Two can play

It’s around noon. Steep slants of sunlight drop through the living room windows. Brenda is in the floor, folding clothes. Two of her sons, Jared and Aaron, are in front of the TV, inserting a game into the Playstation. They’re about to play. Except her other son, Landon, doesn’t want them to. He wants to use the Playstation so he can listen to music from “The Police.” He has begged Jared to listen to it, since the CD belongs to Jared, but Jared has been adamant about not letting him listen to it. Finally, Jared says to Landon, “If you go and get it, I’ll let you listen to it.” So Landon retrieves the CD. When he hands it to Jared, Landon says, “Ok—put it in.” Jared responds, “No.” Landon says, “Hey—you told me if I got it, you’d let me listen to it.” Jared’s reply is like ice. “I lied.” Landon loses his cool. And he lashes out. He swats his older brother in the back of the head—not hard, but with enough force to show Jared how angry he is with him. Jared, now mad as hell, reacts savagely. He jumps up and pummels Landon, knocking his glasses off. When Jared is done, he kicks Landon’s glasses across the floor and screams at Brenda, “I’m sick of him!” Brenda gets up from the pile of clothes. She’s upset; her frown deepens. She looks at both boys with disapproval. Landon is crying. The pummeling he received hurts. He goes upstairs to his room. He sits on the window seat and looks out the window. Sometime later, he sees a ruby-red Monte Carlo pull into the driveway. It belongs to his half-sister, Melissa. And Landon wonders why she’s here. He hardly ever sees her. Soon after, he hears her voice in the kitchen, talking to her mother, Brenda. Landon gets up off the window seat, slinks down the hallway, and then crouches down near the staircase. He listens to Brenda and Melissa speaking to one another. Brenda tells her what happened between Landon and Jared. Melissa’s tone is both flabbergasted and no-nonsense.   Melissa is heard talking to Jared, asking him why he did what he did. Jared says, “Butt out of it Melissa. This doesn’t concern you.” Melissa counters, “The hell it doesn’t.”

                                                                 _ _ _

Sometime later, Melissa’s squawky voice cranks up the stairs, asking Landon to come into the kitchen. Landon does. But he acts as if he hadn’t been at the staircase the entire time. He enters the kitchen; Melissa and Brenda are sitting at the table. Melissa tells Jared, who’s still in the living room, to come into the kitchen as well. Jared doesn’t. He doesn’t care for his half-sister very much. She can be a bitch most of the time. What attests to this is when the police cruiser shows up in the driveway. Brenda turns, sees it through the kitchen-door window, and says to Melissa, “You didn’t?” Melissa’s response: “I did.” Brenda says, pleadingly, “Why did you do that Melissa?” Jared walks into the kitchen and notices the police cruiser, the officer exiting it. Jared says, “I’m gone,” and heads for the front door. When he opens it, ready to bolt out into the open air, there are two police officers waiting there—a male and a female. They ask Jared who he is. Melissa goes to the door and tells the cops, “That’s the older brother.” And then the male cop escorts Jared to the cruiser. The female enters the house and speaks with Landon soothingly. “How are you feeling?” she asks him. “I’m ok,” he says. Tears are still welled in his eyes. A headache pounds in his ears. The officer asks Brenda if she can make an ice-pack for Landon’s head. She does. Landon applies the ice-pack, but it doesn’t dull the pain. Melissa steps out into the garage and approaches the male officers outside. Meanwhile the female officer asks Landon for his side of the story. And he tells her. Minutes pass, after which, the two male officers come into the house. Both are young and whip-thin. One has sandy-blonde hair, the other auburn. Landon, not seeing his brother with them, begins to suspect his brother is going to jail. The auburn-haired officer asks Brenda how old Jared is. She tells them he’s twenty-one. The blonde-haired one says, “That’s strange. I could’ve sworn he told us he was seventeen.”  After the three officers confer with one another in hushed tones, privately, the female officer asks Landon to stand up and turn around. When he does, she slaps a pair of cuffs around his wrists. Not something Landon ever expected. He thought Jared would go to jail, not him. Well, this isn’t good. He’s taken outside to the same police cruiser Jared occupies and is led inside. Jared also has his hands cuffed behind his back. Brenda comes out of the house and discusses something with the female officer. In the back of the cruiser, Jared and Landon open with words. Jared doesn’t seem as mad with Landon as he is with Melissa. “Look at her flirting with the cop,” he mutters, his baleful gaze directed at Melissa. “Fucking whore.” She does appear to be flirting. She’s laughing with the blonde-haired cop like a ditzy school girl, and briefly, even touches the cop’s arm. Landon takes the same opinion as Jared. He’s pissed off at Melissa as well. Why would she call the cops on us, he wonders, when she obviously knew what could happen? And now that they are here, and her two half-brothers placed under arrest, she doesn’t seem to care the least bit. She even seems happy about it. Jared says to Landon, “Brother’s can’t even fight anymore without the law getting involved.”  Brenda opens the back door on Jared’s side. She tells her boys not to worry, and that she’ll have Bobby, their father, pick them up as soon as possible. Landon begins to cry. He’s sorry he caused all of this. Brenda tells him it’s ok. The auburn-headed cop makes his way to the cruiser and slips behind the wheel. Landon and Jared tell their mother goodbye. Brenda waves in return. And she tells them they won’t be in jail long. The cop then reverses out of the driveway and shoots off down the street. 

Michele   Michele wrote
on 8/30/2009 9:07:57 PM
Very well written--the first line beautifully descriptive. I would only suggest 2 things--more paragraph breaks, and the line about not acting as though he's been on the stairs: perhaps you could say he was acting innocent as though he had not been eavesdropping. A very scary story!

Novel / Novella
writing Superman26
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This is not part one, but a part of a book I'm planning to write. Please tell me what is wrong with it if you can.