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A Cruel World

by Gulzar Ali, 15
“Damn you Derek!” he cried, “get the hell up, man!”
He looked at his bloody hands. "For God’s sake Derek, don’t do this to me, I’m your flesh and blood!” He was getting scared now, “Don’t die on me please...”
For the first time in his life, he looked down at his older brother. His blood-soaked eyelids fluttered open, closed and his last words were lost in the passing breeze: “Sorry mate... I can’t... So sorry...”
Douglas held his brother's cold body tightly, looked up at the sky and waited for an ambulance, waited for help, waited for the world to end. But he knew, he knew that no help would come. Not for the likes of him. Still, he hoped, he wished help from the Divine. He had never been to church or anything but now he prayed, prayed for a miracle. He prayed that the breath would be restored to his brother’s body. Even more, he wished that this was just a bad dream.

He sat there on the pavement, his brother’s blood leaking onto his ragged trousers, burying itself in to the material, leaving a mark on the world. The mark that Derek had wanted to stamp upon the world, when he was alive, only a few minutes ago. His brother had achieved to make however small a mark on the world through his death. He was dead.

Douglas looked up at the darkened sky, tears streaming down his cheeks. Thinking, how easily dreams evaporated into the thin air, how easily a bright spark could be extinguished. How death like a shadow was always just over the horizon, ready to pounce and smother you, in to its cold dark being. It had taken Derek just for being nice, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A moment of reflection; “That little rat! Didn’t give a damn, did he!” Douglas cried into the uncaring night “He didn’t care, that you saved his butt from being crushed.” He stopped and wondered why. “Of course, we’re two little beggars, aren’t we,” his voice hoarse, tears sparkling in the moonlight, he continued, “that little weasel ran, he ran! Just like that. That piece of crap... I’m gonna... gonna...”
He broke down as the full realisation hit him with unwanted force. He was alone. Alone in a vicious world that didn’t give a damn about you, if you didn’t have money.

Now he had nowhere to go, no home to go to. Of course, he hadn’t had a real home to go to for a long time now, but being at Derek’s side had become his home, the only place he had ever been welcome.

He was alone. He never truly knew what it meant to be alone. The tears had long dried up, he could no longer cry. So, he just sat there letting the city noises fill his mind and all his other concerns sink into the depths of his soul. He heard the occasional car go past, not pausing, but minding their own business. He could hear the silent hustle and bustle in the ever-alive city, alive. In the distance, he could hear the clocks sing the turn of the hour, singing when they should be mourning; it was 12 ‘o’ clock. Looking up and down the street, he could distinguish the menacing and towering buildings. All dark and dangerous. Yes, truly, they were spies, spies for Death, his enemy. “You can’t have me, you, you murderer!” Yet, he silently wished that Death would descend on him, then all his problems would be over, then his torment would end, hopefully.

He looked, once again, up at the dark cloaked night with so many cold pinpricks of light. He knew, knew that the stars, the moon were all laughing at him, laughing at him that Death considered that he wasn’t even worth the luxury of oblivion.

He could never forget that it was his fault that his brother was dead, that it was his fault he had no home to go to, that it was his fault he was alone. He had been that rat, that weasel, that piece of crap who had ran in front of that dark car, seen it’s glaring lights. He was frozen solid, the screeching brakes filled his mind, then he felt a sharp pain in his side where his brother hit him, his brother had taken his place, screaming and then nothing.

When he had come about, he was sprawled across the pavement and his brother by his side. Skull cracked, drenched in blood, right arm crumpled in several directions. The car had gone leaving them in darkness. He had looked again and snapped. At that, he ran and ran knowing that he should be calling for help, for his dying brother, for his soon lost home.

He remembered creeping back for his brothers last moments, where he got his silent reprieve. Like before when he had run away from their parents, because they held no love for him, paid him no attention except with the belt. He had ran and taken his brother along. It had been his idea.

Death followed him everywhere. First the death of his family, it being fragmented and torn. Now the eternal death of his brother, of his only refuge. Death was the only companion he had now. He fell asleep knowing that life would never be the same, now that he had accepted Death not as his enemy but as his only friend. Tomorrow life would begin anew; tomorrow many would participate in a fate similar to his own and his dead brother.

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