Betrayal short story
The snow mounted up over the jade branches of the fir trees that
surrounded the log cabin. Ben and Jon, two brothers from Gothenburg, were almost identical, but Jon had a much stronger accent and lighter hair. They were having a break from their jobs in their uncle’s log cabin. They both worked in the local saw mill, which is more factory than traditional lumber-jacking. They hadn’t seen him for years, but were supposed to be meeting him at his hut.
The snow crunched under the feet of the men who walked towards a whirring noise emanating from behind a derelict hut, of which the roof had caved in after years of heavy snow storms. Jon peered through the frosted glass, but was unable to see anything due to its translucency. Meanwhile Ben continued to walk around to the back of the hut, only to find the fuselage of a small, private plane. The streams of smoke and steam were diffused by fallen branches of the surrounding trees. Ben called Jon to come and assist him in the dubious task of looking for anything that would suggest a reason for the plane to crash. Jon swung open the pilot door to, only to have what seemed like a uniformed man slumped out, his head turning to find his flesh had been rotted away by time. A bird, black as the night, flew out and skimmed Ben just above his eye, breaking the skin. Jon
lunged back to support his brother and helped him to sit on a tree stump.
After a few seconds they turned round to further investigate the plane and its contents. Jon went to the passenger door but was unable to open it due to a massively heavy branch between him and the handle. Determined to find anything that could tell them what and, more importantly, why this had happened, he picked up a rock. He held it, playfully tossed it, caught it, and with no warning, turned and shattered the glass of the window. He reached inside and pulled out a green canvas bag. As he tugged, he scraped it on the remaining slivers of glass, that remained on the frame of the window. Jon then took the bag under his arm and carried it over to Ben. He squatted beside the bag and hastily unzipped it to explore its contents. The first thing they came to was a tatty envelope, written on it were the words “Open, when you have done what you have to”. Ben suggested opening it, but Jon paid no attention to him. He then followed his brother’s eyes down to the bag, he couldn’t believe what he could see. Ben leant down to have a
closer look. Jon pulled out a wad of notes, it was money. Ben held, in each hand, at least fifty $100 bills, they unloaded the stash as if they were tunnelling to the bottom of the bag. There was money all over the snowy ground, they both leant back and took a breather. They asked themselves what they had just found.
Another question that was asked as they made their way back to the cabin was who was the pilot?
Jon was freezing and as he put his hands in his pockets, he felt the envelope that he had pulled out of the bag. He considered what to do with the money with his brother. They had the option of informing the police or keeping it for themselves. Just then Ben walked straight into a low hanging branch, Jon criticised him by asking him why he did that. Ben worryingly replied “I couldn’t see it, what’s wrong with me?”. Images of possible causes for this loss of eyesight flashed passed Jon’s eyes. “Of course, it’s the bird!”. Ben reached up and felt his stinging forehead, he could feel the warm blood against the bitterly cold air.
Ben, despite his lacking vision, took charge of the situation. He claimed he should be in charge because of his superior strength, which humoured Jon but he had no particular reason to argue with him. Jon was convinced that the best option was to keep the money and share it between them, and maybe their uncle. However, Ben was eager to give up the money and to do the “right thing”, which Jon thought was ludicrous. “How can you be so stupid?” Jon shouted while pushing
his partially sighted brother onto the armchair in the hut. Both Ben and Jon were surprised by his anger and strength, as he had always let Ben take charge and wouldn’t argue.
The afternoon went slowly, the two fully grown men were fighting like school boys. Jon was wearing the faded rug thin, waiting for the illustrious Uncle David to turn up.
The evening came and they decided to turn in for the night, even when Jon was helping Ben up the stairs to the bedrooms. Ben slipped on one of the last steps. He shouted out to Jon “help me, I’m slipping”. He thought, well, the money’s as good as lost if he gets his way. Why should I help him?”
Ben tumbled in a bone-crunching fall down the stairs. He laid in a pathetic heap on the floor. Jon knew what he had done, but couldn’t believe it. Even though he wasn’t thinking straight and knew it, he reached for his coat and lifted his brother over his shoulder. The snow was coming down like nothing he had seen before.
He was thinking about where he would put the body of his once loved brother, he then had an idea that was pretty near perfect. As he went towards the sight of the plane crash he thought about the money that is now his, all his. He laid Ben in the passenger seat, but to put him there he had to lean over the pilot’s rapidly decaying body.
As Jon staggered back to the log cabin to pack up his things and to come up with an alibi he felt as though there was something in his pocket. He remembered the letter and decided that then was as good a time as any to open it. He couldn’t believe what it said and was so freaked out by this he almost vomited. Jon dropped the letter and ran back to the log cabin, he was convinced he was being watched.
I am glad you found my money, however it is a shame that you had to fight so atrociously over, what was supposed to be, a gift.