The alto peeked out the octagonal window and saw an angry bespectacled face smooshed up against the glass. She cracked the door to see who it was.
It was the damn piccolo player.
This guy is quite the character. He is always late and looks like a cross between an old Vermonter and a disheveled guy from Bay Ridge. His uniform is navy cargo pants, black boots, wide navy suspenders, a t-shirt that always seems to be untucked where his belly hangs down, and he dons a pinky ring that catches the light as he plays.
Despite his appearance, when he puts that piccolo to his mouth, magic happens.
He rushed into the church and ran up to the conductor. He said, “I am sorry I am late.”, to which she coldly replied, “So am I.”
The piccolo player quickly unpacked his instrument and tuned it with the piano. Then they all started in on the song. Their first attempt was quite successful and the intermission demarkation had been reached so it was time for a break. The choir, ever impatient, started shouting, “we need to take a break!” “Please let us sit down!”
The break was announced and the choir scattered themselves around the church to rest. A small group of people ventured off to use the dark restroom. The break was uneventful until the grumpiest alto started shouting across the church at a soprano who was talking incredibly loud, “SARAH SHUT UP! SARAH BE QUIET! SARAH SHHHHUUUTTT UPPPP!”
That was when it was determined that the break was over.
It was now time to reassemble on the risers and to sing the tangos with the bandoneon player. As if they hadn’t just had a break, a bunch of the men sat down on the risers, too lazy to stand for the tango solo. The sound was like a herd of cattle banging up against a steel door.
The bandoneon player stretched his instrument and filled it with air and he began playing.
His nimble fingers flew across the buttons as he squeezed and pulled his instrument producing a sound that can only be described as “old world.”
As the music grew faster, a few people spotted the soprano at the back of the church, clutching her chest and falling against the wall. She stood up, fell again, and more people caught on. Someone muttered, “looks like she is having another one of her episodes.”
This woman barely spoke to anyone. She always carried her mobile phone in a huge crocheted pouch that she wore around her neck. She lived with her parents and was around 30-years old. She never made eye contact with anyone and avoided conversation.
Now she was gasping for air and clutching her chest, while her phone pouch swung back and forth in a hypnotic manner. If she needed 9-1-1, all she needed to do was reach in her pouch and make the call. But, she just reeled around and around, making an ungodly noise.
As the music continued, she got closer and closer to the risers, falling into the rows of pews that she passed. Her eyes possessed. Her voice ragged as she gasped.
She disappeared behind the choir but the music continued.
That’s when the screaming started…
To be continued.