A 78-word tale of love and distance.
MY little brother grew a goatee. He got promoted. Twice. He got a new job–with new power. He grew a full beard and was made president. He married a famous chef. He bought his old company and slowly built a scattered empire. He ate well.
He finally shaved and boarded his boat and took off for the arctic to ice fish. He died cold, but accomplished.
I could never grow much facial hair. But I was always taller.
This 78-word short short story was an entrant in Esquire's THE SHORT SHORT FICTION CONTEST, sponsored by the Aspen Writers' Foundation in honor of the magazine's 78th birthday in 2011. It did not win.