Chapter One – That Time When Wade Went Out Alone
Jack and Wade Skeeler are brothers. You wouldn’t know it from looking at them. Where Jack is slim, Wade is round. Where Wade is brash, Jack is quiet. Jack has jet black hair, which is always kempt and neat, while Wade sports a constant mess of light brown hair atop his head. Jack is tan, Wade is not. Wade wears whatever he finds most comfortable, Jack, whatever’s in fashion. Jack is uneasy in public, while Wade feels most at home with an audience. Jack is twenty-five years old, while Wade is twenty-two.
The two are as different as they come.
But they share the same mother.
And they share the same home.
And they both share an absolute love for each other, which results in an unbreakable bond between the two.
And they are nearly inseparable.
As such, one was rarely found without the other. And when they were, it caused confusion among those who saw it, hoping that the missing brother was not sick or injured.
Considering the differences between the two brothers, it could often be difficult for them to arrive at a consensus regarding what to do at any given moment. Where Jack may want to stay in the house and play video games all night, Wade would want to go bowling with friends.
However, the brothers had come to an agreement regarding their differences. Whenever a disagreement came about, they would simply flip a coin. Jack was always heads, Wade was always tails.
This story begins with such a decision. A decision which might cause one to ponder whether the coin had been fully aware of the fate which lie ahead for the two of them when it landed as it did.
“Come on, Jack, it’s Friday night. Let’s go out and party!” Wade pleaded with his brother. “We haven’t been out in weeks and I’m starting to fear the outside world might have blown up or something!”
“I don’t know, Wade,” Jack murmured from the couch, barely looking up from his phone as he read an article detailing the many reasons why Civil War was better than Batman v Superman. He was already crafting his comments to the article as he read, noting how they had missed many of the greater threads in both stories which would lead them to a much different conclusion.
“I’m not going to sit here and watch you play on your phone all night,” Wade countered. “If I have to, I’ll go out by myself.”
“Fine,” Jack frowned as he saw one of his rebuttals called out and dismissed in the article. “Just don’t be out too late. We’ve got to go visit Mom in the morning.”
Wade groaned. “Come on, Jack. Really. You need to get out, too.”
Jack sighed, realizing he wasn’t going to get out of this conversation simply, and looked up from his phone to his brother. “I’m sure you can handle one simple night out by yourself.”
“I can,” Wade said firmly. “I’d probably even have a ton more fun without you constantly pouting in the corner over that phone screen. But the truth of the matter is that you need to get out.”
“Alright,” Jack relented. “Let’s bring it to the coin.”
“I’m not staying in, no matter what the coin says,” Wade rebutted.
“Okay, then how about this. Tails, I’ll come out with you. Heads, I stay here. You can do whatever you want with either option.”
“Oh,” Wade said, eyes widening in surprise at his brother’s idea. “That’s an interesting thought. And it’s basically a win-win for me. I’m down, bro.”
“Okay, get the coin,” Jack said, returning his attention to his magical rectangle.
Wade rushed into their bedroom and pulled down a small ring box from the top of the bookshelf. He opened the tiny cube and found the shiny half-dollar coin still sitting on the cushioned interior. He pulled it out and headed back into the living room where his brother still sat.
“Alright bro, you want to flip, since it’s your bet?” Wade asked, holding the coin out in front of him.
“Naw,” Jack answered, his face still illuminated by the rectangular screen. “I’ve got to finish this comment before I lose my train of thought. You go ahead and flip it.”
“Alright,” Wade said, situating the coin on top of his thumb. He flicked his thumb upward and the coin flew high. Wade always prefers to flip the coin wildly, thinking the hunt for the coin afterward was just as much of the fun. Jack, on the other hand, prefers a much more contained form of chance.
The coin landed on the carpet and rolled right back to Wade, hitting his naked foot before falling to the ground.
Wade looked down to see an eagle staring back up at him. He frowned briefly, but, at always, acquiesced to the whims of the coin.
“Looks like it’s tails, big brother,” Wade said as he bent over to pick the coin up. “Want to take a look to verify?”
“I’m pretty sure you can tell the difference between an eagle and a severed head,” Jack said with a furrowed brow. He just realized he didn’t have enough support for his main thesis and took to the internet to find more information to ensure his comment was the brightest piece of prose ever found in a comments section.
Wade picked the coin up and looked at his brother with disappointment. “Are you sure you don’t want to come with me? I was thinking about drinks at Frankie’s.”
“I’m good. Just don’t stay out too late.”
“Wade?” Jack said, looking up from his phone. With his comment finished, he realized he probably should apologize for not giving his brother his entire attention. “Wade.”
Jack stood, feeling the weight of his body try to press him back down into his chair. He walked to the bedroom to find his brother and remind him that they absolutely couldn’t miss their morning with Mom.
His brother was not there.
Jack walked to the kitchen, and still his brother could not be found.
He opened the front door and saw that it was much darker than he would have expected at this time of the evening on a hot summer’s day.
He looked again at his phone and saw that it was now eleven p.m.
A loud roaring sounded from the end of the street. Jack looked toward the source and saw a vehicle barreling down the road in his direction.
It stopped in front of his house and the driver’s side door opened, but when it opened, the door went up instead of out. And out of it stepped Wade, with an enormous grin on his face.
“Jack, you’ve got to come back with me!” Wade shouts as he runs from the DeLorean to his brother’s side.
“Back to the butcher!”