Chapter 4:

Interlude Two: Awakening


Years ago...

Parents always say that you will understand when you are older, but that's not always the case. I understand a lot even at my age. Besides, they weren't around a lot. It was just my big brother and me for the most part. 

He may only be in 8th grade, but he works hard at his grocery store job until late at night so I only see him before I'm off to school. It makes me sad that he's so busy all the time, but happy to know that he's working to put a smile on his little sister's face. 

I have also asked him to help, but he wouldn't have it. "What is an eleven-year-old supposed to?" he would always say. "Sell lemonade or something?"

"I'm eleven-and-a-half, you know?" I would say back. "And don't look down on lemonade stands!"

He would just smile and ruffle my hair like dad used to do, but I could see the bags under his eyes from overworking and playing Halo late into the night. 

Sigh. I wish dad would just come back from work already. Then at least the three of us could be together. Maybe then we could all...



"Stop spacing out so much. P.E's about to start. You look so sad."

She gave me a flick and smiled, so I returned one to her. "I'm fine. It's just my brother."

"Oh, Chris? Danny plays with him a lot on that one game with the robot dudes." She wrinkled her nose as we walked toward the playground. "I wish he would let me play it, but he said it's no game for girls..."

"Chris has let me play a few times, but I mostly stick to the D.S. Pokemon just keeps coming out. But the starters are so cuuute."

"You're so right."

My smile dropped again remembering my brother. "You know those myths we learned about the other day. The one about the dude carrying the sky."

"Yeah! I don't know how anyone can carry something so heavy!"

"Well, my brother feels a lot like the guy to me. He holds up the sky."

She tilted her head. "Really?"

"Not actually, but metaphorically."



It was around 11 when my brother came back. It was an hour later than usual, which was why I was still fiddling with Pokémon on the couch.

"Erggggg. It hurts. What the fuck is this?"

"Chris?" I got up from the couch to see what was going on. He was holding onto his head, his complexion as pale as a ghost.

"Shir...a... My head is...killing me. Can you get me some...BLEEEEEEEEH!" He vomited something that was violet and thick. 

"What is that! Chris that looks like—"

A guttural howl emitted from my brother's mouth. Enough to make my eyelids grow heavy. Just what affliction did my brother have...?