Fit as a fiddle

… continued

But Suje hesitated. He couldn’t get his body to move. He wasn’t frail, but also wasn’t fit as a fiddle. Retro was the muscle of the group. What if the creator of that sound was larger than he and the only option was to flee? Or defend himself?

“Suj! Come on!”, Retro persisted.

Suje thought, “what sound? I don’t know what you’re talking about”. But retracted that from his mind.

They slowly made progress to cover the distance. Suje was overthinking it, as usual. What if it was nothing. Retro was off, a few paces ahead with no concern.

“Thud!”. A lump entered Suje’s throat. That was heavy. He stopped, considering if it were more important to complete his chores for mother. But, what would his friends think? They’d think he was the steady head in the group. Always the one considering the long term investment effect.

The wind picked up. The tree tops rustled. Enough to keep the air from entering his lungs, a little gasping for breath as no air was near his face. Or that was was he felt.

“Hey, what’s over there? Is that where the cave is?”, he yelled at Retro who was joyously strolling toward the treeline. A rapid gate, stick in hand, waving at grass tops and bugs along the way. “Hey!, slow down! Retr….”, he saw his friends posture and stopped promptly.

Retro froze in his tracks. Suje finally caught up. Nothing catches Retro’s attention like there to hold him. A statue. In a softer voice, not wanting to alarm anything around them, as though the sound of his resinating voice would awaken a grasshopper from it’s slumber. With gentle reprieve, Suje said “what got you dude?”. A blank stare in his eyes, off in the distance. What could be there?

The dust came out of nowhere. In a spiral upward lift, the twisting cloud surrounded them almost instantly. Screaming to keep up with the level of the wind “RETRO!!”, Suje lost sight of his friend. Being pushed backward, sumlbing to maintain his posture. He collapsed to the ground to lower his center of gravity, but that meant he couldn’t find his friend.

“What do you want!?”, a frustration and annoyance resonated from him, as though he was screaming at a knocking at the door in the middle of the night.

And then it stopped. The dirt settled. The noise was gone. The chaos that instantly surrounded him was not there anymore. And neither was Retro.

Fit as a fiddle