Two Little Dead Boys

One fine day in the middle of the night,

His brother hugged his arms to himself, huddling close behind him as always; in fear, for warmth, or just because he always had.

The boy didn’t know nor particularly care, he was just glad there was one who cared: who would cry out if he was gone: who would search for him if missing: who needed him nearly as much as he needed them.

Their breath pooled in the frigid air as they crept up, tense against the rock face. The work shift changed; the clanging bell so loud above the shuffling of close-pressed bodies, the thud of tools.

Carefully he straightened and reached out for a second time to a guard’s waist, teasing out the dull sword that sat against the man’s hip.

Soon, no one would know his name, or cry out that he was gone. He would stare into his brother’s eyes for the last time, and then they would be invisible for good, non-existent at last.

No need for a smile as he faced his brother, “They raised their swords,”

A whispered reply: “And shot each other.”

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