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Suzie’s House 507 : Brother’s Keeper

Ben bit his lip. The video was good. Real good. He could see how it got the way it was, but it wasn’t really what he and Lisa had planned. A part of him wanted to argue. But they weren’t really co-authoring it in the first place. She just wanted to talk about it with him. So the two of them had sat around throwing around ideas. Several times. But Lisa had done it all herself. So really. He had no right to complain,

The video began with a the same moving frame on the band playing in the back yard as the original video along with the instrumental start of the song. Everyone looked totally cool in their band clothes. Emma in particular wore a black outfit with matching black mask that made her look mysterious. She leaned into the microphone and sang.

I am my brother’s keeper.
He rolls in late at night,
his smile as high as a kite
It’s up to me to keep him sane
keep him calm, play his game
when really I am a sleeper.

The camera only stayed no her singing for a few seconds. Then it showed Bruce driving up to the driveway in the middle of the night. If Ben didn’t know him well, he wouldn’t have recognized the menacing shadow getting out of the car.

The camera pulled back, revealing the window they were looking through, then the kitchen, then Emma.

Emma stood in the kitchen wearing an apron and a lacy white mask. She looked out the window just as Bruce jumped up and shoved his twisted face into view like a horror movie monster. Emma fell back with a soundless shriek. She clutched at her chest like an old woman complaining of a fright, then ran out the door.

A quick cut to the original video footage pans over everyone to land on Bruce.

A second later, Emma’s helping him through the kitchen. He’s clearly falling-down-drunk. More band footage. Then they cut to Emma’s house where she helps Bruce into her own bed. Not that anyone who didn’t know Emma would realize it wasn’t Bruce’s bed.

The song was kind of weird. It didn’t really have a chorus – just an instrumental part that was about as long as a chorus and repeated itself like one. Just no words went with it. While that was going on, Emma walking into the frame on a busy State Street, She’s wearing her regular clothes, and a mask made of blue jean fabric. She sings the next verse.

I’m a witch in blue jeans.
I wish him ill
it’s quite the thrill
each night I dream his demise
but he never sees it in my eyes
the spell I cast to wreck his schemes.

As she sings, the camera looks over her shoulder while she threads through the crowds. Just ahead is Bruce. He’s being a total jerk. He shoves Tracy into a wall. He trips Justin. He gets up in Gene’s face, shouting in a way that just makes you more aware that Gene is taller and stronger. Gene crosses his arms. Emma runs up, and intercepts.

There’s something a little funny about the way she comes up behind Bruce, but Ben didn’t think much about it when it happens. She arrives just as Gene executes a really obvious round house that sends Bruce spinning. Emma catches him, helps him away. There’s a switchblade left on the street.

The video cut to the part where Gene and Tracy both jump at the same time like they were wired together somehow – guitar and bass held at the same angle and everything. Then back to Bruce on the keyboard. Then a close up on Kate on drums, and a pan to Justin with some wooden thing in his hand. Their motions matched the music perfectly, but Ben could swear Lisa took the clips from other parts of the original video. Emma, in a black mask, sings into a microphone.

I am a great seductress.
My siren call brings men to shore
their greedy eyes soon dim to snore
It’s not my place to denigrate
so I just leave them to their fate;
their mangled rocky mess.

She sings as she’s getting into a boat, now wearing a scuba mask with tinting as dark as sunglasses. The visuals cut to a sunny day by the lake. It’s sunset. Gene gets in the boat with Emma. The two of them row out into the lake with the sunset shining off the water. It’s such good photography that Ben is eaten up with jealously. It holds all through the verse. As the instrumental chorus come up, Gene takes her hands in his and looks deeply into her scuba mask like he could actually see her eyes. Bruce rises out of the water and flips the boat.

More band footage as the instrumental chorus comes up. Then Emma in a Zorro black cloth mask is going through a dresser drawer. She finds a messenger bag. Inside are some incriminating photos of Bruce.

The next verse starts.

I’m a spy under deep cover
I watch it well
from inside my shell
then pass my enemy’s vulnerability
to the hands of powerful enmity
And smile like a simple lover.

In her regular mask, Emma is walking through the park with the messenger bag slung across her body. Bruce comes up behind her and attacks. She turns, glances at him, looks at something in the distance and screams in horror. The expression on her face is so real it gives Ben chills. He almost wants to kill Bruce to protect her.

Bruce takes the messenger bag from her. She falls to the ground. He kicks her and runs off. More band footage. Emma, in a white vinyl mask, sings.

I am the world’s worst astronaut.
My every step bounces me into space
as if for me the Earth has no place
But the stars are light years away
And my dreams run night and day
But in the end it’s all only thought.

Emma is laying on the couch in her house with a towel over her face. Bruce comes up behind her. He has a baseball bat in his hands and an ugly look on his face. He approaches slowly. He leans over, looking closely at her while keeping the bat behind him.

She throws a noose over his neck, and yanks it tight. Lots of struggling with a lamp going over and furniture flipped and thrashing interspersed with clips from the original video. A switchblade falls out of Emma’s pocket. The top from a box of rat poison falls out her her pocket. Bullets fall out of her pocket. Bruce puts up a good fight, but it’s clear Emma means business. The two go down behind the couch, Emma on top.

I’m a victim behind the door,
Always doing what I’m told.
Waiting for life to unfold
But that’s about to change
Because of my rage
I’m not my brother’s keeper
anymore.

Looking shocked while clutching at the rope around his neck, Bruce closes his eyes. He doesn’t stick out his tongue or anything, but it’s clear he’s supposed to be dead.

Final cut to the band with the closing instrumental stuff that all ends on a super tight close up on one of Emma’s eyes.

Maybe she couldn’t get the police car or the astronaut helmet. It was basically the story the two of them had come up with. It’s just that Ben had followed the song a lot closer. But this was better. Way better. Maybe he should think about that when he brainstormed his next book.

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