To read the story, click the image or follow this link
I suspect this is a wild goose chase I'm about to lead you all on, but here goes:
When I was very young, early grade school-age or maybe even the year before, my mom read a story to me and my brother. I don't remember story itself, but I do remember the setup, more or less. It was about a young boy with some sort of condition or disease or something that left him bedridden and weak (and was going to be fatal), and his big brother would help him keep his spirits up by telling stories about the fantastical world where you go after you die. Then, there was a fire in the apartment where they lived, and the younger brother was trapped upstairs. The older brother hauled him to the window and jumped out with him, using his own body to shield the younger brother from the fall. The older brother died, I think I remember that the parents blamed the younger one for his death, and a short while (months, maybe?) after that, the younger brother passed away of whatever it was that afflicted him. Then, he woke up in the fantastical world his big brother had told him about.
Anyway, that's the setup, at least as I remember it. Does anyone happen to know what story I'm thinking of? I asked my mom, but she doesn't remember reading anything like that to us, and I have no idea where to even begin trying to find it. All I've got is a half-remembered (and probably mis-remembered, fair warning) first chapter or three, and no proper nouns. But on the off-chance that my painfully vague description is ringing any bells, I'd appreciate if you'd let me know what it is I was read. This has been bugging me for a while.
Below, my review of Redsquirrel456's Sword, Hammer, Stallion.