1 Chapter 1 a Seizures

General Trigger Warning



Iggy could recall the whole situation as if it were yesterday. He was eight years old and so vividly was the image of his scrawny foot, mid-step, moving down the lobby staircase. Sudden familiarity in the moment, so strong and yet so mysterious, that it forced him to pause. Left behind in a split moment of time, he was blindsided by a rush of dizziness. His vision swirled until he saw nothing but spinning black holes against a black backdrop.

The fall was heard through passageways and closed doors.

The double doors to Baine's office thrust apart and his least favorite colleague, Amare, stood dead center in the threshold breathing rapidly, a thin layer of sweat along his invisible hairline.

Baine remained seated behind his massive oak desk with a hardcover planted in his grasp and an indifferent look on his face. "Amare," he acknowledged him after a top to bottom assessment with his eyes. "What brings you here?"

"Baine," Amare uneasily gasped in his stridently deep voice. "Your brother! He is laying at the bottom of the stairs!"

Baine's youngest and most vulnerable brother was in peril? He shoved the hideously heavy desk out and jumped to his feet. Although Baine was considered built and brawn, Amare towered over him in the doorway as he rushed through into the lobby.

There, the smell of blood saturated the air, deliciously, however reasonless to be on the first floor of the house. There Iggy laid untouched, scrawny and thin, his hair raggedy black and skin white as milk. A purple scar circled his wrist and since it was deep, the inflexible tissue pulled his knuckles in toward his forearm. And he jerked, frantically, like an electrical toy exposed to water, with each breath loud, wet and crackling. A growing puddle of blood covered the ceramic tile around his face.

A terror that he had never known before consumed Baine. Six foot three and built like a bear, his long face broke its usual stone-like mask and the pupils of his forest green eyes dilated round. He bent down and flipped Iggy's scraggly hair out of his face with his rattling hands, drawing a line of blood across Iggy's cheek like a paint brush. In light of Iggy's appearance, there was a deep laceration leaking bright red blood across his left eye. Beneath the slits of his eyelids the whites of his eyes fluttered.

Amare hovered over his shoulder. "Baine, if Firmin finds out-"

Baine went utterly pale. "Shut your mouth!" he snapped. Dumbstruck and on the verge of full blown panic, Baine scooped the boy up into his arms and turned his cheek over, pouring thick saliva out of his rattling mouth. A mere forty five pounds and practically weightless, Iggy was a runt in all sense of the word. The smallest. The slowest. The weakest.

In need of help, Baine stormed up the main stairs to the second floor and, without warning, he barged through the first door at the top of the stairs.

Yet another brother, Nansen who was the middle brother, startled out of his sleep. Nansen flung the blankets up in the air and jumped up to standing before his honey gold eyes even opened. His light brown hair a wicked mess, sticking up all over his head like a ragged hamster, adding a deceiving three inches to his height.

Baine threw Iggy down onto the warm place in bed where Nansen had laid. He held him on his side and covered the cut on his face with a pillow. Nansen stood at his side and laid his hands onto Iggy's flank, too. Iggy trembled beneath his grasp. "Baine! Stop smothering the kid!" he commanded. His voice is lighter and more boyish than his counterpart's fierce bark.

Baine shoved Nansen away. His tight throat shook his deep voice. "Nansen! Iggy fell down the stairs. I found him at the bottom shaking."

"How do you get him to stop?"

And just then, Iggy stopped. He laid completely still. Baine withdrew the pillow from his face and squeezed Iggy's cheeks to get all of the saliva out of his mouth. He knelt down. "Iggy? Iggy? Can you hear me?" The whites of Iggy's eyes appeared beneath the slits of his eyelids. His face and his body was limp, but he was breathing and his heart was beating. Even so, Baine couldn't fight his imagination. He clenched the collar of Iggy's shirt. "Don't die! Don't fucking die!" He shook him hard. "Iggy wake up! I can't lose you! You are too important to die!"

Nansen laid his hands on Baine's shoulders and gave him what he'd like to call a reassuring squeeze, but in all actuality he bumped Baine out of his way. "Go," he said indifferently, "I'll take it from here. He's still alive."

Baine glanced up at his kind gentle brother, but shook his head, still shaken. He buried his face into the blankets and held the tears inside with immense will. "I can't," he said in a muffled voice. "I'm responsible for him-"

"We're responsible for him," Nansen corrected. He picked Baine up off of his knees and pushed him toward the door. "You have to go clean up."

Baine peered down into his eyes with great hesitancy and nodded. "Clean up. You're right. You're right." He staggered toward the door and left.

Thirty six hours later and pain banged on the inside of Iggy's head. His whole body felt wrecked, especially his left crippled hand, which was by no means a new injury. It was so old that he had no memory without it. He could use it, sometimes, to hold things down, so it wasn't completely a loss of a limb. He lifted this achy hand up to his left temple, caressing the injury around his eye. As he opened his heavy eyelids a barrage of blurry images overtook him. Seeing through his left eye was unbearable. Everything was blurry and colorless. Within a minute of looking, a vicious nausea twirled his stomach. Unable to stand it, he covered his left eye. He could see everything close to normal out of his right eye. He had the colors and contrast back. He could make out shapes, motions.

Squares of collaged paper and painted canvases cluttered the walls. Wreaths made from branches, leaves, and dried flowers hung from the ceiling like willow branches. He looked down at his lap. He was in his own bed, covered in his black blanket, and redressed in blue pajamas. He pinched the fabric between his fingers. "Baine?!" he squeaked through the small opening between his sealed lips. "Nansen?!"

The door creaked open and Nansen stuck his head through.

Iggy stuttered quickly, "wh… wh… wh…"

An enormous smile stretched across Nansen's lower face as he rushed to his side. He sat on the bed and held his hand against Iggy's sunken cheek. "Shhh…" he hushed him, stroking his cheek with the pad of his finger. His eyes melted at the sight of his younger brother's consciousness. A small, appreciative grin pushed his cheeks away. "You fell down the stairs and hit your head really hard."

"I can't see," Iggy declared, clenching both eyes shut. "I can't see!"

Nansen pulled Iggy's hand away from his left eye, exposing a colossal sized pupil that didn't change shape beneath the overhead light. The imbalance caused Iggy's left eye to appear a few shades darker than his right, a contrast of baby blue and dark blue. The c-shaped cut was swollen and ugly, hugging his damaged left eye. 

Nansen pacified him. "It's because of the cut. I'm sure it will come back. You'll be seeing just fine in no time."

Iggy peeked up. It was torture some to do so, for Nansen's face was nearly unidentifiable. A layered disaster of two opposite images. Even though he could not see Nansen's convincing expression, he still wanted to believe him. He really did. The truth was that even an eight year old boy could tell that he was lying. Unable to contain himself, he tilted his head forward, and bawled until his cheeks were lathered in stinging thick tears.

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