The music was loud and fast and exactly like she had hoped it would be. Clarisse moved with the masses, bumping into other people, barely hearing their shouts over the music. She would never understand people who went to the front lines of heavy metal concerts and then complained about mosh pits but there were always a few present.
Clarisse ignored them, kept moving and felt the ground shake. She loved these moments and she was not going to let anyone or anything ruin it. That included the sharp pain that suddenly exploded as someone’s arm hit her nose and she felt something break. Probably. The guy looked shocked and seemed to want to apologize but she didn’t understand a word and just kept going, not caring about the pain.
There was a break after that song and the guy found her again. “I’m so sorry!” he shouted and she cocked her head, allowed him to lead her away from the middle of it. People around were starting to look worried, so maybe it was worse than she was thinking?
“It’s no big deal,” she said with smile that hopefully didn’t look too threatening. The pain was already wearing off. “I’m good.”
“No, that’s a lot of blood.” His face was pale and sweaty and he was kind of attractive. Clarisse blinked while trying to focus. She was here to enjoy the music, not to hook up with guys. “And I’m sure your nose is broken. I should take you to the medics.”
“But the concert isn’t even over,” she protested, blood running into her mouth. “Oh.” She spat it out, deep red mingling with the muddy brown of the ground. “Well … okay.”
The guy seemed relieved, handed her a tissue and guided her through the crowds. Most people moved aside without protest when they saw her face and she was starting to guess it was even worse than she was willing to admit. The tissue didn’t help, it was soaked in a matter of seconds. Okay, so maybe the medic tent was the best option.
A grumpy looking teenager stared at them with wide eyes and Clarisse had carefully placed her hand on the shoulder of the guy she still didn’t know. She would never say so but standing was difficult. She couldn’t have lost that much blood, it was probably just exhaustion from various mosh pits combined with the heat.
“Will!” That was the teenager, now with his arms crossed and a stare that was too intense even for her. Instead, she turned to the tent where a blond guy now showed up, the look on his face changing from annoyed to worried in the blink of an eye.
“What the hell are you doing?” He had to shout to be heard over the music and Clarisse tried to shrug. “No, don’t answer. Get inside.”
It was sticky in the tent and there was a fly but she could lie down as the medic – Will, probably – said something to his grumpy friend.
“Here.” Will got a cold towel for her to hold against her nose and she flinched at the sensation. Crap, this was getting worse and worse. “Okay, how did you do that?”
“I accidently punched her. I’m Chris, by the way,” he added in her direction and she tried to smile, tasting the blood on her lips again.
“Clarisse.” Her voice sounded strange now that Will was working on her nose. At least this would make a great story.
“This is going to hurt. You might want to grab something but don’t worry I know what I’m doing.”
Something turned out to be a hand but Chris didn’t seem to mind. “Are you a doctor?”
“Well, I’m writing my final thesis,” Will explained a little too calm and chilled for someone causing so much pain. Clarisse tried not to curse because that would move her face too much. So poor Chris had to endure his hand getting squeezed. As Will pushed something into the right place again, she couldn’t stop the curses anymore. “But I’ve worked on Festivals for years.” He grinned widely. “You’ll be fine. Just make sure you don’t get hit again.”
“Great.” Breathing wasn’t easier than before but that could be because of the blood that was now drying. At least there was no new bleeding. “Can I go?” She opened the grasp of her fingers and saw how Chris shook his hand. The skin was a little too white where she had squeezed.
“Wait a second.” Will got back and wiped the blood of her face before bandaging her nose. She cursed again but this time, the pain was dull and not like a knife. “Go see a doctor one you’re home, please. Otherwise you’re fine.”
Clarisse got up, not bothering to hide her curses. “Sorry about your hand,” she said to Chris as he followed her out again. The grumpy one was talking to a young girl who seemed to refuse to drink more water. Clarisse shook her head at that.
“It’s fine, you didn’t break anything.” He grinned. “Do you wanna grab a drink or something to eat?”
“Food.” She nodded. That didn’t sound too bad. “I’m starving.” Clarisse followed him again, grabbing his hand – more gently this time – to avoid losing him in the crowds. She would just have to find out where he was from because she certainly intended to stay in touch after the festival. Part of her already hoped it wasn’t the other side of the world.