Brothers, Bullies and Bad Guys
What Did They Eat?
If you were a young boy of twelve, ignored by your parents and loved by the gang you hung out with, what would you like to eat? What if you’d built a secret hide-out inside of your home – a place you would monitor the household from hidden cameras and microphones, and scare your brother half to death with noises that seemed to appear from nowhere? What food would you stash in there? Salads, frogs legs, and caviar? No, not Michael. He liked junk food. And while on the topic of food, what about the inevitable outcome of eating?
Michael tossed Chris a root beer and split open a bag of cheese nachos.
“We've gotta get out of here,” Chris said through a mouthful of chips, “somewhere safe.”
Michael flopped onto the futon. “Where?”
“I’m thinking.” Chris swallowed and chugged some root beer. “Where's your cell phone?”
“On the pad.”
Chris glanced at the floor. The charge pad was almost right underneath them in the kitchen. “Shoot. I don't know where mine is.”
“Chris?” Michael's eyes bulged.
“I gotta go.”
Chris stopped chewing. “Bathroom?”
“Oh,” Chris said. “Use the waste line. The one you diverted from the bathtub drain.”
“No way. That’s a one inch line. I’m way beyond that.” Michael stood up and bounced on his toes.
“Do you have a blender? We can whip it up and pour it down.”
Michael kicked the bag of chips out of Chris’s hand, sending a plume of nachos into the air. “You’re gross!”
“Smooth, Michael, real smooth. How about a spoon then?”
Now imagine you’re Chris – Michael’s older brother. Chris only wanted to bring his brother up right, keeping him fed and out of trouble. Keeping Michael out of trouble wasn’t working out too well, but Chris had the opportunity to cook dinner in a kitchen built on dreams. And how best to describe the horror both boys had just experienced than a steak?
Chris grabbed two steaks from the freezer, placed them into the microwave, and watched the defrost time out. It was seven o'clock, and he was tired and hungry, but pleased they had finished their chores.
Michael walked into the kitchen. “I’m going to find some cash.”
Chris jumped as the microwave beeped. “Make sure you put an I.O.U. in its place.”
Michael thumped up the stairs. Chris pulled out the steaks. They were bloody and wet, marbled with fat, and pulled images of Michael's bullet riddled body into his head. His hand started to shake and he dropped the plate on the island with a clatter. Michael should have died today. How did he escape those bullets anyway? Bill shot from twenty feet away, and he obliterated the wall. Michael had always been lucky and, for once, Chris was glad for it, though Michael's fear shocked him. He'd never seen Michael scared of anything, until today.
Chris fired up the grill and tossed on the steaks. The flames devoured the dripping fat, and the smells kicked Chris’s appetite into overdrive, pushing the horrific pictures from his mind. He placed two potatoes into the oven and a pot of water on the stove for beans. He'd been cooking dinner for years, leaving Michael's on a plate for whenever he'd get home. Michael had never thanked him. Instead he chased Chris out of the kitchen with his ghostly noises, clanging pans, and blinking lights. Chris shook his head, his anger dissipating over the thought that Michael was so darned clever. He removed the steaks and placed each on a plate.
Chris watched Michael pile his plate with green beans. He opened the oven and tossed Michael a potato. He scooped some beans onto his plate, split open a potato, and gobbed peanut butter on it. They walked to the TV room and flopped onto the couch.
The next morning, Michael creates the perfect breakfast for two hungry boys.
Michael held up a plate stacked with pancakes and smiled.
“Wow, those are massive. I didn't know you could cook. What’s in them?”
“M&Ms, marshmallows, and cashews. I found strawberry jam, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup to spread on top.”
Chris patted his stomach. “Hmmm. Breakfast of the gods.”
And of course, who doesn’t enjoy a Big Mac?
Chris carried a tray loaded with Big Macs, fries, and hot apple pies. Michael stumbled out of the washroom. Chris flopped at a table, popped open a carton, and stuffed the warm hamburger into his mouth.
“I figured you'd push the whole burger in there,” Michael said.
“Hmpphhhm,” Chris said.
Chris chewed until his jaw hurt. He swallowed and fired in a french fry.
“Michael, where did you learn how to build a Taser?”
“Internet,” Michael mumbled through a mouthful of hamburger. He swallowed. “Did you know the word Taser originated from a book called Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle?”
“No, I didn’t. Hmm, should have named them after Tom Swift and His Bludgeoning Hoe. Heh!”
“Very funny, Chris. They’re actually simple devices, transformers, diodes, and a capacitor.”
“Please don’t tell me you tested it on someone’s cat.”
“Nope. I tested it on myself, just about killed me.”