It was like the time we broke icicles dripping from the low eaves and brandished them like swords, slashing and sparkling, and you cut my cheek and dropped your weapon. Or the time we got up early and hiked until we came to a cliff and looked down into the valley covered in dew and you made to push me over the edge, but grabbed me around my waist before I fell. The night you ran away, you stood under the barn light, tapping your fist on your palm while I called you names, telling you I never liked you anyway, ugliestworstmosthorrible brother ever. You left anyway, hitchhiked all the way to Houston and one night months later, we looked up and saw you at the table, eating watermelon in the dark.
(This story is one of the shortest I’ve ever written, but one that took the longest to write. It’s included in both “Wild Life” and “Together We Can Bury It.” It was originally published in the great Quick Fiction.)