The Rise of the Band Geeks, Episode 11: What Now?

It’s over.  Kendra fingered her horn (with her playing gloves on) and peered through the windows to the snowy pavement beyond.  Done.  Finished.  Passed on.  Ceased to be.  Pushing up daisies.  Shuffled off this mortal coil–


She vigorously shook her head to clear it of fragments of a Monty Python sketch.  Now was not the time for humor; it was the time for mourning.


Though she was alone in the band hall, she raised her alto horn and played the low, sorrowful tune typically played on a trumpet.  The funeral dirge sounded oddly low but no less solemn as she played the notes from a dusty memory.  Her eyes welled as she struggled to recall the exact notes even as her fingers pressed down on the valves, and images from the season flashed before her eyes:  carrying an orb at the 9/11 tribute show, scuttling across the field during homecoming, freezing her digits off at The Game while flurries plagued the band throughout halftime and beyond.


She didn’t notice the approach of the Fearless Leader until after she lowered her instrument.  The Fearless Leader stood with a slight smile on his face (she imagined), his eyes sparkling.  “Great job,” he began, his voice not unfriendly.


“Thanks,” Kendra murmured.  The final notes of “Taps” still rang in her ears.


She squinted at the full-bodied flakes that cascaded from the heavens and coated everything in sight.  Waiting for the bus to get back to her dorm was going to be…not fun.  “I can’t believe it’s over,” she croaked, then turned to face the Fearless Leader.  “Where did the season go?”


“Time is funny that way, Kendra,” replied the Fearless Leader.  Kendra flinched with the revelation that he knew her name.


“But there will be next season.  And the season after that,” came the sage voice of the Fearless Leader.  “All will be well, Kendra.  This is not a farewell; this is an ‘until we meet again.'”


Kendra nodded, her throat tight as she wondered what in the world her life would entail.  No band?  For a whole semester?  But band was her life!  She’d given her soul to it.


“Until we meet again,” she echoed,” wishing it could be football season forever.


Alias came to Earth from a distant planet roughly 80 years ago and has been inhabiting the United States ever since. Captured by authorities in 1959, Alias was entombed in Area 51 until escaping in 2019 and has been at large ever since. Nowadays, Alias seeks to integrate into human life and earn an English degree. Recent sightings indicate Alias is a member of the Michigan Marching Band.

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