Blood & Bones - Jeanne St. James Page 0,1

he was only eight.

“But, Mom—”

“Get out of your brother’s way,” was all she said as she made sure Randy was doing what she told him. She turned back to the bed, shoving more clothes and other stuff into more bags.

His eyes landed on an empty trash bag that had fallen to the floor. He grabbed it and rushed back to his room and that was when he began to pack.

She was not leaving without him.

Now, with his own full bag, Chris stepped out into the hallway, no longer hearing any activity coming from his parents’ room.

With the bag bouncing off his legs, he ran back there anyway to check.

Empty. His mother was gone, her bags were gone and he had no idea where Randy was.

“Wait, Mom!” he screamed. “I’m going with you!”

He rushed down the hallway, his stuffed-full garbage bag becoming heavier with each step. “Mom! Don’t leave without me!”

He dropped the bag to the floor and began to drag it behind him so he could move faster. He had to catch her before she left.

He wasn’t staying here.

He wasn’t.

Another hiccup-sob surged up from his gut as he reached the front living room. She wasn’t there, either.

Neither was Randy.

The front door was wide open and he could see his older brother standing outside on the porch, staring out at the street.

Alone. Quiet. With both hands on his hips.

Chris dragged the bag, which held everything important to him, through the door and out onto the porch, pushing past his brother who blocked the two steps to the yard.

“She’s gone, kid.” He turned his head and spat into what used to be a garden in front of their small house. Before the weeds choked the flowers the previous renter must have planted and had been left to die once his family moved in.

Chris kept going, the heavy bag thumping down each step, even though her car was gone.

Even though their mother was nowhere to be seen.

No sign of her anywhere.

“Why?” he screamed. His stomach ached painfully, like it had been hollowed out with an ice cream scoop. “Why would she leave us?”

She’d come back for them. She had to. They were her sons. What mother didn’t want her own children?

“She’s a fuckin’ whore.”

“No, she ain’t! Dad’s the whore!” he shouted at his brother.

“Dad ain’t a whore, stupid. Dad didn’t do nothin’ Mom didn’t do. Saw her suckin’ dick plenty of times. And it wasn’t Dad’s.”

What? Now Randy was just plain lying!

At the bottom of the steps, Chris dropped his bag on the narrow sidewalk and, with a roar, rushed his brother.

Before he could make it to the steps, Randy jumped down and tackled him. Chris fell backward and his head just missed the edge of the concrete.

“You’re an asshole!” he screamed, grabbing Randy’s hair and ripping on it.

A wild, flailing fist made contact with Chris’s cheek and the pain caused him to lose his breath.

He growled and tried to roll his brother, but he was much smaller and couldn’t get his weight behind him. Instead, he shoved his brother with both palms, knocking him off balance.

As soon as he rolled on top of Randy, he found himself once again on his back in the grass, unable to catch his breath. His brother was sitting on his chest, crushing his lungs and pinning his arms to the ground.

“Knock it off, you little shit. You made my fuckin’ lip bleed.”

“Good!” came out on a half-sob. He couldn’t cry. Not in front of Randy. But he couldn’t wipe the tears away while his asshole brother held him down. “Lemme go!”

“Only if you stop tryin’ to fight me. I didn’t do this to you. That bitch did. You think she gave two shits about you? She didn’t. Her leavin’ just proved it. She was just the twat used to squirt us out. That’s it. Nothin’ more.”

“You’re wrong.” Why was Randy lying like that?

“Yeah, so wrong,” Randy muttered and shook his head. “I’m gettin’ off you. You try fightin’ me again, I’m not gonna hold back. Dad will find you out in the yard when he gets home with your ass kicked. Then he’ll kick it a second time for bein’ a whiny-assed pussy.”

Randy slowly lifted his weight and, when he was on his feet, his brother wiped the back of his hand across this mouth, smearing the blood. He spat into the grass next to Chris’s head. Luckily, Chris twisted it away in time to keep from getting splattered.

“We don’t need that bitch. What the fuck