Was her brother a dream?
The boy in the garden was resurfacing. They’d played make-believe siblings before those words; “You know, don’t you?” She’d read his hurt at her confusion as anger, so had retreated. Spikey adults argued above them. Fragments of that conversation, and one other ambush cut deep enough to scar.
His echo became an imaginary friend, then guardian angel, then shadow. She forgot the name she hadn’t liked in her princess days, then misplaced his memory for decades. But he never left her.
It was weird loving someone you weren’t sure existed.
Then Darren’s letter arrived.
(This 99 word story was inspired by Sue Vincent’s Carrot Range Rodeo Challenge. It doesn’t fit the brief, which was to respond to a given photograph. My mind went another way and I did not try to lasso or corral it. So, I’m not entering this one into the competition. Maybe another story will come to me. But if you want to try your hand, and while doing so, support a talented writer who has been incredibly generous to other writers as she battles cancer, then follow the link below.