Battle of the Bands

Today, the entire town of Greenville converged upon its only two paved roadways in anticipation of the biannual turf war between the marching bands of Greenville and Cairo High. Mr. Benedict, long time marshal and recent veteran of the Greenville division, was even spotted among the crowd. “Why they continue to hold these…it`s almost sick. I was so close to convincing them to spare the town this year, but they took it so personally when we broke their gym…” He remarked. Turning his gaze on his replacement and taking in the fresh-faced hopefulness, Benedict added, “I just hope for our sake they make it quick.”

The preamble to the fight was in all outwardly actions as peppy and jovial as ever, but it was behind those plastered smiles and glittery decorations that it was evident they were anticipating the slaughter to come. An armed militia stood at the ready, but even they were aware of the powerlessness of their guns in matters such as these.

Greenville rounded the hill first, flags at the ready, putting on a brave face for the crowd. The town pretended not to notice their trembling fingers and uncomfortable stances, or the fact that many of the students were blatantly too disturbed by Cairo scare tactics to play. The band clung to the illusion of being able to read their music, and the flute players pretended not to feel the icy stab of their metal music holders digging into the flesh around their necks. However, it was clear this charade was not going to hold much longer. Even the fresh faced marshal was beginning to sense the oncoming storm, and as the blue and white figures appeared over the horizon, his whistle blowing became more erratic, his prancing more of a restrained retreat.

Then, all at once, Cairo was upon them, an unstoppable wave of sleek uniforms, at least double in numbers and triple in volume. A terrified hush passed through the crowd. Greenville`s tiny blue cornet was nothing in comparison to the electric guitar, with amp in tow, that rounded out Cairo’s force. A fully grown man was tucked in among the band, hammering away on the drums, just because he knew no Greenvillian would dare step up to challenge him.

As Greenville regrouped for round two, retrieving any wind-napped music and attempting regulate their breathing, their competition ascended through the town square, forcing smiles and cheers with music that was just short of them shouting “Dance, peasants, dance!”

The Greenville band reluctantly trudged on to their final stand. With drooping flags, even their once optimistic marshal only offered a small tweet of his whistle. Not tired at all, the Cairo infantry strode on, pulling out all the stops. They had, after all, conquered the streets of Manhattan just days before. With such a snide strut and knowing glances… it was obvious they considered this their victory lap. Greenville`s fire department followed in their wake, called on the scene after Cairo arrived in order to, reportedly, “cool them down”.

Once again, Cairo was crowned champion.Their triumphant farewell left the promise -or, rather, threat- of a return in late May, much to the onlooking crowd`s dismay. Greenville`s new band leader had been able to scrounge them up a small victory, however; taking a page out of his predecessor’s book, the entire band had been clothed in the ancient, shapeless blobs of ratty maroon, clearly making the statement that Cairo could not take their pride, as they had already decimated it themselves.

-Furnace Dragon

Battle of the Bands

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