Artek never wanted to run. He hated the feeling of rushing and the fear of what he was running from. It scared him and yet he had to run.The monster were pitting his mum and daddy in a fight again. He could hear their ugly screams and duel-bladed words cut through the peaceful air in his quaint room. The train chugged on and on in circles, going nowhere as he tried to down out their battles.
BOOM! “Ahhh!” Artek dove under his bed, peering out slowly. The rain was pouring down harder as time chugged by him. It was big and scary when the booms and claps rushed by his window. He was scared of them. “Why are Mum and Daddy yelling with the monsters while others run outside?” He asked his train as his eyes looked deep for a safe space.
The train didn’t reply, just merely chugged along in circles, content in the pointless track it trekked. Artek bit his lips before clumsy running to his bed and grabbing his blanket. His security outside of his brother’s strong arms. Cronan, his older brother who preferred some darkness to the light. Mysterious, but protecting. Brave….unlike Artek.
Artek crawled under his bed again and wrapped himself in the blanket covered with trains and tried to summon his tiny bit of courage. He had been told Artek meant ‘bear’ in Celtic and thus he had courage as strong as the bears. “But where is it now? I can’t roar aw-away the monsters…I’m too sm-small.” Artel stuttered.
CRASH! BOOM! Artek screamed and covered his head fully. The thunderings from next door and outside seemed to be louder then before. He trembled in fear, as the monsters grew stronger feeding off the shivers and pained yells from their victims. It was scaring him.
“Think happy thoughts…think of going to the pictures with Mum and Daddy.” Artek used all of his little brain to think of those happier days filled with sunshine and laughter with the smiles of his parents upon him. Even Cronan seemed to flashed a white smile in those times. “Cronan….I need your courage with God’s!”
Artek bolted out. Down the long hallways. Away from the monster’s reach and the silence filled with the echoing chugging of going nowhere. His hazel eyes saw the open door of his brother’s room and stopped. “Big brother….” Artek shook as Cronan rushed to his aid and Artek broke down a spiral of tears until the darkness sung him to sleep with the rain.
Artek felt warm and safe. He was lying in the back field of the manor with Cronan just under the ole mulberry tree. Their mum was in the garden and their oul fella was ticketing with their rundown truck. Artek was looking up into the blooming tree as the breeze whistle gently above them. The sun shone fiercely in the clear azure sky as puffy clouds like cotton candy sailed past.
“Cronan, when will the mulberries come out? I wanna eat some.” Artek frowned at his older brother, who was drawing a graphic pencil scene on his artpad. Cronan cast his deep green eyes on his brother before pulling him into a gentle ‘choke’ hold. “In due time you chiseler! Now stop making a puss and practice your drawings.” Artek laughed and playfully growled at his brother before pouncing on him.
“ I am Artek! The great bear of Ireland and you can’t make me draw!” Artek swung his little fists in weak attempts to punch his brother in the gut. Cronan responded by picking his little brother up and placing him on his shoulders. “Alright then….the drawings can wait O great bear.” A smile graced his face as Artek laughed.
“Careful now Cronan! Don’t drop him and break your legs!” Their mother cried from her work while shaking her head, a small smile on her lips. Their father looked at them and merely shook his head. Artek ruffled Cronan’s hair. “Cronan….do they not trust you to hold me up?”
Cronan looked down and sat down carefully with Artek on his shoulders. “I don’t think it’s that Artek. They just want me to be careful that’s all.” Cronan leaned forward so Artek could slip off and flop into his lap. Cronan then ruffled his little sibling’s reddish hair. “Wanna help me draw the perfect scene with a pencil?” “Yes Cronan!”
Clutching the wee black pencil in his small fingers, Artek set to work on the grass and plants while Cronan drew the sky and forest below. This was how they spent many a days. Simply acting the maggot, drawing pictures, going to the pictures or on rare occasions horse back riding across the moor. They rarely went to town and there were other young adults and children for them to play with, but they lived down far away.
So, it was mainly them two and their parents, when they weren’t busy with working that was. Cronan was only about Artek’s elder by nine or ten years and yet they were as so close it baffled many who saw them. Even their parents were amazed at their close bond, but it alarmed them a little as well.
Artek looked up from his drawing to his brother’s face. The black hair falling over his deep green orbs and his pale skin seemed so mysterious to Artek. He knew his brother liked being in the dark, but it didn’t scare him. However, he softened had to ask Mum and Dad why they seemed so cautious around Cronan. it worried him and he wondered if Cronan knew what they meant by ‘He’s not a good influence sometimes.”
Artek wrapped his hand around Cronan’s finger and buried his face in Cronan’s chest. “I’m not afraid and I think you are very brave Cronan.” Artek whispered. Cronan’s eyes fluttered open at his brother’s whisper. The storm was still hovering over their home as it neared supper time. Cronan looked at his brother’s sleeping face and then down at his hand in the grip of Artek’s fingers.
He smiled, keeping still and letting the rain lull him back to sleep. Now we wait….Assane….please come soon. Lord….hear my plea for help….Give me guidance….