Identical pt. 2: the brother (Creative Writing #2)

Read pt.1 here

I tried to string together couple of sentences to explain myself, but somehow all that came out were mere stuttering and jibberish. Meanwhile, the chief and the woman both reached for their hips and pulled out foldable knives. They crouched slightly, as if getting ready to pounce. I had expected more shouting and machine guns, but the knives frightened me enough to make me roll off the couch. I put my arms up as high as I could, trying to amplify my point that I meant no harm, although their facial expression made me doubt whether that was conveyed.

“I… I am Peter Shelby. Jam… James Shelby is my brother. There was um.. a cab… and um… I said secret agent and I was here. I don’t know anything, please don’t kill me!” My voice was shaking like crazy. Only that last sentence had just a bit of comprehensible English-sounding components to it. “I am going to take my wallet and show you my ID, I don’t have a weapon.” I reached for my back pocket and tossed my wallet to the chief. It landed on the couch. Great Peter, just great. First you could not talk, and now you cannot throw. Today is your last day for sure.

The chief, still holding his knife in front of him, walked defensively towards the couch and picked up my wallet and held it up in front of me, trying to compare the picture in my ID to my face.

“What happened to my brother? Is James still alive?” I turned to the woman. I tried to note down as much details of both of them as I could. She was just slightly shorter than me. Her hair was bleached white and she had bangs. The sharpness of her gaze had not faded since she came into the room. Black turtleneck, black jeans, black boots. Is she really a Black Widow-John Wick crossover, I wondered. I shifted my gaze to the chief. He was definitely muscular, something I had not noticed earlier; the buttons of his shirt were almost struggling to do their job. His hair was short and neat, like that of someone from the military. I noticed he had a birthmark or a tattoo on his left hand, which was partially hidden by his shirt.

The chief tossed my wallet back to me and jerked his head, motioning me to walk towards the corner of the room. I stepped over, my mind still distressed. Was James dead? Was I gonna die? I could hear the two of them discussing something at the other corner of the room. I tried to brainstorm an escape plan, and then I realised that I was actually underground with the only route out being the lift. Maybe there was another way out.

Before I could come up with anything, I heard the chief holler, “Ey, Shelby, there’s a door on your left, grab your shit and move in there.” I did as he asked me. My body was not shaking as much as before and I could at least walk a little more steadily. I entered the room and before I could turn around the door shut behind me. There was a click and a few seconds later they started talking again. I cannot hear what they were saying and soon the voices faded away. I examined the room I was in. There was, surprisingly, a single bed. It had a mattress on which was still wrapped in plastic and had no sheets. The room was bare other than the bed; it was depressing. I suddenly remembered that my phone was still in my pocket. I took it out and to my dismay, there was no reception.

I sat down on the mattress, confused at what to feel. Was it really possible that my scrawny geeky 23-year old brother was a spy? Or a criminal? Those people look like seasoned at… whatever they did. The chief looked tired but I bet he could have broken my body in half if he wanted to. And that woman. There was no denying that she looked like she knows how to fight too. Her stance was real solid, I thought as memories from Krav Maga trial sessions in university lit up. I should have joined that society, and then perhaps I could defend myself in times like this. My silly regret was wiped away by the muskiness in this room. Perhaps it was the old paint.

I unlocked my phone to see what my resources I have to help me get out of this mess. As I did so, the notification drop-down function sucked the tears out of their glands.

BBC BREAKING NEWS: Man in High Speed Chase fell into the Thames.

It must have refreshed when I was in the elevator! I opened the article to confirm the worst of horrors. It was James Shelby. It was my brother. Granted there was no picture loading, but the coincidental nature of everything made me certain. There were not many details, but James was reported to have been brought to the hospital.

What the heck, James?! A teardrop fell on the screen. I locked my phone, not wanting to read anymore. I had flown to London from Tokyo to surprise my girlfriend Kathy for her birthday, which was 2 days away. I did not know where to put my despair. At the fact that I’ll never see my brother or my girlfriend again or that I might not make it out alive.

Ok calm down, breathe, Peter, breathe. You meditate almost every day. You can always control the situation. Get ahold of your emotions.







My breathing returned closer to its normal pace. I opened my backpack to take stock of my supplies. Other than a weekend’s worth of summer clothes, my kindle, my laptop and charging cables. I had always been a light packer and I pride myself for being one. There’s nothing worse than having to lug your stuff when traveling. I never understood those people. Had I been them, I never would have met Kathy, who ironically was one of them.



I was in the Venetian airport, waiting for my turn to board the Ryanair flight back to London, when someone tapped me on the shoulders. I turned around and Kathy shyly asked if I could help carry her tote bag full of stuff until we pass the ticket check, because Ryanair was one of those airlines that restricted the number of bags you can bring on board and charge you £20 if you dared bring anything extra, which had never been a big deal for light packers like me. I agreed to her request and lo and behold, her seat was next to mine. We ended up talking and exchanging phone numbers during the flight.



That was almost four years ago, when I was in my final year in university. I opened Whatsapp on my iPhone and typed “Hey, I love you babe <3” and sent it to her. I did the same to both my parents, hoping that whatever happened next, if my phone somehow makes it back to the surface, the message would then be sent. I also plugged phone to my laptop to charge it, to get maximum battery for the next stage in this twisted game that I seemed to be playing. I put them both in my bag so as to avoid attention when they come in.

At that moment, I started feeling all the aches that the 12-hour flight had given me. The adrenaline had worn out and I had not slept at all, thinking that I was going to sleep in at Kathy’s that Friday night. Instead, Kung Fu Panda and Top Gun from the British Airways’ entertainment system had accompanied me, along with a couple of Brooklyn 99 episodes I had downloaded on my phone. It was almost 7pm according to my phone and I was dead tired, so I laid my head on my backpack and closed my eyes.


Read pt.3 here

3 thoughts on “Identical pt. 2: the brother (Creative Writing #2)

  1. Hmm…interesting development. I like how his thought process is in this chapter. Clever bringing up the network in the tunnel. Especially the picture not loading. It’s completely relatable and makes the story feel more real. There are a few grammatical errors though, and I know it may not seem important, but it can sometimes be jarring for the reader. Especially if your story is very immersive, seeing an error knocks the reader back to reality. But it really did draw me in. I’m waiting for the next one 😉 Also, thank you for coming to visit my blog! Do you know what I can do to make the entire comment show? For some reason, only the first line shows on mine.


  2. Pingback: Identical pt. 3: the secret (Creative Writing #3) | thecuriouslittleboy

  3. Pingback: Identical pt.1: the codephrase (Creative Writing #1) | thecuriouslittleboy

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