My Brother

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
January/February 2011

Natalie Han
My Brother huddled together

We reminded them that they were a bit late. We laughed

I sit at the computer, trying to think of memories to write about. I stare out the window. Then I hear “Crazy Baby,” a techno song by Nightcore II. It comes from our iMac computer upstairs. I start to think about Elliot, about the things he used to do with me when he finished his homework to entertain ourselves. We used to play together with my collection of stuffed animals. He made up the Animal Galaxy, an entire galaxy inhabited by only animals. They had tons of weird, science-fictiony gadgets like The Royal Chair, a chair that could play movies and serve food. He drew awesome spaceships and designed all the spaceships in the Animal Galaxy. I remember how he could turn anything I owned into a machine. He turned my toy golf club into a ray gun and my gel pen case into a keyboard. I remember we used to pretend that my bunk bed was a spaceship. Elliot played the captain, I played the first officer, and our toy bunnies played the pilot and the other officers. Once, Elliot and I pretended that our ship crashed into an abandoned spaceship and our ship became stuck to it.

“Board the abandoned ship and self-destruct it,” commanded Elliot.

“But, captain,” I objected, “if we blow up the other ship and the ships are connected, won’t we blow up in the process?”

Captain Elliot saw my reasoning and canceled the order.

We’d have sleepovers on my bunk bed and we’d stay up almost all night talking. One night there was a thunderstorm. A thunderclap shook the house and rattled the radiator. Both of us woke up, extremely scared. “When I count to three, we call for Mom,” Elliot said quietly. “1, 2, 3… MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!” That made us feel better, but we still ran to our parents’ bedroom.

I remember one night, before Christmas, we tried to stay up till midnight. We tried sneaking downstairs to get playing cards, with our bathrobes draped over us like invisibility cloaks from Harry Potter. We said Merry Christmas to each other at midnight, then talked a bit. Five minutes after midnight, our parents came in and said Merry Christmas to us. We reminded them that they were a bit late. We laughed.

Nowadays, Elliot doesn’t play with me as much, one reason being that we both have lots of homework, the other being that we’ve both grown up now. I’m eleven years old, in my first year of middle school. Elliot is fifteen years old, in his freshman year at high school. Usually, he’s at the computer, chatting on Facebook, playing computer games, maybe doing his homework. He always uses the iMac, which means I usually have to type up reports on our old, slow, Microsoft computer. Most weekdays, after school, he stays at the high school to talk with friends until around six-thirty pm. Also, during dinner, he usually gets a plate, fills it up with a good amount of food, then takes it to the computer either to talk to friends on Facebook or watch Bleach, a Japanese anime. When I’m around him, I feel scared, scared that he’ll lash out at me and yell. When I look at old pictures of him when he was younger, I’m reminded of the carefree, happy, playful kid he once was.

Mom says he’s going through a stage. She says that we have to live with it, to get through it. However, I know that deep inside of him, he is still happy and playful, like before. It may seem like he doesn’t care about me anymore, but he’s my brother and siblings love each other. Even if he accidentally told a friend’s dad that I was ten and he said he doesn’t keep track of how old I am, I know that, inside, he cares for me and loves me.

I feel like I’m a Pokemon trainer and Elliot is one of my Pokemon. Pokemon change their personality when they evolve. I feel that after Elliot “evolved,” his personality changed, too. I know what I should do about Elliot: don’t annoy him, let him rest a bit before I start talking to him, and wait for him to evolve again. When he evolves, hopefully we’ll become a great team.

After thinking back, I found a notebook lying next to the computer. I opened it and found a map of the Animal Galaxy. I looked at the various planets: Bonar, Meoin, Cheezta, Squeakerain, Dragonia, Velveteen… I turned the page and found various drawings of spaceships, like a Bomber, Royal Transport, O-wings, E-wings… So many memories and only one memoir to write… Which one should I write about? I thought. I had an idea, why not write about every one I can remember? With that, I sat down and began to type.

My Brother Natalie Han

Natalie Han, 11
Lexington Massachusetts

My Brother Byron Otis

Byron Otis, 13
Keller, Texas

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