Chapter 19 - Conflict
The group walked along a trail that lead them along the mountain side. Goldie and Chica were at the front of the group, with Red and Aiden following close behind. Spring and Chi were the third set of people who were following Goldie and Chica, with Foxy, Clyde, Bonnie and Freddy at the back.
Bonnie and Freddy hadn't taken their minds off of earlier. Bonnie smiled to himself when he remembered splashing Freddy. His hair looked really good when it was soaked with water, and it seemed Freddy enjoyed it more than anyone else.
And he did. Freddy hadn't really swam or been anywhere near the water for a long time, except for his showers. He neglected to admit that he was borderline aqua phobic. The bear looked over at Bonnie and gave him a small smile.
Bonnie smiled back and looked forward again. Freddy looked down at the ground and began contemplating some things that'd crossed his mind earlier.
Bonnie's movements and speech around him made Freddy feel that Bonnie was hiding something, and he had a good feeling of what it was.
Come to think of it, ever since Freddy confessed to Bonnie, Bonnie seemed to be acting a little different, as if he was trying to prove something to the bear.
Foxy turned around and glanced at Freddy, who seemed to be in deep thought. He turned back around and glanced at Clyde. Clyde looked at him and bit his lip.
“Think he's alright?” Clyde whispered.
“I'm sure he's fine,” Foxy responded, “Just leave him.”
Aiden was staring down at his phone. Red smirked and cleared his throat, “Good luck getting a signal out here.” Aiden quickly put his phone back in his pocket.
“I wasn't trying to.” Aiden responded.
Red was going to pry, but decided against it. He folded his arms and shivered, “Damn it's cold out here...” He muttered.
“It'll warm up,” Aiden said, “Don't be a pussy.” Red's ears lowered. He nodded and continued following the rest of the group.
The group eventually made it to the end of the trail. As they made it to the top, they noticed a small area that showed an awesome view of the mountain they'd just climbed.
There were a few wooden barriers near the edge to prevent anyone from falling off, and a decreped bench beside one of them.
“Surely this isn't the end of the trail?” Bonnie walked over to the edge, with Freddy following him close behind.
“It's the end of the trail, but we could keep going up.” Chica said.
“That's not really a good idea...” Clyde said, “Someone could easily get lost...”
“Good point,” Aiden bit his lip, “We should just stop here.”
“Well...I'm gonna head back down.” Chi turned around.
“Ye only just got up here.” Foxy glanced at her.
“Hiking isn't my strong suit,” Chi tugged Spring's paw, “Are you coming, too?”
“Of course, hon.” Spring grinned and accompanied Chi back down the mountain.
“Yeah!” Aiden exclaimed. Red glanced at him and saw that Aiden was holding his phone up into the air.
“What?” Red walked over to him.
“Got a signal!” Aiden added.
“Up here?” Chica raised an eyebrow.
“Weird...” Bonnie muttered.
“I got a few phone-calls to make.” Aiden wandered off.
Red glanced at the group, then back to Aiden, “Well, I'm gonna head back down...” Chica said.
“What was the point of coming up here?” Goldie asked.
“For exercise!” Chica exclaimed.
“Since when were you a fan of that?” Goldie asked.
“Since forever,” Chica wandered back down the trail, “Ya coming?”
“Yeah, sure.” Goldie followed her.
Foxy and Clyde walked over to Bonnie and Freddy. Bonnie was staring off the mountain in awe, “Holy crud...” He muttered, “Sometimes I just...forget to take it all in...”
“The view is pretty amazing...” Freddy commented.
“Yeah...” Clyde and Foxy said in unison.
Freddy smiled and looked at Bonnie. He approached him and rested a paw on his shoulder. Bonnie grinned and looked down at the ground. Clyde and Foxy shared looks and stepped back.
“So close...” Clyde whispered.
“But so far...” Foxy looked behind them to see that Red had walked off.
“Where'd he go?” Clyde asked.
“How the hell should I know?” Foxy raised an eyebrow, “He's probably going back to camp...”
Aiden hang up the phone and looked down at it. He'd made a few phone-calls and he was up-to-date with everything. He unlocked his phone again and opened his messages folder.
He'd gotten a few messages from somebody named; 'Boss'. He looked through the messages.
2:31AM – I wanted to inform you that I've sorted out a few issues relating to the 'disappearance' of our friend, Shane. However, this has caused a few issues in the school itself, as the police have been investigating the principal's office.
2:34AM – Fine, don't answer me. But I've got specific orders for you. We can't have Clyde come back from the camping trip alive. We need to cut him loose before something changes here. If he comes back, the police are going to investigate him, and he's going to tell everybody about everything, he might even connect us to Shane if he wants to.
2:37AM – Make it look like an accident. Push him off the mountain maybe. But prevent yourself from having any DNA connection to Clyde. Sort this out for me, and you guys will be good in my books. If Red suddenly decides to do something stupid aswell, take him out. Delete these messages.
Aiden pocketed his phone and looked past the trees, to where the four friends were talking to each other. He needed a plan to take Clyde out, and to make it look like an accident.
Aiden sat down on a nearby rock and bit his lip. After a few minutes passed, he had the basic foundations of a plan that he was ready to put into motion.
He'd convince Clyde to come up to the top of the mountain somehow, with the help of the others maybe. He paused when he thought about this. Foxy never leaves Clyde's side, so he'd have to do something to split them up.
Aiden sighed and got back up. He walked through the forest and made it back to the trail. He looked back up the trail and saw Clyde, Foxy, Bonnie and Freddy still up there. He closed his eyes and sighed.
He opened his eyes and saw Red standing there, “Took long enough.” Red said.
“Yeah, sure,” Aiden nodded, he glanced over at the four males again, then looked over at the other bear. He considered telling Red about what the boss had told him to do. Should he tell him?
After a few seconds of thinking, he came to a conclusion, “Red. Can we talk for a second?”
“Yeah, sure.” Red replied.
“Okay...” Aiden made sure that nobody else was looking, “The boss texted me.” He pulled out his phone and showed Red the messages.
“He wants me to take Clyde out.” Aiden added.
Red noticed the part which read; 'If Red suddenly decides to do something stupid aswell, take him out.'
“You wouldn't do that...right?” Red's eyes widened.
“I've got my own debts to pay aswell, Red.” Aiden said.
“But we're...friends!” Red exclaimed.
“No, no we're not. We're co-workers.” Aiden spat.
“More like co-debt collectors…!” Red whispered.
“Let me just make this clear,” Aiden began, “You either help me out, or I take you out. I won't hesitate.”
“We can't just cut him down like that...” Red said, frowning a little.
“If you decide to do anything stupid, as I just said, I won't hesitate to take you out,” Aiden growled. Red's eyes widened, he stepped back from the other bear, “Don't tell anyone.”
“I can just escape...” Red whispered.
“We'd track you down.” Aiden threatened. Red fell silent. Aiden watched Red walk off. He glanced back over at the top of the trail, and began following Red back towards camp.
Clyde and Foxy smiled at each other and shared a kiss, “Should we head back to camp?”
“Let's leave these two love-birds alone...” Foxy's grin widened.
“We're gonna head back to camp.” Clyde announced. Freddy and Bonnie turned back around and nodded.
“Don't stray too far from the trail, ye two...” Foxy said.
“We won't.” Freddy responded.
Foxy and Clyde waved goodbye and began walking back down the trail, leaving Bonnie and Freddy alone. Bonnie looked over at the forest, then back to Freddy.
“Care for a little exploration?” Bonnie asked.
“How far would we go? And how would we find out way back?” Freddy's eye-brows furrowed.
“Trust me, I know where I'm going.” Bonnie grinned.
“You've been here before?” Freddy asked.
Bonnie sighed and walked back over to the edge. He rested his paws against the barricade and closed his eyes, “My family used to bring Henry and I up here once a month...”
“Oh...” Freddy's ears lowered.
“I just...” Bonnie sighed, “I just...always...just sat there. With my phone. I'd play it alone while my brother and parents would splash around in the water...”
Freddy frowned, and remained silent. Bonnie continued, “I took it all for granted...I had no idea that this would happen...and now I'll never get to see my mother again, or my dad...”
“You still have Henry.” Freddy smiled and comforted the bunny.
“He's in an orphanage hundreds of miles away!” Bonnie exclaimed, startling Freddy a little.
“But, Bonnie-…!” Freddy raised a paw.
“If I'd...done something, none of this would've happened!” Bonnie shouted.
Freddy's eyes widened, he covered his mouth and instantly felt a wave of guilt go through him. He closed his eyes and remembered something from the past.
Freddy was standing at the door-way leading to Bonnie's old room. Henry stood in front of him, with a grin.
“What school do you go to?” Henry folded his arms. Freddy paused for a second before he responded.
“I go to Waterview High,” Freddy replied, “It's a private school.”
“I know, my brother goes there too.” Henry said. Freddy remembered Henry's cheerful expression.
Freddy nodded and the room filled with silence, “Listen,” Henry began, Freddy looked down at the kid once again, “I need help.” Henry said. He remembered Henry's tone lower and his happy expression fade.
“What with?” Freddy knelt down to the child's level.
“Mom and dad have been fighting a lot lately,” Henry said, “He's been hitting her.”
“What?” Freddy's eyes widened.
“Bonnie's scared,” Henry whispered, “He thinks he's gonna kill her...”
“Why doesn't he do anything about it?” Freddy asked, a look of worry making itself welcome on his face.
“Because he can't.” Henry replied.
“Why can't he…?” Freddy questioned.
“Because dad'll hurt her more.” Henry frowned. Freddy bit his lip and looked at the door.
“I'm gonna go...” Freddy said, he ruffled the kids hair and walked out of the room, “It was nice to meet you, Henry.”
“You too, Fred.”
Freddy opened his eyes and he covered his face, “Oh christ...” He whispered to himself.
“Freddy?” Bonnie raised an eyebrow, “What's the matter?”
Freddy looked over at him. Bonnie noticed his horrified expression, “You look like you've seen a ghost...”
Freddy covered his face again, “Henry came to me a few minutes before we left!” Freddy exclaimed.
“What are you talking about?” Bonnie asked, his eye-brows raised.
“Remember when you brought me to your place?” Freddy asked.
“Yeah, of course!” Bonnie grinned, “I actually enjoyed that...”
“Henry came to say goodbye to me, right?” Freddy said.
“I guess...” Bonnie shrugged.
“We talked for a few minutes before he drove the conversation into a different direction,” Freddy began. His tone changed as he continued, “He said that your father was hitting your mother. He also said that you were really worried them, he told me that you thought that he was going to kill her.”
Bonnie's face drained of any colour. Freddy frowned and looked down, “He asked for help...”
“BUT YOU DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!?” Bonnie shouted. Freddy's eyes widened. He stepped back from the bunny with a guilty expression on his face.
“I tried to! But I didn't know what to do!” Freddy exclaimed, “I'm really sorry, Bonnie!”
“There's NO excuse!” Bonnie growled. He approached Freddy and pushed him over. Freddy fell onto the ground. He winced and held his shoulder with his paw, he could feel some tears trail down his face.
“Yeah there is! I'm not even part of the family! I wanted to help, but I guess I was just too late…!” Freddy shouted, as he felt a searing pain in his shoulder.
“Oh. I'm sorry,” Bonnie said, in a sarcastic tone, “Did that hurt you? Now you know how it feels to be in that much pain!”
“I took a bullet for you, Bonnie!” Freddy exclaimed, “And it fucking hurt. But I did it because I care about you and I didn't want you to die!”
“You should've kept the heroics to yourself!” Bonnie shouted. Freddy looked back up at Bonnie as he approached, “I didn't NEED to be saved. If I was dead, my family would still be alive!”
“If you were dead, I don't think any of us would ever recover,” Freddy frowned, “We can't live without you, Bonnie...”
“IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!” Bonnie shouted. He stepped back from Freddy and frowned.
Freddy pushed himself back onto his feet. He grabbed his shoulder and whimpered, “I'm sorry...”
Bonnie walked closer and reached out to Freddy, but the bear just moved back. The bunny watched Freddy walk away and back down the trail.
Bonnie instantly felt guilty. It wasn't Freddy's fault. He sat rubbed his forehead and bit his lip. Yes, Freddy could've said something, but that probably wouldn't have changed anything.
Bonnie closed his eyes and felt some tears trail down his face. Had he just lost a friend…?
Freddy made it back to the bottom of the mountain about an hour later. He walked back to the camp and sat down beside his tent.
Clyde noticed that Bonnie wasn't beside him. He looked over at Foxy, “Somethin' ain't right.” He said. Foxy agreed with him.
“Should we go over there?” Foxy asked.
“Yeah.” Clyde stood up and walked over to Freddy's little camp, with Foxy following him close behind.
Clyde noticed tear stains below the bear's eyes. He sat beside Freddy, with Foxy sitting on the other side, “You've been crying. What happened?” Clyde asked.
“We got into… a fight.” Freddy muttered.
Foxy bit his lip, “What went down…?”
Freddy explained what the fight was about. He paused and looked down at the ground, “Then he just...pushed me over. We exchanged some words, then I walked back down the trail...”
“Where is he now…?” Clyde asked.
“He's still up there...” Freddy responded.
Foxy looked at Clyde's thigh and saw a small hole there, where something was supposed to go. His eyes widened. He remembered seeing a gun in Clyde's room, under the dresser.
“Clyde.” Foxy said, catching his attention.
“What?” Clyde looked over.
“Did ye bring a gun with ye…?” Foxy asked.
“I...” Clyde paused, “Yeah...yeah I did...”
“Where is it?” Freddy asked, looking over at them.
“Don't even fucking think about it.” Foxy growled at Freddy. Freddy frowned and his ears lowered.
“It's in my pants...” Clyde felt around his hip, “What the hell…?”
“Where is it?!” He stood up and began feeling down his body for the weapon.
“Someone's lifted it off ye it seems...” Foxy muttered.
“You don't think...” Freddy stood up.
“No, he wouldn't...right?” Clyde looked over at the rest of the group.
Freddy's eyes widened, “Oh fuck.” He stood up and pushed past the two males. He ran around the creek and began running up the trail.
Clyde and Foxy shared looks of horror, before they began following him up. The rest of the group watched them escape their view.
Goldie and Chica exchanged looks, while Chi and Spring shrugged. Red looked around and noticed that Aiden wasn't at the camp anymore.
He must've gone after them...Red thought to himself. He couldn't let any of his friends die. He reached into his tent and pulled out a knife from his gear. He holstered the knife and began running after the rest of the group.