Sons Haunted
by  Deborah



Johnny Lancer woke up with a start wondering what had awakened him until he heard his brother from across the hall.   Johnny shook his head.  It wasn’t the first time he had heard his brother living again through something from his past.    There had been many times his brother had looked exhausted at the breakfast table.

“Cease fire!…..we are not armed!”  Scott yelled across the hall.  “Please God..make it stop” Scott pleaded.  “Let me die...just let me die.”  Scott’s voice sounded wretched. 

Johnny put on his robe and went across the hall and quietly opened Scott’s door.   Scott was now standing by the window shirtless.  He was hugging himself in the moonlight.  Johnny knew why Scott did not take off his shirt while on a work crew even if it was blistering hot.  He could see the scars on his brother’s back in the moonlight.  So far Scott had only let Johnny see the scars when they had gone swimming. 

“Come in brother.”  Scott said his voice shaking.  “I’m sorry I woke you.”

Johnny came in and shut the door.  “It sounded like a bad one tonight, Boston.”  He said softly.

Scott sighed and went over and sat on the edge of his bed.  “Yeah it was.” He admitted his voice hollow.  “I….Libby Prison Camp was a terrible place and as much as I have tried, I can’t seem to put it behind me….maybe I never will.”

Johnny sunk into an easy chair across from his brother.   “I’m sorry, Scott”.    Johnny said sincerely.

Scott nodded and smiled wryly at Johnny.  “What about you, Brother? “ Scott asked.  “I’ve heard your nightmares, too.”

Johnny nodded.  “Yeah, things were rough when I was a kid.  Guess you just live with it.”  Johnny said his voice breaking.

“I suppose so.”  Scott whispered.  Scott looked down at his hands.  Neither said anything for several minutes.   Then Scott began to laugh softly at first and then louder.

Johnny looked at his brother as if he were crazy.   “Boston, what in the hell is so funny?”  He demanded.

 “Poor Murdoch.” Scott gasped trying to speak through his laughter. “He waited 20 some years to bring us home and look what he got.  We’re both haunted so our pasts are now where close to being past and gone.” With that Scott laughed harder

Johnny looked at his brother for a few seconds and he began to laugh too.   They both laughed together and it felt good.  Several doors down the hall Murdoch Lancer listened to his son’s laughter.   “Are they daft?”  He muttered and rolled over in bed and tried to get back to sleep.






Submission Guidelines