the short story project


Draven Barber

The follower

The air seemed a bit odd that night.  There was no fire like smell—not even from the BBQ that was brewing on the coals. The people seemed just fine, laughing and smiling—drinking while some combined it with drugs. Everything was the same but something felt different. He couldn’t figure it out. Did someone unknown to him step on his turf? Someone from his hometown trying to stir up trouble? No one in the crowd looked familiar—from his past anyway. As far as he knew-there, weren’t any of the past and worn out faces reminding him of home. No. Everyone he was looking at, he knew from where he was at—his new home. A home where he’s built up instead of being pulled down. But that tiny fear rung through his body. He couldn’t stop searching for a hauntingly familiar face to pull him back. But the more he searched, the more the faces, smiles, drugs, and booze blended together. They all morphed into one bug episode of loud laughter with guitars and drums to feed their out of step melodic tune. And then he found him.

Watching with his sneaky blue-green eyes—he found him. The man giving off the uncomfortable eerie feeling of the night. They stared at each other ‘till the man came to an understanding to back off. He couldn’t say anything. No point in causing trouble to something that hadn’t already started—but he’d keep an ey on him for sure. 

“Hey Stripes, what’s up?”

“Tonight just feels weird.”

“You too!?—I thought it was just me.”

“No. I feel it—something isn’t right.” –The man passed by. He was following some girl, with his vest and hair and shoes. That stupid “lets see if they notice” look on his face just pissed him off even more. He wanted him off the land and awat from the venue. “That one.” Said Stripes. “That one’s giving off the bad vibes.

Stripes didn’t even have to point. “Yeah…I feel it. I’ll keep an eye on him. Make sure nothing happens.”

“Yeah me too.”

He started following other girls—Stripes followed and stared until the man noticed he was caught. His eyes grew wide, he stumbled with his footing, and was gone by the time the next band showed up. The night could finally carry out in peace—and Stripes could finally have himself a beer.

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