Tuesday 21 March 2017

Two Birds, One Stone (Short Story)

It was 9 am and my brother Orson and I were helping our mother clean the house as we do every Sunday. As we were helping our mother sweep the gathering room, our father ran into the house ready to shock us with unexpected news.
“Ethel! Orson! Frederick! Quick come gather. I have important news” he yelled.
“Harrison dear, what is the problem?”
“The boys have been drafted to fight in Vietnam for a minimum two years.”

As much as we wished it was not true, I knew it was and that there were a few pieces of business to finish. The first thing that I did was visit my girlfriend to tell her the news, but she clearly already knew because as I walked up the path to her house, I was greeted by the sight of Katherine running up to me embracing me while crying into my shoulder.

“Please tell me it’s not true...” she pleaded
“I wish I could...”

I took her away from my shoulder, held her hands and stared deeply into her eyes. Never before had I seen such sorrow and pain. It killed me to know that I would not see her beautiful face and golden tendrils of hair that I had become accustomed to for more than two years. 

“Katherine my sweet, forever will I love you. When I come home we will get married. I love you.”
“Oh Frederick, you know I feel the same. I will wait for you my love.”

That was the last time I ever saw Katherine...
We were soon sent off to Vietnam. The journey was long and uncomfortable yet only the beginning of our troubles. At the commencement of the war I thought it cruel to kill a man when he was doing the exact thing as I- protecting our country. That changed when I had a near death experienced and realised that in this game of life or death there were only two choices, kill or be killed. 

The majority of my time at war passed by ordinarily. It was a callous blood bath, that I was lucky to live through. Orson however, was not as lucky... Just over three months until our mandatory two years were over, Orson was killed. I will never forget his last words to me. “Fred, promise to look after mother and father. I love you brother.”

After his death I tumbled into a deep depression. I let my physical and emotional health wilt away. Due to my terrible condition, I was sent home from the war. 
My depression only grew worse over time. Most nights I pictured Orson’s face after he was killed and those last words. 

Even now, I am tormented by those last moments with my twin. His killer may not know this, but the day he killed Orson, he also killed a part of me. If you kill one twin, you shatter the soul of the other. It is two birds with one     stone. 
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