Brotherly Love

Write a story about two brothers who are competing for the affection of the same woman.

Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

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One thought on “Brotherly Love

  1. kathleenmagner

    Harold sucked on his chocolate malt, making a loud, slurping sound when Martin plopped on the neighboring stool.

    “How did you find out, Harold?”

    “How do you think?” Harold rolled his straw through his drink’s thick remains.

    Beside him, Martin doffed his fedora and set it on the silver countertop. “Mom talks too much.”

    “Only about those who don’t show up for Sunday dinner.”

    Martin winced and adjusted his lean on the counter when his elbows covered in slick tweed slid. “What’d she say?”

    “She just described this girl you’d been eyeing. I might not be smart enough to work in the big city but I can put two and two together.”

    The double doors swung open, elevating the sizzle of bacon and clatter of pans in the kitchen. “Well if it isn’t the Dalton brothers.”

    “Mr. Baker,” they said in unison.

    Baker flung a dishtowel over his shoulder. “Is it that time already?”

    “Third weekend of the month.” Martin loosened the thin tie lassoing his neck. “Can I get a malt?”

    “The usual strawberry or have your big city taste buds changed your mind?”

    “No, strawberry’s fine.”

    Baker lumbered off for the icebox, his steps making the dishes on the back shelf clink.

    Staring into his drink, Harold let the cold frost his voice. “Sticking to your own schedule as always.”

    “Some of us don’t yoke ourselves to the sun. Up at dawn, out at dusk.” Martin shook his head. “I can’t see how you stand it.”

    “Which is why you left.”

    “I left because I could get a job using my brain instead of hefting hay or scooping sh—”

    The front door chimes tinkled. Harold swiveled, the creak from Martin’s stool indicating the same. Exhaling his held breath, Harold tipped up his chin in greeting as Mr. Adamson and Terry Waters made their way to their booth, the chessboard box tucked under the older man’s armpit.

    Baker set a glass onto the counter, turning both Daltons on their stools. “Sorry boys, she took the morning off.”

    Martin assumed the innocent face Harold remembered from their pranks through town. “Who?”


    “Why do you think I’d be wondering about her?”

    Baker snorted. “She’s been the apple of everyone’s eye since she won that singing competition at the county fair at nine. Sloppy as a happy pig but the voice of an angel. Every one of you boys has been doe-eyed after her. It doesn’t take a bloodhound to sniff that out.”

    Snagging his drink, Martin circled the straw through the soft pink foam. “I’m just caught a train home for the weekend.”

    “Sure.” Baker left a spoon then wiped his hands on his dishtowel. “Anything else on the menu I can get you?”


    Harold shook his head and tapped his fingers along the damp sides of his fluted glass. Baker sidled off to Waters and Adams, leaving the kitchen’s rattling filling the lull.

    “She have anybody?”

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