This is the second post in a series of short fiction stories I wrote inspired by videos from MrSuicideSheep‘s YouTube channel, which is my favorite channel for music. Here is how to experience each story:
- Before you begin reading look at the song title, the picture that goes with it, and then listen to the song. I derived all inspiration and ideas for each story from the title, image, and music.
- You can listen to the song before, during, or after reading the story. I recommend doing all three, because that is how I did it when I wrote this.
- Horizontal separating lines like the one just below this sentence denote a change in scene. Enjoy.
Quiet. For the first time in three days, there was quiet. The small band of rebels finally felt safe enough to peek out of their foxholes. Five shadows slowly stood and looked across the city. Their home.
“The sky looks like you kid.”
Ashe turned to see Lacey smirking his way. “Shut it.” The rest of the group chuckled, she had a point. The sky above Gatio was ashen from the fires that had raged for three days prior. Darkness still pervaded the land, but the city lights refused to be consumed and fought bravely against it. The small band of friends simply stared at it, not sure what to think.
“So, are we good?” Karl always had a way of asking what everyone was thinking. Sometimes it was great, other times it got him in some sticky situations.
“Yeah, I guess so. Can’t believe it,” Lacey replied. “Hey Ray what you think? We finally whoop ’em?”
“Yup.” Ray was a man of few words. He emoted through… alternate avenues. His favorite of which was his magnum. He even named the thing “Boo” but no one dared ask him why.
“Four damned years.” All heads turned towards the last member of the group, Giorgio. He got made fun of for his fancy name a lot, but that was about all the stick he got. You didn’t mess with Giorgio just like you didn’t mess with Ray, he just had a bit more, how do you say it, finesse to the way he did things. The two had been inseparable since they were little, and when the revolution began they were some of the first to join the rebellion.
The rebellion. What brought the five together in the first place four years ago. It all started where they stood now, on the outskirts of Gatio. The place first taken by Tyran and his armies. Their home was also the stage for the final siege that had taken place over the past three days. The rebels ceased fire on the city two hours past midnight, but no one had moved for hours since, in case it wasn’t really over.
The five friends simply stood together, reflecting. Victory. Elation. Bittersweet. They stood for what felt like hours with no purpose. Then, slowly, the cavalry arrived to stave off the darkness. Light poured over the horizon washing over Gatio and the surrounding countryside. Deep black shifted to bright purple, orange, and finally yellow when the morning star finally broke free from the ground. Everything was silent, and for the first time in four years, peaceful. Until Lacey broke the silence.
“I’ll tell you what. First thing I’m doing once we clean up is-” Ray cut Lacey off mid-sentence.
Even Giorgio laughed at that. The Cantina was the worst and best dive bar in Gatio. The food was incredible for such a rundown place. The liquor was atrocious, but abundant. And the owner… well Freddy was a sight to be sure. Freddy stood 6’6″ and weighed about as much as a full grown horse, but the man was like a father to his friends. He was a father to the rebellion as well, there was sure to be a party at the Cantina. It was the place everyone would reconvene now that the revolution had ended. Well, everyone that was left. A sobering thought. The five had seen many friends come and go during the war. There was no way to be sure who would show up and who wouldn’t when Freddy unlocked the doors again.
“Hey Ray maybe you won’t waste the whole night trying to suck up to Lyss this time.” Karl thoroughly enjoyed testing the big man’s patience.
“Only if you can walk yourself home bud,” Ray responded. That shut him up quick, along with roaring laughter from the rest.
Ashe found himself pondering their situation as the others continued their banter. The next few months were going to be like this. A constant struggle to strike the delicate balance between mourning and celebrating victory. Do you grieve or let yourself revel in newfound freedom? No one was sure exactly how to react. It was over, and they had made it through alive. But the experience and the memories would hang on to their ankles, pulling them back, for the rest of their lives. But the jokes made it easier to bear. There would be a time to cry, and when someone needed it, the rest would be there. Until then, the teenage jabs and jokes would have to suffice.