Rhythm, Part 2

[A continuation of yesterday’s response to the Daily Post prompt, Cue the Violins.]

“So I encourage all of you — ” Coach Dan swept his gaze across the room, making sure everyone’s attention was at least momentarily focused on him — “to think about the music that should be playing in the background as you fence. About the rhythm of your fencing.”

Butch raised a hand quickly, and Coach Dan nodded towards him. “Coach, what if the music you like doesn’t have any words?” The rotund boy looked genuinely concerned, until greasy-haired Rune explained that Coach meant rhythm, not rhyme. “Oh!” Butch nodded, seemed to relax a moment, but then immediately looked even more concerned.

“I know.” Annie had stepped into the middle of the cafeteria floor, her sharp voice echoing off the walls of the large nearly empty room. “It’s jazz. There’s an ensemble playing, piano and trumpet and bass. All three are improvising, playing off each other’s riffs, competing and supporting each other at the same time.”

“Excellent!” Coach Dan lifted his arms triumphantly in the air. “Rex, how about you?”

The tall teen had been scratching his chin. “There’s no group, just one person — a woman. With a guitar, acoustic not electric. Her playing’s soft, but perfect.” He smiled in appreciation. “It’s beautiful.”

Coach Dan nodded, pointed at The Bird. The slender girl replied that all she heard was a large orchestra, all the instrument groups warming up on their own, the sounds rising but all separate, not cohesive.

“I think we figured it out.” Rune had been whispering intently with Butch. “Butch likes — ” Rune hesitated, swallowed — “he says, polka.”

The overweight boy next to Rune nodded, waved his arms side to side. “It’s the accordion. It goes back and forth, kinda like how fencers do during a bout.”

“And I like folk.” Rune had raised his voice, which also began echoing off the walls, to cover the giggling that had infected the fencing club members. “Because the message is more important than the music.”

“Excellent, excellent!” Coach Dan seemed more pleased than he had been in weeks. “And — how about you, my friend?”

His question was directed at the stout teen who, as the rest of the fencing club members had given their answers, had walked over to the cafeteria’s stage, and sat, his back resting uneasily on the short wall. He glared back at Coach Dan with disdain.

[Part 3 will be tomorrow]

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