Published in Ricepaper 17.3/17.4
My Brother: Kelly the Great
by Sandra Lynn Lynxleg
As he raised his fist to bash my face, I relax every muscle under his weight. Why fight, I decided. Just take it. It’s never going to stop.
Saturday night felt both usual and unusual. Mom was out but Kelly was home. He was never home Saturdays. He was always gone. Out drinking or doing drugs. Out on B&Es. Tonight he was watching TV. I was doing homework on the kitchen table with the radio low because I knew better than to play it loud. The kitchen light seemed constant in contrast to the flashing strobes emitted from the living room.
“Shut that fuckin’ radio off!”
“No!” I screamed back.
Then it happened. The table flipped. The radio, my papers, flew over my head. My chair toppled pinning my legs under the table. Kelly crashed his way back to the couch.
“Turn it up and I’ll beat the shit out of you!”
“I can listen all I want!” I pushed the table off my legs, stood up and yelled into the living room, “You’re not the boss!”
I remember racing down the hallway. The radio clipping my head as I turned into my bedroom. I tried to close the door but Kelly was too quick. Too strong. The door slammed open. His forearms knocked me to the bed. He pinned me with his knees. Clenched my left shoulder, raised his right fist. As it drew up and back, something came over me. I decided to relax under his body weight. To not struggle. To not scream. To accept the blows.
Kelly stopped. His fist lowered and grabbed my right shoulder. He lifted me and violently pushed me harder into the mattress, then climbed off. Left my room, ran down the hallway, out the front door.
He’ll come back with a knife. A gun. His buddies. I quickly stood up and cautiously made my way to the kitchen for a butcher knife. I went back to my room and slid it between the doorframe and wall.
He didn’t return for three days. Caught me off guard. Choked me against the wall.
I can go to the mountain. Lie down. Allow Earth to swallow me. He deepened his grip on my throat, lifted me higher.
I’m that powerful.