He stood there, his hand on the shovel as he pierced it into the ground. He began digging up the hard dirt, tears in his eyes.
His friend looked at him confused, the young adolescent boy watching Tom dig in the distance.
"So what was it you wanted to show me?" Billy asked, and Tom wiped the tears from his eyes on his sleeve.
"You won't believe me if I tell you..."
Billy raised his eyebrows confused, and took a small step closer, asking, "Why won't I believe?"
Tom had tears streaming down his cheeks, and he suddenly tightened his grip around the shovel's hard wood and tossed it away in the air.
"I know where he is..."
Tom just stared at Billy, trembling there before his calm friend. It was then that Billy suddenly realized who Tom was talking about, "Your brother?"
"Y-yes..." Tom stuttered in pain, and fell on his knees, crying and panting and screaming into the night.
Billy was afraid to ask, but came over to Tom and knelt down beside him, whispering, "Where..?"
Tom didn't speak for a moment, his tears dropping and soaking the ground below him. He finally looked over to Billy and pointed his finger down the earth below him.
Billy was confused. He didn't understand- No! He didn't want to understand. He stumbled back from Tom and whispered in a frightened voice, "No... he's... he's not THERE!"
Tom wept and wept and Billy stood up in trembles. He walked back and forth in furious upset steps. Finally, he clutched hold of the shovel himself and slammed it into the ground. The dirt was soft like it had been dug up before, and this only worried Billy all the more.
As he threw the dirt behind him, he made deeper and deeper the hole. But when he saw that rotten flesh of a young boy, he fell back in disbelief, gasping and panting.
This wasn't real...
"You..." He hissed, getting on his knees and crawling away from the body of a young boy, to the deceased boy's brother, Tom, "You killed him!"
"I-I..." Tom blubbered, his words getting caught up in his sobbing and weeps, "I didn't mean to... no, we, we were just playing..."
Billy stood up, looking away from the dark forest they were in, back to the sound of cars driving by on a highway in the distance.
"Are you going to tell...?" Tom whispered, holding himself in a fetal position and closing his red sore eyes, imagining he was in a better place. Not in hell... but living, it felt like hell.
Billy stood between Tom and civilisation.
He knew what the right decision was... but he couldn't make it. And he didn't know why. Was his friendship really worth more than justice?
Billy only peered at Tom. He gulped, and closed his own eyes, shaking his head and uttering, "I should... I know I should..."
"Do it..." Tom said, giving up.
Billy clenched his eyes in pain, before finally nodding and turning back to the outer suburban region nearby.
"Together," Billy finally told him, holding his hand out and Tom blinked, looking down at the offer, "It'll be better if we do this together."
Tom trembled there, his eyes sore and his heart throbbing in pain, "Are you sure...?"
"You can walk away..."
"You're my friend."
"Am I...?" Tom asked barely, laughing a pained chuckle. He slowly peered back at Billy's opened hand, and gave a strong nod, taking it as Billy helped him get to his feet.
The two began to head back to civilisation. They walked away from the trees back to the world.
Justice... it would prevail. That's what Billy's conscious told him.
But as they passed by the side of the highway... it just wasn't enough. For Tom, he was terrified.
The cars were going by so fast, and Billy stayed on the footpath. But Tom, he did not.
The young man suddenly ran into the roaring traffic, and before Billy saw it, Tom had smashed into a windshield, tumbling across the car's roof before hitting the floor. His bones were broken and bleeding drenched his clothes.
The car that had hit him skidded to a stop, the car behind it ramming up it and flipping over. The rest of the cars slammed to a stop, as people got out of their vehicles. There was a terrible high female scream and Billy watched from the distance as people ran out to see the massacred body of Tom.
Billy took one small step back. The darkness keeping him hidden from their eyes. He was so scared. And rationality, logic, it flew out the window.
Because they would think it was him that let this happen.
He hid in the shadows of the trees, before running away back into the forest.
He arrived at his family's home within forty minutes, climbing into his room by the window.
He sat on his bed, dirty and afraid.
Soon he heard a knock on the door, and he peeped, "Y-yeah?"
"Billy... I, I have t-to tell you something.."
Somehow he knew what it was about already.
He watched as his mother turned the knob and opened his door slowly, letting in the hallway light into the dark sombre room.
"There's been... an accident," She said quietly to him, nearly a whisper. She had tears welling around her eyes, and Billy wiped his own, being brave.
"Your friend Tom Hills, He... he got hit by a car nearly an hour ago..."
Billy wanted to say, 'I know,' but didn't. He just nodded his head.
"I remember you said you were meeting up with Tom earlier today?"
Billy stiffened in hearing her words, and she sat next to him, her face soaked in tears, "Was he... was he ok?"
"No, he's dead! Isn't he?!"
Billy cried there, his words wobbly and his mother held him close.
"No... the hospital... they say he's still breathing."
Billy froze at this. He looked at his mother and whispered, "For how long?"
"I don't, I don't know."
He closed his eyes tightly.
A part of him was relieved, but the other part was so conflicted.
"First his brother going missing... and now this?" His mother said to him, hugging him close, "It's not right."
"No," Billy whispered, and the memory of the body in the earth flittered through his mind's inner eye, "Because," the traumatic sight of Tom mangled on the road, "He did it all..."
"What do you mean?" His mother asked.
"He did it all..." He replied, looking at her devastated, and in time she understood. The whole world did.
Tom lay there in the recovery ward and knew he was not wanted by this world. He believed it. No one could convince him otherwise.
Death was calling him... just like it called his little brother. A tear rolled down his cheek and he closed his eyes gently.
Darkness surrounded him... and he was gone.
Put in the ground like his brother.
Both by his own hand.