((Will Brackenrig continued from Eat Fresh
Will wasn’t afforded much time to protest as Erik thrust his belongings upon him, scarcely managing a harried “good luck!” before his friend bolted from the shroud of foliage they’d only recently entered. The echo of the gunshot that’d caught Erik’s attention still rang in his ears, muffling his hearing as he slowly backed up against one of the numerous trees dotted around him. Part of him wished he’d grabbed Erik’s wrist and prevented him from running of like that, or that he’d accompanied his friend as he moved towards the source of the noise, not wanting Erik to get himself into any trouble that he couldn’t handle. But as his hearing slowly returned and his initial panic slowly dissipated, Will chided himself for being so freaked out. Erik was a smart kid who likely knew his limitations, and there was no way that he’d lose yet another ally so soon after being reunited with him. The world couldn’t be that cruel, even in a place like this.
That mindset lasted only a few minutes before further gunshots resounded throughout the serene silence of the area, and Will’s heart plummeted to the pit of his stomach.
The colour that’d risen in Will’s cheeks from the exertion he’d garnered on the way to the orchard immediately fled his face, leaving his skin pale and his eyes widened in shock as denial and fear rose within him. He wouldn’t call himself a firearms expert by any measure of the word, but there was a definitive difference between the sound of a shotgun and the bang that’d just sounded around him, not to mention that it was identical to the sharp crack that’d driven Erik from the canopy he was stood under. A part of Will insisted that Erik had to be fine, that his mind was just playing tricks on him, that everything would turn out alright, but another part screamed at him that Erik was gone, gone and he’d done nothing to prevent it, stood glued to the snow-laden grass as his friend ran off and got gunned down for no reason.
Confusion and indecision rooted him to the spot, not knowing whether to leave the area and abandon Erik in whatever state he was in, or go and investigate and confirm what’d transpired. Either action was so laced with a myriad of things that could go wrong, and it was impossible to choose between them, especially with the time he had to make a choice steadily trickling past him, leaving him with precious seconds before his options and realm of choice would be torn away from him.
Will’s chest rose unevenly and tears began to trail down his face as the two possibilities fought between each other, the gravity of what’d happened twisting his insides into knots.
He didn’t stay long enough to find out which was the right one.
((Will Brackenrig continued in The Jellies Experience