Most days, Smukler’s bookstore is a quiet, peaceful, contemplative place to be. Then, just yesterday, THE REAL STORY, started complaining.

“I’m lonely,” he whined.


“Are you deaf? I’m lonely. There’s no one here to talk to. You’re a psychiatrist, right?”


“So you can understand what I’m saying.”

“True… But sometimes, being an only child has its advantages. No brother or sister to compete with. You get all the attention. Who’s to say that when there’s another book sitting next to you, that you’ll be happier? Maybe you’ll feel jealous?”

“Trust me. I won’t. And don’t give me all that sibling rivalry crap! It gets old listening to Joe be so gaga over Lara. And he’s so stubborn… If it wasn’t for her he’d be a goner.”

“That’s true.”

“I want to meet some new characters.”

I nodded.

“I heard you thinking out loud. Aren’t you having another baby?”

“I am.”

“When can I meet him?”

“Maybe a month or so.”

“Hmm. That’s not so bad. Is he interesting?”

“He’ll blow you away. But, he’s in a lot of danger.”

“Danger. I’m used to that. Maybe I can help?”

“You already have, Buddy. You’ll make a good friend for NINE NORTH to have.”

I poured myself a fresh cup of coffee, took a deep breath, and settled into my chair.

Thanks so much for reading.

Feel free to click away and buy THE REAL STORY, eBook or Paperback.

WHY IS BEATING YOUR BROTHER SO MUCH FUN? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

“There’s enough love for both of you, Tommy,” mommy said, sometime around the time you already knew how to walk, run, talk, and understand that TV was really cool.

“Yeah, right,” Tommy thought, staring down at Larry, his 5-day-old brother, who everyone was cooing over.

“Larry loves you,” mommy said.

Tommy looks again at Larry, sleeping quietly in his crib, with slobber dripping out the side of his mouth, and¬†instinctively¬†knows the real truth. Love, shmub, life will never be the same again…

Years pass, and magically no one gets killed or maimed, and the 2 guys actually grow up loving each other. BUT, when it’s time for sports or ONLINE SCRABBLE, it’s a fight to the death.

In a normal game, a move might take a minute. In a brother against brother game, it might take 24 hours — at least. No surprise. The loser, like The Road Runner Rabbit, is fighting for his very existence. But, luckily, after one of the brothers is destroyed, he miraculously is reborn.

No one can ever replace your brother. After all, he’s the only one who ever truly understood what it was like growing up in your home and who your parents really were. Only you have the right to destroy your brother, knowing you’d never really hurt him and he’d never really hurt you, EXCEPT ON GAME DAY.

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