Get Healthy! – Day 6
‘Well, have a good summer. Let’s meet at HQ in August when Hardy gets back. We’ve got a season to prepare for. It all starts again on September 5th!’
It was the Friday before they went away. Wil and Freddy had gone to check out HQ with Hardy, before they dispersed for the summer.
‘Where are you going again,’ said Hardy, as they sat outside HQ soaking up some rare July sunshine. Everything around them was a deep green reflecting the massive levels of rainfall so far this summer.
‘I told you before, we don’t know yet!’ said Wil impatiently, taking deep breaths of the freshly cut grass smells all around him. ‘Dad’s planned a sort of surprise’.
‘We don’t even know if we’re going today or tomorrow!’ said Freddy, evidently pleased at the prospect of something exciting happening.
‘Humph…’ said Hardy sadly, looking down at the ground, ‘my Mum and Dad are going to America. But I’ve got to stay here with HER’. Hardy pointed vaguely in the direction of the house, where his grandmother was busy cooking.
‘She’s OK’, said Freddy, ‘she’s a great cook!’.
Hardy tried to brighten his mood, but failed.
‘I know, but I’ve nothing to do here all summer. Nothing. NOTHING!’
Freddy thought Hardy was going to cry.
‘Don’t worry H’, he said, going to put his arm around Hardy, who pulled back, turned away slightly, and curled himself up against the side of the shed.
‘We’ll be back in a couple of weeks!’ said Wil brightly.
Freddy looked at Hardy with a mixture of pity and embarassment. Embarassment because he knew that if there was a surprise planned for them it would be absolutely fantastic, that was guaranteed, and he felt a little guilty that Hardy would not be a part of that. Pity because Hardy looked so pathetic, just sitting there.
He went into the shed, which had a shaft of bright light shining through the window. The light fell directly on the drum kit which as usual took centre stage. Freddy sat down at the kit. A wood pigeon, seemingly perfectly at home, flitted around in the roof-space. Otherwise all was quiet.
Freddy picked up the drum sticks that Barry had left perched on the shell of the bass drum and tapped lightly at one of the cymbals. The wood pigeon hopped along the roof beam it was standing on.
Freddy played a little rhythm on the cymbal and the snare drum.
Tupper-tupper tish! Tupper-tupper tish!
The pigeon hopped again.
Tupper-tupper tish! Tupper-tupper tish!
The pigeon stood on one leg and extended its left wing out towards where Freddy was sitting.
Tupper-tupper tish! Tupper-tupper tish BOOM! Freddy played the fourth beat on the bass drum.
On hearing the BOOM the pigeon hopped off its one foot and spun round on the rafter, using its wings for balance. As it landed following a three-hundred and sixty degree turn, Freddy hit the bass again. Again, the pigeon pirouetted elegantly around on its perch.
Freddy smiled at the absurdity of it all, convinced he was imagining it. He went round the kit a couple of times, hitting everything in sight, before finishing with a final crash on the main cymbal. The pigeon danced round two or three times, before finishing with a single spin, lifting up its left wing and bringing it extravagantly across its body and bowing courteously to Freddy.
I knew this shed had something spooky about it, he thought, as the pigeon mopped its brow with a small handkerchief.
Freddy continued to play idly on the drums, picking out rhythms on the tom-toms.
He was getting ready to join the others outside when he played a little riff, sounding like a sort of dum-dum-bom-dum-bommmm.
The last bommm rung out around the shed. The shed seemed to rumble a bit as he played it.
He played the riff again. Dum-dum-bom-dum-bommmm.
This time, he was sure he felt the rumbling in the shed more firmly. Again.
Dum-dum-bom-dum-bommmm. The last bommm this time definitely caused a rumbling sound which carried on long after he had stopped playing it, and long after the drum had finished echoing. Eventually it stopped. Freddy got up and went outside.
‘Here, look’, he said quietly to the other two. Come in here and listen. Wil and Hardy entered the shed and Freddy sat back down.
Dum-dum-bom-dum-bommmm. Hardy looked quite concerned as the last note rang out, and the whole area in which they were standing shook under their feet. The pigeon, which had been calmly observing up until that point, shot out. Freddy played the riff one more time. He felt he had to. He couldn’t stop himself.
The vibration didn’t stop this time, it just got bigger, wilder, more violent, until the ground was shaking like in an earthquake. Hardy and Wil grabbed hold of each other.
‘Get down on the floor’ shouted Freddy above the rumbling sound, Get down!’ His voice was faint as the floor where he was standing opened up under him, and he was swept off his feet by the force. He grabbed at anything he could, grasping at one of the drums close to him. The smallest tom-tom that he caught hold of came off in his hand and he was left holding it as Wil tried to stop him being pulled towards the hole that was enlarging every second. Instead Wil, too, was pulled inexorably towards the bright light which emanated out of the now huge crevice in the floor. They slid, no more than a few centimetres, grasping, grabbing at anything they could.
Only Hardy could save them. He inched forward, and managed to touch fingertips with Wil. They struggled to get a proper grip as Freddy’s weight pulled Wil in the other direction. Hardy made a desperate lunge to get to them, but only succeeded in slipping, so that his momentum carried the three of them towards the light.
At that moment, Freddy resigned himself to whatever was going to happen to them. He was in a sitting position now, moving, dragged along by an invisible force, towards the light. Natural light. The three of them sat, quite calmly, arms linked.
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