Swing Away

swing away
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Estimated reading time — 13 minutes

Peter walked in large circles through the grass with his two brothers, Kyle and Levi. It was a beautiful day; the sky was free of any clouds, and the sun shined brightly upon their side of the world. Peter looked down at the grass as he walked, thinking about what he and his brothers could play outside to fill their void of boredom. Peter was the youngest of the three, then there was Levi, and finally, Kyle.
They lived in a secluded area around the woods far from any other houses, meaning they had a big area to play in. Although, they couldn’t do very much with only three people.
“You got any ideas, Levi?” Kyle asked in a monotonous tone.
“Nope. The only thing I can think of is what Mom told us not to do,” Levi replied. “Which is practically damn near everything.”
Their mother was overprotective, placing restrictions on the many things they loved to do outside. Ever since Peter broke his finger during a game of wrestling, they were only allowed to play games like tag and hide and seek. After a while though, the two games got painfully dull with such few players. Their Dad would play with them occasionally, though that tended not to end very well. Their father had a hot temper, and would often take his anger out on one of the boys when he grew angry. If it got really bad he would even go to the shed and grab one of the tools.
Peter looked at his upper arm, examining the long white scar that went horizontally across it.
Peter was sure that all three of them had scars on one place or another. Kyle was nearly strangled to death once by their father when he came home drunk and Peter was forced to watch, unable to do anything.
(Daddy, please stop! Daddy, please!)
He didn’t want to think about that anymore.
Peter was always the quiet child. One of few words, as his mother described him once. He always tried to be polite and was a kind person, or at least he liked to think he was. Levi was more of the laid back type and enjoyed playing sports such as football, and also swore a lot more than Kyle or Peter did. Kyle was a calm and collected kid, and always protected Peter from getting into harm’s way.
Peter snapped back to reality, realizing that he was spacing out again. He tended to lose himself in his thoughts, not aware of the things that went on around him. He inspected his surroundings. The silence from his brothers and even the wildlife around him was very uncomfortable, giving him a strange feeling. The only noise was the eerie sound of the wind.
“Ugh, Y’know what? Let’s just play tag. I mean, it’s probably the best thing we could do right now.” Levi said, breaking the silence.
“But tag is so damn boring with just the three of us. We can’t do anything out here…” Kyle said. He looked at their house. “We should just give it up and go back inside.”
Levi thought for a moment. “Well, Mom and Dad are at work, right? Why don’t we just climb the trees for a while until they come back?” Levi proposed.
Peter and Kyle stopped and considered the proposition. Climbing the trees wasn’t allowed, and they would be punished harshly by their father if they were caught doing so. Thoughts ran through Peter’s mind again and again, going in a circle like the one they walked in. What if their parents catch them? What will Dad do? But, at that moment, Peter decided to do something that he hadn’t done in years. He chose to forget about their parents for a little while. Why don’t they just climb a few trees for a bit and then stop before Mom or Dad gets home? They had a few hours, anyway.
“Y’know what? We should do that. I mean, it’s better than just walking around not doing jack shit.” Kyle agreed. He looked at Peter, awaiting his say on the idea.
“Um… Sure. Let’s do that for a while, but not for for too long. We don’t want Dad to get angry.” He said. Even though he had decided to forget about his parents and just try to enjoy himself for a bit, the idea of their parents catching them was still stuck in his mind like an immovable boulder. He continued to tell himself they wouldn’t be caught, but by now it felt like he was lying to himself. He continued to go with the plan anyway, not wanting to ruin the opportunity they had.
“Yeah, definitely.” Kyle replied, glancing at Peter’s scarred arm. The three of them looked around the area, searching for a tree that was good enough to climb. Peter looked around and stopped, finding the ideal tree almost instantly. Kyle and Levi seemed to stop on the tree as well. The tree stood at least twenty feet away from their home at a daunting height, it’s top half swaying lightly in the wind. Peter raised his arm, curling his fingers to point at the green and brown giant.
“Let’s go to that one, it’s huge…” Peter said in a small voice.
“Damn, I’ve been wanting to climb that for ages…” Levi said. “Come on guys, let’s go!”
“Alright! Let’s go, Peter.” Kyle said, running to catch up with Levi. Peter brought himself forward, initiating his run towards the tree, though not nearly as fast as either of his brothers. Peter watched Levi and Kyle arrive at the base of the tree, looking up at the clutter of branches and leaves. He came shortly after.
“Holy hell…” Levi said, still staring at what was above him.
“We should stop at about three o’clock, okay?” Said Kyle. He looked at Peter and Levi. Peter nodded and checked his watch to look at the time. 12:28 PM. Their parents got home at 3:30, so they had a total of two and a half hours to just climb the trees. Nothing to worry about. Levi didn’t care to answer Kyle, jumping up and grabbing onto a big, wide branch about seven feet off the ground. He pulled himself up, continuing to climb the tree with impressive speed. Peter looked at Kyle, searching for some sort of approval. Kyle looked back at Peter and nodded, a smile on his lips.
“Let’s have some fun, Pete.” He said calmly.
“Maybe it isn’t going to be so bad…” Thought Peter.
“Hey, guys!” Levi yelled down at them from about a fourth up the tree. “What if we played tag in here?”
Peter’s face lit up. The idea sounded perfect. He again looked at Kyle, who began to smirk.
“All right. I’m it” He said, looking directly at Peter.
Peter’s expression instantly changed from happy to panicked. He quickly ran around the trunk of the tree, searching for a branch that he could jump and reach to. On the other side from Kyle he managed to find a branch up to par with his height. He leaped for the branch, his hand clasping around the rough bark of the tree. He then noticed that his brother was not running, but slowly moving in a tip-toe.
“Peter… I’m coming.” Kyle said in a menacing whisper. Adrenaline surged through Peter’s veins as he pulled himself up the branch and held onto the trunk of the tree to stabilize himself and stand upon it. He grabbed onto the next branch while looking down to see where Kyle was, but he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Peter continued to hold onto the branch, using it to keep balance while he looked to the other side of the tree.
Kyle wasn’t on the ground anymore, instead climbing up the tree for Peter. Kyle was several feet below him, but continued make his way up the tree with frightening speed. Peter pulled himself up one more branch and looked back to where he was, realizing that Kyle was not actually going after him anymore, but instead moving on to Levi.
“Better start moving, Levi…” Said Kyle, a big grin plastered to his face.
Peter craned his neck to look up to where Levi was, seeing him perched on a branch halfway up the tree. Peter grabbed the tree trunk again to stabilize while he sat on the branch, watching the showdown between his two brothers unfold.
“Hey! Why aren’t you going after Peter? He’s right there!” Levi yelled down the tree.
“Nah, I ain’t gonna let you sit up there all day.” Kyle answered, showing no sign of stopping his ascent. Levi looked up to see that nearly all of the branches above him were too thin to support him, so he decided to move down the tree in an attempt to gain more leverage. He climbed down and around the tree, most likely trying to get to Peter and avoid Kyle at the same time. Kyle clearly noticed his plan and quickly advanced to the other side of the tree while Peter simply sat, watching the battle unfold. Levi was blocked on his way down, trapped by Kyle. He sat on the only branch near him. It was a thinner branch, dipping down from his weight.
“What a load of bullshit…” Levi said, irritated. He gave up, dropping from the safety of sitting on the branch and holding on with his hands, letting his legs dangle down for Kyle to tag.
“Alright, go ahead and ge-”
Levi’s words were cut off by a large snap from the branch he held, breaking away from the tree and sending Levi plummeting down to the ground.
Peter froze in shock as he watched Levi scream in terror and reach out for a branch in a desperate panic, only to have his hand smack into bark. His arms and legs continued to collide with several other branches before his feet made contact with the dirt. His right leg landed first at an unnatural angle, along with a horrendous snap. Levi let out a horrific sound that Peter had never in his life heard before, nor ever wanted to hear again. He continued to scream in pain for what felt like forever, and then he fell silent.
Peter stared down at his brother whose body had almost entirely seized movement. His right leg was bent in a horribly unnatural position. He looked to Kyle, who was also staring down at Levi and wearing an expression of absolute shock. Everything was dead silent. Even the wind seemed like it stopped blowing.
“L-Levi…?” Kyle said shakily. Peter had never heard so much fear in Kyle’s voice. Levi produced a sound similar to a dying animal. Kyle quickly climbed down the tree and Peter followed, feeling very conscious about where he placed his foot now.
Peter and Kyle dropped down from the tree and moved slowly towards Levi. Kyle sped up his pace, getting on his hands and knees about a foot from Levi. He looked at his right leg. Peter stood by Kyle, staring wide-eyed at the mess.
A bone stuck out of his leg, caked in splotches of red. He bled constantly from the spot where it jutted out, and the only thing connecting his leg with the rest of his body was his flesh. Peter gagged and looked away. He proceeded to gag once more before vomit poured out of his mouth. He had never seen anything like this in his entire life. Levi began to sob and yell.
“Oh my God…” Kyle whispered under his breath.
“FUCK!” Levi yelled abruptly, making Peter and Kyle jump. Peter started to cry and fell to his knees, looking away from the carnage.
“A bit worse of a problem than your parents, huh?” Whispered a voice in the back of Peter’s mind.
Peter gasped, freezing in place.
His mind exploded with terror and fear. The concept of their parents seeing that Levi had a broken leg and that they had broken the rules nearly caused him to faint. Dad might kill them, and Peter wasn’t exaggerating.
“Kyle.” Peter turned and stared into Kyle’s eyes, his voice filled with dread.
“Dad is going to kill us.” It sounded like any other exaggeration about a child’s father, but he knew it was true. Kyle stared back at him, and another moment of silence took place for what felt like hours. Kyle went back to Levi and told him everything was going to be all right, and gave him a hug. He walked to Peter and grabbed him by the arms. His face was dark under the shade of the tree, speckled with little splotches of light. His pupils were abnormally large, even in the shade.
“Peter, look at me. If Dad sees this and finds out that we broke the rules…Well, I know you know what will happen.” Kyle whispered, glancing back to Levi. He was turned away from them, sobbing.
“Now, I don’t think Dad is going to help Levi. I think he’ll hurt him instead, along with you and me. H-he’ll hurt us bad.” Kyle gulped. “Um… Y’know the shed?” Peter nodded, not sure of where Kyle was going with this. “There’s uh… an axe in there…”
Peter gasped in horror as he realized what his brother was saying.
“W-what…?” Peter muttered and shook his head.
“Peter… How do I say this? You’re probably not gonna be seeing Levi much longer. I think we’re gonna need a shovel too.” Kyle said grimly.
Peter was astounded. Was his brother really so demented to resort to something as vile as this?
“How… W-why… What?” Peter was speechless. It couldn’t be real.
“Peter…” He again looked back to Levi, who was crying. “We’ll tell Dad he ran away, th-then maybe it won’t be as bad for us. I know how this sounds, but, uh… God I don’t what to say. I-I’m gonna go to the shed, so you stay here and stick with Levi alright?”
Peter gave a slow nod, still unsure if what was going on was even real. Kyle nodded back and turned away, beginning his walk towards the small shed behind the house. Peter turned to look at Levi, who was still crying. He walked to Levi, his entire body shaking.
“Levi? A-are you okay?” He just wanted to close his eyes and wake up in his ragged old bed, but no matter how much he tried to make it all go away, it didn’t work. Levi sniffled, then spoke, his back turned to him.
“P-Peter… Where’s Kyle going…?” Peter had no idea what to tell him.
“Um, he’s getting a uh… a first aid kit.” It was the only other thing he could think of.
“Oh… I-I don’t think that’s gonna help very much. We’re home alone for another two hours or so, and-” He took a shaky breath. “We need to find something fast. We could call somebody, r-right?”
“No. Dad b-b-broke the home phone because he doesn’t trust us. O-only Mom and Dad have phones. Remember what happened last year?” Peter said sadly. He remembered when Kyle tried to use the home phone to call the police after their father had hit Peter with the sharp thing from the shed. He didn’t know the name of the tool, but it hurt. It hurt a lot. When Kyle tried to call the cops, Dad took the phone from him and pushed him, then threw the phone to the ground. He then proceeded to stomp and stomp and stomp. Peter concluded that Levi must’ve blocked that out.
“O-Oh yeah.” The disappointment in Levi’s voice was harrowing. Peter checked over his shoulder to see where Kyle was. He was close to the shed, walking with an unsettling lack of hesitation. “Peter… This is so fucking p-painful.” He turned his head to look at Peter. His eyes were puffy from tears and mucus ran from his nose.
Peter crouched down and wrapped his arms around his brother, giving him the most genuine and loving hug possible. Levi hugged back, his entire body trembling. He couldn’t help but start to cry.
“It’s going to be okay.” Levi whispered. If only Levi knew what Kyle was really doing.
Peter didn’t respond, staying nestled in his warm embrace. They held the hug for as long as they could, not saying a word. At that moment Peter thought he would wake up to find out it was all just a bad dream. He then heard the loathsome voice of Kyle.
“Peter. You gotta get up now.” His voice was a mix of sorrowful and demanding. Peter hesitantly stood up, looking down at Levi. Levi gave him a warm smile.
Peter turned his head to look at Kyle. He stood, holding the long wooden handle of the axe at his side, along with a shovel in his other hand. The blade of the axe shimmered odiously in the sunlight. Levi noticed the tools, his eyes growing wide.
“What are you doing Kyle? Peter, that ain’t a fuckin’ first aid kit.” Levi said, beginning to panic. “Are you guys out of your fucking minds?” Peter looked down at the ground with dismay, closing his eyes. He couldn’t handle it.
“Dad’s just going to hurt you, Levi. He’ll hurt you, along with Peter and I. He might even possibly kill one of us.”
“So killing me is gonna help!? Fuck you!” He spat at him.
Kyle didn’t respond. He dropped the shovel, and handed the axe to Peter.
“What? Wh-what are you doing?” Peter questioned. Kyle didn’t respond.
“Kyle, I may have the broken leg, but I think you’re the one who needs to be axed. What’s wrong with you?” Levi said angrily. Kyle’s expression quickly turned from concerned to angry, and he responded with something that shook Peter to his very core.
“Swing away, Pete.”
Peter was bewildered.
Why did he give it to you? Is it a test? A test to see how loyal you are?
Kyle looked at him. “You can do this for me, right Peter?” He heard the wickedness in his voice. Peter was scared, but knew what had to be done. If he didn’t bring the axe down on Levi, then Kyle would. There was almost no way out.
The weight of the axe pulled him down. He adjusted his grip, holding it with both hands. Levi yelled at him, telling him not to do it. He made a pathetic attempt to crawl away, only to damage his leg more. He let out a yelp of pain.
(Swing away, Pete)
Peter closed his eyes, feeling the smooth handle of the axe.
(Swing away)
He held the axe high, and he heard Levi scream.
With a terrible shriek, Peter swung the axe. Not down, but to his right. Before Kyle could even react properly, the blade sliced into his belly. He looked down to the axe, and then at Peter, horrified.
“P-P-Peter… Y-you idiot.” He fell back, the axe pulling away from him as he did. His body met the ground with a hard thump, and blood seeped through his shirt, pooling on his stomach. Peter dropped the axe and ran to Levi.
“Are you okay? Levi?” Peter said anxiously. Levi breathed heavily, his face frozen into an expression of sheer confoundment.
“Holy shit…” He looked at Peter with wide eyes. “You basically just killed him.” His voice was beginning to slur.
“It was a st-stupid idea.” Tears rolled down his cheeks and he was barely able to speak. “Wh-why would h-he try to k-k-kill you?” He hugged him with all of his might, though Levi didn’t hug back, confusing Peter. He pulled back and looked at Levi. His eyes were slowly beginning to shut. Peter looked at his leg, realizing the amount of blood that he was losing.
“L-Levi? Come on, please d-don’t die! No, Levi!”
As Levi’s eyes fully shut, Peter’s world began to fragment, his mind unable to cope with the situation anymore.
Levi continued to bleed from his leg profusely, creating a small puddle of red where his leg lied. Peter’s two brothers lied on the ground, bleeding to death, and Peter wasn’t able to do anything about it. He couldn’t think straight, his thoughts went at a million miles an hour. Kyle’s last words before he fell rang through his mind as he cried uncontrollably where he sat.
(Peter, you idiot.)
Peter soon calmed down, sniffling and hiccuping as he sat up. He looked back at Kyle. He had clearly tried to reach out for the axe, but failed to grasp it. His eyes gazed up at the sky, and his entire body quivered as he breathed. Eventually his breathing stopped and his body lied still.
“K-Kyle? Hello?” Kyle didn’t respond. He gave a hopeless giggle as one last tear was shed. Peter’s eyes shifted to the shovel that lied on the ground nearby. He had just wanted to save Levi’s life and keep his demented brother from doing anything to him, but all he had done was kill Kyle in an emotional rage and leave Levi to die. He couldn’t do anything to help them. Instead of crying again, he chuckled lightly, not sure of how to react to anything anymore. He stood up and walked towards the shovel, bending down and picking it up from the ground. His body shook from laughter as the world fell apart all around him. His brothers laughed with him too, and Peter felt at ease in their company.
He held the shovel with both hands, looking at Kyle, then Levi. Their bodies may have lied still, but in Peter’s world they were right there with him, laughing hysterically along with him.
Peter soon calmed down and looked at the shovel, it’s head rusty and old. He had to bury them. Bury them in the ground.
It took a lot of work, but he had the company of his brothers to help him get through. Eventually he had dug two shallow graves, just for his brothers. He managed to drag them into the holes, finishing the process by shoveling in the dirt and patting it down to make it look nice. He and his brothers thought that this was hilarious, and they laughed loudly in their graves. Peter asked if they were comfortable. They simply laughed. He assumed that meant yes.
He used grass and leaves to hide them, and then ran home to find a place to hide. As he dug, he realized how angry he felt towards his Mom and Dad. How they had hurt him and his brothers constantly through physical and verbal abuse. And this time, they had killed the only friends he had ever had: Kyle and Levi. They made it so that branch would snap if they broke the rules. His parents of course knew they would eventually climb the trees, and that one of them would fall. It was all part of their sick little plan to get rid of him and his brothers, but they didn’t get Peter. He giggled with glee.
His mother and father would eventually arrive, but he wasn’t scared. That was all okay.
Because the bloody head of that axe would bring them down anyway.

CREDIT : Dark Thirdperson ??


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