Voice: Hey, hey, you two!
Nar: They stopped and stared into the gloom trying to make out who was calling them. They could faintly see the silhouette of a man in the alley. They stepped forward and into the darkness.
Man: Hey, do you want a good time? Do you want some coke or some e? C’mon, blow your mind!
Young man: No, we don’t do this stuff.
Man: Hey, you came to this town to have fun, right? I’m going to give you a good time. I know that you want to have a good time.
Friend: We’re having fun without it.
Nar: Suddenly the man pulled out a knife. They backed away. Their exit was blocked by another figure that had appeared from nowhere. The man laughed and stepped closer to them. The young man was transfixed by the gleam of the blade.
The young man’s friend acted first. He pushed the knife-wielding man away and ran towards the man blocking the alley exit. It took a few seconds for the young man to enter real time again. He shook himself awake and ran towards the man blocking the exit. With the combined force of two young men the man guarding the exit was flung backwards and fell. Passers-by stared. The young men kept on running and did not stop until they were a good distance away from the alley.
Young man: I thought that we were gone for a second.
Friend: The only thing I could think about was, “ Got to run, got to run…”
Young man: I can’t believe that you pushed that guy away, man. He had a knife.
Young man: Don’t tell me that you didn’t notice that he had a knife!
Friend: I didn’t see any knife. Are you serious?
Young man: Of course I am. I thought you were crazy or something.
Friend: Oh shit, I can’t believe I did that. If I knew that he had a knife I wouldn’t have done anything!
Nar: They looked at each other and began to laugh. Their laughs echoed down the streets of the old city and onto unheeding ears. They walked back to The Last Waterhole and by the time they arrived it was two o’clock.
They walked into The Last Waterhole in high spirits. The thought of what had just happened to them filled them with a new appreciation of life. The darkness of the bar dampened their spirits and they finally realised that they were in a country where they did not know a single soul and they were helpless. They could only rely on each other.
Rat man: Your rooms are ready.
Nar: They nodded to him, continued straight to the door, and walked up to their room.
As they walked to the far end of the room where their beds were they noticed four pale boys lying in the bunks that were two partitions away.
Young man: Man, those guys look dead.
Friend: Well, I’m just glad that we’re finally here. Now we can relax.
Nar: They jumped into their beds and stretched out. The lumpiness of the beds bothered them but it felt good to be safe. The walls blocked the sweet seductive cry of the town. The town was old and had seen revolution, battles, and the death of many. Blood was as much a part of it as the brick and mortar that held it together.
Young man: I’m going to get something to eat.
Nar: He walked downstairs and went outside. He felt vulnerable by himself but he had to get something to eat. He found a small shop and bought a sandwich. He walked back to The Last Waterhole avoiding all contact with anyone in the streets.
Friend: Hey man, are you going to eat that now?
Young man: No, I’ll save it for later.
Nar: The young man stared at the ceiling and for the first time wished that he were home. The strangeness of this town bothered him. Everyone that they had met was strange. He shook his head. He was acting stupid. He was on vacation. He should be enjoying himself.
Voice: Enjoy, relax… We’ll take care of you…
Nar: The young man started. He could have sworn that he just heard a strange voice. He tried to listen carefully but he could hear nothing.
Friend: Hey, what are we going to do about tomorrow? We have to find a new place to stay now.
Young man: Fuck! You scared the shit out of me! I thought I heard something. I guess I was falling asleep.
Friend: I didn’t hear anything. I think you’re still freaked out ‘cause of what happened.
Nar: Suddenly, the four pale youths further down the room burst out laughing. Their laughter was contagious and the young man and his friend could not stop themselves from laughing also.
Friend: Oh shit… I haven’t laughed this much for a long time.
Young man: Yeah… But what are we laughing at?
Friend: Who cares? But seriously, what about tomorrow?
(The laughter starts again…)
Nar: The young man felt so happy to be laughing even though he did not know why.
Voice: Hey, give us a piece of bread… Look at him… Piece of bread..? Give us some bread… Tough man… bread…
Nar: The young man stopped laughing and tried to concentrate on the voice. His friend was still laughing.
Voice: Isn’t it funny? Laugh with your friend…
Nar: The pale men burst out laughing again. The young man tried to control himself but it was impossible. Their laughter was contagious.