Characters: Kadaj and Loz
Location: 1666 Virgo Lane, sector 3 top plate
Summary: Backdated about 11 years, when Kadaj is 6 and Loz is 10. Big brothers help beat up monsters.
Kadaj: Dinner had been finished an hour ago, and he’d had his pie. Lemon meringue pie, his favourite, and a huge slice of it, too. Then mom had let him watch TV with them, snuggle between both parents, but now it was bed time, and he found himself standing at the foot of the stairs, looking up at the darkened landing above. There wasn’t a light switch for that part of the house that he could reach without ascending into the shadows, and the prospect of climbing up the stairs terrified him.
There were monsters up there. And kids. Dead kids. They stood right at the top of the stairs, right next to the railing, watching him when the sun went down. Once, he even though he saw them move, but as soon as anyone else showed up, they had always vanished. It was a little game of hide and seek they played with him, and it stopped him from going to the upstairs bathroom to get ready for bed. Standing at the bottom of the stairs in his green plaid pyjamas, almost too big for him and the legs hanging over the heels of his feet, he wrung his hands together and screwed his face up in a deep scowl as he watched the darkness intently. There! There! It moved, he saw it!
With a little gasp, he inhaled deeply and did what all six year old boys scared of the dark do. “Loz! Loz Loz Loz Loz! Loz!“ He hopped on one foot and then the other, impatient, then yelled out again, “Looooooz!”
Loz: Loz had been frantically colouring, wanting to finish the drawing he was working on before he had to go to bed and before his father went off to some far off place for a 'work thing.' Last time he had gone off to a work thing he'd been gone a whole night and that just wasn't right in his eyes. What if their father forgot about them? What if he forgot their names? Which was why he'd frantically drawn and coloured a picture of himself and his brother's along with a picture of their mother for him to take with him on his meeting. He was nearly finished when he heard the yell and tongue peeking out he finished off the last streak of yellow for Yazoo's hair before he got up and headed off to where the voice was calling.
"What is it?" He asked when he got to the stairs, brows furrowing a little at the scowl his brother had and he frowned a little. "Why are you standing in the dark? Mom said you had to go to bed and you get grouchy when you don't get 'nough sleep." He stepped past his brother and stood on tip toes, reaching up to flip the light switch just above Kadaj's reach.
Kadaj: He was about to take another deep breath to let out a childish bellow for his big brother when he heard Loz’s voice and watched, somewhat teary-eyed, as the eldest of the three approached the stairs to turn on the light. Sniffling a little, Kadaj raised a hand and rubbed at his cheeks which suddenly were feeling warmer than a few moments before. Blinding rapidly at the sudden light, he looked up again at the landing at the top. They were gone, just like they always were. Hiding. They must be hiding.
Raising a hand, he pointed upward, and most pitifully sniffled again. “Mon’ters. Saw ‘em.” Fidgeting with the bottom hem of his top, he chewed on his lower lip a little. “Don’ wanna go!” No, if he went up there now, they would wait for Loz to go back to the living room and then they would pounce when his big brother was too far away to help him.
And then maybe get dragged into a closet and buried under all the dirty laundry where he couldn’t be found.
Loz: A little confused, Loz moved away from the light to sit on the bottom step where he could easily talk to his brother without having to slump or sit on the cold floor. His picture needed to be finished but upon hearing about monsters he knew he had a brotherly duty to perform.
"Monsters don't exist... you're just im... imab... i... you just think they're there." He leant forwards to tug lightly on the sleeve of Kadaj's pyjamas to get him to look at him before giving him a little smile. "There's nothin' scary, promise." But at the brave old age of ten he felt he had to prove this to his brother, just like he did whenever Yazoo had bad dreams and he stood up, taking two more steps up before looking down. "Want me to go beat 'em up just in case they exist? I always beat 'em up for Yazoo, I go, POW and BAM!" And he did several little moves to show exactly what he did to those mean 'ole monsters.
Kadaj: Still chewing on his lower lip- because otherwise it would start quivering, and he knew that would just not be right. He was a boy and boys did not cry. Not even little ones. He nodded his head when Loz spoke, not at all convinced that monsters weren’t real and that his brother was just trying to make him feel better, but the smile was reassuring, and he returned it weakly.
“Beat ‘em up!” Chancing a glance up the stairs, he gave a little jump of almost-excitement at the prospect of the monsters getting shown who was boss by his biggest brother. “Beat ‘em up an’ lock ‘em in a closet! With the stinky socks!” It seemed like a fitting punishment for the big bad monsters, and he grinned as Loz showed him what he intended to do to them. “I wan’ a story when you finish beatin’ ‘em up.”
Loz: "I'll beat 'em good!" And he did several more kung fu type moves he'd seen on various cartoons before stopping to look back at his younger brother as the other told him what he should do with the monsters. "Stay here and I'll go beat 'em kay? They won't hurt you in the light so stay." He gently tweaked his brother's nose before giving him a bright grin and then started up the stairs.
"You beta run you evil monsters. Loz is here to keep you away!" And he lept the last few stairs, jumping up and landing in a stance with his legs slightly bent and his arms out as if ready to fight. He thought he looked incredibly fearsome and once he was on the landing he looked down to give Kadaj a wave and then turned to face his foe.
"I got 'em!"
Kadaj: Clapping a little at Loz’s display of monster fighting skills, Kadaj managed a wide grin and then pumped his left fist up into the air in encouragement. Loz would beat up the monsters for him, and make the upstairs portion of the house safe for him. He nodded enthusiastically when Loz told him to stay in the light- not that he was leaving, uh-uh, no way. Not until all the monsters were gone and the lights were on and nothing could get him.
He listened as Loz called out to the monsters and then ran up the stairs, watching intently as he reached the top. Another little display of prowess, and Kadaj silently cheered. Then Loz was out of sight, but he could still hear his voice, and it was obvious Loz was winning and beating up the mean monsters. And then the declaration of having won, and Kadaj bounded up the stairs, a big smile on his face, and turned once reaching the top to fling his arms around his brother and squeeze him as hard as he could. But not too hard, because he didn’t want to break his spleen or something.
Off to the bathroom right after, Kadaj shut the door most of the way and gathered up his things for brushing his teeth, pulling up his footstool to the sink and getting down to business. Mom would probably check on him soon and might be mad if he didn’t hurry up. Minutes later, he finished, then used the toilet before washing his hands, and clicked off the light switch. Bounding from the bathroom, he ran across the landing to his bedroom and bounced into bed, the springs squeaking under his weight. “Story!”
Loz: Loz felt rather proud of himself, he'd beaten up all the imaginary monsters and now Kadaj was free to roam where he wanted now his bedroom was free. Returning the squishing hug, Loz made a little oof sound as the other squeezed him but he was happy to accept it. Beating monsters up had been hard work after all.
"Don't forget to brush properly!" He called out, waiting by the door for his brother to exit. Loz knew that the other sometime skimped on it and he'd have to check when he was finished. Before he could do that though, a blur of blond and green plaid rushed past him towards his bedroom and Loz quickly followed after.
"Did you brush properly? You know mom'll nag if she finds out you haven't." He pulled back the covers on Kadaj's bed before pulling them over his wriggling form and then hopped on to sit besides him.
Kadaj: Sticking his tongue out in a great big ‘nyah!’ Kadaj showed off that he had indeed brushed properly, even scrubbing his tongue down like mom always told him to. How brushing his tongue kept his teeth clean he could never guess, but that was what he was told, so he just believed it even if it sounded silly.
Settling into bed and laying down on his back with his head on the pillow, he looked over at his eldest brother as Loz sat down. “What story?” He had several books on his desk, tales of adventure and slaying of monsters, of rescuing princesses and killing giant snakes, but he’d read them all by now, knew them all by heart, too. “New story! Tell me a new story!” Looking over toward his books, he waved a hand at them. “I read all them, pffft.”
Loz: "Don't pffft, books are good." Okay, so he didn't read that many but comics still counted as books. Right? He settled down besides Kadaj and frowned a little, he wasn't really sure what he could make up, feeling a little sleepy himself probably wasn't the best thing for storytime but as he settled he thought back to the comics he'd read previously.
"Alright, well... there were three brothers..." He'd wanted to include Vincent in the tale but he was aware that Kadaj and the newest member of their family weren't exactly... friends and he didn't think that Kadaj would like a story with him. "And they were big, brave, strong brothers and they... they ate all the lemon meringue pie they wanted without anyone telling them off. One day after arriving home from school they all decided to play a game of tag. The smallest brother being the most bra... adventurous decided that they should use the biiiiiiiiiiig tree in the brother's garden as a 'home' where no one could get them, and as he was running t'wards it a big hole opened up b'neath him and he fell into it. He went 'wheeeeeee' as he fell as the hole was not a hole but in fact a tunnel."
As he got engrossed with his story telling he watched over his brother for any signs of him drifting off. "His brothers didn't want him to be alone though so they followed after him and when they landed in a pile at the bottom there was a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig cave all around them and lots of pretty shiny things in the wall."
Kadaj: Flopping over onto his side, Kadaj snuggled more into his blankets and tucked his hands under his chin, listening as Loz began to speak. He tried to imagine the tale, seeing images in his head of three brothers- all looking like himself, Loz, and Yazoo of course!- and how much fun they would have had playing tag. His eyes widened a bit, though, when the smallest brother fell into the hole, and he got an image in his head of a big dank cave with wet walls and the sound of dripping water in the distance. Like all those ugly cartoons caves with creepy crawlies and icky stuff.
He was starting to get worried about the littlest brother though and how he was alone in the big nasty cave until Loz informed him the other two had followed. Yawning widely, Kadaj’s eyelids drooped a bit as he listened. Pretty shiny things in the cave? Like little coins of money and shiny rocks and marbles? He tried to think what other shiny things there could be, but it was getting harder to concentrate on the story and he yawned again, his eyes finally fully closing.
“What happened then?” The words came out mumbled just before he turned his face more against his pillow.
Loz: "At first the boys thought the shiny things were gems and rubies as the eldest went to investigate. Tugging one of the shiny items from the wall he discovered that it was squishy and sniffing the red coloured thing he then cautiously licked it. Being the oldest and deciding to test things out he popped the little red thing into his mouth and chewed and it was then that he discovered..." He paused for a moment, making Kadaj wait before he continued.
"That the thing tasted like str'berry fruit pastels. It was with this di... disc... disco-very that he tried several of the other things and found that each and every one of them tasted like yummy sweets and he happily informed his brothers. The three of them filled their pockets with the fruity items before they contin-ued on their journey. The cave was large and deep, their feet going squish, squish, squash as they walked around, but then they saw light ahead and the middle aged brother decided it was his time to explore and as they came to an op'ning they saw three tunnels ahead."
Loz yawned slightly and pet his tummy, wishing they really could come across a fruity cave. Whilst the one in the comic had held rubies and diamonds, Loz didn't think they'd be very tasty.
Kadaj: Eyes closed, Kadaj listened intently, trying to mask his yawn, but it was getting more difficult to do so as he found himself slipping off to sleep. Straining to listen to the tale and hear all of it, he snapped his eyes back open, though they promptly began closing yet again. He caught a word here and there, and when Loz said the eldest brother was about to try one of the things from the wall, he managed to look up at his older brother, eyes widening.
A relieved sigh left his lips when he found out that it was candy- a strawberry one, his favourite!- and he mmmed to himself as he thought about how fun it would be to find a magical candy-cave himself. He’d never have to have dinner again! And the sweets would never run out and he could share them with all his friends. Except Vincent- Vincent didn’t deserve any, and he hmphed to himself to assert this thought more fully.
With the lull in the conversation, Kadaj began to drift off again, pulling his blanket further up beneath his chin and turning it into a ball, tucking his arms close to him. Another big yawn, big enough to make his eyes water, and he relaxed more into the bed. Breathing evening out, he slipped into sleep quite quickly.
Loz: Loz continued his tail, noticing the signs of his brother fighting not to fall asleep and his tale was interrupted by a small yawn of his own. It was only when he was certain that Kadaj was fast asleep that he wiggled gently across the bed to slip off of it without making any noise. Tucking him in a little he lightly patted the top of his brother's head before tip-toeing out of the room. He was sure that his brother would have nice dreams after such a tale and covering his mouth with a hand as he yawned, he headed back down the stairs. If he was lucky he'd still be able to finish off the picture for his father and he grinned widely, jumping down the last two stairs.
"Colouring!" He yelled softly before rushing back into the living room. He would just make it. He was certain.