I apologize because this story does not fit the 200 words, however, the story stayed the way the story wanted to stay. Thanks.
Lying In Wait
The ducklings floated close to their mother, exploring the pond around them, safe under her watchful eye. I wondered how she managed to care for, and watch, so many ducklings at once. For a moment, I marveled at the arc of dried grasses, tips dipping down to kiss the water’s surface. The soft sounds of spring peepers radiated from the grasses, reminding me of childhood. Or what I’d had of a childhood.
It didn’t hurt anymore. I’d given up that fight. For a moment, I had to wondered how I could see such beauty, such tenderness as a mother duck with her young, and not be struck down by God. Maybe you had to believe in him to be struck down.
Footsteps echoed on the wooden bridge, men and women walking from one side of the lake to the other, children bouncing from rail to rail. Excited cried of ‘Look at the turtle.’ ‘Did you see the baby ducks. Can I take one home?’ More subdued ‘Is that an alligator, Mom?’
If any of them had looked at me, they would have seen nothing unusual, just a man in baggy shorts and a ‘I keep hitting the delete key but you’re still here,’ tee-shirt. Tennis shoes because, well it’s damned hard to run in sandals if the need arises.
Average Joe, that’s me.
My eyes traced lines from mothers to children as they took in the beauty of the lake. Happy all of them, at least on the outside. Most folks looked happy, pretending where other eyes might see. I knew most of them were different inside, but then I was, too.
I spotted him as he stepped onto the walkway from the other side of the lake, sound of his footsteps rolling through the wood to throb inside my body. This was the start.
Tall. Dark suit. Sunglasses. Men in Black, anyone? Most of the people glanced sideways as he passed, but not for long. Instinctively, they knew he was to be avoided, not to even be seen. I could feel his eyes boring into me with every step that brought closer. Without even knowing what they were doing, the people faded away, hurrying to the Nature Center or the Cafeteria, anywhere but here.
I turned as he reached me, leaning back against the railing. I could still hear the soft sounds of the mother duck gathering her brood. Even she knew the feel of danger.
“Well,” I drawled. “If it isn’t my brother. Looking sharp, Cain.”
Even behind his glasses, I knew he didn’t blink. He never blinked, the ice-cold reptile that was my brother.
“Abel,” he returned, voice cold as winter.
“Growing well on the blood of your flock.”
“Oh,” I waved a lazy hand. “I found a different flock ages ago. Not quite so…. sheepish.
“Always the humor, brother.”
“Well, somebody in the family has to have humor. Lord knows you don’t. Mom and Did didn’t much either. That’s what eating fruit will do for you.”
Cain looked around. “Charming spot for dying. I see you have resigned yourself to the role.” He looked over the railing. “Alligators. Hum.”
I grinned. “Yeah, fancy that.” And then I shot him. Poor Cain, he never adapted well to change. As he crumbled, I moved forward, ducking down to put my shoulders under his legs. Pushing up, I tipped him up and over into the water. Let the alligator’s do their work.