This week’s #writephoto prompt is
Horace And Henry
Horace and Henry Plasterboard, Little Tittweaking’s one set of identical twins had always done the same thing, dressed the same, achieved the same academic results, undertaken the same apprenticeship and finished the other’s sentences. After a lot of searching they bought two identical terraced houses. They considered the purchases to be the height of adulting as the properties were mirror images rather than identical. Oh how delighted they were to be so brave.
Well, not Horace. Horace, you see harboured an ambition, one he felt certain Henry did not share. To be different. It was the ‘shame with no name’ for one such as Horace. Yes, buying mirror image homes – indeed living in a separate house – was a major step. But Horace wanted more. He agitated for complimentary rather than identical Christmas pullovers; he wanted to finish his own sentence and, more to the point, not fell obliged to finish Henry’s even though he knew it was expected and if he failed to do so Henry would be more than offended.
He craved individuality. To be greater than the sum of their parts. But he knew he couldn’t just do his own thing. It would destroy his brother. He had to be gradual about it. What he needed was a small step, a little chink of light.
That’s when he took his first radical step. As the two brothers said good night and entered their respective homes, Horace waited. Henry switched on his hall light the customary 31 seconds after entering the property and Horace… didn’t. He stood in the dark, thrilling at his rebellion, allowing the shiver of revolt to rumble through his buttocks, vibrate his bowel and leave via a small belch.
Henry didn’t notice. He assumed that his brother had turned on his light and unaware of the calumny being perpetrated next door, headed for the kitchen to put on the kettle. Horace went to the toilet. Never had an act of relief been such a relief. He had broken the Gordian Knot, unbound his bindings and unumbilicalled himself. He flushed as he flushed, wondering where this defiance might take him.
Indeed, so overwhelming was this dazzling moment of release that his heart, never his strongest organ gave out with a small but decisive pfft and Horace, now unchained slipped to the floor.
Next door, Henry, whose hearing was attuned to his brother’s vital rhythms began to realise something wasn’t right. Grabbing the key, he headed for the door, trembling at the bravery of doing something so clearly different from his brother. He found his sibling sprawled, as if in state on the hall floor, wide-eyed but smiling. Henry, who similarly had the same congenital weakness, blinked, expired and fell.
When they were found, they were in exactly the same pose as each other, save for Henry’s sad expression. Their friends said they would have been happy to die thusly symmetrically intwined, though no one knew how delighted Horace would have been with his contrarian smile.