Written by Erin Nust
Art by Moein Moradi


He wasn’t even moving. For hours, for days. His mind was so vivid, though, it was loud. The thoughts (what are we going to do now, what’s the point wh-) were shouting at him and he was standing still, still and small in front of a voice that replayed the scene again and again and reminded him of his doomed destiny, the dimness of the future, now that the baby was gone.

If you could listen carefully, you’ll hear her voice in his head, which had almost completely replaced his own. Her voice wasn’t crying anymore. She wasn’t mourning now, her voice wasn’t wet and didn’t wear black. He was afraid of her stillness, of her dead, cold position, the way she stood in front of his small, fragile body.

(Why? Just why? Why don’t you speak?)

Nothing.

Because he knew. He knew that what he did (again and again and again) was a one-way ticket. His lips were sealed, his voice was taken the moment (they were sleeping together in the same bed) that he committed the crime. Not that he didn’t want to speak, to scream from the top of his lungs, to shout to his mother’s cold voice that asked him for an explanation (they were sleeping together, he was only sleeping and then he did it). He craved for that.

But it was the price he was forced to pay (and then he turned over and the fat in his body swallowed his twin whole): the world not to hear his voice again. It wasn’t the punishment he chose for himself, nor the one his parents–his mother–forced him to take. He had no (he was a fat baby and his brother was feeble and he died with no cries, he had no air in his lungs and he died) other choice. The Divine had chosen for him and, oh, how sweet this freedom had tasted (he killed him because he was fat and sleepy and he dropped his body on his poor, little brother and he hasn’t spoken since then) and how much of a weight has been lifted now, that his mother took off the black garments and asked for excuses (again and again and again and)

He was sitting in a white room that smelled of old age where everything was blindingly white: the walls, the sheets and the blankets, the nurse’s clothes even (again.) He never spoke to anybody, he wasn’t even moving like all the other elders. He could barely hear the whisper that used to be his voice, the only remnant of an old monument that was ready to crumble. In his mind, he was still young and strong but small in front of the gigantic voice of his mother that had no physical substance anymore. It just asked him why. And he had no answer to that. He could only accept that this would be his inferno, until the weak (your brother was so feeble) whisper would fade away.