Erik admired the way his little brother could smile through his bloodied face.
Ozzie received a beating with all the regularity of a clock striking twelve, but this time it actually came at midnight. Ozzie crushed stalks of wheat as he fell, but he jumped up and struck back. He was no match for Jonas though. Ozzie was only eleven; Jonas was fifteen. And with four more years of hard farming labor, Jonas’s arms were twice his size and impacted his body like an axe to a tree. Jonas’ fist drove into Ozzie’s gut and he dropped to the ground again.
The skin on Erik’s face burned. His stomach clamped every time his brother got beat, mainly because it was his fault. If it wasn’t for him, they wouldn’t be there. He dug his hand in his pocket, found his rock and squeezed. There was no chance Erik could best Jonas, but Ozzie was all he had left. He released the stone and lunged at Jonas. He beat his fat stomach, but it was like hitting a gorilla. Jonas grabbed Erik’s arm and twisted. Erik shouted and dropped to his knees. Jonas kicked his stomach. The air shot out of him. He rolled into a ball on the ground and choked for air.