|This has the beginnings of a really amazing piece. It sounds like the main character was the one who was the target of the abuser. It is interesting that you did not use the name of the family members. The grandmother is the one who uses people’s names. Other than that there are no names in this piece.
"At an early age I was carving up Naugahyde couches, peeling paint off the walls, peeing my bed, and playing the clown, all in the name of love." (explain that more. What does that mean? Is this referring to the love the main character had for his younger brother? He did all of those things out of love for the brother?)
What was it about the younger brother that was so meaningful to the character and why did he love him so much he would do anything to protect him?
I really liked this melding of a scene in Psycho and the storm outside. The storm was now demanding our attention, as if it were competing with the movie, flashes of lightning and static interrupted the frenzy on the T.V. Only the shrieking sounds from the woman came from the small set - the screeches married the thunder. Really powerful imagery. So much of the brothers' relationship was mixed up with violence. I wonder what it would look like if you analyzed that a little bit more. What did that mean for the relationship and how did that affect how they saw each other?
There was kind of a long period where we did not see the younger brother and it left me wondering where he went. He appears again after you have talked about the main character’s life and jobs. I think there needs to be an explanation of where the brother went and why he disappeared. It sounds like he reappeared because the main character was “wanting a connection.” But why was that connection lost?
After the younger brother returns there seems to be a problem in the relationship. You say before he disappears that he “cautiously” let the character borrow his convertible. That appears to be the start of a severing, but I think there needs to be more on that. Was the incident with the drugs a beginning of that severing or was it something else?
I loved this phrase: "He delivered his guilt like an act of duty and devotion." That’s really well written.
The first dialogue between the two brothers is a little too long. I think it needs to be shortened but have the same feeling behind it. It seems to me that there is this uncertainty between them about what to say or how to react to each other. That can be a really powerful interaction with less words.
This is an intriguing statement: "It was weird, when I was alone with Younger Brother. It felt like what it was like when I was alone with the breeder."
I would explore that a little bit more. What does that mean and why does the younger brother feel like “the breeder?”
I could feel the tension when the younger brother was trying to bring up the mother and step-father. I like that part. It feels like an important part of the story. The middle brother is trying to avoid, and the younger brother is trying to draw him in.
A question I have is what happened to cause Younger brother to become violent and angry with the other driver? Up to this point, it sounds like he has been into following rules, keeping his head down and allowing someone else to protect him. In that scene the two brothers are connected with a similar cause. They find unity in violence. But what made the younger brother express that violence and rage? How did he make that change.
Really, really good. There are some grammatical errors and I would have an editor look at that. But it is a really powerful story. Thanks for sharing it.