Crows perch on the thin red line that leads to my heart, gathering into a murder. The fact that he is my brother matters little.
A warm summer breeze clips dust devils across the hard packed dirt leading from the pitchers mound to home plate. Across their dance, pin prick eyes stare back at me, daring me to throw the ball. Tensions drips between my fingers, cool droplets of sweat falling slowly, forming splatter paint images around the white rubber by my feet. This game is slowly slipping away from me.
Come quick, I think Brian is going to kill Ross...out of breath, Mike rushes into the campsite, massaging a stitch in his side from covering such a distance.
Behind the chain link backstop, my brother dances like a drunk chicken, caterwauling taunts, gesticulating wildly. Distracting my attention. Pop, leather on wood, a solid hit retreats into the outfield, diminishing with any thought I had of saving this game. It is his fault. My mind latches onto this thought, wringing it like a dishrag for every ounce of anger it can muster.
Its just a game, why would you...they don't understand.
His turn at bat, a grin slips across his face, begging acknowledgement. Flying wildly the ball zings across the expanse, barely in the lead as I race it to home plate to see who will hit him first. He runs. Friends chase, then gasp as I raise the ten speed over my head and launch it at him.
Even the crickets go quiet.
From the thickets, I see them approaching the field, come to survey the scene of my crime. Their voices call my name, ricocheting off trees to pierce my adolescent soul, now tattooed with the symbol of Cain. Pride and anger give way to shame and this is how they find me.
He is the wife that burned the supper, because she was too busy taking care of the kids, that just happened to catch you on the day your boss yelled at you and the old man cut you off in traffic. He is the husband who is running late, because he had to stop at the store, on the day the kids became demons, tearing up the house while your internet was down all day, so you could not check your blog, making you miss coffee with a friend.
This is not really about that, but we yell anyway. Better it be their fault than ours.
My brother survived. The bike was fixed. I wish I could say I never get angry, but I do. Now, I just try to keep a pellet gun nearby to pick off the crows early, before they gather, becoming a murder.