Marching Band Is Not a Sport

Chapter 2

"You did what?!"

Paige didn't respond, but finished tuning her trumpet.

"C'mon, Paige!" Becky said desperately. "Why did you do it?"

"You heard what he said!" said Paige, fiddling with the valves of her trumpet. "I wanted to prove to him that marching band takes just as much work and effort as any sport, if not more."

"No, the part before that! Do you actually mean that you bet on it?"

Paige nodded.

"Well, what did you bet?" Becky asked, leaning forward.

"My purple mouthpiece," said Paige, avoiding Becky's gaze.

"Your purple mouthpiece?! But you love that thing!"

"It's only for the first parade," Paige said quickly. "And he's giving up his basketball signed by Michael Jordan."

"What're you going to do with a signed basketball?"

Paige shrugged, "What's he going to do with a purple mouthpiece?"

"Okay, so that's for the first parade. Does that mean he's done after that?"

Paige shook her head. "If he quits at any time, I win the big prize."

"Which is?"

"A favor… kinda."

Becky raised her eyebrows.

"Within reason!" Paige said quickly.

Becky rolled her eyes. "Okay, big question now. Does he play an instrument?"

Paige hesitated. "He played the trumpet until eighth grade. He wasn't too bad, according to some of the Oltman Middle School kids. I'll have to reteach him some stuff, of course. I think Mr. Tank might help me out too. As for marching – he'll be joining the freshman/rookie training starting today."

"Speaking of today, where is he?" asked Becky, glancing at the large clock above Mr. Tank's office door. "It's only a couple minutes till nine."

Paige glanced at the clock too and anxiously watched the door as a few last-minute stragglers hurried in.

When Mr. Tank and Sean stepped up to the podium promptly at nine, Tim still hadn't shown up. Paige was starting to think that he'd meant to blow her off. He was probably out with his friends laughing about her.

Mr. Tank looked at Paige inquiringly as he waited for the band to settle. She knew what he was thinking. Tardiness was one of Mr. Tank's biggest pet peeves. And he'd already been reluctant about letting Tim join the band in the first place.

Finally, at ten minutes past, just when Mr. Tank was finishing the announcement, Tim sauntered into the band room, his blond hair spiked messily and sunglasses perched lazily on his head. He carried a large, battered, plastic trumpet case that was very dusty.

When Mr. Tank saw Tim in the doorway, he turned to Paige again with a look that clearly said she was to take care of this.

She sat her trumpet on her chair and rushed over to Tim. "Where have you been?" she hissed at him as Mr. Tank finished one last announcement. "Do you realize you're ten minutes late?"

Tim shrugged. "Overslept."

"You better not let it happen again!" Paige stepped back and inspected him. "Are you wearing sunscreen?"

Tim shrugged again. "It's not like we're going to be outside very long."

"For a third time, you're wrong. Just don't complain when you end up burned." She glanced at his feet. "What are those?" she asked, pointing.

Tim glanced down at his feet. "Sandals."

"Never wear them to rehearsal again!" Paige said. "You've already got two laps for being late!"

"Laps?"

"Around the field. After rehearsal you have to run three laps."

"You've got to be kidding me!"

"No, I am not kidding! Now go sit on the end next to Buddy. You'll be playing third part with him."

"God, this is so dumb!" Tim said as he headed to the back of the band where the trumpets sat.

"If it's so dumb, why don't you save yourself the hassle and quit now?" Paige smiled daringly.

He looked back at her. "No way, man. It's on." He continued and sat next to Buddy who moved the stand so they both could see the music as Tim got out his trumpet.

Paige shook her head and went back to her seat as Sean finished directing the warm-ups. Maybe Tim wouldn't last. With an attitude like that, she really hoped he wouldn't.


Paige stood at attention with the vets while Sean explained the next marching exercise. Out of the corner of her eye she watched the rookie block on the other end of the field. She saw Tim towering over the freshman, standing at a lazy attention. Mr. Tank blew his whistle and the whole rookie block stepped forward messily.

"Mark time, mark!"

Paige moved with the rest of the block forward, then pivoted into a slide to her right, keeping her shoulders square to the sidelines. Eight steps later, she back marched then pivoted and moved left. The band continued the movement until Sean blew the whistle and they stopped.

"That looked great, guys!" Sean yelled to the band, "At ease! Go take a water break!"

Paige walked to the stands where she had her water bottle sitting in the shade. A moment later, Mr. Tank released the rookie block as well. Tim stumbled over to his water bottle. He sat down as he gulped down half his bottle.

Paige sat down beside him and sipped from her bottle. "So, how are you holding out?"

"How do you do it? I just stood in the sun for an hour. I took all of three steps." He poured a little of his water on his head.

"Training. You've got to work to be able to march." She leaned back on the bleacher and put her sunglasses on her nose, smiling. "Hope things aren't getting too tough for you."

Tim scoffed. "Yeah right."

"You're starting to sunburn, you know."

"Thanks for reminding me."

"I told you, you should have put on sunscreen. Maybe you'll remember for tomorrow."

"Tomorrow, you mean you do this everyday?"

Paige nodded as she sipped her water again.

"And when is the first parade?"

"A week from Saturday."

"That's only eleven days away! How am I going to be ready by then?"

Paige smiled. "Practice."


Author's note: Yeah, not sure what to make of this one. It's been sitting around for a while. I have the notebook for it at home, but I had the first part of the chapter typed up, so I just thought I'd take a stab at this chapter. Hope it's okay. Not much happens, but it'll get more interesting soon, most likely the next chapter.

Thanks to my reviewers!

To: RidX7 – I'm afraid I strongly disagree. Marching band is a sport. If you experienced it, you would know what I'm talking about. It takes an incredible amount of physical strength to master and cardiovascular strength too. Playing while marching is definitely a difficult thing to get right. Thanks for the review!

To: Deadly-green-snake – I'm sorry that you never got to be in marching band! Though, a bassoon would be a difficult to march with. Thanks for the review! Glad you enjoyed the first chapter!

To: star song – yeah, I know it isn't exactly the most believable thing ever, but I'm just asking for a little suspension of disbelief. As you can see, he does play an instrument, and it's still pretty much the beginning of the season. It is only the first week of rehearsal. Also, I live in the Midwest and while I'm trying not to place this anywhere too descript, I suppose my hometown shows its self a little. Around here, we're not allowed to march in our uniforms if it gets above 90 degrees F and anything above 80 gets intolerable. I suppose you're from more southern areas seeing as you think that's "cool". Anyway, thanks for the review and I'm glad you like it!

To: Star Song1 – Here, here! Totally agree! Thanks for the review!

To: M.C. Levy – I'm glad you're so intrigued by this plot line! Meeting Bach would probably be one of the most amazing things I could think of, seeing as he created most of the rules for writing music and practically invented music notation! I think that you should join marching band anyway. Switching to a less cool instrument would be a fair trade for experience the wonder that is the band that marches, I think anyway. Thanks for reviewing!

Okay, so, I'm kind of jumping between stories right now. We'll see which one I feel like updating next. Next chapter might include: the first parade, among other firsts.

Reviews would be much appreciated!

Thanks!

Rachel ;)