It had grown dark, but the moon was full and it's pale sheen illuminated enough for Allen to at least see where he was going. The wind whipped, but the slight chill was welcome after a full day of lying in the wake of the summer sun's breath.
The flat of the wooden roof was scattered with assorted barrels and boxes, but even as Allen perched himself on top of them, he still wasn't tall enough to see back to the plaza.
If only he could climb even higher...
Allen looked up around him for anything he could climb. The roof adjacent to his current standing was about twice Allen's height higher. For a second, he stood the appraisingly, weighing his options. Inhale, exhale. He backed up slowly, chest heaving faster than normal to prepare for the jump. And then he sprinted forward, springing up into the air, hands shooting up to grasping at the ledge, but to no avail. He crashed into the wall and slid down, nails prying the wall for some kind of leverage.
He landed flat on his rear back on the roof.
"Hey Allen!" Rodge called weakly into the night. "Allen... whaddaya see?"
No response. Of course, now he was going have to come up and see if he was alright. It was always the same way. Allen threw himself into a mess and Rodge inevitably followed suite. But not this time – no, he had warned him about going up on the roof, and it was on him to get out of his own mess.
His arms were folded and he leaned against the wall; he was cool, calm, and collected. Maybe even dangerous.
Who wouldn't be afraid of me... even I would be afraid of me if I saw myself right now... He thought accompanied by a cocky sneer and a lift of his head.
In the silence of the night every sound had become magnified – every minor creak or whistle a shriek or grinding; in a group these sounds may have been easily dismissed as the birds or the wind, but alone these sounds cut right through him.
This is crazy, he though looking about him, this is crazy.
His eyes shifted up to the ladder and then back again, and then growled in frustration. He looked around hurriedly for something to defend himself with. Since searching cleanly objects in a back alley proved to be too compromising of a state to be in should a mugger creep up, Rodge settled with just taking off his belt and using it as a whip.
Crack. He smiled. Take that! Again. CRACK! Protect your necks! CRACK!
His pants fell down.
Allen was clinging the the top of the tower, his arms shaking strenuously. He gritted his teeth and heaved one final time, until his stomach rested on the wall, legs dangling off the side.
The night had grown wonderful, and in his triumph he stood up and stopped to admire the clear skied night and the crescent moon hanging perfectly in the sky. He could see nearly to the coast, he could see the towers of the far church; the now empty market sitting idle in the moonlight.
He knew now not necessarily where he was, but how to get where he needed to be, and turned to leave - only to waver slightly and rest for a few more minutes. His eyes glazed and his stare grew dull as he thoughtfully surveyed the lands. Everything about it was perfect; the weather, the beach, the people. Connie.
Rodge could see his friend climbing down, but he could also feel the wind start picking up. The once gentle breeze had turned into a whip which chilled him and sent a shiver down his spine.
"Hey - be careful up there!" he shouted. He couldn't decide if it was dexterity, or pure idiocy which allowed Allen to climb and jump so fearlessly and without hesitation - then again Allen had always been something of a natural athlete. He had never been the strongest, or the fastest, or the toughest, but it was hard to find something he didn't at least moderately excel at.
"Hey, listen, I think I found -"
Allen fell down the broken ladder, flailing through the air before tumbling to the ground and laying flat, on his back.
"Ouch," he said.
Rodge smiled, extending his hand. Definitely idiocy.
"Get up, man. I want to get out of here," said Rodge.
"Well give me a second, I sort of fell just now," spat Allen, obviously in pain.
"Are you gonna die?"
A pause. Some staring.
"Well, I mean - no..."
"Then lead the way, up and at 'em,"
Allen rose, and together the two stumbled back to their homes through the darkness.