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Inseparable and Strong: a brother’s love


Maura Daniels


“Get over here.” Case looked over to his sister. “Please?” She hadn’t moved from the window in hours and in all that time, her shivering hadn’t stopped either. She denied it but he knew better. His sister was sick and there was nobody to take care of them anymore. That left him as mommy, daddy, and big brother.

Leora turned away from the window but only briefly. He couldn’t understand what drove her. Their mom was long gone, probably with a new family she wanted, and their dad was dead. No amount of watching, waiting, or wailing would change either and if she kept at it, somebody would figure out soon enough that the house wasn’t as abandoned as they thought. Somebody would see her one day. But not today, he told himself. The snow that fell provided a curtain of relief.

“How about a story?” He could hope.

“Papa liked your stories.” She spoke softly in a hoarse whisper.

He didn’t care though, it was sickly, but she spoke and it was enough. “What about you?” He wasn’t lucky to get a voiced opinion. Instead she nodded. “Have any requests?” Again, he was blindly hoping and again she communicated with a silent shake of her head. Sighing, he let getting her to talk go. She’d start talking more on her own time. Till then he’d become a master in cues, gestures, expressions, and body language.

“There was once a spider and his two little friends. All could spin, all could dance, all trapped bugs within their nesting webs.” As he talked about the spiders and their hunting glory, he worked on making her makeshift bed as warm and comfortable as possible. It meant giving up his blankets but he’d do anything for her. “…but one day the wind blew and blew and blew and the rain came down and down and down.”

“What happened?” She had walked over during the story.

Her curiosity always worked when he needed it most.  “Not telling.” He had to keep from smiling. If she caught it then he’d lose.

“Case, please? I want to know about the spidies.”

He rocked back on his heels, finally giving into the smile. “Really?” She nodded eagerly. “Bed first,” he pointed at the layers of sheets. His smile didn’t waver. She was so determined to know the end that she quickly scrambled in. Only after she was down and covered up properly did he go on. He told her how one then two then all three were taken away from their home and each other, he told her about their individual struggles to get back, and he told her that in the end they found a new home, together, and were inseparable since.

As he lay on the hard floor, he smiled to himself. She fought as much as she could but sleep did win out. “Inseparable and strong.”



“Your little brother/sister is sick.  Tell him/her a story that will help him/her go to sleep.”