"You suck at drums! What are you doing at the auditions for drum line?" the harsh question rang out over the practically empty band room as a petite soon-to-be-freshman walked in through the back entrance, trying to sneak in to avoid said questioning, but apparently it had not worked. There was another fifteen minutes before the actual auditions started, and the boys had their eyes glued to any and every entrance to keep an eye out for the local 'God of Drums', aka the drum line instructor.
"They do have a marching glockenspiel." the girl retorted calmly, though seeing the dumbfounded look on the boy's face, she sighed, "That metal 'fairy instrument' that I play." she added in an annoyed tone. Unfortunately, this girl had been the product of the boys being boys throughout Junior High. She was stuck on anything and everything that could possibly ruin their reputation. It was amazing, embarrassing and fun to watch as the girl would play a part on the glockenspiel, then run over to a xylophone, play a funky lick, hit a chime to give an ominous feeling and then go over to marimba to enhance the ominous feeling. If anything, she was more dedicated to the section then the boys.
"This is a drum line as in… we play drums." a different boy responded. "There is no need for such a thing as...that." he added. From the looks of the other boys, they agreed. They clearly disliked this girl for whatever reason. It obviously was not because she had taken the spotlight away from them in the terms of taking a snare part and outshining them. The boy looked like he was about to say something when the door behind the girl opened and entered a tall-ish man of about 5'10. A back pack was slung over his shoulder and at his side was a trapezoid shaped hard plastic case.
"Harmony, come get this and go grab a harness." the man instructed. The only girl in the room turned and took the case with ease, as if the twenty pounds, if not thirty, were a bag of feathers.
Silently, she walked over to a door and opened it, stepping over the drums that were on the floor instead of their assigned shelves and made her way over to a wall full of carriers. Grabbing one that still had a bar that went across the back; she set the case down and opened the said case, revealing a thirty two bar, 2.5 octave marching bell set with matte gray bars. Sitting down, she grabbed a drum key that was near her and started to adjust the carrier so it'd fit the bell set. Once she got the hooks set and tightened, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a wrench to start adjusting the carrier so it'd fit her. Within a few minutes, the girl was back out in the band room wearing her bell set and had a pair of mallets in her hand.
~One year later~
"Where is Harmony?" the question seemed sudden as the room full of drummers became silent. The veterans that knew of the girl were dumbfounded. They had yet to get attacked, hugged, slapped, bitten or yelled at by the incoming sophomore. It had been a rather 'quiet' wait for the drum line instructor...who had indeed been the one to ask the question, fifteen minutes after the auditions were supposed to start.
"Haven't seen her all week. She was not even at the meeting that we held at Alex's place. But, I do not know if she actually got invited." One of the boys answered as he turned to a boy who was too busy on his phone to pay attention, "Did you tell her about it Mark?" he asked. When he heard no answer from Mark, he grabbed a 'lightly' splintered drumstick and chucked it at the boy, having it land right in his gut. Seeing as he now had Mark's attention, he sighed, "Did you invite Harmony to the meeting this last week?" he asked again, ignoring the staring newbies.
The boy called Mark looked up from his cell phone and shook his head, "It was a drum line meeting. Like I said before...drum line is for drums only. Who needs her on that when she even sucks at that most times? She is the most useless player here. George is even better than her!" he explained as if it was obvious. Even if it sounded harsh and unbelievable, a few of the boys, mainly those that were incoming sophomores, nodded in agreement. But that statement had created a silence in the room and the faint sound of a slamming door and fading fast paced footsteps could be heard. A few seconds later, the sound of multiple cell phones on vibrate broke that eerie silence as apparently, the entire line got the same text message. 'Sorry...I will not participate in drum line. Have a good season.' Within seconds later, the sound of two cell phones vibrating went off. Slowly, the captain of the drum line and the instructor looked down at their phones before their eyes widened slightly before the instructor flipped his phone shut and slipped it into his pocket, the captain following suit.
Without a word, the instructor walked over to a snare drum and slapped a sheet of music up on a stand in front of it. "We are doing this in the order of age. The youngest will go first. You'll do the assigned snare piece and then the piece for the instrument you selected. If anyone mentions anything about Harmony...you will be disqualified from this audition and for the auditions to come." he announced calmly. Slowly, a small, geeky looking boy stepped up and fumbled with the snare sticks in his hand. When the instructor counted the boy off, he fumbled right from the beginning, earning a few snickers from the upper classmen, but hey, he was nervous, what do you expect? After he pathetically finished, the rest of the incoming freshmen were not much better.
As expected, the older a drummer was, usually the better they got until it hit the incoming seniors who honestly were taking the auditions as jokes. Instead of the given tempo of the standard 120, they started to treat the tempo as cut time and instead of marching in place; they were hopping from foot to foot. It showed both their skill and their stupidity, mainly their stupidity. Once all of the incoming seniors, except for the captain, completed the auditions, the incoming freshmen were shocked and awed by the performances. As wee little drummers who idolized anyone with 'talent' in their instrument, they thought that these boys were gods.
"Alright. Paul and I will go over the auditions and we will let you know the results in the next week or two." The instructor said before looking at the Drum line captain. "Dismissed! Paul…go check on Harmony. She should be at the downtown campus." He added.
~Half year later~
"Woo! That was fun!" a boy's voice shouted as a mass of students made their way from the football field. Most of them were covered in sweat and had instruments in their hands. But the entire battery section was not among them. "To think that we shut out the opponent…and they have the guts to challenge our battery. Everyone! Hurry up and get your instruments put away. We have ten minutes to return to the field to watch the challenge!" the same boy shouted, by the way everyone listened, he was probably the leader of sorts.
In the ten minutes that the band had been gone, both of the drum lines had gotten down to the field. Most of the ten minutes had been waiting for the actual football players, coaches and refs to get off of the field. Though seeing the two lines at the entrance gate at the fifty yard line, most of the players stayed on their respective benches as the two lines marched in, each at the 49 yard 'line'.
In the middle of one side was a girl wearing a bell set. Her hair was pinned back, but she was not sweating, or breathing heavily. Once the line that had the girl in it were all on their 49 yard line, the boy up front raised his head, "Line atten-hut!" he shouted, hearing the slapping of heels together, a small smirk crossed his lips, "Mark time!" he added to the additional shout as quarter notes started being tapped on one of the snares. "Line, right face!" he shouted as the entire line turned to look at their opponents, even the girl! It was three bars later that a melody could be heard from the said girl as she kept her eye on the person in front of her from the opposing line. Though as the melody crescendoed, the girl's hands stopped moving rather abruptly and four beats later, a cymbal crash could be heard as the actual line started their part of the piece, getting a loud roar of cheers from the crowd. The line would abruptly stop at times and the silence would be filled by the metallic melodic noise from the only girl on the line.
By the time the line had finished, the fans in the stands had seemed to increase by about one hundred and fifty as the home team's marching band returned, still in uniform. You could tell they were excited because their cheers were ten times louder than the regular people.
Within minutes, the challenge was over with. The home team's piece of about five minutes had more thought into its completion compared to the visiting line's simple cadence that lasted about three minutes at best. With both lines being dismissed, they left the field in an orderly fashion, but once those shoes hit the cement, the two lines turned into blobs as the home team's marching band players, cheer leaders and football players swamped the line. One girl, however, was ignored as she headed up to the school in silence. She entered the building and went to the drum room and put her instrument away before hanging her carrier on the wall before she took her jacket off and grabbed her phone. She had been feeling it go off since about three minutes after half time and she never had a good chance to check it. But reading a text from her father's boss, the girl's eyes widened slightly.
Soon, her thoughts were disturbed as a loud crashing noise met her ears. It was not normal, it sounded like metal, wood and a body hitting wood. "I don't give a ####! It's not like you all ever tried including her into your plans!" the voice of the captain shouted, "If anything, she has more balls then all of you combined. She has always lived in a father only house, her mother died while giving birth. Do you know how hard it is to constantly think that you are the reason you took your father's partner in life away?" the same voice shouted, "And even now, her father had been shot a half a year ago…instead of letting it get to her, she still showed up with a smile on her face! She is constantly smiling and being happy despite how shitty her ###### life is. Why in god's name do you think I would not choose someone else?" the shouting died down in the locker room and the faint noise of panting could be heard as the captain cooled down. "She is going to be captain for the next two years. Live with it or get off of my ###### line." He finished coldly before he entered the main room and walked over to the drum room. Opening the door, he saw none other than Harmony, sitting on the floor, clutching her phone in her hand. Walking over, the captain tried to get the girl's attention but seeing as she had zoned out, he grabbed the phone and read the message. His eyes widened at what he read. Without a word, he closed her phone and tucked it into his pocket before he squatted down and picked the girl up before he left the room in full uniform. "Someone call Andy and tell him to come close the band room. Then have him call me!" he shouted as he walked through the halls to the exit that was closest to where his car was parked.
An hour later, said boy was standing in a too brightly lit hallway that stunk of medical supplies. The girl's sobs could be heard from the closed door behind him and his head bowed slightly. The girl never cried. She was only happy…for her to sob like that only meant one thing. "Dammit!" he growled. Life certainly was not fair. In an accident involving drunk drivers, why is it always the innocent ones that get hurt…or worse and the actual drunk driver merely gets out of the car and flees?
One week later, a girl stood next to a pile of dirt, hiding the hole with a casket hovering above it from her view. She was wearing all black, a black lace shirt with a black tank top underneath and black pants and black shoes. Despite the chilly breeze and the abnormally cold temperature, the girl merely hugged herself for warmth. It was as if she was punishing herself for what had happened to her father. As she was standing there, the police were about to finish the ceremony with the gun salute. Each time the guns would go off, the girl would flinch, but no tears were coming from her eyes. But each time she would flinch the grip on her hands would tighten as if she was trying to hold back the tears. The guns had finally stopped and she heard the bugle from a slight distance start to play. It was then that she felt a warm jacket be placed over her shoulders and a man wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close to him. The man that encouraged her to keep going with percussion, offering her free private lessons so she could be at the same skill level with most of the boys but on mallets instead of drums. The man who, out of his own pocket, purchased the marching bell set for her so she could be in the drum line.
"Harmony…" he murmured quietly as he looked down at the girl as the crowd slowly made their way back to their cars, not even attempting to make some form of acknowledgement to the grieving daughter. However, as soon as most of the crowd left, a few people standing in the back moved over to the girl and all of them surrounded her in an uncharacteristic group hug, even the boys that had hated her involvement in their drum line.
~Four months later~
"Attention…OI! SHUT UP!" the voice of the captain shouted as the entire line, Harmony included, sat in the dining room of one of the wealthier members. His house was the largest and his family always agreed to host the line for their meetings. Hearing nothing, the captain continued, "As is tradition…it is time for us seniors to step down and to concentrate on Finals." He announced, "Mainly so we can hopefully boost our grades up enough to get taken off of the probation lists for our colleges." He added, earning a few snickers from those seniors that were leaving as well. "Also…as is tradition…we do not vote on who our leaders will be. But they're appointed by us." His voice stayed firm though as he glanced around the large table, his eyes locked onto the only female present. She had changed. Despite being the loud obnoxious girl she had been when she first started the line, she now was silent, barely spoke a word unless she was spoken too. Perhaps that was why she was currently being surrounded by the boys that were her age.
"Anyways…it is time to announce who will be our successors. These decisions are final. We have already discussed our choices with Andy and he seems to agree. If you have any questions…go talk to him and leave us out of it." The captain announced before he turned to a senior, "Ethan."
Soon, a boy stood up and walked to the head of the table that was purposely left empty. "I Ethan Dunn, treasurer of the West Lake Central High School's Drum line choose the incoming senior George Jones to be the new treasurer of the West Lake Central High School's Drum line." He announced before he watched as a wimpy looking boy stood up and walked to the head of the table, behind Ethan and stood at attention.
Hearing his name, the boy called Sean walked up to the head of the table as Ethan went to sit down and he faced the crowd, minus George, "I Sean Hall, vice-captain of the West Lake Central High School's drum line choose incoming senior, Alex Blanc, to be the new vice-captain of the West Lake Central High School's drum line." He announced. Silently, he watched as Alex stood from his chair and walked over to stand next to George.
Slowly, Sean moved back towards his seat as Paul made his way up to the empty head of the table. A few of the boys were chatting as Sean moved to sit down, but once Paul was standing at the front of the table, the room became silent. With a deep breath, he slowly blinked before he nodded, "I Paul Dubois, captain of the West Lake Central High School's drum line choose incoming Junior, Harmony…" before he could finish, the entire underclassmen half of the drum line erupted in complaints, but Paul raised his hand, "Like I said, Andy approved our choices. If you have any complaints…take it up with him." He announced, "And…going against tradition, I will tell you why I chose her…who is the one who comes in early and sets up each and every instrument for marching. She knows each carrier and instrument's owner. She makes copies of the music that we will be rehearsing and despite how bad her life outside and inside the line is…she is constantly smiling. I believe that she has what it takes to be a great captain." He finished, but when he looked over at the girl, she was still in her chair.
"Harmony…get up here." It was Alex. He was standing with a hand on his hip, glaring at the girl who was ruining the ceremony. He watched as the girl got up and walked over to stand next to him. Without permission, he wrapped an arm around her shoulder and gave her a small smile.
"These are your new officers. All of you that are in the line next year…you will respect them and honor any decision they make." Paul announced, leading the line in a round of clapping.
It was then that the line was forced to accept this girl completely. They knew how Andy viewed the girl as his own daughter and they also knew that going to him to oppose the decision was practically suicide. However…they did not know that heading into the next season was when Harmony changed.
Wow! 3,230 words! Sorry that it is so much and that this was so rushed. I typed my first chapter of the story and realized that it had so many holes in it and decided to do a prologue that led up to the first chapter. Since the first chapter happened during Harmony's junior year…I needed to get two years of high school into one chapter. Just saying…this is all a work of my imagination. If there somehow is a school called West Lake Central that has a drum line…this is NOT based off of them. Characters are loosely made around me and people that I have interacted with throughout my life…primarily while in a drum line in my area. Also…those ##### you see somewhere near the middle…that's colorful language. You can insert your own pretty colorful language to fit your own views of what was said.
Please read and review…constructive criticism is allowed. No flaming please. I also know that this chapter was rushed…
Also…if you have any characters that you would like to have in this story, please include a name, age, appearance and instrument of choice. I am debating on if this should turn into a full out marching band story or just stick with drum line. Please let me know what you think!