Two spent bulbs reside darkly beside a third, dimly illuminating the marital bed. Go deep, vapid man. Clouds rage between two souls in thunderous silence. Attend, inconsequential man.
Brother slips on his black cotton pyjamas and glares down at his wife. He measures the years by the Christmases they have spent together. This one sees more lines about her eyes – lines of worry about how she plans to leave him for his younger brother.
“Why don’t you just go fuck him if you think he’s that much more of a man than I am?” brother spits.
She admits nothing, backing up from where she sits. Brother knows he is right.
He sees again as father stalks past mother to upend the kitchen table laden with hours of preparation. He beholds again as his sibling protects the children from the glass on the floor, protects their mother, protects his own wife while he looks on, paralysed.
“Chase him around the country like one of his groupie whores why don’t you?” brother continues as he administers the first pinch to her thigh. He sees the blood red and sickly green that this Christmas has become.
“Say it!” brother seethes. He crawls up her body, forcing her down. “SAY IT!”
“You should never have let him grow up,” his wife whimpers.
Brother rewards her with his love.
For part thirteen, click here.