St. Augustine's Arches
Multiverse of Possibility
Ian and Ethan: War Between Brothers

Ian and Ethan: War Between Brothers

A Story by Rhayne

Will Cate live to name her attacker? Will two brothers become enemies, blaming each other for Cate's fate. Lives are turned upside down with threats.




His strides were long, confident, intense.  Patrons stepped aside, giving him a clear path to his destination.  They knew him.  They knew this night was coming.  His focus was dead on his target, a man his own size, leaning against the bar trying to charm yet another unsuspecting woman.  Carl, the bartender, saw him coming too.  He swept away all the glasses as quickly as he could.  Seemed he always had to purchase new ones the day after Ian’s visits.  Carl’s quickness caught Ethan’s attention and the instant it clicked he saw from the corner of his eye something coming toward his jaw that made a connection like a brick wall.  And the floor suddenly opened up to the two giants entangled in a fight that seemed to be to the death.


Suddenly, the grunts and curses were smothered by the sound of gunfire and then silence.  Several pairs of hands yanked Ian backwards, holding him.  He never took his eyes off Ethan as he too was being restrained by deputies.  Sheriff Tyner ordered Carl to put the gun away before he decided to arrest him too.  Carl reminded him that he had a permit and that he never hurt anything but his own ceiling.

“Okay folks, excitement’s over, bar’s closed, go home”, Sheriff Tyner ordered in a frustrated tone.  He motioned for his deputies to put the two men in chairs.  Both men wiped blood from their mouth and nose, snorting like bulls and glaring at each other as if to say, ‘we’ll finish this later’.  Cause right now, they were both looking at a night in jail.  Sheriff Tyner pulled up a chair and threw his hat on the table.  He looked at Ian first, taking Ian’s chin in his hand, turning his head to examine the wounds and then did the same to Ethan.  Shaking his head, he leaned back in the chair, folding his arms over his chest.  His eyes burned into Ian, “what did I tell you NOT to do?”  Ian looked away, spit blood onto the floor.  The sheriff leaned forward and with a more serious tone said, “what did I tell you that I would do if you did THIS?”  Ian still said nothing, looking away.  The sheriff then focused on Ethan.  His scowl turned soft.  “Ethan, Ethan, Ethan”, he said shaking his head, “you had to expect this to happen.  Maybe this is what you wanted.  Are you ever gonna stop?”  Sheriff Tyner stood so abruptly the chair fell backwards.  “Your mother would be so disappointed in both of you.  Makes me glad she’s not here to see you two treating each other like this.  You’re grown men acting like two high school bullies.  You’re both gonna end up in prison just like your old man.  Then who would look after your sister?”

Ethan looked up, anger still gleaming, “tell your goons here to get their f*****g hands off me and I’ll walk out of here and none of you will ever see me again.  That’s what everyone wants, isn’t it?  For me to disappear?  Gladly.  Then, when things still keep happening, you’ll see that it isn’t me.  You won’t have me to blame for everything that goes wrong in this s**t-hole of a town.”  Then he spit blood on the floor.  Carl sighed in aggravation from behind the bar, knowing he’ll be the one to clean it up.

Ian glared at his older brother as he spoke through his teeth, “let him go.  You’re never gonna arrest him for what he did anyway.  I, for one, would like to see him gone, one way or another.  Preferably another, but then you would be sure to arrest me.”

Ethan glared back, “you really would like for it to have been me who did that, wouldn’t you?  Well, sorry to disappoint you, little brother.  I’m still trying to figure out why you think it was me while the one who did is still walking around here somewhere waiting to do it again to someone else.”  Ethan’s eyes switched to Sheriff Tyner, “and you, you think I’m just like my old man.  Just because I was a rotten kid in school, you think I’m still a trouble maker.  Even you think I would do something as terrible as what happened to Cate.  For the last time, I didn’t do it.  I found her.  I got her help!”

Ian tried to lunge at him again but the deputies forced him back in his chair, “she told me!  She answered with your name when I asked her who did that to her, you son-of-a…..”

“STOP!” shouted Sheriff Tyner, “just stop.  Ian, how could she have told you that when she’s in a coma?”

Ian spoke to the sheriff while glaring at Ethan, “she told me at the hospital emergency room just before she lost consciousness.”

Ethan turned his whole body toward Ian, “I swear to you, Ian, I never did that to her.  I wouldn’t do that to any woman.  She was in a lot of pain, man, she couldn’t have known what she was saying.  I did not rape her!”

“Why were you even there, Ethan?” asks Sheriff Tyner.

“I told you.  She called me on my cell and when I answered, all I heard was moaning.  She wouldn’t answer me.  I was only two blocks from there so I stopped by.  If I had known that something was that wrong, I would have driven faster.  But I thought, I don’t know, I really didn’t think much about it.  Sometimes……”, he trailed off.

“Sometimes what?” asks Sheriff Tyner.

“Nothing”, Ethan replied lowly.

“No, finish!” yelled Ian, “tell us how ‘sometimes’ you would just show up and harass Cate.”

“Are you insane?” Ethan yelled back.

Sheriff Tyner intervened, “yes, Ethan, he is.  He’s insane with worry about the woman he would have been marrying today.  It’s not a secret that you wanted her too.”

“Yes, I did want her in the beginning.  But she made her choice and I had to accept that.  I have accepted it!  This is crazy!  Ian, you’re my brother.  I wouldn’t do this to Cate, to you or to anyone.”

    Sheriff Tyner paced for a moment, trying to decide what would be the best thing to do with the two of them. If he locks them up, it’ll just be for the damages to the bar. Neither brother will press charges. They’ll go free at first light. He can’t lock one up and not the other and not expect endless repercussion from half the town. He doesn’t have enough evidence to prove Ethan did anything wrong. Even he isn’t so sure of his innocence, but the law is the law and he’s sworn to uphold it. He stops the pacing and turns to them both.

    “Okay, I’m going to make a decision here and now and you both better listen well and abide by it or I’ll make damn sure you regret it if you don’t.  Is that part clear?”

Both men say nothing and offer no gestures as they keep glaring at each other. Sheriff Tyner shakes his head at their stubbornness, turning toward Ethan first.

    “Ethan, I still don’t have enough evidence to lock you up, but I’m certainly not going to run you out of town. I want you where I can keep an eye on you. Stay clear of the hospital and stay clear of your brother.”

     Ethan leaned into the table, his hands splayed out, “that’s right, bring all your wrath down on me.  So much for innocent until proven guilty! You act like Ian has never done anything wrong. How do you know it wasn’t him who put Cate in a coma? He’s been spreading rumors for over a month that me and Cate were having an affair, knowing it wasn’t me he saw her with that night. She even told him I wasn’t there. And for the record, Cate wasn’t having an affair. She just happened to run into an old friend as she was leaving the restaurant because you didn’t show up, let me remind you. And maybe you don’t know this either, Sheriff, Cate was going to call off the wedding. She finally saw what everyone was trying to tell her.  Ian’s possessiveness was getting to be too much for her. Got her thinking and asking herself if she wanted to live the rest of her life under his thumb.”

     Ian shot from his chair, leaning across the table and in his brother’s face, “and why was she really thinking that, Ethan? Why don’t you tell the whole truth? Tell everyone the lies you’ve been feeding her to turn her against me. And you’re wrong about the wedding. She never intended to call it off!”  Ian turns to Sheriff Tyner, “you can ask her father, Sheriff.  He and I met for lunch that day and he was telling me how happy Cate was that his leg had healed enough to walk her down the aisle.  That conversation took place that morning, Sheriff. Does that sound like she was calling anything off?”


     “I need both of you to cool down.  Ian, I want you to go home or to the hospital, I don’t care which, just stay away from Ethan.  And Ethan, you’re coming down to the station with me. I want to hear more about this other man you say was with Cate.  You should’ve told someone about this days ago. He could be long gone by now.”

     One deputy took Ian by the upper arm to guide him toward the door. He resisted as he glared back at his brother, “this ain’t over, Ethan!”

Another deputy took Ethan by his arm and guided him to another exit where the Sheriff’s car was waiting.

© 2019 Rhayne

Author's Note

One would think this one is predictable, huh? Nope.

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The beginning of a deep mystery? Well penned.

Query: Why do you use Courier typeface? Onscreen it's the least readable font and very difficult on old eyes. As a graphic designer (of more than 25 years experience), Courier was right out unless you were trying to mimic a typewriter in print or images. As a reading font onscreen, it's cumbersome because of the strong serifs and the kerning.

Posted 6 Days Ago


6 Days Ago

Thank you. Your opinions are valued and appreciated, trust me. Not all my post are in this font. Thi.. read more

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Added on September 9, 2019
Last Updated on September 10, 2019



Nashville, NC

Time to spare now in this MeMa's lair and what better thing to do than what I love second to my Grandchildren; Write. I have so many stories I need to dust off and finish. I love that I've found this .. more..


A Poem by Rhayne

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