Sometimes when I’m alone
I wonder aloud
If you’re watching over me
Some place far abound
I must reverse my life
I can’t live in the past
Then set my soul free
Belong to me at last
These lyrics, these words, echo through the boy’s mind as he watches the sun fade, willingly being engulfed by the darkness of the new night. For a moment, it’s all too real; a symbol of life’s constant battles: the sun, hope rises, until the night, something, another problem, another fight, forces you to sing back down, further and further, until it has consumed you.
These were his thoughts even beforehand. The apocalypse has taken those feelings and amplified them a thousandfold.
It’s almost too much.
A momentary glance at his side reveals Madison has fallen asleep in the grass. Syn chuckles quietly to himself. The sight, for many reasons, makes him remember something Jonah had said years ago when he was going through major surgery:
“Life isn’t over until you have literally nothing.”
This stuck inside Syn’s head ever since; he really liked it and even told it to himself when he was feeling depressed.
Just now was one of those moments.
The boy takes his earbuds out, shuts off his iPod that has almost died (it’s a miracle it still works, all his songs were downloaded onto it, so the fact that the Internet was no more meant jackshit), and slowly and quietly climbs to his feet, silently leaving the girl.He manages to not wake her on accident, and heads to the oddly parked circle of vehicles and tents that are the rest of his group.
He walks to the makeshift campfire in the middle; logs and stumps have been moved around it for seating. Only three other people, Brody, Ylva, and Sylvia, are still up though. The fact that none of the adults are up pleases Syn.
“Hey man, Mad doin’ okay?” Brody says, sitting on a stump, as Syn takes a seat on the ground to his left.
“Sleepin’ like a baby. I’m only gonna be over here for a few minutes; got cold, gave her my blanket.”
Brody smiles at this. “She really wanted to watch the sun set, huh?”
“Heh. Yeah.,” the other boy responds, putting his hands up to the fire.
“Listen. I really appreciate you takin’ care of here. Seriously. It means a lot. She…really likes you.”
“I know. No problem.”
“Oh, hey Syn. You usually aren’t up this late,” Ylva says, looking at him. She sits on a log in front of him with Sylvia, who hasn’t once looked up from their card game.
“Like I told Brody: the col’s being a bitch tonight.”
“Well, winter is coming up, moron,” Sylvia says, finally speaking. She looks at Syn with a playful smile, the focuses back on her game.
“What’s the matter Syl? You losin’?”
“Ha. Lose to this bitch in War?”
“Well, you’ve gotta win at something,” Ylva smirks, winking at Sylvia.
“You two don’t go fuckin’ each other’s brains out again now, y’hear?” Syn says sarcastically.
This makes Sylvia perk up suddenly, but she still doesn’t return Syn’s look. “Ha. At least we’ve done it. When are you and Madd gonna-”
“Yep, this conversation’s over,” Syn interrupts, smiling and even blushing a little. “I can’t even come over here for five minutes just to warm up my hands.”
“Not our fault you can’t stand the outside world,” Ylva laughs.
“That made zero sense. Goodbye now.” Syn stands and begins to walk off.
“Zero sense? Like how you have zero chance with Brody here’s sister?” Sylvia teases.
Syn doesn’t turn back. Instead, he keeps walking and offers the mocking girl a simple flip of the bird. The trio still at the fire laughs.
The boy gets halfway back to the spot on the big hill where his girlfriend is before, out of nowhere, a large black figure springs from the thick brush to his immediate left and rams into him hard, sending both of them to the ground with a thud and gasp from Syn.
The panicking young man reaches for his hammer that is tied to his right side, but in doing so, leaves himself open, and gets a punch in the face for his troubles. This enrages him, and he jumps up just as his attacker does. It’s a grown man; looks to be middle-aged, wearing a leather jacket and black beanie with a scruffy beard.
A bandit. Was he stalking the camp?
This possible revelation only fuels his rage further, and so the boy charges low, tackling the man’s legs just as he stands. Syn’s speed and strength allows him to successfully take the man down with a small but impact slam. Wasting no time and risking nothing, Syn mounts his opponent after realizing he’s unarmed, and postures up, grabbing the collar of his now dirty jacket with his left hand and viciously beating the man in the face with his other.
After several hard and quick punches, the bandit’s struggles cease, and Syn is mercilessly wailing on an unconscious man. Blood from the boy’s broken nose drips onto his bloodied shirt. He continues to pound his new foe until the trio from the fire runs over, weapons drawn, faces masks of worry at first, then confusion.
“Woah, what the hell?” Ylva shouts.
“Syn…are you okay?” Sylvia says.
“Yeah,” he mutters quietly, checking with one hand to see if his nose is still bleeding.
“What happened, man?” Brody asks, his heart racing.
Syn takes a moment to collect himself first, then replies.
“I…I was just walking back, and this motherfucker tried to jump me!” He kicks the man’s body, although it does little to abate his still-strong anger.
“Wha-wat?” Ylva says.
“Straight up!” Syn sniffs, then finishes, “I think he was staking the camp out, watching us. No idea how long, though.”
After he says this, the others begin to study their surroundings, as if expecting more bandits to pop up.
Suddenly, they simultaneously turn back when they hear Syn whip out his hammer.
He’s gripping it tightly, a cold gaze set on the unconscious man.
“That was too close. Had I stayed at the fire, he would’ve wandered over to Maddie! And she’s asleep!”
“Woah,” Brody starts. “Now just wait, let’s think about this. We could question hi-”
“Syn! No!” Sylvia screams.
She gasps as the boy begins to bash the bandit’s skull in, stepping forward.
But Ylva puts an arm in front of her, then gives her a look, shaking her head. She then watches on.
…This was part one of a story I hope to finish later on. Thank you.