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Us Against the World

by Brittaney Ellis 3 years ago in fiction

A Sister's Love

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She stood in the doorway dripping in blood. What could she do now? Denial wasn't going to work anymore.

Melissa and James were born on Halloween night. Their mom went into labor at 12 pm. James was born a 9:26 and she was out at 9:36. He never let her forget that he was the older brother, even though it was only 10 minutes.

Their mom wasn't much of a mother. She was always gone and when she was home she was never sober. Melissa and James learned early in life how to take care of themselves and each other. James used to tell her it was them against the world.

James started to do weird things with dead animals. He would take them apart piece by piece. One day they found a mama cat and his kittens. Melissa wanted to keep all of them but James said it was more humane to kill them so they wouldn't starve.

Melissa watched in horror as he bashed the mama cats head in with a rock and drowned the babies in a bucket. She told herself he was right, that they would starve to death anyway. But the look in his eyes as he did it gave her chills.

When they were 10 their mom left one night and never came back. When the school found out they tracked down their father but it didn't work out well. Melissa and James stayed with him for a year or so and the whole time all he ever did was yell and tell them how worthless they were. One night he was screaming and James hit him. Dad punched James back and broke his nose.

A few days later Melissa found James with blood on his shirt babbling that he would never come back and nobody does that to him. She asked where the blood came from but he wouldn't answer her. Dad never came home that night.

After a week or so Melissa knew what had happened but she couldn't bring herself to believe it. Whenever she asked James if he knew where Dad was or why there was blood on his shirt, he would tell her he couldn't remember.

James insisted they stop going to school. He said he could take care of them and that they didn't need anyone else. He told her the best place for them to go was New York City because they would blend in and nobody would notice a couple of kids wandering the streets. Melissa was scared. They were only 11. Could they really take care of themselves?

They snuck onto a Greyhound bus at the bus station a few nights later James said it was going to New York and if they stayed hidden they'd be fine. The bus stopped a couple times but James wouldn't let her get off. He always came back with food or drinks though. Once he came back with some money too, but wouldn't tell Melissa how he got it.

When they got to New York, James told her to stay close. The bus station was so packed they barely squeezed through all the bodies blocking the door. James said they had to find a place to sleep before all the good spots were taken. Melissa just gaped at him.

"Outside James? We can't live outside."

"Just for now," James said. "Until I scrounge up some cash for a motel room."

"How are you gonna do that? James, how do you know all this stuff?" she asked him.

"I just do. Trust me."

They found a dry culvert pipe to sleep in for the night. It was dry but a far cry from a bed. Mom and Dad may have been bad parents, but at least they had beds.

Melissa began to wonder if their mom actually took off on them but she pushed the thought from her mind. It couldn't be what she thought. James was the only person that actually cared about her. He couldn't be bad, he was just a little different than most. Once they got on their feet and didn't need anyone anymore everything would be fine.

When Melissa woke up, the sun was just barely peeking over the shorter buildings and James was nowhere to be found. She sat up and looked around. Still no sign of him. She decided it was best to just sit and wait for him to come back. She didn't want to get lost. She sat there all day and just watched the sun rise over the skyscrapers and then down again on the other side. She was starting to worry. Did James abandon her? She fell asleep crying.

It was still dark when James shook her awake.

"Where the hell have you been?! I thought you left me," she cried.

"Left you?! Never! You're all I have Sis. I just got caught up for a bit. I had to hide out and didn't want any trouble to find you. Come on we have to go. I found us a place to stay."

"What? What are you talking about trouble? Where are we going, James?"

She stopped walking. "I want answers!"

James stopped too and just looked at her.

"You have to trust me," he said. "Now let's go. The sun will be up soon."

She wasn't happy that he still hadn't answered her but something told her she didn't want to know the answer. They walked the next 20 blocks in total silence.

James finally stopped in front of this old brick building that was only 4 stories high. The grout between the bricks was all cracked and some of the bricks were missing. Even the stairs up to the door were cracked right down the middle and grass grew out of the crack.

"What is this place?" Melissa asked.

"A friend's. I met him last night."

They walked in the door. The hallway was a puke yellow and the paint was chipped. There were 2 dark green doors on either side of the hallway. It smelled like stale smoke with a hint of urine. Melissa wrinkled her nose at James.

"Be nice. It's a place to sleep. His name is Mitch."

Melissa rolled her eyes at James but nodded in agreement. He walked to the second door on the right and knocked. A guy with buck teeth and a skinny face opened the door.

"Oh, just you," the guy said. "Is this the sister you mentioned?"

"I'm Melissa," she said as she stuck out her hand.

"Cute, I'm Mitch. Welcome to your new home," Mitch said as he shook her hand.

The look in his eyes made her nervous. She didn't trust him. Something about him was just creepy.

James must have sensed what she was feeling because he got between them and flashed a deadly grin at Mitch.

"I'll just show her our room now," he said and pulled her down the tiny hall.

The apartment was in about the same shape as the hallway. Same gross colors too. Even the carpet was a puke green color. James stopped at the last door and opened it.

"This is us," he said.

The room was barely big enough for the old double mattress on the floor. A spring stuck out if the side of it. There was a small window on the other side of the bed but it had a big crack in it.

"Not as bad as Mom's," James said.

"No, but it's still gross." Melissa scoffed back.

"I know but its only temporary. We will have better soon. I promise."

Melissa looked around. It was better than the culvert pipe. She just needed to touch it up a bit. She found sheets in the bathroom closet and made the bed. She highly doubted Mitch would even notice she took them. James sat in the corner while she did her best to clean up a little. When she was done, he laughed.

"Looks good for a shithole, sis."

He made her go with him to get breakfast. He said he didn't trust Mitch. They walked to the closest convenient store. He handed her a $20 and told her to try and get enough food to last until dinner.

"Aren't you coming in with me?" she asked.

"No its better if I stay outta sight." He said and then ducked down an alley next to the store.

Melissa went in and got as much food as she could with the $20.00 James had given her. She didn't like not knowing where it came from but she knew they had to eat.

She was in the store for about 10 minutes but when she walked out of the door it was like she was in a different world. There was a bunch of people huddled over a body in the street. People were screaming and yelling calling 911. She walked towards the body lying in the street in a pool of blood when she realized there was a trail that lead from the alley to the body. She decided to follow it instead. When she walked into the alley someone jumped out behind her, grabbed her arm, and covered her mouth.

"Don't scream and keep walking. We have to get out of here before the cops show up."

James let go of her arm and took the bag of food.

"Run," he said.

They ran to the other endo of the alley then across the street and down another alley. When they reached the end of that one James stopped and poked his head out around the corner.

"Coast looks clear. Come on let's get home," he said and grabbed her hand to pull her behind him.

"James what is going on?"

"Just don't stop running until we get home. I'll explain then."

She didn't argue. After a couple more blocks they were home. They went in the tiny apartment and straight to the bedroom.

"James, what happened. What did you do?"

"We needed more money Sis. I didn't mean to hurt him. He shouldn't have fought back. It was an accident."

"James, what if he dies? Is he the first person you've hurt?"

"Would you stop? It's not like we knew him," James said in a rude tone.

Melissa noticed that James had avoided her question but she figured it was better not to know. She didn't want to believe her brother was a murderer. The thing that bothered her the most was how cold he seemed. Like he had no remorse for anything he had done. She couldn't understand how they had shared the same womb for 9 months and she could never imagine hurting another soul but he seemed to enjoy it. What happened to him? She didn't know. All she knew was that he was her brother and she lover him no matter what.

After that day, Melissa didn't go out with James anymore. She pretty much just stayed in that tiny bedroom, and occasionally talked to Mitch. He still creeped her out so she tried to keep her distance. James would bring food home for her. She never asked where he got the money, or any of the other things he brought home.

He had accumulated some useful things though. He got them a hot plate and a cabinet. He even brought a dress home for her once. It was big but she looked stunning in it.

One night she had it on dancing around their room when Mitch walked in.

"Boy you sure look pretty in that dress," he said.

"Thanks," she said with a shy smile.

He lunged across the room at her. She screamed and pulled away from him. As she did the straps on the dress tore and it slid right off her. He lunged at her again. This time he knocked her off her feet and they fell on the bed. Then suddenly James was on his back. Mitch stood up trying to knock James off his back. He slammed James against the window shattering it. James grabbed a piece of the glass and slit Mitche's throat. Blood sprayed everywhere, covering Melissa. She stood in the doorway dripping in blood. What could she do now? Denial wasn't going to work anymore. James just murdered someone right in front of her.

She had to get out of there. She took off out of the door. James yelled for her but she couldn't stop. She needed to get away from him. She ran until she couldn't run anymore. She ducked down an alley and sat down behind an dumpster and began sobbing. What was she gonna do. She couldn't turn him in, he's her brother. But she knew she couldn't pretend that he was normal anymore or keep letting him kill.

James popped his head around the dumpster.

"Hey Sis. I'm sorry you saw that."

"James you're sick. You need help. I know that wasnt the first time you've taken a life. Please just tell me the truth. Did you kill Mom and Dad?"

"Yes but it's not like they were good parents anyway. We're better off now."

"And all the money and stuff you keep brining home is stolen from people you killed isn't it?"

"Yes. I'm sorry Melissa. I can't help it. I just get these urges."

"James stop. I don't want to know anymore. Let's go home."

The walked home together but nit her one of them said a word. When they got to the apartment James told her to wait outside while he took care of the mess.

She couldn't believe what was happening. She wished she would wake up and they would both be in a nice home with parents that actually cared. She wished James wasn't broken. She wished she wasn't the one that had to deal with his problem. She knew she couldn't let him kill anymore but she couldn't turn him in either. She couldn't stomach the thought of him in a cage for the rest of his life. What was she going to do?

James came out to get her and told her he moved their room to the livingroom. He said they could stay the night but tomorrow they would have to find a new place, because it wouldn't take long for Mitch to start stinking.

Melissa didn't sleep at all that night. James was up early. He said they had to get moving. They left the apartment and everything James had stolen behind. He threw a couple $20s around Mitch's body.

James said it would make it look like Mitch was the thief in the area and was trying to sell the stuff. Leading people to believe someone killed him in a sale gone wrong.

They walked around all day looking for a good place to sleep but didn't have any luck. They ended up on a bench in the park. James laid his head in Melissa's lap.

"I'm going to nap. You keep a look out for cops or anyone that looks shady. Wake me up in a little bit and you can go to sleep for a bit," James said.

Melissa just nodded her head. She was still trying to wrap her head around everything. She realized she had always known what James was but now it was real. She couldn't ignore it anymore. She sat there with his head in her lap playing with his hair. He was all she had but he was sick and she could think of only one way to help him that didn't involve a cage. They had to die.

When the sun came up James woke up. He asked her why she didn't wake him and all she said was,

"I wasn't tired."

During the night she had decided that she would spend 1 more day with her brother and then do what needed to be done.

She drug James all over the city. They laughed and joked like nothing had ever happened. For a little while it was like they were just 2 normal kids having fun in the city. They had a good dinner at a nice little cafe and then went for ice cream.

As the sun set they made there way back to the park. This time they found a culvert pipe to sleep in. Melissa laid next to James until he started snoring. She got up and grabbed a big rock from the entrance of the pipe and walked over to James with it. She stood over him and wispered,

"I love you."

Then dropped the rock on his head. She picked it up and dropped it one more time. She laughed when she realized she had just done to him what he had done to that mama cat so long ago. She laid down next to him until he stopped twitching. When he stopped she got up and started running to the road. When she hit the road she watched a city bus until it had almost reached her and stepped out in front of it.

When the ambulance showed up to help her the last thing she said before she stopped breathing was,

"Us against the world."

In the police report she was listed as the murderer and James was the victim. As far as the world knew she was the troubled child who took her poor brother with her on a deadly ride.

fiction

Brittaney Ellis

Writing allows my mind to wander free.....

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Brittaney Ellis
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