“Dad… I know what happened to my brother.”
He just looks at me, solemn-faced. It’s an unspoken rule that we don’t talk about Maximillian, the oldest of the family. We all just go about our days, pretending that we don’t think of him whenever we spend time with the stray dog that he brought home when we first moved here. Otis misses him—it’s obvious in the way he just lays outside sometimes, waiting, when he has a perfectly nice dog house. Or when he reverts to his old street-dog ways that Max had been training him out of. Sometimes I wonder if Gretchen, the youngest in the family, even remembers him.
Here’s the thing: I know a lot more about my brother than anyone else does. We’ve shared a room for as long as I can remember, and sometimes things happen in the middle of the night that you have to get out of your system. We were each other’s confidants: I knew all about his failed attempts with girls, he knew how far I would go just to make friends. And how those attempts hadn’t worked out in my favor. But when morning came, we didn’t talk about those things. We each went about our days, and the subject never came up again. Sometimes I wish it had.
“He told me the night before that… that he was going to skip school and go to a… a party.” I purposely leave the details obscure, just in case he does come home. It wasn’t just a party.
“We can go back and try it again,” my dad replies. Even though I know what I’ll lose—what we’ll lose—my brother will be back, and that will be enough. But I—we—will have to be more careful next time. If I could, I’d follow my brother to the ends of the Earth, to the moon, to the stars.
But all that wouldn’t work out well for me, because sometimes his instincts kick in, and sometimes you really do need an ordinary human. I’m the only one who understands this, because I’m the only one who knows the truth: Maximillian is a werewolf.
Author’s Note: This story was written for the June 2017 edition of the monthly short story challenge on the Sims Forums, in the for fun category. This month’s theme was A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words– meaning that you can use one screenshot and 0-500 words. This is from a neighborhood that I’m playing just for fun right now, where there was a glitch that made Maximillian disappear for awhile. This was a screenshot I took before I quit the game without saving in order to get Max back, and the story just kind of came to me when I saw the look on Bredan’s (the narrator’s) face.