Standing in the rain, with his head held low. Still groggy from whatever in the hell just happened, unable to hear anything over the ringing in his ears. Zwain could remember the breeze of flying through the air; hovering for what felt like an eternity and finally the pain in his ass as he landed in the mud.
He stood up and leaned against the nearest tree. A white flash assaulted his vision forcing him to squint them shut. The ringing in his ears lifted enough to hear the roar of something so massive that Zwain could swear that the world would open up an swallow him right there. He couldn’t hold himself up any longer. Zwain collapsed back onto the ground.
The bright lights dimmed and Zwain was able to make out other lights of different colours, swimming all across the sky. The roar receded into something that appeared to be more more of a rhythm.
Zwain was certain it had to be, but it was more enveloping than any music he’d ever heard before. This couldn’t be the twangs of the makeshift guitars his father used to make in their encampment.
Zwain looked up at the sky, lettings the rain drops just fall on his face. They felt good on the open sores and blisters on his forehead. He ran a single, dark brown hand through his tangled and matted white hair. This was most likely the first shower in… Shit, he can’t even remember. Was it days, or weeks? Once he was done squeezing the water into his hair he held his hand in front of him. His vision was still slightly doubled.
His fingers dug into his eyes in an attempt to clear it up. Zwain tilted his head back while his fingers rubbed and rubbed. He opened his mouth and let the rain just pour down his throat. It was the most satisfying drink he had ever tasted. He never knew water this pure could even exist.
The music was getting clearer and clearer as the seconds passed by. He started being able the chanting of a crowd, going in time with the music. It sounded big. He removed the fingers from his eyes and lowered his gaze to where the sounds were coming from and almost choked to death on his mouthful of water.
Thousands upon thousands of people filled and entire field. Zwain wasn’t even sure if that many people were even alive in the world. Not only that, but the field was green. Green grass? Not on God’s brown Earth. Then there was the lights; Zwain had seen electricity before, but those were dim yellow bulbs that barely let him read at night. These were bright and pierced through the darkness like the sun.
“Are you okay, man?”
Zwain barely heard the question through all of the amazement; not to mention having to fight the volume of concert speakers.
Zwain looked up and saw a tall, lanky man reaching a hairy arm down towards him. Zwain tilted his head in a puzzled expression.
“I said, are you alright, man?”
Zwain took his hand and the man lifted him up to his feet. “Y-yeah. I’m fine. Just a little light headed, that’s all.”
“Aw, dude. You did too much pre-drinking, didn’t you?”
“Something like that. Thanks for the hand.”
“Not a problem, dude! The name’s Anthony, but only my father calls me that. It’s Tony to my pals.”
“Thanks, An–” Zwain cause Tony raising his eyebrows and course-corrected, “–I mean, thanks Tony. I’m Zwain and a little confused. Where am I?”
“Aw, dude. How do you not know? It’s the mother fucking PBJB concert! Even in the rain they’re shredding it up there. Granted they have a tent over them, but still, most bands will just pussy out and call it a rain day–” Tony paused and aimed his ear towards the stage. One of the guitarists had walked to the front of the stage and began just rapidly dancing his fingers near the base of the neck. Tony returned his attention to Zwain, “Man can Eddie can totally wail on that electric guitar! I swear you can almost see smoke rising from that thing. And that, my friend, is why I have all their albums.”
“Records, songs, music dude? Where ya been?”
Zwain stopped and paused for a moment. The last thing he could remember was trying to talk sense into the kids. A shadow had crept up behind him and everything after that was muddled. He knew that this place didn’t exist anywhere in his world, but how did he end up here?
“I… actually… don’t know. Where I’m from there’s hardly any people; barely any grass, let alone green grass, and there’s barely enough electricity for the lights, let alone power up guitars.”
“Aw man, that sounds pretty bleak. Well, just be glad that you’re here now at the PBJB Sandwich tour of seventy nine!” He threw up two fists formed into a gesture of horns. “Enjoy the music, rock the fuck out!”
“Sev..en..ty nine? Wait, is that the year? 2079?”
Tony’s eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets from stifling the laughter. “2079? Haha! Nice one, man. This ain’t the future. We’d have some flying cars and shit if that were the case. Naw, man, we are in the glorious year of 1979!”
Zwain almost fainted once again. Tony caught him and held him stead. “Whoa dude, hold steady, bud!”
“I thought I was in the past, but not over 200 years in the past, ” said Zwain rapidly blinking.
“Dude, you must’ve hit your head pretty hard.”
“No! Well yes, I did. I remember enough to know that I’m from the future. I… somehow travelled to the past.”
Tony let out a heartfelt laugh at this and shook his head. “Dude, you know what. You’re alright!,” he said as he clapped a hand on Zwain’s shoulder.
“No, I’m serious. I don’t belong here. I have to get back. I gotta save those kids. I got to make them understand!”
“Sh, sh-sh-sh, dude, you’re freakin. Did you take some bad acid? You should stay away from that shit, dude.”
Zwain did his best to try and calm down. He still had no recollection of how he ended up in this time, but he was here, and here is now. The music permeated the membrane of his psyche. Zwain had been playing guitar since he was little but this was different. This made his toes toes tap, his head bob and his fingers drum on his legs.
“Yeah. I think I’m cool now. This music… ” Zwain trailed off for a second, “This music’s pretty great!”
“Yeah fucking rights it is, dude! It fucking rocks!” exclaimed Tony and he raised his hand up into the air, hand wide open. Zwain looked up at it, unsure of what to do. Tony noticed the puzzled look and said, “Alright, buddy, you do this.”
Zwain raised his arm high up into the air and Tony smacked his hand with the palm of his own. A surge of energy tore through his whole body and fused with the music roaring through the air. Zwain lowered his arm and looked at it with a big grin on his lips.
Tony threw up the horns again and yelled “High Five, bro!”
With a chuckle and a nod, Zwain said to himself, “High five…”
* * *
Under that same tree, only without the concert or the rain, Zwain looked down at his hand. Remembering the stinging, tingling sensation that had coursed through it the first time Tony high fived him. The memory brought a faint smile to his lips.
A hand clapped down on his shoulder. Startled, Zwain turned and saw Tony, whose lankiness was still present, but his hair had started thinning in the 7 years they had known each other.
“Getting all nostalgic, are we, dude?”
Zwain looked up at the tree. Still not really able to believe that it was truly that green and replied, “Yeah, it’s kinda funny how we’ve all come full circle.”
“Where we first met, dude! This place has deep meaning. Almost kind of appropriate for the start of our first big tour to be here.”
“It’s also where I first came to this timeline.”
Tony let loose a roar of laughter and patted Zwain on the shoulder. “Your commitment to that shit is uncanny, man. Someone is bound to start believing you at some point, dude!”
Zwain joined in the laughter, “Heaven forbid!” The laughter slowly dwindled down until Zwain gave a sigh and said, “I wish my father could be here. He’s the one who taught me to play guitar in the first place. I used to sing to the kids around the camp.”
“Oh, was he the one who taught you that one song. What what it? Lung Butter?” Tony’s face was full of cheeky sarcasm, he knew this was a fun button to push.
“No, that was me. The kids loved that one!”
“I’m Sure they did, and it really shows off your song writing skills, man.” Tony cleared his through and started singing “Lung Butter, put it on toast!”
“Stop it, dude. I know it’s not–”
“Which colour can you taste the most!?”
“–the greatest song, but still; you can’t mess with a classic!”
Tony belted out some more laughter. “More like you can’t make any more of a mess out of that mess, dude!”
Zwain raised his eyebrows with a smug grin, “Same difference.”
Tony chuckled and clapped Zwain’s shoulder once again. “Come on, we’ve got practice tonight. We should head on back. You know how Mandy gets if we’re late.”
Zwain nodded in agreement.
As they walked away from the tree, Tony asked, “So, how’s that solo coming along, bud?”
“Oh, not too bad. Something still seems a bit off, but it’s coming along. I definitely want to get that song ready for the show this Saturday. It is going to melt some faces!” said Zwain as he opened the passenger side door of Tony’s car.
“Fucking eh, dude, fucking eh!” and Tony climbed into his car and they drove off towards the city.