The Explosion Seekers

It’s all fun and games until…

Joseph Yossarian
ILLUMINATION

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A crowd of people in silhouette, standing in front of a raging bonfire.
The unforgiving fire (My own image)

My elder brother, Tom, and I share a bedroom at the rear of our parents’ house in a suburb of a northern city. He recently celebrated his eighteenth birthday, and as he goes through life you’ll find me hanging on to his shirt tails, always two years behind. I’ve occasionally worn those shirt tails as hand-me-downs, as we’re not an affluent family.

Tom and I are very close, and while our personalities are similar, he’s a conscientious soul with a more caring nature than me. He demonstrated that trait one icy morning when he was fourteen. Tom had climbed from his bed, and he dressed to brave the cold on his daily paper round. We’d had a row the previous night when I accused him of cheating at Cluedo, so we weren’t on the best of terms. As he shivered into his jeans, I goaded him mercilessly from the snug warmth of my bed, but he took it in good humour. He showed no hard feelings over those taunts later that morning when we shared a box of Bakewell tarts he’d stolen from the newsagent’s, and we ate three each on the way to school.

I tell that anecdote to demonstrate the strength of our sibling bond because it would be tested to its limit following an accident in which he suffered terrible injuries and for which I feel responsible.

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Joseph Yossarian
ILLUMINATION

Freelance writer and blogger from the north-east coast of England, specialising in true crime, childhood memories and whatever takes my fancy.