Two high schoolers in marching band meet for the first time, and one is introduced to a way of thinking he had never imagined.

Schools of Thought

It's a hot day today—almost unbearably hot, in fact, as you can see from the weary state of the others around me. But I'm okay. I had my drink at water break.
I resist the urge to wipe the sweat from my brow.
I'm outside, on the field, right now, on a Saturday morning, a day which should by all accounts be spent inside, playing a good video game, but it's okay. There's time for everything.
It's that sort of devotion, you see, that makes a high school marching band great.
Most of the section seems to understand that, but not all. I look over at Melody as I think this.
Melody is one of the freshmen in our section—and showing it more every day. It's not that she's not talented, mind you; it's just that she lacks concentration. It's hard to get her to pay attention to the band.
I hadn't actually had the opportunity to speak to her yet at that point—not for long, anyway; just enough to know her name, nothing more. She seems awfully young for this. Not in the way she looks, but... in the way she acts.
Tsk, tsk, I think to myself as I see Melody squiggling in her spot, you've got a lot to learn.
And then our band began to move again.

As we were walking back from the field later that day, Melody approached me and started a conversation.
"I believe you said your name was Jet?" she said casually.
It is. I've always loved having that name.
"That's right," I said proudly. "It's Jet. Just Jet."
"That's a fun name," she said, smiling. "It's unique. I like it. Have you mine?"
"Have you mine?" I did a double take. What, does she think she's Shakespeare or something?
"I mean, do you know my name?"
"I know what you mean, Melody," which I specifically enunciated, "it's just..."
"Different?" she asked with another smile.
"It's an odd thing to say." I finished.
"I know. I like talking like that."
We had gotten to the front of the school now, and were waiting for our rides home.
"Why is that?" I asked.
"Because it's fun," she said very simply.
"You're an odd girl," I said without any clear idea of where I was going and slightly afraid that I had just offended her. She seemed unperturbed; she continued on smiling, with her head slightly tilted to the side.
There was a moment's silence. Finally I spoke.
"I've noticed you're very..."
She smiled as I struggled for a word, which I found faintly irritating.
"...not devoted to the group." For the first time, she frowned.
"That's not true," she said quietly.
"No?" I asked. "You don't seem to be able to hold yourself at attention, that's for sure."
"Oh, that," she said, and the frown disappeared, though she did not smile. "Well, I do find it a bit hard to control myself sometimes. I just find the world so... interesting." She sighed dreamily.
"I see..." I really didn't know what to say to that, possibly because I wasn't quite sure what she meant.
"I mean, don't you just find... Don't you just wish you could embrace all of the magic around you?" She was staring off at this point.
"I don't understand," I said. "Magic?"
"I can see you don't understand," she said, and apparently not hearing my "That's what I just said", turned to the bushes along the side of the school, and carefully selected a stick.
"Do you see this?" she asked.
I almost laughed at her. "It's a stick."
"Wrong," she said, and the smile I saw earlier returned. "It's a wand." She waved it around for a while, at one point muttering something that sounded like "mana" to herself.
"What are you doing?" I asked simply, trying not to offend.
"Magic," she said simply, and continued on with her work. After a moment of this, she turned back to me and said, "You might want to try it sometime. It's good fun."
"Do you ever, actually, you know... do magic?" I asked.
"Of course," she said matter-of-factly. "Just not when unbelievers are watching."
"Oh really?" I asked, smiling in spite of myself. "It really works?"
"You must be an unbeliever," she said. "I'll prove it to you. See that stone over there?"
I looked where she was pointing. "Yeah?"
"I will make it come to me with my magic."
I smiled. "Okay, I've gotta see this."
"Oh no, you can't," she said. "You're an unbeliever. You have to turn around."
"I do?"
"You do."
"Okay," I said, and turned around.
As I sat there, facing into the bushes, waiting for a freshman to perform magic behind my back, I wondered why I was still paying any attention to the situation, and why I had not politely dismissed myself and left. I remembered a moment later that my ride hadn't come yet.
Then Melody said "Summon stone!" really loudly, and I resisted a chuckle. It became harder to do when I heard rushed footsteps going toward the stone and then back to where she was standing, but I managed.
"Okay, turn around," she said.
I turned around. There she was, holding the stone. I didn't know what to say for a moment; then finally I decided to ask directly.
"So you really did that with magic?"
"Yep." She stood up straight and tall.
I smiled broadly. "Well, you're a real magic-worker then, I guess."
"I sure am," she said.
My ride showed up then, and I bade her farewell.
I didn't believe her for a second, of course, but I admired her blatant optimism, in spite of the evidence of reality all around her. Hers was an attitude I had not yet encountered.

As she watched the car drive away, she dropped the rock back to the ground, then pointed at it and said, "Summon stone!" It flew up to her quickly, and the smile she made was the biggest one she had made all day.

Short story by Wehpudicabok
Read 611 times
Written on 2006-08-15 at 23:14

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Interesting, the end really ties it all together. Keep writing!!! I hope to see more from you.