Alfred rests on blood soaked ground and watches Matthew die in the broken picture show on the back of his eyelids.
He is not human. The mechanics in his head are the gears that work within his lands and his people; the will of millions drives the direction of his, the state of his land equates to the state of his body.
He is not human, but tonight within the confines of the depths of his subconscious, he dreams of his twin brother. His. Of Matthew in the fragile doll shell of a mortal, of that shell breaking like glass at a fissure in the chest. One bullet hit to the heart, and a fountain of insides, outsides, red, red, red.
A noise. Crunching snow. Alfred swallows and looks up.
Through expressionless coal eyes, Kumajiro stares at Alfred from across the dream-scape. They are encased in a great white expanse dirtied only by the lump of color that is Matthew's corpse. A lump of color that bleeds and expands, a birth of a new sea that smells of iron and gun powder.
Kumajio, great and looming spirit bear, places a powerful(predatory) paw on Matthew's chest, as if attempting to block the sea from leaking out. It bows, its steady gaze never straying from Alfred's, its stare an anchor to the numbness enveloping in Alfred's fingers – Kumajiro bows before its master and nudges the face beneath it with its nose. Gentle.
Matthew does not wake.
The tundra booms. Something twists and crumbles within Alfred, and he falls to his knees, hands pressed over his ears. In his dream, Kumajiro blames him with a voice that quakes the ground beneath them and causes waves and ripples in Matthew's red. Blames Al for his Master's death, his home's demise.
A scene, seen through the cross hairs of a sniper rifle: Matthew ahead of him, head shot. Brains and bits of skull. Thin wire glasses. Alfred couldn't, he couldn't find the enemy sniper in time -
You were supposed to protect him.
A scene, Germany: Matthew behind him. A knife in the dark, a slit throat. Garbled noise, words seeping out through the gaping opening at the neck. Then silence.
He was(is) your brother.
A scene, many scenes, a blur of film and static: Matthew far away. Grenades. Fire raining from the skies. A shrapnel. A plane crash, Matthew in a plane, Matthew -
Part of you (him, you love[d] him, will always love him though you've betrayed him and he's betrayed you and scars, so many scars, how many of them did you give him, how much of him have you torn apart) is gone.
A scene: blackness. The sea drowning his ankles has pigmented darker than black, the sea is now the night sky, endless space, and they all float on in nothingness.
Your fault. Kumajiro's voice echoes in the middle distance.
Ice forms on the edges of Alfred's ribs. Creeps inwards and forms the layers of fat around his heart. He cannot move. Cannot speak. Cannot even cry as Kumajiro roars his grief and sinks his teeth into his Native lands, as he devours the fading essence of his country, of his friend.
your fault, your fault, your fault
and suddenly Kumajiro's jaws are Alfred's teeth, the bear's claws – his nails. Alfred blinks, and suddenly he is the one huddled over Matthew, nostrils flared in the scent of rust and guts and love and Matthew. He screams, he wails, he tastes his brother's bones in his mouth and
my fault, my fault, my fault -
Alfred rouses in the morning light.
When he shifts in his gear, Matthew's arm around his waist keep him from moving.
Together, they are positioned as they were when they were first conceived, intertwined like two snakes in the womb of the New World. If Alfred palpates the radial pulse underneath the layers of his brother's wrist, he can count the beats of his heart.
Footsteps crunch in the distance.
His men, Matthew's men, their shared brigade(The Devil's). In a little while, they will have to rise again, fight again, but now, not now.
Slowly, Alfred adjusts and turns and gathers Matthew in his arms. His brother, his twin. Entangles fingers in filthy golden curls and listens to sleep heavy breaths as he puts his lips on Matthew's cheek and sighs, open mouthed. Ridges of his teeth ghosting his brother's skin.
"Please don't go. I'll eat you up, I love you so."
- Where the Wild Things Are
Footnotes: en . wikipedia wiki / Devil%27s_Brigade
Also, I hate formatting things.