A swift sudden noise in the forest. Startled from his recall of the party at Double-J’s apartment, Rune looked to his left, scanned the dark woods. “Hello?” No answer. More noise, similar to what he’d just heard, only slower, not as close. An animal, raccoon perhaps. He couldn’t remember if raccoons hibernated. Fox, then.
He focused on the mechanical humming again. Still distant, definitely louder than before. He was going in the right direction. Knew that, but confirmation was always good. Resumed walking along the frozen shore.
“Sure you’re OK?” Jezz had needed confirmation as well, as she dropped him off at his house. Grunting back and scurrying from her car as articulate as speech — No I’m not, but I don’t want your help.
Double-J had punched him, shoved him, thrown him around the living area of his apartment. Baseball Cap had gone into the back room, Jezz was heading back there and holding out her hand to him, c’mon, a lamplight had glistened off her nose ring, illuminating her smile. He wasn’t going to drink beer or alcohol, but what lay in that back room was something different, this wasn’t an invitation he wanted to turn down, he wanted to find out what all the giggling smiles were about, so he reached out for Jezz’s hand. And then Double-J was on him, kicking his ass as Jezz screamed with indignation.
He could feel the areas of his stomach where Double-J had punched him, of his back that crashed into walls, and especially of his knee where he’d hit the table or chair or something. What had I done? Odd that the thought hadn’t occurred to him until just now. What made Double-J attack me?