#1 Flash-Fiction by Issa Dioume

                                                               Candles

The sun rose over a dismal scene. As he lies there, quiet and unbreathing, it struck me how my brother could even in death, do two things at once. He both did a lot and nothing at all, while blood pooled under him. On one hand, he hurt me. Pierced me. Burnt me to the core. On the other, he simply lay there with the dead eyes of a fish, absent of any sign of intelligence. The red under him blossoms. Drawing a pair of wings on the kitchen floor. Tomorrow, I think, tomorrow is my birthday. I grin at him then. For I am grateful to him. That he didn’t die on that day.
His dead eyes hurt me. In the way a finger pointed at me would. I felt them to be smiling and telling me “You’re next Johnny boy. You’re next.” I could just taste the disappointment towards me in them.

Jutting from his thorax is half the glint of a blade. The rest is buried, within his frame. I look at my hands and ask them why they grabbed the knife. It’d been a normal day. All was normal. So why had they grabbed the handle?

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