They moved in unison. Like some sort of pack of silent wolves. Their terrain was made of asphalt instead of rolling hills. It didn’t matter much. They were just as vicious. Fully equipped with their light cigarettes and iPods, they all walked with a strange confidence. Despite stumbling over one another, they looked as though they knew just where they were going. Their final destination had been given to them. Their steps rehearsed. The path trekked before.
People moved aside as they approached. Splitting urban parking lots had never been easier and cooler. Everyone else in town was dressed in various colors. Bright orange mixed with hues of yellow and baby blue. But this group wore nothing but black. Of course there were different shades depending on how often they washed.
Stepping over stray cats and dogs, the group gained steam as the trip continued. In the fourth mile one of the leaders grew sick. He’d gotten a cramp on his left side. His brother had to help him for the remaining six miles. Nothing was going to stop them.
Cautionary blinking orange hands at crosswalks were no match for the group who just lowered their heads and stepped into traffic. Daring passing cars to continue driving. None of them did. Another mini-battle won.
The final mile was the toughest. A straight uphill climb. Sprawling estates and upscale storefronts gave way to trees. They began to blend in with their surroundings as they approached. On each side of them were others. They had all made the journey. From far above it looked like a group of ants descending upon an open field. They were ready to devour the area.
At the end of the long, barren field was a stage. On it were long-haired men with beards. Grown-up versions of their own group. Music had overtaken the sound of nothing from moments ago. They had reached their destination. No longer were they the minority. They fell in with the rest of the silent group waiting to see what happened next.
For those three hours the group didn’t have to say anything to one another. They all understood what was going on. The significance of what they were witnessing. They were the lucky few.
The sky opened up halfway through the show and let out a large rumble. It crashed in unison with the drumming from their most famous song. Rain fell from the heavens, whetting their appetites for some sort of experience, something to make this whole trip worthwhile.
This field trip required no special permission slip. That was part of the fun.
Patrick Trotti lives in New York where he’s studying Creative Writing in the hopes of delaying the pursuit of an actual job for a little while longer. He’s the founder and editor of the online literary journal (Short) Fiction Collective. His previous fiction has appeared in New Wave Vomit, Six Sentences, and The Legendary, among others.