STORY NUMBER: 35

PROMPT PROVIDER: Anonymous

AUTHOR: @howliet

TITLE: Untitled


“FUCK YOU. FUCKING, FUCKING, FUCKING, FUCK YOU, YOU BASTARD.”

It achieved, really very little, to scream and rage at the heavens, like an over-acted am-dram Lear; but in some small way it made me feel better. The weather did not answer, or at least, the rumble of thunder in amongst the pounding rain could not be adequately said to constitute an answer. I dropped to my knees, landing with a damp squelch in a puddle, another ineffectual maneuver, but let the bastard-fucking-twat copy me now.

Staring down into the muddy puddle I was now knelt in, I could see my face, and the face of my tormentor, my doom. Fuck you.

Slowly but surely, the skies darkened, clouds formed, thunder rumbled, the first small flashes of lightning could be seen in the far off distance. I stood, and I waited.

*

I walked out into the dried up fields to wait.

*

Have you ever tried to outrun your own demise? You can only get so far. I couldn’t bear to tell our mother, I said I was going home, that the rain would be coming soon. She smiled indulgently, as though she was humoring me. I did not show her the news alert on my phone. She had no need to see, to know that my lying, cheating, murdering twin was coming for me.

*

It was bitter sweet to realize I was the smart one all along, that I was the better twin.

*

“OUT OF SADNESS, COMES TRIUMPH”
So shouted the headline, the words that followed told me of how, despite the loss of so many colleagues and a beloved sibling, my twin had finally made the breakthrough that would bring the rains back to us. Even as I read it I knew I would be the next “fatal accident” perhaps discovered dead, broken hearted at the loss of our mother, or drowned in a dry riverbed, having gone mad with heat.

I knew then, that every “breakthrough” I had ever seen in the lab had not been our work, that my twin had been stealing work and research all along the way. I remembered when we were 16, and I had been told off for claiming that my twin had copied my work.

*

I went to visit our mother, ill with heat, almost dead from the starvation that racked everyone, my twin, seemingly selfless, offered to stay behind to watch over the lab, to run the final tests. Absorbed in trying to save the planet and in doing so, save our mother.

In many ways, the news that came next did not surprise me.
*

If I had been suspicious before, the loss of some of the leading scientists and professors in our field would have made anyone question. I attended more funerals in those 4 years than anyone should ever have to, but all the whilst we made advancements, my twin and I, inching ever closer to the time when we could show the public.

*
It was not long before I started to suspect something might be up, as the rest of our team fell pray to more tragic accidents. One we lost to a bad chemical reaction that filled the lab with poisonous gas whilst everyone else was on lunch, another was knocked down and killed walking home one evening. Another still, had bad food poisoning, and the final one, seemingly committed suicide.
*

When I was 22, my twin ceased to be the sibling I had grown up with. At least, that was when I knew it for certain. When the first of our little team died, trapped by the automatic deadlock in our testing room as the floodwaters rose, I wept, we both did, sobbing together for the loss.

*

The summer did not end, and as we grew older we worked hard to find a way to stop it ourselves. In that endless summer, shortly before we turned 21, we had perfected it, had just to test the final mechanisms before we could show it to the world, our control of the weather, we had gathered a team of scientists around us, all of us, working towards one end goal, to bring the rain to the fields again before all of us starved to death.

*

When we were 15, I came top of the class in Science, when we were 16; it was my twin, tiny percentages each, adding up in a long cold war to be the best. When we were 18 and the worst drought to hit in living memory came, the only logical thing was to combine our intellect towards researching a way to end it.

It would sound conceited to say we knew we could do it, but we did know, and it turned out that we could do it.

*

Everyone has sibling rivalry. That’s normal right? I think it’s especially normal if you find yourself, one of a pair of twins. It can go two ways, either thick as thieves or constantly trying, once and for all, to prove that you’re the better twin. And if your mother, well meaning, thinks it’s adorable to dress you the same and give you a haircut as similar as societies expectations of your respective genders will allow? Well, that can only help fuel the fires of competition, the desire to be noticed and acknowledged as two separate human beings, with different personalities, goals, strengths and weaknesses and life aims.

Not that anyone noticed. Not at first.


PROMPT: Siblings compete to invent weather control for agriculture – one cheats & wins