“Blades of Glass” by Calvin Westra

1.) His brother was shot by the police while trying to break into his own house, drunk, very late at night, using a hammer he had found in his shed. The shed had not been locked and he had looked around in the dark for something blunt and heavy and settled on a small hammer which he then used to crack the glass and pry the shards free of the window. When the police arrived and shouted at him, he threw pieces of glass at them while they told him to drop the glass, the hammer. He was shot several times. He was awarded a settlement. He uses a wheelchair.

2.) His brother was unsteady on his feet. Clumsy with the small hammer, cutting himself on glass with every swing. His vision oily and distorted and before he was finished, he heard shouting, then gun shots. He collapsed before he felt the scorching holes in his legs, he felt some powerful force drive through him and he fell. He threw glass at his attackers because he was confused and very drunk. He felt more shots like tunnels bored through his bones and muscle. He smelled the powder and fire of it. He was certain he would die.

3.) His brother was screaming made up words he was pretty sure were Swiss. He had no idea Swiss was not a language. He was pacing in his yard with a hammer, talking to himself, fondling shards of glass in his hands and singing Swiss folk songs. He was dancing like a lawn gnome come to life, haunted and drunk. He was chewing on the glass and screaming taunts at the windows he had ruined. He berated the windows, really dressed them down, accused them of things, teased them, bullied them. He spent time, while cradling a few daggers of glass, trying to imagine how to offend windows precisely. “Fuck your phony ass panes, bitch!” he said and went back to pacing, muttering to himself. His neighbors were watching this from their kitchen and calling the police and saying things like, “mentally disturbed stranger,” and “maybe speaking German,” and explaining the lewd gestures this man was making towards a couple of shattered windows. A cherry red Corvette crashed into his yard and a dozen sweaty police officers scuttled out, in a cool formation, with the head of the vanguard wielding two lime green Desert Eagles engraved with his nickname Unleaded Extreme, and the guy in the back, Larry, who had been officially suspended from police work for violating the Geneva Convention while interrogating his ex-wife, holding a super soaker. They told him to freeze and he said, “Fuck your freeze, bitch!” “Freeze or we’ll shoot yer ass!” they shouted and he said, “Try me, bitch!” He tried to dodge their shots with a cartwheel. Four hundred and seventy-nine bullets (plus nine and a half ounces of lukewarm water from Larry’s super soaker) later, he asked them if they could call him an ambulance, as he wasn’t feeling “quite himself.” He chewed a piece of glass thoughtfully. When the ambulance arrived, they slipped a thermometer in his mouth, they wrapped a blood pressure cuff around his bleeding and limp arm. “He’ll never walk again,” they said.

Calvin Westra drives a GLK 350 4matic and writes at lightningfarmer.blogspot.com

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