Chapter the One-th

7:00 PM

Anna clutched this ad to her chest as she headed toward 409 Oak Street. She couldn't believe she was doing this. Under normal circumstances, she was an incredibly shy girl and would hardly sing in front of her family. However, something was just nagging her to go and try out. As she walked up the front steps, she took deep, calming breaths and said a last minute prayer for bravery. She extended her left index finger and rang the doorbell. Footsteps thundered up the steps inside the house and the door swung open.

"Hey," said a young man of about twenty-one. Anna was so nervous that she could hardly look at his face, so instead she kept her eyes focused on his t-shirt. It said, "Mr. Wayne" on it, an obvious reference to Batman. Anna almost smiled at that, for she was a Batman fan. However, her nervousness won over and kept her looking solemn and frightened. "You here to audition?" he asked.

"Y-yes," stammered Anna.

"Great!" said the man enthusiastically. "Come on in, please." He stepped aside so that Anna could go inside and remove her shoes. "This way," he said, leading her downstairs to the basement. It was a huge room in which there were about three couches and an area set up for instruments. "This is where we jam. Please, have a seat and then we'll get started as soon as Jack shows up. Oh, and I'm Andy, by the way."

"I'm Anna," said Anna shyly. She happened to glance up at his face and saw him grinning at her.

"That's a pretty name," he said, and then almost seemed to blush as he turned to pick up his drumsticks. "I'm the drummer. the drums. With drumsticks. I'll be right back." He darted out of the room and up the stairs, leaving Anna alone in this strange basement. The walls were covered in writing. Mostly, it was quotes from movies and TV shows, as well as song lyrics. Anna recognized some, but others she had never seen before. For the next five minutes she amused herself with reading the walls. Finally, Andy came back down and with three other guys behind him.

"Hi," said one of them, a tall blonde guy with green eyes. "I'm Yahtzee," he said. "Your name is Anna, right?"

"Right," said Anna, smiling at his name. "Yahtzee?" she questioned, raising her eyebrow in curiousity.

He chuckled and replied, "I have a little addiction." He laughed again and then went and sat down behind the piano. It was a beautiful instrument, a baby grand, with a slick glossy top and perfectly polished keys. He ran his fingers through his blonde hair, making it stand straight up and then stared lovingly at the piano and began to crack his knuckles.

Suddenly Andy was sitting next to Anna and whispering in her ear, "We'll each give you a taste of what we're best at. Yahtzee here is a genius at the piano." And then, as if taking his cue, Yahtzee began to move his fingers gracefully over the keys. Beautiful music poured into Anna's ears and she could not believe that a weird guy such as Yahtzee was capable of creating such amazing music. "Brilliant, eh?" said Andy in her ear.

"Uh huh," replied Anna, speechless. When Yahtzee finished he stood up and proudly took a bow.

"Hi Anna," said the next guy. "I'm Jack and I play bass. I'd give you an awesome riff, but my dad's borrowing my amp so it wouldn't sound very good at all. Let's just say that...I own at the bass." He smiled broadly at Anna and took a bow despite having done nothing. "Thanks!" Jack plopped down on the sofa next to the one Anna was sitting on and propped his feet up on the arm.

The next guy stood up in front of Anna and didn't smile at all. "Hey," he said kind of listlessly. "I'm Grin. It's a name given to me because I never really grin. I'm really boring. I play violin." He picked up his violin and pulled the bow across the strings, making a lovely melody come to life. Already, Anna could see that this band was going to be unique. When he finished, he said, "K, I'm done."

Finally the last guy stood up to introduce himself. "Hey there Anna," he said energetically. "I'm Gary and I play the electric guitar. Be prepared to be utterly blown away..." He ran over to his guitar and...knocked it over. An annoying feedback screech filled the room and everyone cringed in unison. "Sorry guys," he said. He picked up the guitar and placed the strap over his shoulder. And then...he began to play a guitar solo. And it was good. By the time he finished, Anna was thoroughly impressed.

"That was swell, Gary," said Andy when Gary finished. "Now I'll do my thing." He sat down behind the drums and flipped his drumsticks in the air before beginning to crash and smash upon the set. He was smiling the whole time, and had his eyes closed as he beat those drums. It was pure insanity the speed and agility he showed and Anna could hardly tear her eyes away from him. When he finished, she watched as a bead of sweat dripped off his chin and onto his lap. "Ouch," he said after a moment.

"Did you do it again?" asked Yahtzee.

"Yes," groaned Andy. He rubbed his forehead as though in pain, and then stood up slowly. "I feel like such an idiot. I can't believe I did it again!"

"Did what?" asked Anna quietly.

The guys all laughed and then Jack answered, "He hit himself in the head with one of his drumsticks. He does this all the time. It's hilarious, but he's getting a dent in his head." He playfully knocked on Andy's head and then laughed some more. "You're such a blockhead."

"Thanks man," said Andy. Then he decided to get back to the matter at hand. "So basically," he said, "you're the only one who's shown up at the audition. So basically...I suppose that you will probably get in the band. Unless you suck. Which you probably won't...because you have a nice speaking voice, which probably means you have a nice singing voice. But then again, I'm no voice coach person so I really don't know what I'm talking about. Um, so yeah. If you could sing for us that would be swell. Here's some music," he said, grabbing a sheet of paper and handing it to her. "Break a leg." He smiled warmly at her as she nervously took her place in front of the four boys.

She held the page in front of her and read the title of the piece. "This Never Happened Before." It was her favourite song in the world. She smiled a little bit and began to sing. The words flowed from her mouth and she felt herself singing as she'd never sung before. The four guys sat on the couches staring at her, and all mentally agreeing that she was definitely in the band. When she finished, they all stood up and applauded, Yahtzee and Andy whistling as well. Anna blushed and thanked them before sitting down again.

"Well," said Andy, "I do believe that you are in."

"Really?" asked Anna in disbelief.

Andy laughed and said, "Really. Your voice is beautiful Anna, and just the sound we're looking for in our band. Congratulations."

Anna beamed at the guys and thanked them from the bottom of her heart. "This is so amazing, thank you so much you guys. This really means a lot to me."

"Hey," said Gary, "no problem Anna. It means a lot to us that you auditioned."

Everyone except Grin were gazing at each other in thanks and appreciation. Finally, he stepped up and said, "You guys, this is getting really lame. Let's lighten things up a little." He reached behind the couch and brought out a party hat and one of those noisemakers. "Par-tay," he said sarcastically. Everyone laughed and then headed upstairs to grab a snack before Anna had to leave.