There is concrete. It has a push-broomed pattern, and is shiny-like. Shellacked. And there is a little blood there, just a little. With the shellac, it will wash away.
"Stop being a pussy," Dad says. "Should we take you to the hospital?" he asks. "Should I call nine-one-one?" He pulls out his cell phone. Really it's more yelling than asking.
My brother's shriek stops and it makes his whole body shake. He looks for me and I come pick him up off the concrete. He nods -- a timid nod.
"Forget it. Suck it up," he says.
I rinse out dirt. I rinse out pebbles. I tell him it's okay to cry. He doesn't cry. I pour hydrogen peroxide all over his elbow. We wait until the fizzing stops.
Three weeks later my brother's hand has a funny tint to it. He tries to hide it when he notices I notice. I pull up his sleeve and his arm is all sorts of dying-colors. We take him to the hospital. His arm falls off.
Now he pokes me with his nub. I'll be doing something, I'll be making us breakfast or something and he'll poke me with his nub. "What?" I'll say, and he'll just grin.
I lock my father in a metal safe. It is fireproof. We use it for an ottoman. We rig a way to pump oxygen in, enough to keep him alive and we don't have to hear him the way we did when there were just air-holes.
My brother still lets him out sometimes. I don't know why he does that.