Tom was in the living room gaming, with his music loud and pounding while James was sat on a stool purloined from the kitchen. He was dressed in a padded black bra, suspender belt and stockings and matching underwear. He was peering into his pedestal mirror and cursing while trying to apply his eye make-up. The mirror was poorly lit and he was having trouble seeing if the shade he’d painted above his lid was an even coating.
Pursing his lips as he thought, he caught sight of his distorted face in the mirror and frowned. He shook his head, put the delicate application brush back in its box, tucked it onto the cupboard and stood up. He walked to the door and tried to listen for movement but with Tom’s metal music reverberating through the house, he couldn’t hear anything. He turned the handle and slowly opened the door a fraction.
With no sign of any activity, James quickly moved down the landing to his parents’ bedroom and slipped inside. He scanned the room and saw his mother’s make-up mirror sitting on her dressing table. It was a large mirror with a circular bulb running around its outside and when he examined it, he found it magnified too. He crawled under the table and unplugged it and wrapped both his arms around it as he crossed back to the door.
Opening the door, he heard Tom’s feet thump on the stairs as he rushed upward and he quickly pushed the door to. Standing beside the door in just his underwear and stockings, James froze, wide-eyed. “Don’t come in, don’t come in!” The mantra was repeated in a whisper over and over.
He freed an arm from holding the mirror, leaving it still carefully cradled against his body with his other hand and he put his free hand over his mouth silencing himself. He took a slow breath and let it out, dreading his brother opening the door.
The music downstairs still resounded around the building and James realised he’d never have heard if Tom had shut himself in his bedroom, headed back down the stairs or as was more likely, was in the bathroom.
Cautiously, he put his hand to the door handle. He pulled it slowly toward him. Peering out, he could see a faint glimmer of light coming from under the bathroom door. Should he make a dash for it? Should he push the door to again and wait? He strained to hear. Nothing but the heavy drum, whining guitar and raw, guttural vocals sounded. He stepped out of the room, terrified the bathroom door would open. Quickly, he pulled the door shut behind him and darted for his room, oblivious to any sound he’d make.
As he neared the door to sanctuary, he heard the flush of the toilet and gasped out loud as it made him jump. “Shit, shit, shit!” James hissed as he made a grab for his own door handle and forced it open just as he heard the lock on the door behind him slide back. He almost threw himself into the room and as he turned to shut his door, he saw his brother come out of the bathroom. He pushed his door shut and waited; he didn’t think he’d been seen but he couldn’t be sure.
The door to his room exploded open and crashed against the wall, the door handle permanently marking the paintwork. Thomas forced his way in as James stepped back in fear.
Thomas glared at his brother, gazing up and down his partially clad body, taking in the black lingerie at a glance.
“Thought so!” Tom bit. “Fucking freak. What the fuck do you think you look like?” He stepped menacingly into the room, rage rising fast. He shook his head, disappointment and anger vying for supremacy. “First chance you get and you’re…” Tom glared at his brother, disgust and loathing taking control. He shook his head again.
Horrified and anguished, James made a move toward his brother hoping to placate him but Tom lashed out, his fist connected with James’ cheek and the impact sent him hurtling across the room to fall against the bed. The mirror in his hands surviving the fall only by chance as it bounced from the bed to the floor. James rolled on the bed to turn and face his brother again but he had already left, the door standing open and empty.
Introductory chapters available as a sample on Amazon.