"We should take the bridge," I told Layla. She tripped over a nearby log, and I managed to grab her hand just before she pelted towards the ground.
"Jared! You saved my life!" she exclaimed as she gave me a big hug. "Thank you."
"My pleasure, Layla," I told her with a smile.
"Wait for me!" Sophia called after us. "Thomas is dragging his ass in the dirt. I don't know what's taking him so long."
"Hey, I'm rolling the joints for us, you assholes," Thomas scoffed as he suddenly appeared through the thicket of trees. "I'll just smoke them all by myself if you don't wanna wait for me."
"Aww, don't be like that, Thomas!" Layla giggled as she sauntered towards him. "I'll wait up for you, buddy."
The thing about the four of us - Layla, Thomas, Sophia, and I - was that none of us were really together. We were like one big happy family. We enjoyed doing a lot of stuff together… smoking pot, being one of them I guess… but we did more than that, too.
"Hey Jared," whispered Sophia as she approached me. "We should ditch them. Let's run to the bridge without them!"
I smiled at her. "You want to?"
"Yes!" she giggled as she hooked her arm with mine. "Shh, be quiet though."
Layla and Thomas were talking about something, but I didn't bother listening as Sophia and I started walking towards the nearby railroad tracks.
"Shh…" Sophia continued to giggle. "Okay, on three. One, two-"
She broke out in a hysteric scream before she even said three, and together, holding hands, we ran down the railroad tracks like we were running for dear life.
One thing I'd have to point out though - it isn't easy running on railroad tracks. In fact, it's frickin' hard. You have to watch your step every moment, otherwise you'll go flying into the dirt if you trip over one of the planks of wood in the tracks.
"Hey! Where the hell are you going?" I heard Thomas scream.
Layla started screaming obscenities at us. We only ran faster.
"Wait, wait… st-stop," huffed Sophia, now out of breath at this point.
"Okay, okay…" I wasn't one to refuse. I was out of shape - that sprinting had practically knocked the wind out of me.
"Aww, I love you, Jared," she whispered to me as she leaned on my shoulder while we walked. She hooked her arm with mine. "I love that we're friends."
"Yeah, me too," I told her.
It was then that we suddenly heard a low rumble of engines in the distance - it was on the other side of the bridge.
"What the hell was that?" Sophia squeaked as she squeezed my arm.
"Uh… it sounded like a car engine. Or a bike engine or something," I told her. I only knew that because I had a motorcycle of my own. Nothing too fancy, but it worked. That was all that mattered.
"There's people here?" Sophia asked me nervously. She was practically squeezing the life out of my arm.
"Don't worry," I told her as I shrugged her closer. "I'm here."
"We should spy on them," she murmured in my neck as she strained to look down the bridge.
It was dark where we were. There wasn't a moon in sight. Fog was rolling down the bridge, and I managed to make out a few headlights on the other side.
"Yep, definitely bikes," I told her.
That was when we heard laughter and the sound of shouting.
"C'mon, let's hide and spy on them!" Sophia giggled as she grabbed my leather jacket by the collar and dragged me down the bridge.
"There's nowhere to hide!"
"Who's that?" I heard a voice murmur.
"Oh my God! Jared, they can see us!" Sophia squealed as she squeezed my arm again.
"That's right, and I can hear you, too," the voice said in the darkness.
I could make out the outline of five guys in the distance.
"Sophia, where the fuck are you?" I heard Layla scream in the distance. "I'm getting tired of you and Jared ditching me and Thomas all the time!"
"What, is it that horrible being alone with me?" I heard Thomas snap in annoyance.
"Shut up!" I whisper-shouted to them. They couldn't hear me, of course.
"You two, down there," I heard another voice cry out to us. "C'mere!"
"Jared, I'm scared," Sophia squawked in my ear.
"We're fine," I reassured. "C'mon, let's head back."
"There you are!" Thomas sighed in relief. "We were looking for you, what the hell man!"
A freshly rolled joint was already lit between his lips. He had trouble walking down the bridge as he tripped towards us.
"Have a puff, my friend," Thomas cooed as he stuck the joint forward. "Layla and I have already been at it."
"Nah, let's just get out of here," Sophia said in quick squeaks as she began dragging me back towards the end of the bridge.
"Hey, you!" The voices on the other side were getting closer as they approached.
Layla gasped. "Whoa! Who're you?" she called to the other side of the bridge.
"Come on over here!" a voice cried again.
Layla was practically skipping towards the stranger's voice.
"Layla, no!" Sophia cried.
"You guys, smoke up and chill," Thomas cooed to us as he wobbled on his feet. "After the first puff, you know everything's gunna be fine."
"That's such bullshit, man," I told Thomas.
"Hey, if you take a puff, both of you, then we'll leave," Thomas told us.
"Fuck you, man," I said angrily as I snatched the joint from him. "Way to peer pressure… bastard…"
I took a puff of the roach and handed it to Sophia. She obeyed and took a puff too. That was when I wanted another, and soon Sophia and I exchanged the whole joint with one another. By the time we finished the entire roach, the voices we had heard earlier approached us.
"Look you guys!" Layla giggled. A blond with long, messy blond hair was giving her a piggy back ride. "I made new friends!"
"H-Hey," I greeted with a grin, my thoughts of fear from before disappearing. "What's crackalackin?"
"What's crackalackin?" a curly-haired blond repeated. "What's crackalackin is that we're taking over this bridge."
"Snack anyone?" Thomas hooted as he stuck his joint forward.
The guy who had been giving Layla a piggy back ride seemed to have dropped her immediately as he jumped forward directly into Thomas's face, a grin smacking his lips.
"Well hey there little dude," he greeted. "I'm Paul. And I sure as hell would love to try some of that."
"Well whaddya know, Paul Bunyan. You're in luck. Have a taste, my friend."
The guy named Paul hooted and took the joint from Thomas's hand.
The joint was passed around slowly. There was a second blond with long, curly hair and a colorful jacket on. Another blond, this one more like platinum blond, wore a long trench coat and held a piercing gaze. His hair was cut short in a mullet. A brooding, Native American looking brunette hung in the shadows. The fifth guy was quiet too - finished with a black leather jacket and dark curly hair.
They all introduced themselves, besides Paul, who already had. David, Marko, Michael, and Dwayne.
Thomas slurred all of our names out like his mouth was coated with sandpaper.
"Enchanté," said Paul coolly.
"Hey, guys, we're gunna do something cool," David explained. "You wanna watch?"
"Can I do it too?" I asked in admiration.
"Nah, this is dangerous stuff. Just watch, okay?"
I was slightly deflated when he said no. "Yeah, I guess so, man."
"I promise you can do it next time though, okay?" David told us.
"What are we doing, David?" Michael asked in confusion.
David only chuckled. "Michael wants to know what's going on, you guys," David told us all. He started laughing at that, then soon Dwayne, Marko, and Paul had joined in.
I don't know what was so funny, but all of a sudden Layla started cracking up, and then that made Sophia laugh, and that made me laugh, and soon Thomas was laughing. At that point we were cracking up so hard that tears were streaming down our faces. Sophia leaned on me for support.
When the four of us composed ourselves, we only realized that the other guys had already stopped laughing.
"What's so funny, guys?" David asked us.
Sophia cleared her throat. "Gah, uh… nothing."
Marko chuckled. "Thought so."
"Marko?" David asked. "Why don't you show Michael and the group here what's going on?"
"Something's going on?" Thomas croaked.
Marko, the curly haired blond, only smirked as he approached the edge of the bridge. "Goodnight, guys," he said. Then he gave us one little waggle of his fingers, and jumped off the edge of the bridge.
Sophia screamed and I clapped a hand to her mouth.
"Fucking hell!" Thomas screamed. "Layla, Layla! Did you see that?"
"What? What happened?" Layla asked. She had been peering over the edge of the bridge on the other side. "Did something happen?"
"He jumped off the fucking bridge!" Thomas screamed, now dancing where he stood.
"Not ah," Layla giggled. "You're lying, Thomas."
"No, I just saw!"
"Nah… lies. ALL LIES!"
"These guys are total crack-heads," I heard David mumble.
"I love these guys," Paul murmured as he sauntered towards the edge of the bridge. "I think they're beautiful. Hey, guys, check this out!" I nearly pissed myself when Paul jumped over the edge too, the only sound of his voice screaming "YEEE-OWW!" as it floated through the air.
"What the hell?" I screamed. "Oh, jeez, God…" We thought maybe we had run into some cool guys, but no. We'd just run into a bunch of suicidal potheads. Stupid cunts…
That's when the long haired brunette pointed his fingers at us and jumped over the edge without a word. Layla screamed.
"See! What'd I tell you!" Thomas told Layla. "They're all killing themselves, man!"
David just laughed at us, then turned to the second brunette, the one with shorter, curlier hair. "Come with us, Michael," he cooed to him. Then David jumped over the edge, too.
"Don't do it, Michael!" Sophia squealed.
"Yeah, man. It's suicide. Don't do it, Michael," I told him.
Michael glanced over at us, then leaned over the edge. We were all on his tail as we leaned over him and glanced down, too.
Guffaws and laughter exploded as we saw all four guys that had just jumped down - only they'd grabbed onto the lower bars and were hanging on for dear life.
"What the fuck are you doing?" Sophia cried at them.
"Having a little fun," Paul laughed at her. "You wanna join us, babe?"
"You're caaaa-razy," she said as she twirled her finger around her ear. "CRAZY!"
"Crazy is my middle name, Sophia! Followed by Sexy," Paul screamed while kicking at Marko beside him.
"Come on down, Michael!" David wailed at him.
Everybody started chanting Michael's name after that.
"Noo! Peer pressure!" Layla screeched, covering her ears.
Michael bent over and grabbed hold of the next closest bar, and dropped down.
"Oh, my God. I can't look!" Sophia whispered as she turned back to me.
"I'll bet you a million bucks that they'll fly away," Thomas told Layla.
"Does it look like I got a million bucks, Einstein?" Layla snapped at him.
"Fine then. Twenty bucks, how 'bout?"
"I don't have that either. Stupid…"
That was when we heard the whistle of a train.
"C'mon! Hop onto the rail!" Thomas told us. "Let's do this!"
We didn't really protest - we didn't feel like running off the bridge to get out of the way of the train anyways. Nor did we feel like dropping down on the lower bars with those other crazy guys.
We went towards the railing of the bridge, pulled our bodies over, and hooked onto the edge of the opposite side. I kept my feet secured into the bars and wrapped my arms around the upper railing - I didn't dare look down.
The whole bridge was shaking. It felt like my brain was rattling in my skull as the train started to go by. The whistle of the train practically broke my eardrums. That's when I heard Sophia scream.
I looked down to see Paul let go of the bar he'd been hanging from and disappear into the mist down below. I could barely think as I stared with my mouth hanging open.
That's when Marko let go, then Dwayne, and soon David disappeared into the thickness of the fog.
The train was still going by, and Michael gave one last painful glance back at us.
"No! Michael! Hang on!" I heard Thomas scream to him.
Michael let go and disappeared into the mist.
The train was still passing by, the bridge still shaking. I looked away from the mist and back up at the sky.
None of us said anything once the train passed and it was silent. We all looked at one another, exchanging unsure glances.
"You think they're dead?" Sophia asked us.
That's when we heard more laughter and screams from down below the mist. They were cheering and hollering, like they weren't dead at all.
"Uh… they sound fine to me," Thomas said to us as he pulled himself back over the railing.
"So they flew away or something?" Layla asked in confusion.
"I told you they flew, Layla," snapped Thomas. "You owe me twenty bucks now."
"Shut up, Thomas! I never agreed to that bet!"
"You mean, they aren't dead?" Sophia asked in disbelief as she pulled herself over the railing.
We all leaned over the railing one more time and glanced down at the fog below us. We could still hear their voices screaming in rip-roaring laughter. How could they be dead?
"Sounds like they're having one helluva party down there," I laughed, the weed still floating through my head. If I had been sober, I probably would've gotten the cops down there as quick as a flash.
"We can have one helluva party too!" Thomas hooted, handing us all another freshly rolled roach.
"But what if they're dead?" Layla asked.
We glanced one last time down at the misty fog that almost reached for the bridge.
"Nah, they're fine," said Thomas, shrugging it off that easily.
God, we're so stupid when we're high.
I have not updated this story in the longest time! Actually, to be honest, I had written Jared's story a while ago, but hadn't posted it because it didn't seem like the story had much popularity. But now I just thought... 'What the heck! I'll just post it!' And I did, haha! Hope you enjoyed it! Please tell me what you think! Remember, there's one more story from Layla's point-of-view! - Plainsong30