The first paragraph creates the setting and tone of the story with strong words including bleeding, dead, rotting, empty, strained, and more. This creates a negative, eerie, and dark feeling in the reader's mind. You picture a dark setting in your mind.
"Summer has long since fled and time has had its way."
When Doodle falls in the rainstorm and the brother leaves him behind, the author uses strong words to give the reader an exact image of what is happening in their mind. Hurst describes the scene with "a wall of rain" and "drops stung my face like nettles". These strong words create a clear image in the reader's mind.
"Oh, you can walk."
When Doodle and Brother are running back to their house in the storm, the author uses a ton of figurative language to give you the same fear the characters are feeling. "A bursting Roman candle", "roaring through the pines", and "from fear he walked" are all types of figurative language from the story that creates a clear image in the reader's mind.
The style of this story is narrative because the main character, the brother, is telling a story through a flashback. He is thinking back to this and telling the story of what happened to his brother.
The theme of this story is to tell you that it is wrong to force people to be something that they are not. You can't force anyone to change just so that they fit in and you don't feel uncomfortable. People need to accept people's differences and not force them to be someone else. That can only end in disaster.