The day I killed my brother, I knew things had to change.
Manor Clinic didn’t specify addiction type and I wasn’t about to declare mine.
The hard part was sitting in a circle of strangers, knowing when the meeting ended, each patient would leave alone and could easily be picked off one by one.
I went to ten meetings in total. Never laid a finger on any of them.
It wasn’t a ‘cure.’ I don’t believe addiction can be cured anyway-just boxed up by some Shrink and stored in a special place in the brain, waiting for that rainy day.
I was, however, now able to admire my retired collection of weaponry, take the pieces out, clean them, without the need to put them into use.
That was when I got to thinking. It was my brother who first introduced me to knives, starting with a hunting blade. He was always into that stuff. He had guns too, but they weren’t my style, I preferred the rip and tear of animal flesh. Watch them shudder and bleed, rather than a swift clean shot.
He joined up when I was still a kid. Never heard of him again, ‘presumed dead.’
The night I discovered he wasn’t dead, but AWOL, was a cold one.
I had been prowling the City Park, but the derelicts had found somewhere warmer to go or were huddled together in groups so I turned for home, pretty pissed off.
Then I saw one, headed for the park entrance. Hood up, shuffly. Never saw me comin’.
I sliced his head clean open and watched his skull split. He remained upright for a few seconds before slamming into the gravel face first.
Eagerly, I turned my prey over.
Older than I recalled, but unmistakably my brother. My thirtieth victim and, for me, the only one with a face.
I’ve done so well in therapy that I counsel troubled teens now. You know the kind, no real home, family or friends. Outsiders.
Like I say, addiction can’t be cured just stored away. A fresh market always has the power to unpack the box and I can hear the rain.