Jonathon Mort was an eleven year old boy when his mother and father died in a car accident. He remembered when he was younger and couldn’t quite remember his age all the time, he could always look into the candle draw. Mother had, had Father fit in two small pieces of wood to divide the draw itself into three parts, with a piece of duct tape across the bottom, and on each piece of duct tape was written a different name. Ms. Mort, Mr. Mort and Jon Mort. At six years old he had looked in and seen in his mothers draw, 26 candles. In his fathers draw 26 candles, and his own a very little lost looking six that seemed depressingly small with all that space around them. Every year on someone’s birthday Mother would set the cake with the candles from the last year and one extra which would be placed back in the draw with their new friends later that night. Every morning of his birthday she would come up early and ask: ‘What’s your favourite colour this year?’ and magically whatever colour he’d pick would be the colour of the newest one on his cake. He only found out years later she was merely taking down a box of candles from the shelf and rifling through for another candle the colour he wanted but it was the thought that counted anyway. When the six year old Jon had turned to see his parent not four steps behind him he felt a question immediately bring itself up.
“What if we have another Mort live here, what will happen to the draw?”
“What do you mean,“ his mother had asked “like a baby?”
“Yeah,” Jon had answered.
“Well do you want a brother or sister?” the questioning gaze on her face showed how shocked she was to have her childish wonderments suddenly cracked by the child they set out to amuse, but he only noticed this now he could appreciate others psychology.
He thought about Gill’s baby sister and how she talked non-stop of its mundane meanderings and its adorable quirks. How smart it had become and how alike they were in pictures. But also of Thomas’s hatred for his younger brother, three years younger to be exact, and how the boy constantly complained of his annoying actions and violent turns. How Thomas was forever blamed for his own and the smaller boys actions and of his care-taker role in his brothers life while he’s ever outside.
“I think I want…nothing - yet!” he conceded “But soon I’ll be big enough for a younger sibling…soon,”
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