes just get up from his chair and walk out of class, when it got too much. I would sometimes slip out after him, to make sure he was okay, and most of the time he’d be shaking, but sometimes he’d just be staring at a wall, non-responsive. I didn’t mind though; I knew what it was like to freak out. I’d had my fair share of issues in the past, but I was better now, and I had decided that my mission was to help someone else face their issues too. Daniel was grateful, he told me often, but he told me that his condition was irreparable. I beg to differ, though this was before he told me. After that, I knew I could not argue.

He heard voices sometimes, he said, so I suggested schizophrenia and he said that, no, they weren’t imaginary, and I said that was what he’d think if he had schizophrenia, but he insisted it was something else. I didn’t quite believe him and I suggested he should go to a psychiatrist or something. He refused, saying they would only behave how everybody else does. He told me events happening right across the world and what people were saying, how scared they were. He could tell me, word-for-word, documentaries – before they happened. And it was then that I began to realise this was not schizophrenia. It was more of a… hearing issue.

He never told me about the other stuff though; the way he could alter sounds. It was only sounds, but sometimes it could break stuff. He didn’t think I’d still want to be friends with him if I heard that. I suppose, in a way, he might’ve been right. Things like that don’t exist, was what I thought, and he could not possibly have such a skill. He hardly spoke about it; not until it was too late, anyway.

It was a firework showing when things got really bad – like criminal bad. He couldn’t cope with the voices; he told me that someone was dying and that they were in France so he could not help them. He told me that he could hear so much but not change a thing. I now realise he hadn’t been telling the truth; he could change stuff, just not the kind of stuff you’d think of. He got agitated that night, crying and shaking, and people kept coming over and asking if he was okay. I had insisted he was fine but then the fireworks popped, like a balloon, and they were so loud I clawed at my ears for them to stop. Daniel wasn’t doing the same. I yelled at him, that it was too loud, but he was not listening. He was concentrating.

Fourteen people were deafened, for life, from that incident. I am surprised it wasn’t more. Several have phobias of fireworks. Others live a quiet life by themselves; they don’t want much noise at all. Although I was shaken by the incident, it didn’t give any permanent issues to me. It just made me and Daniel closer, I thought, that we had both been through such a disaster and that we were both fine. Little did I know that Daniel’s issues were far brighter and bigger than some fireworks. Daniel kept saying how it was his fault and I’d laughed and told him he was being stupid. Turns out, he wasn’t being stupid. He was being human. He’d told me numerous times that he couldn’t control it but I never quite understood what he meant.

Then, one night, a TV exploded in his house and he rung me. That was the night I realised; he wasn’t feeling guilty because he’d been there, he was feeling guilty because he’d done bad things. Not on purpose, of course, but he said that when he was angry things tended to go pop. He never told me about the sound altering but I figured it out, from all the clues he left lying around. You can only have so many broken TVs before it gets suspicious.

I think he might have been my best friend, Daniel, but he slipped out of my fingers before I could officially declare it. He told me that he had experienced war more times than most soldiers; that he could hear several wars at once. The bullets, grenades, screams; he could hear it all, and he didn’t like it. He told me he usually centred in on one incident at a time, to avoid confusion, but he could only seem to centre in on bad things. The good events were hidden, mostly. He knew instantly when I was in trouble though, and he’d always come running. I loved him for that. He didn’t have to come but he always did, except when he disappeared.

Daniel went missing on the 21st of October, two days after his seventeenth birthday. He had left one note, addressed to me, stating only that he could not cope and that he was sorry. That was all it said. I didn’t know whether he was dead, alive, or somewhere in-between. And the day I got stabbed, almost died, I knew he would not be there to help me this time. He would not avenge me like he used to. I had lost so much blood by the time they got there, they thought I wouldn’t survive. I thought I wouldn’t survive. One night though (I have no clue how true this is, because I was sedated), I woke up and I saw him at the window. I heard my heart thumping, and I heard my brain whirling, and then I heard a voice, his voice, saying “I might not have saved you then, but I can save you now.” That was the last time I saw him; I’m sure. I know, deep in my heart, that he had saved me once again. He might have left my life but he did not leave my ears. It might have been the last time I saw him but it was definitely not the last time I heard him.

The Psychologist [Short Story]

So I wrote this story and I’d appreciate feedback. 🙂

“How do you feel right now?”

“Like maybe I don’t want to be here… to exist…”

“I see.”

Jeremy Bryan, a qualified psychologist, examines his nineteen-year-old patient, Anya Williams, carefully, watching her every movement. Her nervousness is noticed as her hands clasp onto each other and her teeth chatter. It’s as if she’s cold, but she’s in a well-heated room, with the windows shut.

After a moment, Jeremy smiles.

“Can you explain these feelings?”

“Yes.. um.. It’s like I’m trapped and the only way out is… you know…”

“I see.”

He looks down at his notepad and makes a note, one that is written in terribly rushed handwriting. He then slowly walks his eyes up her body, watching every part of her intensely. Anya’s stomach growls just a bit and she quickly covers it with her arms.

“Do you have any physical ideas?”

“Well, the one that everyone does is pills– and, if you take enough, doesn’t that work and you don’t have to do much it’s just pills and yeah maybe that’d work and then I’d be free–”

“I see.”

Jeremy lifts his eyebrows, and then stands.

“Do you ever watch the moon?” he eventually asks.

“Why?” Anya retorts, standing up as well, so to be on level with him.

“It’s just… the moon is still seen in the day, sometimes, isn’t it?”

“And sometimes it isn’t.”

“But, when it is, Anya, don’t you think that its defied its expectations? We expect it to die once the sun rises, but sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it stays, and that is something beautiful, isn’t it?”

“I guess…”
Anya walks over to the door, and Jeremy circles his way towards her, focusing his eyes very carefully on the single braid in her hair.

“Why only one?” he asks.

“Too many is too showy.”

“Why worry about what others think?”

“I’m nineteen, dude.”

“I guess. Anyway, I need to ask you something. Do you want to be the moon?”

“No, I want to be dead, thanks.”

Jeremy laughs, inappropriately so, and strokes her braid.

“Then, by all means, do it before the moon falls.”

With that, he opens the door for Anya and watches her go off, a knowing grin following her footsteps. He hears the exit door shut and closes his own door, sitting back on his chair. He puts his feet up on the desk, pulling a newspaper from it. A single article grabs his attention:

Serial suicides?

“Tick, tock, tick, tock,” he says, “tick, tock, tick, tock — bang.” He looks up to the ceiling, pointing a gun at it, then laughing with such enthusiasm that he starts coughing.

The next day, Anya’s body is found lying in her garden, eyes open and looking straight towards the moon. She’s pale, like the moon, and her hands are clasped together, as if she died peacefully. Her mouth is open though, as open as the moon above her. The moon that did not fade after sunlight.

Jeremy Bryan is sat in his office, with another patient, Joseph Fuller-Jones.

“And how are you feeling, Joseph?” Jeremy continues their conversation.

“I don’t know; I don’t feel anything…” Joseph cuts off short, as if he was going to say something else, but Jeremy doesn’t catch this and just writes a note, in rushed handwriting.

“I wonder, Joseph, have you ever watched the moon?”

The next day, Joseph, too, is found dead, on his apartment’s balcony, staring up at the moon, clasping his hands together.

Thank you so much for reading,

Lia

Falling Sky [Short Story]

  This is a short story I wrote as potential coursework for Creative Writing. I don’t know if it’s good enough so I’m posting it here — to get advice. 🙂 

 When it first started falling, it was just flakes, like dandruff, and we didn’t really think much of it. It was blue; real blue, like the colour that rain is in picture books. When a piece hit me, it felt like rain too, merging with my skin, except it left a blue dot, as if it was paint from the sky. Other people around me looked up too and we all saw the exact places that these fragments had fallen from because they weren’t blue anymore. They were a new colour, one that I can’t describe because you’ve never seen it before. If I were to describe it, though, I’d say that it resembled crushed up souls blended with creamed eyeballs. It wasn’t a pretty colour. That’s why I didn’t look up again; the colour made me want to be sick.

When I got home, my mum was visibly shaking, screaming, shattering. Her arms were coated in blue, which I realised was the fallen sky, and she was curled in a ball.

“My head,” she whimpered, “it’s like a bomb’s exploded in it.” She could barely say the words, gasping often. I sat beside her, wrapping my arms around her.

“What’s happened?” I asked.

“I don’t know, it’s the sky — it was falling, it was falling, and now I’m in pain.”

This story of the sky falling quickly made headlines, and one of the articles that caught my interest the most was Sky Side-Effects? It talked about the health issues that people had been having since the sky started falling. It described an unknown illness where people exposed to too much sky were having similar symptoms to that of a brain tumour, except there wasn’t a tumour. It stated that a few had already died from this disease, which is when I started getting worried.

“Mum, how have your headaches been today?” was the first question I asked every evening when I got home from school (before it was closed because of the threats of going outside). She usually had three answers: “good, actually”, “not so good”, and “help, help, help”. I hadn’t liked to go to school whilst she was ill but she’d made me, telling me that my education was important. She didn’t know that she was endangering me at the time.

When the schools finally closed, I monitored my mum often, making charts assessing her condition. It was still only fragments falling at this stage — nothing too serious — and no one went outside anyway, unless they really had to, and if they did they wore protective clothing. Her condition hadn’t gotten any worse, in fact it had gotten better, and I had pinned this to the fact that she’d not gone outside for a while. She was safe, for now. I also checked the news regularly (I’d never been a fan of it before) to see any updates.

Then, when all the little fragments stopped falling, we thought it was over. We went outside and embraced the cold, something we’d never really done before.

It had been three days since the sky had stopped falling and I’d taken my mum out for the first time. She was still a little ill, very pale in the face, but her migraines had diminished to headaches. It was quite pretty when you looked up at the sky now; with it being grey (it was a bad weather day), the clouds being white, and then, where little fragments had fallen, you could see the new colour: peluvia. I don’t know how it came to be called that, some scientist or something, but I thought it was a prettier name than any of the other colours, despite the fact that the colour itself was not pretty.
My mum and I were staring up at the sky together, holding hands, when the ground first shook. It was like there was an earthquake but we’d never had one before. We didn’t rule it out, though, considering the recent events.

“Staying outside is probably best, if it’s an earthquake,” I told my mum.

“But what if it’s not? What if it’s–” And then I could see the fear in her eyes become a reality as the ground stopped shaking, and the sky started falling. All of it. Not little flakes. Nowhere to run, hide. We’d survived this long; it wasn’t fair.

“Go inside. Now!” I yelled, pushing her weak body into the kitchen. I figured that if the sky was going to fall, it might not get to our ground floor. That was our best chance at surviving it.

I shielded her, she shielded me; it wasn’t much use really, but it was all we could do. I heard the sound of the roof breaking, the stairs crumbling, ceilings cracking. Then, it all fell down, and all I saw was dust in my eyes.

I think I died, then; I’m not sure how long after, but I did die eventually. I don’t know whether my mum died — I don’t want to think about that. I don’t want to think about anything from the past anymore. I just want to fall, like the sky; instead of sitting at the top of it, watching it fall in front of my eyes, without being able to do anything. Because, once the sky gets you completely, you’re the one pushing it — there’s nothing you can do. You have to. Or you’ll become a part of the new sky.

Thank you for reading this,

Lia