A story of 4 brothers
french version

The Birds's family :

• Blue Mesange

Chapter 1 : The Isolated House

In a village located on the edge of a forest, surrounded by the noisy metropolis, there stood an isolated house where the rustling of branches, swayed by the wind, gently tapped on the tall windows of a living room.
The forest and its poetry protected this dwelling, where four spirits lived.
The house provided a roof for a family of brothers who shared the space according to their needs, occupations, and pastimes. A weathered wooden porch at the end of a winding dirt path, behind a gate with a broken latch for years, housed a few empty snail shells and spiderwebs.
Behind that door, the entrance of the house displayed countless shoes and jackets neatly arranged in the dust. The floor was covered with carpets that led to a living room with dark red burgundy and ochre armchairs, surrounded by bookshelves and shelves filled with books, curious objects, baskets, incense boxes, stones, and feathers placed here and there. Unfinished paintings, pots full of brushes, and a pencil perched on the edge of the coffee table were on the verge of falling to the floor.
By the window, a boy with long black hair was cleaning plant pots and repositioning plants that seemed to need sunlight. Next to him, sitting on a stool covered with a spring-patterned fabric, another young boy with a straw hat and blue streaks in his hair was laughing beside him.
A cat darted between the legs of his chair and entered the house without permission, quickly ascended the stairs, crossed the hallway, and darted through the crack of the slightly ajar office door, hiding under Crow's bed.

C. was sitting at his desk, working on his report. His environment was impeccably tidy, with a glass of water placed near his computer and a backpack hanging on the coat rack to the left of the door. A white shirt was drying on a hanger by the window. When his younger brother entered noisily :
-"Sorry, a cat came in !" The boy with blue hair, wet socks, and panting was taken aback by the look his brother gave him, a look that seemed to scold him with disdain.
Who allowed you to come in ?"

~~~ * ~~~

Chapter 2: The Cycle of Life

In the countryside, birds fly freely, seeking shelter, food, and warmth when the season turns cold.

They are a symbol of freedom, a community of the sky, simultaneously fragile, carrying rings or diseases, singing or defecating, begging for breadcrumbs or being fierce thieves. In the city, birds coo under the roofs, huddled together.

Birds are free yet trapped by their fate. So is every being.
Some humans forbid themselves from feeding them for absurd reasons: fear of sharing, jealousy of seeing these free beings take flight, occupying a place that doesn't belong to them. We don't realize the richness of our harvest and we enclose the earth's food in plastic, throwing it away.
Shouldn't we ourselves do justice to the earth and return its fruits?

The brothers working in the garden started creating, in a small plant pot, an organic, fertile, and moist soil by collecting food residues destined to be "thrown away" or rather returned to the earth. They decomposed them, cut them into small cubes, and mixed them into the soil in the pot every day to aerate the bottom and allow oxygen to adhere. They tended to this living space every day, for otherwise, the ecosystem would risk stagnation and decay.
There is nothing disgusting about it. The cycle of life is a system that transforms matter, in microcosm and macrocosm.
Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed.

~~~ * ~~~

Chapter 3 : Brightness

It was a winter season that seemed to last forever. Everything appeared to have crystallized in ice.
The forest's humidity created dense clouds of purple mist that seem caressed them. Early at the first signs of sunlight, the sky was radiant, clear, with the light piercing through the foggy masses. The morning was precious because the sun, the most important source of light, made its first appearance.

Illuminating workshops, living rooms, the still-sleeping bee hives, and the nocturnal butterflies, it awakened minds, allowing plants to warm up and souls to find their path. The night, on the other hand, was cold, almost silent. The icy wind infiltrated through window crevices, under doors, and between our collars, chilling us to the bone.

Outside, there was a calmness in the tired evenings of the cold season. Foxes wandered in the gardens, hoping to find food. Spiders froze near doors, hoping to enter and seek refuge in heated homes. The day's decline faded into darkness.

~~~ * ~~~

« I will plant an apple tree, and it will grow so tall that no one in the house will ever go hungry. »

• Magpie

[Chapter M. : Collecting Memories.]

My given name is M. However, out of curious habit, I am called Magpie. A reference to the bird known as the Magpie. My siblings bestow upon me this nickname, perhaps due to my inclination to gather a vast array of objects throughout my journey of existence.
Individuals of this kind are said to suffer from syllogomania. Its definition, derived from the Greek words "syllogos," meaning "collection," and "mania," meaning "madness," designates a person who accumulates objects. Or rather, one could describe it as materialistic or maximalist. All these synonymous terms underscore a habitual aspect of my life.

~~~ * ~~~

A docile cat passes by the window and stops, fixating on the points of light that illuminate this space. A large desk with high walls, a wooden construction where a castle of various objects piles up—boxes, wine crates, metal clips, papers, clocks, keys, keychains, chains, antique suitcases... From floor to ceiling, a structure upholds this eminence of knickknacks...
A candle is placed on the table, flickering with an irregular rhythm, echoing the wandering breath in the room. The flame's reflection dances on the metal surface of a pair of scissors resting on the wooden table, as well as in the many eyes of objects placed in every corner of the room, silently observing the scene. The pen glides across the page ; inspiration: intercepted thoughts; expiration: the transmission of ideas.
It is a means to communicate information, thoughts, and perhaps even emotions. Writing is a way to place a weight that anchors a material and physical existence to the Earth, an indelible mark and a link, sensitive to the flame, to the ardor that slumbers within the conscious being.

In the tranquility of the room, necklaces, heart-shaped chains, climbing plants, garlands of branches, sewing threads, and lace hung from the walls... Within the fibers of these fabric materials lived a small colony of discreet, timid insects. They feasted here and there on the remnants left behind by their hospitable nature. They lived in harmony with the space, traversing long paths of webs, from one piece of furniture to another, discovering new territories, vast figurines, massive glass display cases, and towering stacks of boxes—the colossal library of ancient books and dust.

Within the books lies a world written by the universe of a truly real and living entity. The art of leaving one's mark on Earth proves the existence of a being. Each trace is evidence of life, whether it be scars, creations, or parchments. Human beings are inevitably physical and present. The dust they stir with every step causes a displacement, an interplay of elements. Letters and words have the capacity to be understood through the shared code of linguistics. The meaning of words, known as semantic, is a language assimilated by our brains and functions when communicated by our peers.
Books and letters are excellent testimonies of time and truths about humans expressing their inner thoughts. The significance of archives lies in their connection to memory, to past recollections. Every living being goes through various states of mind that are stored in their internal memories. Sometimes, moments are shared with colleagues and evoke shared memories. We consider this precious because memory, with the aging of cells and the malfunctioning of the body, is fragile and ephemeral.
Perhaps that is why some individuals record their memories, so as not to forget.

~~~ * ~~~

« The finest and most beautiful things must be felt with the heart.»

• Rouge-Gorge

[Chapter R. : Our dearest little brother R.]

"Our dear little brother is suffering.
He is afflicted by disorders that no one can cure. Based on our observations, it appears that his pain stems from within himself. A malfunction, a complete refusal to open up to us, his family. He runs away and has a tendency towards self-destruction. He does not communicate and flees when we approach him. He lives in his own world. He rejects any form of familial sympathy. He seems to suffer greatly and shows no desire to break free from it.
It is quite common for young adults to go through an adolescent crisis and, feeling oppressed, strive for their own emancipation and freedom. Our little brother, R, the youngest among us, seems to feel misunderstood and plunges into his own suffering. He fails to realize that the limits lie in his vital energy and the moral standards established by society. His indulgence in immorality and passions is taken to the extreme. He has a tendency to put himself in danger and attract troubles. We do not see him often as he often leaves home for the city, the bustling life of the metropolis apparently "suits him best," but the letters from the authorities and medical bills resulting from deliberate and serious injuries cause us concern.

We worry about our brother; he is the youngest among us. We wish to find him."

~~~ * ~~~

The bedsheets crease with impatience in a lively neighborhood of the capital, within an apartment building, one could hear the jingle of a belt and bodies stirring. In the night, black cats roam, fighting, tearing through trash cans, marking their territory. That's what the city is like. Filth piled on top of each other, smells of sewers and ashes, an overabundance of alcohol to forget the failure that is our lives. But it is in the city that connections are made, where drugs circulate, where money passes from pocket to pocket. Wherever you go, you will be just a number, a pawn thrown into a vast game of chess. You do not choose your life, but you can decide to lead the life you desire to avoid ending up too wretched, or perhaps to tempt evil to come and find you.
"Lower your head." The belt tightens around my throat, he pulls.
Sometimes you have to force yourself and make efforts for things you don't like. Sometimes you have to endure and surrender to ensure your survival, your money.
Money is what corrupts honesty. We all become thieves, beings manipulated by what we think we can afford with that money. Our ideals become what the giants who think they're improving our lives cram into our heads.
The single-use can becomes an ashtray and it falls sharply to the floor, hitting the foot of the table. The ashes spread on the living room carpet. My head touches the ground.
Life is given, but it's you who must take it.
The effort to get up, to not let yourself perish and to fight for your life, no one else will do it. Your place is where you have wagered it. The position you find yourself in is the exact reflection of what you have gotten yourself into. I close my eyes. I remember the winding paths, the stones on the road that make me stumble. Painful, uncomfortable memories of the past. Just like the atmosphere in this room. The smell of stale tobacco.
His shoe on my neck.
There is no escape, you must face situations. Own up to your choices, understand how you function, your desires, your body. It's what you wanted. And you think you're doing it for your own good. Life is full of paradoxes, and I was never considered someone entirely sane or normal. I was aware of this difference that kept me away from the norm, and it's probably what will cause my downfall.

~~~ * ~~~

[From Bird to Phoenix]

When I was younger, I was always the smallest of them all. I was mocked because of the color of my hair. I was always left alone because others made fun of me. It was unfair because this effect only led to more cruelty, and children were just cruel to what they commonly considered abnormal. My brothers were sometimes there to support me, but I refused to be protected by them, especially when the eldest brother left for university, slowly eroding the sense of family unity. The older brother above me never had trouble making friends. O. is outgoing, brilliant, efficient. He is unconsciously the one I aspire to be, but I will never reach that level. Some talents are bestowed by natural grace, luck smiles upon those blessed by the heavens. I have never had that luck, nor have I been particularly gifted in theoretical learning. I loved art, abstraction, and also when my teachers were absent from classes.
When I found myself alone in the final year of my schooling, I hung out near the train station, under the graffiti-covered bridge, where punks and drug addicts gather. It was there that I met the person who introduced me to the world of work.

~~~ * ~~~

That's the name I chose. An alias, a stage name, a service name. In the past, whenever I introduced myself to a different client, I never had the same name. Rouge, Robin, Rex, Remu, Rei. A different name for every face. I learned to play a role, to perfect my identity. This can be a vice around which I dance in balance. But I have control over who I am. And that's the only thing that belongs to me. My identity.
I am the person I have decided to be. The one I was before, my past, I killed it. To be reborn.

spoiler : Actually, his name has been inspired by someone he met later on his life : Nheira. He is a side character and has his very own story.
~~~ * ~~~

Ashes on the floor. A beam of light illuminates the room. Dust swirling in the calmness. A glance out the window, the day is breaking. R. opened his eyes and lifted his head towards the sky, taking the effort to extricate himself from the embrace of his partner, slumped on a couch, naked.
He stood up, his heart pounding, discreetly snatched his clothes, belongings, and locked himself in the bathroom. He turned on his phone, and three notifications appeared.

A message from his brother M : Where are you ?
A message from his brother C : Don't forget your appointment with the social worker.
A message from his brother O : Bro, do you know where the PS2 is ?

He blinked his eyes and turned off his phone. He placed it on the edge of the sink, washed his hands, put on his clothes, and walked out of the questionable-looking apartment.
Outside, at the bottom of the building, children were playing. They were singing catchy songs, nursery rhymes we learn when we're little.
He searched his pants pocket, pulled out a crushed pack of cigarettes but couldn't find his lighter.
"Damn it."
Cigarette in his mouth, he crossed the street at a red light, his eyes tightly closed. As usual, deep down, he secretly wished to be hit by a truck, hands in pockets, breathing calmly. Go on and crush me. He walked straight ahead.
Stay calm. Breathe. The bus stopped.
No luck. He continued on his way, and once his head was engulfed in the crowd, the looks turned towards his imposing stature, his natural eccentricity, his fiery hair with the scent of stale tobacco, sweat, and shame.
The city is noisy on sunny mornings. Normal humans go shopping, occupy themselves with distractions, enter stores, buy products only to end up unhappy and eventually blame themselves. It's not even their fault. They drool over things they don't really need, as their closets overflow with useless clothes of mediocre quality, manufactured by exploited factory workers. They buy useless things and pretend to belong to a social class, they speak loudly, too much, they boast or complain about their lives without taking the time to listen to others. They don't even mean to, it's not even their fault.
Society has conditioned them this way. We live in an era which everything around us seems absolutely normal and acceptable, we are just so used to it, and it would require too much effort to change things.
We are victims of our own fate. But we are weak and afraid of change. So we find it easier to lock ourselves in our illusion, which accidentally becomes our reality. Many people are stuck between this false reality and nurture their own little fiction of the world without caring about the real problem. There are far too many of us who are completely lost in this infernal cycle.
But not me. I wouldn't get lost. Because I have no road to follow. The path I decided to walk on, I'll keep continue this way.
And I'm aware that my body and heart could be torn apart or shattered on the dirty asphalt of a boiling city by a random accident that could simply happen. A total coincidence. Losing my life along the way.

~~~ * ~~~

« To live is to take risks. »

• Crow

[Chapter C : Falling into Life]

Throughout his life, Crow has sought to act in an efficient and pragmatic manner to protect his brothers.
During his childhood, he managed to find his path through confrontations with reality, the learning of his emotions, and the development of character strength in line with society. Through a series of logical sequences, the circumstances of his life led him to have complexes, doubts, certainties, and uncertainties.

As he grew up, he encountered numerous obstacles and milestones along his journey. In the rain, the weight of water soaked into the fibers of his clothes was drawn by gravity and weighed on his shoulders, but with warmth and light, the water eventually evaporated and rose into the atmosphere, up to the sky. This metaphor allowed him to better understand the coherent reasoning of life.
In active social life, he understood that he needed to take a step towards others. It may seem frightening to throw oneself into the void of the unknown, but the simple act of moving in the world allows particles to move, to come into contact with our rhythm, and to confront reality.
C will never know with certainty the origin of his feelings and relationships with others. He is unaware if his feelings are the result of his past, the kindness or hatred of the past, or the conformity conditioned by external power dynamics. He is the eldest of a family of four brothers. The right path consists of finding the light and allowing others to guide them. To hatch before all the other eggs in the nest and be the only one flapping wings to fly...
To give oneself the chance to fall into life.

~~~ * ~~~

« You always seem to reflect
On what inspires and depresses you. »