When AJ first woke up, three thoughts occurred to him….one, he had to pee. Two, the bus was awfully dark.
AJ had no idea how he ended up in Howie’s bunk, but he woke up startled to see that the bus had flipped over onto its side. There were suitcases and bags all over, broken glass and the smell of gasoline was still present.
“Holy shit.” he whispered, coughing. Nobody else was really making a sound but he hoisted himself up slowly.
“D…..D where are you?”
He called for Howie but got no reply…he smelled blood but he didn’t know where it was coming from.
The third though struck him….the last words he spoke to his friends was him telling them to drop dead. It caused him to panic.
“Fellas? What the fuck is going on?”
AJ’s was worried he was the only one alive until he nearly tripped over a body. It was Howie all right, his arm bent at an odd angle and blood on his face.
“Howie talk to me…..we need to get out of here…please? Answer me dude.” he gently shook him but he didn’t move, but the slow rise and fall from his chest signified that he was alive. AJ didn’t want to leave him but he walked towards the front of the bus…afraid what he would find up there.
Brian felt a lot of pain when he woke up on the grass. He looked around, blinking in the rain that fell around him. He wondered for a moment how he’d ended up outside and looked back at the bus, his eyes wide.
There was no reply so Brian tried to stand, although he was wobbly and sore. The rain fell against his face, trickling down his chin and washing away dried blood. He was scraped up from being flung from the bus, and he felt pain in his wrist.
“Kevin? Nick? Howie? AJ? Anybody hear me?” he called again as he approached the overturned bus. He didn’t even see Russell, which he was grateful for. Everything had happened so quick and he worried, wondering if Kevin had been hit by the gunfire.
“Brian?” AJ answered, coughing again.
“Thank God someone answered me. Are you all right?” Brian said. AJ poked his head out the broken window and saw that it would be hard to get down from that angle. Brian seemed to be all right, but his face was pretty banged up because he was bleeding.
“I think so, but Howie isn’t. Where is everyone else?”
“I don’t know, but I dont like that gas smell. Can you get Howie out? Is he injured badly?” Brian asked. He felt a chill and moved to the other side of the bus, but he didn’t think that angle would help either. It was really worrying that he and AJ were the only ones talking right now.
AJ went back inside to see if he could pick up Howie when he suddenly tripped, catching himself on the bathroom door.
“Nicky is that you?”
It wasn’t Nick. He had found Brian’s dog crushed to death under some suitcases. AJ wretched, feeling sick to his stomach.
“I will never complain about a dog again…Jesus please help us get out of here.” he whispered. Howie lay just a few feet away, still in the same spot. He wasn’t too heavy but AJ still had trouble lifting him, struggling a bit as he put him over his shoulder. He knew this was a bad idea as his arm was probably broken, but AJ took the chance. The gasoline smell was making him queasy and dizzy.
“Rok, you still down there? Help me get Howie down.”
After about ten minutes they safely movedHowie to the grass, Brian feeling more pain from lifting his bandmate.
“Damn, what the fuck happened?” AJ asked, finally realizing how bad the situation was.
“I…we have to find Nick and Kevin. Did you see Tyke anywhere?” Brian said, but AJ didn’t answer. He’d gone back to find Nick….but it seemed hopeless. There was so much debris and other objects scattered about in the dark it was hard to see.
He coughed again and found himself wishing for a cigarette. He could use his ligjter for light, but with the gas smell they’d be blown to bits.
“Nicky Nick…..you all right? Answer me goddamn it.”
He stood on the bus, feeling so frustrated and helpless that he punched the broken bathroom door and growled.
A small voice called out in the dark and he hurried towards it, hoping whoever it was would be okay.