Thursday, May 20, 2010


Killer was gone.

Brandon glanced up at Jimmy as they walked together to training. Everyone else was in a celebratory mood after Killer was forced out. They could all breathe a sigh of relief.

But Jimmy hadn't changed at all. He was in the highest position possible, and he'd gotten rid of the one person he disliked the most. But he didn't celebrate.

Brandon had seen the scene played out in the minds of others. He'd seen the large group of Lost Landers gathered at the border ready to break through if Killer didn't get his way. He'd seen Killer leap for Mr. Smith, his dad and Brandon's, and Mr. Smith's face in the split second before he realized that his power wasn't coming forward.

And he'd seen when Jimmy leaped, knocking Killer to the ground, drawing his own knife against Killer's throat. It was a move that had only worked because Killer was actually going for Mr. Smith's throat. A normal fight between Killer and Jimmy didn't end quickly. They were both evenly matched in skill, and Killer's power which normally gave him an edge over people who were used to relying on their power to help them didn't work on Jimmy who had a power that no one really understood.

Jimmy couldn't kill him in front of his group without them rioting. And anyway, the shame of being defeated and left alive was worse.

The two brothers walked quietly side by side. Nothing had changed and yet everything was different.

It was still dark out. The sky was just beginning to lighten. They turned a corner and Brandon could see the large tree with its pink leaves near the playground. When Brandon saw it, he couldn't help remembering that day his mother had left.

Mary told him the story of the two brothers. He still remembered how she smiled and winked at him when she said, "They missed a spot."

Brandon listened for the buzz of Mary's thoughts as they walked past. Jimmy didn't want Brandon visiting her at the care center. He said because people would think he was still acting like a baby. But Jimmy lead them past here every morning. His thoughts were a black hole to Brandon, but it seemed as if Jimmy lead them past every morning with the hopes of seeing her. Maybe, in some way, he was still keeping an eye out for her. With Killer around, Brandon hadn't blamed him.

She still woke up early. He still caught her thoughts. His heart always paused in mid-beat when he caught himself or Jimmy on them.

One second before Jimmy, Brandon halted. They stood by the tree where Brandon had first met Mary. It was too quiet. Brandon didn't catch any thoughts at all.

"Brandon, stay here." Jimmy, without the benefit of Brandon's mind reading power, somehow already knew something was wrong. Some deep set instinct of his that was impossible to just train.

Brandon nodded and stood by the tree as Jimmy ran to the stone steps that would lead to the basement where Mary lived. He looked around, a chill sneaking up his spine. There was no one in sight. Usually they saw someone they knew. He stepped out from the tree, glancing around. There was something dark and ominous about the place now. Something was missing.

He glanced over in the direction Jimmy had disappeared. For a moment there was nothing, and then he saw it. Something out of place on the dewy green grass. A spot of brown, a deep unnatural brown tinged with red, moistened by the dew. It had been scrapped off, as if someone had wiped his feet either before entering or before leaving.

Brandon broke into a run then. He ran down the stairs, following the trail of prints. At the bottom of the stairs, his mind stopped.

"The brothers didn't get along very well. They used to have horrible fights, but since they couldn't use their powers to really hurt each other, they could fight for days and no one would ever win."

The only detail he could take in was Jimmy kneeling beside her, his back to the stairs. He turned, furious, more furious than Brandon had ever seen. "Get out, Brandon." He said it even as he reached back and pulled the blanket from the couch to throw over her exposed body as if he knew that Brandon wasn't going to leave.

Brandon's legs were numb. He could hardly move them. Walking back up the stairs would be impossible. The only thing he could do was walk over to her other side and kneel down next to her.

She wasn't gone. Brandon could still catch the fluttering of thoughts from her. They alternated between the warm sunny days she'd spent under the tree with them and deep dark stormy days that slowly took over her thoughts. In her mind, the hand that held hers, Jimmy's hand, was the hand of her parents, tightly holding her as the dark storm approached with a rumble.

Brandon sat on his knees next to her, afraid that if he touched her he'd bring awareness to her of where she really was. He looked up at Jimmy, taking his eyes off her for a moment. He'd never seen Jimmy cry before. It was a strangely peaceful moment in the middle of the raging storm of her thoughts. The tears fell quietly and shocked Brandon into silence. Brandon was so fascinated by this reaction from his brother, he could only watch as he felt her thoughts slipping away.

It took a second before he realized he was crying too. He wiped at his eyes as her thoughts quieted. Then it wasn't a black hole. It was nothing. It wasn't a completely dark void, it was nothing like she'd never been.

There were foot steps, anxious footsteps of a small compact body hoping down the stairs and stopping at the bottom. Brandon caught Shawn's thought. For half a moment she actually feared that Jimmy had...

"They resorted to hurting anyone who became close to the other. They burned through the whole world this way."

"It was Killer," Brandon heard himself say. "He did this."

"...I hope that you make it...
...I hope that you find your way.

Lyrics from Closing In by Imogen Heap

Next: Chapter 15: The Walk


I'm not done breaking your heart yet.

Also, I've been thinking about this for a while. I started a forum spring where anyone can ask me questions if they want. It's here.


  1. I had to think about this for a while. It took me totally by surprise. You stepped aside and looked at the situation from a very different angle, and with very different emotional color.

    Was Jimmy's decision not to kill Killer the right decision? My gut reaction is no.

    What is Brandon going to take away from this?

    And Mary...the way you wrote this, and I'm intrigued with the way you wrote around her point of view, what can she take? Possibly very momentary comfort. But in that world, where her fate is probably not good no matter what, maybe brief joy is better than none at all.

    Really astonishing and thought provoking work!

  2. Oh, wow. Wow. Oh...poor Mary. And Jimmy and Brandon. This is something that must have affected both of them deeply.

    I just knew something would happen to Mary and that she wouldn't be around for too much longer but I don't think that lessened the impact of this at all.

    Jimmy not killing Killer when he had the chance must be destroying him right now.

    I liked the excerpts from The Two Brothers interspersed throughout. Even once we met Killer, I never thought to relate that allegory to Killer's relationship with Jimmy, but it fits better than relating it to Jimmy's relationship with Brandon. At least from what we know right now, anyway.

  3. You get combined comments as I didn't want to spam you.

    In the previous chapter, I had a suspicion there really was only one conclusion to the sight of killer and I think from the moment we met Mary, I had wondered if her tale was going to end tragically, particularly when Jimmy got involved and then Killer made his appearance.

    There really was no other way for this to go down given how much hostility existed between Killer, Jimmy and Brandon.

    Killer was smart enough not to attack Brandon directly but attacking someone incapable of protecting herself against Killer's far superior skills would be easier and also cement the inevitable reaction from the two brothers.

    It was a shame Mary ended up as a Scapegoat for Killer's vengeance but given the society this tale takes place, it seems the only thing they understand is violence and death.

    A great twist!

  4. I hope it wasn't too distracting. It was a gut move, and thinking it over a few hours ago, I came to the realization that, yes Mary's story is over. Technically. But not really. There is more, but that will be for later.

    I think that Jimmy made a LOT of mistakes here. Did he think ignoring her would be enough to protect her? And then he didn't kill Killer when he had the chance. And he really thought it would be over like that? He severely underestimated Killer.

    As for Brandon, that's an awesome question, and one I thought about which is what made me realize that her story isn't actually over. It's like it morphs into Brandon's story.

    Mary's probably lucky to have had the joy she had at all. Though I feel terrible to have been the one to do this to her.

    Carla, that's good to hear. I think everyone was pretty much waiting for the ax to fall at some point. Poor Mary. I'm glad that it didn't lessen the impact.

    I'm sure Jimmy has plenty going through his head about what he could have done differently. He should.

    I was a little worried relating the story to Killer and Jimmy, like I should have laid out some more clues or something to make it clearer from the start.

    So I'm also glad to hear you liked that!

    Carnaxa, it's true. You know, originally, that last piece was the end piece, and then I realized that it wasn't actually final, lol.

    Killer is a crazy bastard, but attacking Brandon was going to be pretty difficult.


  5. Oh, the brothers! They were Jimmy and Killer, weren't they? They're not really brothers, by the biological sense, but you know, situational. But wow, that story about the brothers just feels so much more poignant after this. This story just never ceases to amaze me!

    Oh, I felt this coming, but I was hoping it wouldn't, and yet here it is :(

    If he'd killed Killer, then she'd still be here. Wow, the regret he must walk around with! It's not a wonder he's so sad and disturbed! I wonder what kept him from going after Killer right after?

    And Killer is even still around in the present stories? As far forward as Michael and Edy at least.

    Now I see just what you mean about the two views of Jimmy, from Mary and Paula, the man he could have been vs. the man he is. I get it!

    Wow, just WOW, the way you're able to show us such starkly different views of the same man, but when we reach the end of this here, we see that it was really the same view all along! That is just amazing storytelling right there!

  6. Poor Mary, to suffer that fate because of her relationship with Jimmy and Brandon...

    Tis a cruel, but very interesting world you've created here, well done.

  7. *sigh of resignation*

    I knew it was coming, but it's still so sad and awful. I think it's because whenever someone dies, I try to think about their life to judge whether it's a tragedy that they died or a blessing....and in Mary's case, it seems like it was a tragedy. She didn't have a full, happy life. She was just starting to live when it was taken away.

    Jimmy. Man. He'll be thinking of this forever. I've always had a soft spot for Jimmy (even in Paula's story, which makes me question my instinct for self-preservation), and it is interesting to see the sort of person he became in that story, probably as a result of this very incident (though I'm anxious to see more! MOAR please!). There is a vulnerability to him here (he led them by the place she lived every day, he cries) and it adds another layer to the heartbreak. Mary was just starting to live, and I think in many ways, Jimmy was, too.

    Could Jimmy and Killer really be brothers? You don't tell us who Killer's mother is....but I think the timing isn't quite right...

    Jimmy's power is fascinating. He seems to be a uh...what do you call it, a power dampener...umm... like a jamming signal. But there are allusions to something else he does that we haven't really had explained yet.

    Excellent. Painful, but excellent.

  8. The first time the story of the Two Brothers cropped up in my writing, it was Pat talking about Brandon and Jimmy, but as I wrote more, it became clear to me that they aren't really the two brothers. Also, remember our talk on names and we mentioned that James means "he who supplants"?

    I have a feeling that I know what kept Jimmy from going after Killer. Or at least part of the reason. The other part is that along with underestimating, maybe he over estimated his own power. Carla's the one who pointed out on his profile that he's probably used to getting his own way which she extrapolated out of his views on sex, lol!

    Aww, thank you. Jimmy's always been such a dual character in my head. Fun to explore, but hard to reconcile until Mary's story popped up.

    Poida, thank you.

    Rachel, I agree with you. Her life wasn't full, but it could have had some potential.

    What's weird is that you're right, there is a vulnerability to Jimmy here, but seeing it said, I actually paused because "Jimmy" and "vulnerable" are two words that simply never cross my mind together! That actually made me pause, lol.

    Could they be brothers like through their mothers you mean? I'll admit that no. Vivian was pretty well known as was James. Plus she was pretty young when she had Jimmy. (Barely 14.)

    Jimmy's power is a mystery, even to me still. I sort of have a basic idea of what it is, but it's more like a theory right now.

    Thank you.

  9. Powerful, powerful stuff. Even though I had this gut feeling it was coming, it was shocking nonetheless.

    How stark and heart breaking that Brandon could no longer catch her thoughts. And Jimmy, knowing, instinctively something was wrong with Mary, showing he had a real connection to her, as much as he may have denied it.
    How this must of affected them. Jimmy crying, speaks volumes.
    Now, I am even more fascinated with him.
    Poignant and sad, well done, Lunar!

  10. I'm crying and got no words...

    You are an amazing writer, Lunar!

  11. Thank you, Drew. I always love to hear your view on things Also, I'm glad you're fascinated with him too.

    Awww, Moondaisy! *hands a tissue* Thank you very much.

  12. My comment was eaten up. *shakes fist*

    Anyway, I'm way too tired to think deeper now, but I gotta say you did succeed in breaking my heart. Especially when Jimmy cried. Why didn't he kill Killer when he could?!?!?! He could (I guess) take down those Lost Landers easily if he wanted to.

    Describing Mary's passing away through Brandon hearing her thoughts must be the best way I've ever read. *thumbs up* I love how you always use different perspective to say the things we're all so familiar with. :)

    Aaaaand, this is probably the only sim story I can forgive for having only one picture for the entire chapter. ;)

  13. Darn blogger! It's been doing weird things like that lately. :(

    I will say that even Jimmy has limits. Or maybe he only thinks he has limits. Hard to tell. He made a choice, and it was wrong.

    Thank you. It seemed the most logical to me. Poor little Brandon-- along with whatever he's feeling, he'd be caught up in whatever thoughts he feels coming off of those near by him.

    lol, thanks. Really, I tried to get some shots, and I just couldn't do it. But I did try. My gut just said, "NO!" She's a bossy little thing.

  14. That was just ... wow. The story of the two brothers just fits in so perfectly with the relationship that Killer and Jimmy seem to have even if they aren't brothers by blood.

    It must be doubly painful for Jimmy to know that by not openly acknowledging her he seems to have made others all the more aware of his feelings for her.

    And poor Brandon, not being able to hear her thoughts and instinctively stopping. Did his subconscious fear the worst or was it just an instinctive gesture to see if he could hear them better if he remained still?

    I'm almost sad to see this little interlude come to a close - although that doesn't mean I am not eager to return to Paula's story!

  15. You know, I completely forgot to mention that Jimmy's name (James) means "he who supplants." In a way, Jimmy supplanted Killer as Henri's oldest son, the one who is meant to inherit it all.

    Yes, it would have to. Maybe if he had openly acknowledged her, or maybe if he had not gotten involved with her at all-- oh I can see all the things he must have though, all the ways he tried to save her in his head.

    Brandon heard her thoughts. Perhaps it wasn't clear-- her thoughts became quiet because she died. He can't consciously control his power, though you bring up a good question of whether he could if he really needed to.

    Thank you very much for your comments. I really had a bad day yesterday, so your comments perked me right up!