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Brother’s Hand

The weight of Matthew’s dead body made the wagon pitch from side to side as it bounced like a sack of feed against the hard wooden floor.

Michael didn’t remember the terrain being this bumpy on the way out to Featherton to see Grace, but then, he hadn’t been quite as keyed up then.

Hadn’t yet killed his brother yet, either.

That thought and another hard jostle set Michael’s stomach rolling, and he tugged the reins, bringing Nelly to a huffing halt.

Michael poured out of the driver’s bench and hurtled his body toward a tree, catching it with one hand just in time to keep from falling. There was nothing he could do to keep from losing his dinner.

“It’s alright, Mikey,” a familiar voice said, and a cold, heavy hand landed on his shoulder. “Told you not to eat the catfish at Millie’s.”

Michael inhaled sharply and stumbled away from the speaker. He whirled to find Matthew standing there, knife sticking out of his chest, glimmering like a moon in the dark night.

“Matthew! It can’t be you … you’re dead!”

“Now, don’t jump to conclusions, Mikey,” Matthew said and took a step forward. “Things aren’t always what they seem to be, just like I told you when you found me there in the meadow with Grace.”

“No!” Michael skittered in a semi-circle back toward the wagon, tripping the last few steps and slamming into the step. When he did, something moved at the rear of the vehicle — a hand flopped out from under the tarp and hung over the side, still and white.

“We’re brothers, Mikey.” In the driver’s seat, Matthew sat, hand extended. “We can work this out.”

Published inFlash Fiction

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