March 13, 2012
the city

submitted by upsidebarcodes

My brother was sixteen when the city took him.

He’d been a pretty easy-going kid beforehand; we lived in the country where the pastures were about ten million miles long and no one could yell at you for walking on the grass. He was lonely; I guess he was like me. We didn’t really fit in.

See, all of these kids were fifth generation farmers, raised by the same men who’d worked the land and the cattle for a hundred years. They had the same backgrounds and the same connections. From the day they were born, their parents knew whose birthday parties they’d go to and what sort of grades they needed to get in school. They knew who would be good at sports and who would be bad in the sack.

And all of that was okay, because the country never really changes. People accept what they expect.

But then we got thrown into the mix and we were two kids of six, of twenty-two if you count the married-in children. We had this history of violence and poverty, and these people who wanted to hurt us.

So every other mild-mannered child sent their birthday invitations to the right kids; we weren’t those kids.

My brother was lonely a lot, like me. When he finally escaped the endless fields of hay and horses, he was ready to attack the world. He wanted something new. He wanted someone who would like him. Because no one ever really did.

The city gave him all of these dreams, twisted her fingers around his neck in a tickle of passion. She tied his hands together with ten different promise rings, and dangled damsels in front of his face.

He was starstruck, and then she struck. And she drained away every green grass stalk stuck in his heart, and took away the open mountain air. She took his love of adventure and freedom, and stuck him behind a desk that he only sat behind when he remembered to wake up for class. She shackled him into social restraints he couldn’t understand, and she gave him two-thousand kids to get lost in.

He did get lost. He got rude, and he got lost. The city took everything.

She took my baby brother.

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