The Three Brothers | Teen Ink

The Three Brothers

December 15, 2019
By DrewLevitt BRONZE, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
DrewLevitt BRONZE, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The distant winds have picked up thusly within the past thirty minutes or so. The 1901 winds, coming yonder from the oceans of the last month. Of these winds are picked up grains of sand, being thrown up and brushed over to the side. The air, full of sand, is dry and and be one breathing in, they are to get sand up their face. So wear masks they do, all travelers alike. At this moment, as all knowledge hath thus revealed, four he’s are... upon the California sands, three being men of pervasive crimes they hath committed altogether in the summer of 1869.

Two of the brothers stay weary and worn out in a brown cottage out in the middle of this no man’s land. In the corner of the shack rests Ernie, who has only one ankle and foot now, the other severely bruised. Moans, he does— just like that of a stomach ache, and of all men knowledgeable, it may just be. 

Outside the excuse-of-a-window of this wooden shack stares Robert, whose shackles are still upon his ankles and wrists, but he has been strong for the past two days, and has no intention on giving up the push-through. Out he stares, looking at that very wall of dust the winds build in the California sands.

Slowly out of the thick air limps an old man, and slowly out of his conscious rises Robert in alert. Thus sits Robert.

Robert. (under his breath) Let’s best hope Simon’s remembered his aim, for if not, we may be short a brother.

The man approaching comes in a limp and broken manner, walking, walking, walking…

then stops.

Robert. Best hope Simon ain’t forgot his aim… best hope Simon ain’t forgot. 

Robert’s eyes, wide, don’t blink for the longest intervals man’s eyes have held. At this moment, the sands, the winds, and the floorboards of this cabin’s creaks are the quietest they have been thus far. The old man’s hair blows in the wind, the old man staring directly at the cottage from afar.

Robert. (under his breath) If man hath killed Simon—

By nature of the old man, who slowly spreads out his arms, his elbows bent, Robert stops... waiting for the old man to release whatever he hath held back… It seems as though the old man is to blow up now. For a long moment, it is nothing but a stare in nature that is connecting Robert inside the cabin and the old man a few yards away, standing in the winds.

But during the old man’s stiff holding of such a queer position, all is quiet… the winds howled… the winds so beautiful in noise… the sands have begun to settle upon the ground… and all is well in nature’s presence… all is well.

Old man. OOOOHHHH! HATH I NOW SEEM HIM-! the old man bellowed out to the cottage. OOOOOOHHHHH! 

Ten seconds of quietness prevail before the cottage.

Robert. (squinting) How are ye?... and where is ye mask in this desolate world?... How are ye?...

Immediately the man begins limping again, walking towards the cabin. Robert stands from his seat at the window and walks backwards. Robert stands with a rather confused and bothered look upon his face, all encompassed by the same tiresome dread that has been engulfing this land for quite some time. He looks dazed, rather than in shock, at the window slit as he continues stepping backwards. His back hits the cottage’s wall. 

Coming closer to the cottage, the old man’s face becomes more apparent and strikes Robert as that of paralyzed. All that is of the man’s face is wide— that is to say, his eyes are open to their fullest extent, his jaw is dropped, and his cheeks expanded vertically by the pull of his jaw. All of this becomes apparent to Robert only when the old man comes so close to the cabin. 

But Robert is calm about the situation. Ever since the old man yelled for all to hark, Robert figures this man to be a mental case and no serious threat. But this unusual situation is not casual enough for Robert to tell his hurting brother Ernie to shut up with his moaning. Instead, Robert keeps his eyes following that of the old man’s coming and Ernie keeps moaning.

After a minute of descent—sane, length, and width— the man comes to the shack’s front excuse-of-an entrance. He swings around and pops into the doorway. He is battered up, extremely skinnier than before, and nearly nothing but his face and height had stay the same. Not even his clothes remain upon him from prior to his leave.


Robert’s face is frozen in dread and bore. Robert looks at him in the same annoyance he has looked at him with for 23 years.

Robert. (sternly) Simon… What have ye on your head there? 

For before this moment, Simon’s hair had particularly been that of short and brown.

Robert. Answer me, ye dog.

Simon. (in awe) ...

Robert. Answer me, ye dog. You know how I hate repeating meself. All I can see, Simon, is that you come back with a wig and no rock.

Simon. …

Robert. Answer me, ye dog! Answer me before you’re beat! Could no rock be found?! Answer me, and I shan’t yell ye no more on the matter! ‘Tis a desolate land and all men know that! I don’t expect no rock, best you be trying without the mockery you bring back!

Simon. (dry) There he stands… 

Simon’s  face is still wide.

Robert. (stomping) There who stands?! 

Simon. Robert… follow me… follow me and I will show you to him… 

Simon begins staring off into space. Robert becomes confused and overwhelmed with this possible truth. 

Robert. Simon, if there be another man in this desert, we best hold him for shelter. Best if we follow him to his house. Is that what you be sayin’, Simon? Is that what you saw? A man?

A moment of silence prevails as Simon figures how to word his speech. Ernie is still moaning in the corner, rocking back and forth in the cot.

Simon. (aching) Robert… I saw... G-G- G-d.

Robert. Simon, there be men out here who come and hunt them snakes and mice, and these are the same men they talked about at The Centinela Penitentiary. The same men that led José and Urlich and those men to water, to food, to grass. Now you tell me, Simon…

Simon, now more aware of his environment, limbs shook still, turns his head back to Robert.

Robert. …was there a man out there? 

Simon, still in the doorway, slowly and mechanically shales his head in disbelief to as of how he can convince Robert that he did, in fact, see HaShem.

Simon. I saw G-d… 

Robert. You saw no G-d. now tell me where you saw this man. Tell me what he was wearing! Now!Worst they be a cop! Worst they be a filthy, son-of-a-bitch, lying, cheating, damned old cop! And take that ludicrious stupid costume off ye head! Put it back where ye found it, and that I wish to see.

Simon. (beginning to cry) Robert… please… follow me… let me show you to G-d. I hath cried the entire way here.

Robert. Didn’t I say you saw nothing of the sort!

Robert stomps his fist and throws down his right hand in fury. All chains rattle, which makes Robert all the more upset.

Simon. (in a low belt) Robert!

Robert takes grab of Simon’s hair, and pulls, dragging Simon into the room.

Simon. (flailing his arms) Aaaahhhh—! 

The hair does not budge and from the immediate restraint, Robert stops just as his heart skips...

Robert holds up Simon’s hair, his eyes wide. The wind howls, the floor creaks, and a pin drops for all but thirty seconds as Robert looks directly into the eyes of Simon, both of the men now standing up straight, Robert’s face being just as long as Simon’s from his arrival. For thirty seconds Robert stares. Then suddenly, with the intention of waking up, Robert runs to the back wall and lodges into it with all of his force. He hits the wall hard and shales the shack. An old plate comes down from a shelf, shattering upon the ground. Robert runs back and forth to the wall twenty times to wake himself up, swearing throughout the process—

Robert. Damned I be! Damned I be! Damned I be! Damned I be! Damned I be! Damn, you Simon! Damn you, you filthy whore

... until his twentieth pound, in which he gives up and breathes heavily for one next minute.

Robert’s front was pushed is against the wall as though the wall is a floor he is laying upon backside up. His head was turns to the right and his right eye is exposed to Simon, who stands tall in the shack, a few feet behind him. Robert’s eyes are open wide.

Robert. Be this the same G-d that I gave up upon when given shackles? Be this the same the same G-d that I never forgave whence I be caught in the dead of night? Be this the same G-d that witnessed me kill?...

Simon. ...

Robert. (whispering) ‘tis not. I’ve become a mental case, says I. I haven’t water within the past day. All ‘tis an illusion.

Nothing sounds anymore. The winds hath calmed entirely. 

Simon. Take my hand and follow me into the desert, mine brother.

Robert. (unto himself) They doubled stamp, be damned if they catch us at camp. doth see the land that prevail at our glands. Be of sense and sound, boy, for ye doth grunt before ye regret what thou hath decided. Be me of mercy if not for yerself and hurry the ponder before we see the rest of ‘em behind us. The officers come, son, and it is reckoned so do I… come to the land! Land of milk and honey you’d say! But no, there won’t be honey and I be damned if I care nor have a pancake for the rest of me life, for I’ll be a free man. The cops will be coming so snap out of yer state, Robert! The cops be coming…

Robert falls onto his knees and looks up at the ceiling in a meditative state, bringing to his mind’s temptations the sight of such liberating beauties and nature that welcomes all men.

Robert. Oh when we get there… oh, when we arrive to grass… we will find a shelter just like this very one… we will live near a stream, we will… and share bread. Is that what you wish, Simon? We’ll share bread. Plain bread, just as the disciples! Oh, to become a Brethren of the Common Life I will! Only if you allow us to venture forth, Simon! I believe yer stance... as one who will fulfill a Christian’s desires from here on out! So let us find peace past this desolate world! 

Robert’s face grows in joy only to appease Simon’s temper. To be fair, Robert has no idea what is going on and still feels he to be in the state of confusion, tormented by dehydration. Of this, he supports appeasing Simon only on the occasion that he himself, as Robert, be seeing what was rather short and brown in reality. Robert begins tearing up by the thought of his illustrative monologue.

Robert. Our house will be at the bottom of a wonderful, wonderful waterfall!

Simon recognizes it to be all uneducated.

Simon. (in disdain) Robert… We will be turning ourselves in.

Robert. (of dread) I see the sight of G-d has you talking silly, does it? 

Simon. 'Tis a feather which men wish to pronounce! 

Robert. (unto himself) It hath.

Simon’s body rises straight up and he points down at Robert, who was stumbled upon the ground, up against the wall. 

Simon. My hair is grey and that is what you doth see! Your eyes do not deceive you for this long! We will turn ourselves in to appease the penitentiary! That is, we will turn ourselves in to appease the morals of right! To appease individual law! We will turn ourselves in to create haste for the men who come after us! The v’ry men whose wives and children hath not seen them for the past two nights on account of us! We will turn ourselves in to sanctify and keep clean the grounds that the flood dampened soil! With these conjectures may your decisions bring haste the Mashiach! He be brought hastily and not for our individual appeasement, you small one, but for all the world! By our turning southward, back where we came, may the dampened grounds become safe for his decent! For all of the world to live upon in style unlike our very own! Be my speech what it will, but know your place and doth follow me only fairly on account that be I right, you yourself shall turn yourself in without hesitation or my saying to you to!

Robert. (sternly) Tis but how far a walk?

Simon. Suppose I say from one end of the world to the opposite! What doth it matter for as big as a finding as this?

Robert. Be I a see-er of yer G-d, then I shalt remain in these shackles and southward I shall go… Be I seeing simply the grey sky… you must as well agree on terms of turning yerself in only after my settling into that very cottage at the bottom of a waterfall, thus, you shall continue to help me carry Ernie all the while to such a living condition.

The men agree upon terms, for both are certain of their truths and out they go into the desert. Thus, so much different than that of before Simon’s arrival, not one noise sounds in the cottage and not a single position moves. All is still and all in the cottage breathes not.

The author's comments:

This is the opening scene to a larger piece I’m wiritnf titled “The Sight of Hashem”, which deals with a grandfather (Ruben) who is visiting his daughter and grandchildren in Chicago for his niece’s wedding.

this opening scene is a fictional story he tells his grandchild, Mendel.

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