Readers Gazette Short Stories


Short Story Finding Brother

Finding Brother by Joanie Chevalier Relationships short story

Visit Joanie Chevalier on Readers Gazette


There’s a small unframed black-n-white photograph on top of my dresser of me and my brother dated May '63. We’re sitting on top of a hood of a ’57 Chevy, in mid-laugh, the delighted glee only young children possess. My hands are chest high, in a blur, as if I were clapping. My brother looked happy. Maybe that’s before the bipolar sickness kicked in with the tantrums and mood swings that disturbed his boyhood dreams, and before the unleashing of the monster that drove my parents apart. Next to the photo sits his toddler cup, a white plastic miniature cup with a handle on either side, a sturdy grip for clumsy tiny toddler hands. The pink hippo peeking out from a red train caboose on one side and the green-dotted giraffe on the other smile at me as I tenderly held the cup as I inspected it, dust particles dancing in the sunlight peeking through the blinds of the bedroom window. For some reason, I needed to touch and scrutinize the plastic cup every now and then as if I would someday detect a juice ring inside the rim or get a whiff of sour milk or, even better, detect the faint scent of toddler breath. But when I brought the cup to my nose, as with all the other times, it only smelled like plastic, even after all of these years, and all I saw inside was dust.


I felt especially reminiscent after I hung up from mother’s call insisting that we go search for my brother again. How many times have we searched? Half a dozen? We were like a couple of private eyes with limited skills on an ill-prepared scavenger hunt with few clues.

The modus operandi is to drive around a neglected neighborhood looking for a brother who probably didn't give a damn about family ties anyway. That didn't deter my mother though, who protected herself from hurt and frustration by stoically sitting ramrod straight in the passenger seat with folded hands, face-forward, her eyes darting to and fro in quick movements in case Brian happened to suddenly jump out of an alley.

At times, we’ve found Brian after driving to the last address we had on hand. We’d drive slowly, craning our necks, looking for his car, wondering if it were still operational. We’d cross our fingers hoping we’d see one of his kids playing out in the street, unsupervised and dirty, like we had on a previous hunt. While driving, I’d find myself daydreaming that I would notice Brian wave to us from a freshly painted porch, surrounded by bleach-white wicker furniture with fluffy decorative pillows. He would look healthy, his eyes and face clear and his teeth miraculously gleaming and all securely anchored in place, as they should be. My bubble of disjointed pseudo memories popped as we tentatively rolled to a stop in front of a small square yard that appeared neglected and forlorn as weeds grew up around scattered forgotten toys, the old blue paint on the porch chipped. The second slated step was crooked catching the heel of my left shoe as I climbed up, like an angry twisted witch’s hand.


We weren’t surprised to learn that we had missed Brian and his family by one day. They had already abruptly uprooted, probably in the middle of the night to avoid the invisible all-seeing eyes behind closed living room curtains and to keep them from witnessing the transfer of sleeping children and belongings stuffed into green plastic bags. I briefly admired their spunk and ingenuity and wondered how their lives would have been different if my brother and his girlfriend had actually spent their energy on working rather than running from debt collectors and peddling white powder.


A fragile Mexican woman answered my timid knock and waved her bright plastic yellow-gloved hands as she spoke rapidly in broken English. I returned quickly to the car, carefully jumping over the dark space in the steps, needing to write her information down before the cleaning woman ran out of patience, excited that we were this close. As I walked towards mother, she gruffly shoved the passenger door open, scraping the curb, and thrust an envelope and a small pencil at me. “Here, use this.” I wanted to grab my phone but it was simpler to comply. I wondered why my mother owned such a small pencil. Had she learned to golf? Is she on a bowling league?

As I felt the smooth roundness of the petite pencil and the dull tip of the lead, I suddenly had a confusing thought: maybe we were the dysfunctional ones. My walk back to the neglected sad house slowed. What if my brother was really running from . . . us? I glanced back at my mother, who anxiously watched me, poised and intent, like a cat. I noticed, as if for the first time, the old-lady droopiness of her shoulders and her unfocused cataract-glazed eyes.


The directions that I had impatiently jotted on the used window envelope weren’t even to an existing address but a dead-end near the freeway. Was it left to be given to creditors, or only to family who happened to wander by? We didn’t discuss our disappointment or sadness as per usual; Mom only inhaled through her nose and exhaled a deep sigh. Often, I can only guess at mother’s emotions, and sometimes, even mine.


After dropping mom off, I felt exhausted and dirty and looked forward to a long soapy shower. I walked into my bedroom, took off my sweater and something dropped to the hardwood floor. I picked up the stubby pencil and clasped it tightly for a moment before dropping it into my brother’s toddler plastic sippy cup. “I miss you bro,” I whispered as I glanced at the faded photo of two giggling children sitting on the hood of a ’57 Chevy. “See you around.”


To see more of Joanie Chevalier's work, click the link to visit her on Readers Gazette or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view her member details Joanie Chevalier's Readers Gazette Page.

Images used for the story are Visit 57 Chevy BelAir 2 Door Hardtop on Wikimedia

ReadersGazette.Com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Newsletter

© Copyright 2015 ReadersGazette.Com and on behalf of their authors, all rights reserved.

Scroll Down To Leave A Comment

Newsletter

Short Story written by Joanie

Visit RG Member 638
Below you can TWEET or SHARE this Story.
click the book image to see more about the book.

There’s a small unframed black-n-white photograph on top of my dresser of me and my brother dated May \'63. We’re sitting on top of a hood of a ’57 Chevy, in mid-laugh, the delighted glee only young children...

Deadly Dating Games by Joanie Chevalier

MURDER. BLACKMAIL. ROMANCE.
Four Personalities. Four Women. When bookclub members turn to crime, who can save them? Some flee for their lives while others plan for the next seduction...



Did You Enjoy? Please Comment


Relationships Short Story

If this short Story was not a Relationships short story, lets us know so we can correct our error.
If you enjoyed reading this short story please leave a comment for the author above Thank You.

ReadersGazette.Com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Amazon USA

Amazon.com - Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies & TV Shows Anytime - Start Free Trial Now

Shop Amazon - Contract Cell Phones & Service Plans

Join Amazon Student FREE Two-Day Shipping for College Students

Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime

Amazon UK

Amazon UK Deals in Electronics and PC

Amazon Prime UK 30-day Free Trial

Amazon Prime Video UK 30-day Free Trial

Amazon Prime Music UK 30-day Free Trial

Audible UK 30-day Free Trial



Kindle Unlimited

Fast, FREE shipping and more. Prime members also enjoy exclusive access to movies and TV shows, music, unlimited photo storage and Kindle books.
Try USA Prime for FREE
Try UK Prime for FREE

Audible

Immerse yourself in inspiring voices by master storytellers who bring books to life, illuminating characters and taking you deep inside the story.
Try USA Audible for FREE
Try UK Audible for FREE

SHORT STORIES

Click the image to view


Black Box Blues

Just as we emerged from the gateway two indicators came to life on our car’s console. The green light indicated that this cluster’s nav data had been picked up and stored in memory. The red one,... continue reading click image.



PRESS START

They say video games can be addictive, but little did Justin realize; that in this case it’s a literal statement. For he became addicted to one game in particular. Justin’s your average... continue reading click image.



REQUIEM OF A MONSTER

How long have I been walled up in here? How many rats and flies have I named, and feasted with? How many days have I paced beneath the meager half-light these narrow barred windows afford me? How... continue reading click image.



The Burial

A cool, gentle breeze rustled through the Magnolia trees, dispersing the sweet fragrance of the flowering buds and jostling a lackadaisical bumblebee. A teenager in a borrowed, over-sized suit stood... continue reading click image.



A Man Trapped In A Cat

If my memory serves me well it was on Friday, 13th July, at my father’s company beneficent dinner that my life turned upside down. That evening, I met the most beautiful girl. I was the lucky guy.... continue reading click image.



Kevin Smiled

David Thomas looked at his watch. 2:00 pm, he couldn’t keep them outside any longer He got up walked to the door and opened it. “Take your seats, QUIETLY.” He told the class as they filed... continue reading click image.



Legend of the Mermaid

“The Mer didn’t always exist—at least not as we’re known now. We used to live as people of the sea, living in the water nearly as much as on land. We turned to the depths for our food, trade,... continue reading click image.


Pages:  1 2 3 L



Try Video

Enjoy unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows. Anywhere, anytime.
Try USA Video for FREE
Try UK Video for FREE

Reading App

Read Everywhere with the Free Kindle Reading Apps.
USA FREE Kindle Reading App
UK FREE Kindle Reading App