Get Healthy! – Day 2

And with that, she turned, and her glasses fell with a splat into the mud.  She whisked them up, put them muddily on her nose, and was gone.


Back at HQ after school, Barry was practising.

Hardy, Freddy, Wil and Michael were standing outside.  The front door was shut.  They stood silently as the rhythms bombarded them from the inside.  The flimsy wooden walls of the shed were no protection from the noise, but standing where they were, in the cold damp July atmosphere, the drumming was muffled slightly.  But still persistent.  The walls of the shed seemed to respond to Barry’s efforts, especially when he hit the bass drum.  The rhythm he was playing at that moment was mostly on the cymbals, giving a tickety-tick or hissing sound, but every two bars he gave the bass drum a mighty kick, and the walls groaned, apparently elasticated, as they responded, then fell back.  Responded, then fell back.  Every two bars.

‘He’s great!’  said Hardy, clapping his hands in time with the rhythm.  Michael was doing a little dance around the clearing where the shed stood.

‘I wish I could sing!’  he said, picking up a stick from the ground and pretending to use it as a microphone.

‘Yes, but we need a rhythm section first’, said Freddy, who had been giving his big idea more thought.

‘Sounds like he’s a one-man rhythm section!’, Michael replied, as Barry launched into a crashing solo, the sounds on the individual drums hard to distinguish as he went round the kit at breakneck speed.

‘Nah’, said Freddy, ‘I’ve been reading about this.  You need drums and bass, then at least one guitar.  We’ve only got Barry and Jimi, and even then, I’m a bit worried about Jimi’.

‘Jimi’s great too!’ said Michael, his enthusiasm for the big idea shining through in his voice.

‘I know, but Jimi might want to be the leader’.


‘Well, he might want to play lots of solos and things.  We may need someone else to play guitar as well’.

‘I closed my eyes,

Drew back the curtain,

To see for certain,

What I thought I knew…’

Michael sang tunelessly, twirling his pretend microphone in imitation of the weeks and weeks of JoJosephs he had seen on television.

‘Yes, well…’ said Freddy, rehearsing in his mind his own ambitions of singing in front of his band.

Barry continued as Hardy rummaged around in the piles of junk that Barry and his mates had cleared from the inside of the shed.

‘No – not that!’, he said as he lobbed a rusty bicycle off the top of the heap, ‘I know it’s in here somewhere!’.

‘Definitely not that!’,  he cried as a succession of half opened bags of garden compost and seed flew over his shoulder, exploding onto the ground behind him.

‘Ah, now then...’  Hardy pulled a large wooden box from near the bottom of the pile, ‘this might be use…aaaaghhhh!’

Hardy leaped back from the box, rubbing furiously at his hands.  He staggered five or six paces back from the box.  His scream had been loud enough for even Barry to hear, and the drumming had stopped.  The door to the shed opened to reveal Barry, shirt open to the waist, sweat pouring off him from the efforts of playing.

‘Whassup?’  he yelled. 

Barry always yelled.  Maybe it was the drumming.  Maybe it was the fools he associated with.  But he hardly ever just spoke.  Normally.  He yelled.

‘Er….er….in there!’ Hardy pointed to the box.

‘What’s in there?

‘It’s…huge!’ cried Hardy.  Barry marched over to the box.  Actually he’s quite brave, thought Freddy to himself.

Barry kicked at the box.  Nothing.

Barry turned the box round.  With his bare hands!

Barry peered into the darkness of the box.

Barry put his index finger of his right hand inside the box, and then withdrew it.  Slowly.

‘Is this what you were looking for?’  Barry smiled warmly at Hardy.  Barry didn’t often smile warmly at anyone.

‘NO!  Don’t come close!’  Hardy said, cowering behind the other three.

Hanging off Barry’s outstretched finger was a spider, on it’s web.

The spider was at least 3 millimitres across, and it’s legs stretched out a further 2 millimetres, giving it an overall size of around five millimetres.  Hardy shivered.  The others laughed.  The spider smiled and looked pathetically at Hardy.

‘Right, OK, now what I was thinking was…’, said Hardy, going back to work on the box, and the pile.  He scratched around some more and came out with a long stout pole, and some rope.

‘I saw this once’, he said excitedly, ‘you stick the pole through a hole in the top of the box, you tie the string on here, then you…’

‘Yo, Mr Bass Man!’, came a call from behind them.

‘Er, Yo! Er Jimi!’  said Hardy.

‘Hiya!’  said Freddy, turning to Jimi, whose arrival was unexpected, but very welcome.  Things seemed to happen when Jimi arrived.

‘Why did you call him bassman?’  said Wil.

‘String bass.  String. Box. Pole.  You’ve got a bass’.

Hardy twanged the string, which was tightly drawn between the top of the stick and fixed to a point on the top of the box.  It made a satisfying thud sound.

‘Pull it tighter man!’

Hardy obliged, pulling the pole towards him and strumming again.  A more interesting thung sound this time.

‘We got us a bass, boys!’  said Jimi.

‘Come!’ commanded Barry to Hardy, ‘Let’s play!’


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