Lost & Found

Diego was sitting down, playing video games with his eighteen year old brother, Marcos.

Their grandmother ran into the room shouting, “Pollila negra!”

While cursing her grandchildren, she swept the insect out of the house. 

In Spanish, the grandmother chided, “How long was that in here?”

“I don’t know,” Diego replied without looking up from the TV.

“You need to know. If you leave those in the house for too long, someone will die.”


The grandmother cursed under her breath while returning the broom to the kitchen. “And you, Marcos. Why didn’t you go out to look for a job today?”

Diego looked at his brother, feeling sympathetic for him. This discussion had gone on for months. “He’s having a hard time. We told you that. Marcos is autistic, so it isn’t as easy for him.”

“Autistic. Autistic,” she said with a thick accent while leaving the room. “That’s for white people.”

Diego couldn’t understand why his grandmother was so upset. He was the one who watched over his brother the most. No one else could “deal” with him, so they left Marcos in Diego’s care. When they were younger, Diego wanted a brother that he could fight and play with. And though he was five years younger than Marcos, everyone gave him the responsibility of looking after his bigger brother. 

Diego recalled how he walked his brother to school, protecting him from bullies. The family forced him to go after his brother when he started screaming and locked himself in his room. They also asked Diego to keep Marcos company during family gatherings when Marcos wanted to stay away from people. 

When Diego was in middle school, he had enough. He showed Marcos a picture of a luxurious home he would live in once he was able to “get away” from his brother. Diego shared his big dream of having his own space and leaving Marcos to his parents. Diego knew his parents were doing the best they could, but he still wanted to say it anyway. He didn’t want anyone to think he’d take care of Marcos all of their lives. 

Marcos cried and screamed at Diego that day. Once he got over the hurt that his little brother caused, Marcos started distancing himself from Diego. 

Over time, Marcos found friends that he liked hanging out with. They praised him and didn’t mind his occasional outbursts. Diego thought these people were using Marcos but it turned out to be much worse. They were gang members. They were a bad influence in Marcos’ life and often had him out late. 

Diego’s grandmother’s complaints weren’t without warrant. She believed that Marcos was mature enough to go out and do bad things with bad people. Therefore, he should be mature enough to get his act together and find a job. 

One of those friends visited the house as they were playing games, telling Marcos there were some new guys down the street that shouldn’t be. Marcos left, abandoning the game against Diego’s request. 

While Diego played, he remembered the black moth. 

A chill set in his spine. 

Something pulled him toward the door, a strange sound that was like a thump or a whoosh. Once he looked outside, Diego could see his brother Marcos and his gang members in the middle of the street. Their bodies were moving like they were ghouls dancing. And there was blood. 

Diego, still drawn to the scene like a moth to a flame, continued advancing toward the spectacle, even after their bodies finally collapsed. There, he saw his brother, filled with bullet holes. 

Down the block, he could see men dressed in red, their faces hidden by the darkness. One was holding a large gun. He raised the weapon toward Diego, but a young boy shouted, “I said I want to go home!”

The man sighed and lowered the weapon before dragging his son away. 

Diego, his voice caught in his throat, wept over his brother’s body. He held Marcos in his arms, considering the words that caused them to separate. In that moment, Marcos no longer wanted anything like his own luxurious house. He wanted revenge. And he would get it against anyone that was wearing red like those guys. 

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