It had never been about Jackson at all, this drive; it had always been revenge, vindication, somehow, in having not fallen ill, not being bed ridden and on the verge of a slow, inglorious end. Some petty triumph in being able to stand tall over his smug, self-righteous brother, finally, even if it would require the aid of a chair. And it was precisely this, he reckoned, given his current circumstances, that had surely led to his own demise.
Not that Peter Wright had ever allowed the vitriol and bloodlust that gnawed away at his innards to manifest on his person. No, indeed, he was a perfectly dutiful and reasonable fellow in Butte, residing at home with mother. But knowing that Jackson was running free and living large, while he was relegated to a life indoors, due to those bizarre and morbid fates that that one becomes enslaved to because of their genes, was too much to bear.
Too much entirely because Jackson’s incessant teasing. Yes, Peter was all of six inches tall. Patently obvious, and like any other unfortunate condition, not something that needed to be mentioned at every possible moment that the limitations imposed by such a condition made themselves manifest. Yes, a kids meal at McDonald’s was like a normal sized meal to him. Yes, a bathtub full of water was the size of a normal pool. Yes, he did need help getting on the sofa at mother’s house.
No, he couldn’t every be legally able to drive a car, much less a convertable. Thank you, Jackson, it wasn’t totally obvious already.
“At least that means I can’t also get in an accident, either, Jackson. Dick head”
“Peter Anthony Wright! What on Earth did you just say!”
Oh God, he was talking aloud again.
“Oh nothing, Mother. You must’ve misheard me”.
“I should hope so!”
It had become so hard to maintain, lately. Jackson was always bombarding his Facebook with stupid links to things that Peter was incapable of doing, snide comments included. Drunken phone calls at preposterous hours, just to crack wise. A gyrating rage had bellowed within him for so long, growing more fierce and pronounced that it threatened to overcome him. Utterances leapt from him like the forked tongue of a serpent before he knew he’d made them. An endless tide of bile and hatred rose up with every moment, one thought occupying his mind: Revenge.
When he first heard of Jackson’s accident, though he would never let the thought take form outside of his now blackened heart, his immediate reaction was an uncanny joy: poetic justice, the most pronounced and tangible expression of these feelings. But of course high flying Jackson, stark leather jacket bound to his shoulders as always, Icarus on wheels, of course Jackson’s stupid cockiness would do him in. A turn taken too fast, a break pressed too late – who cared.
But here he was, after a wrong turn in the hallways of the hospital, victim of the very same hubris: trapped, hostage, doomed…..