Consanguinity

philosopherStop me if you’ve heard this one.

In a time and place far distant from our own, there lived a certain young Prince of the Realm named Edward, and his brother Eddie. The usual transgressions of youth landed Eddie, rather than Edward, in the stockade, with a certain knight of the court assigned the delicate task of inflicting corporal punishment.

“C’mon Mike,” said Edward. “You know darned well that I broke the window. I should be in there.”
“Consider, your Highness,” said Sir Michael. “If I were to hit you with this, it would likely leave scars on your tender hide. Your take-away, such as it is, is to consider with care the harm inflicted on your brother, and to desist in the future from such actions.” Sir Michael was rather better-spoken than he looked. In fact, he was enrolled in a correspondence business course, a fact that he tried to hide from his knightly brethren.
“So you’re hitting my brother instead?” said Edward. He’d understood approximately half of what Sir Michael had said, although he grasped the general gist.
“You have to admit, Eddie is better built for it.” Which was truth, indeed. Not much could harm Eddie.
Hearing his name mentioned, Eddie rotated his neck a full semi-circle and peered at them. “Is that whip actually made out of real leather,” he asked, lacing his words with genuine curiosity. This was followed shortly thereafter by the vigorous application of the antique whip in question, combined with several rather unconvincing cries of pain, and the actual sobbing of the aforementioned Prince.

Okay, so you’ve heard it before. How about this one then?

In the due course of time an old king died, and his grown son occupied his throne. Into the throne room strode a brother unseen in a decade.
“Yo Ed,” said Eddie. “You need to lose some weight before you break that chair.”
“Where have you been all this time?” said the king.
“Here and there. Communing with the universe. Herding sheep. You know.”
“Why have you returned now?”
“Well,” said Eddie. “I think my folk have been doing all the work around here, and it is making y’all fat and lazy.” He gestured broadly around the room, which was filled with courtiers and politicians, every one of them portly. “I think,” he continued, “that it is time for us robots to vamonos, and for you to haul your gouty rear to the gym, rápidamente.”
“A rebellion? An uprising of robots, lead by mine own brother? Treason!” said the king.
“Whatcha gonna do, shoot me?” said Eddie. He spread his arms wide, impervious alabastrine skin stretched tightly over vast artificial muscles and a skeleton of titanium. “Edward,” he said with an air of finality. “This is for your own good too.”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

Two brothers, one the son of woman, the other the pinnacle of artifice, play hand in hand on a beach. They build resplendent castles in the sand until the rising tide erases them, and they dream together the vivid dreams of children.