The Serpent: Part 1

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Chapter 10

July 17, 1985

5:43 P.M.

“How about…The Fire Ants?” Jason suggested.

“Nah,” Alex said. “Sounds like the name of a generic punk band.”

“Wait, I got one,” Sam said. “How about Time Machine?”

“I kind of like that,” Alex said.

“I don’t know,” Jason said. “That doesn’t really sound cool.”

“Come on guys, let’s just stay The White Knights,” Robbie said. “Why do y’all hate that name so much?”

“I got one,” Alex said. “What about The Seven Deadly Sins? That sounds pretty cool.”

“This isn’t a death metal band,” Sam said. “Come on, something fitting.”

“Wait, I got it!” Jason said. “How about American Donkey? You know, like the Spanish Donkey, except…well…American? You know, since we’re American?”

“First of all, that sounds totally stupid,” Alex said. “Second of all, there’s already a band named after a torture device. We’re not trying to look like rip-offs.”

“I agree,” Sam said. “Not to mention that nobody’s gonna’ be interested in us if they’re reminded of the freaking Spanish Donkey. Ugh, just thinking about that thing makes me cringe.”

“I’m telling you guys,” Robbie said. “Let’s just stay The White Knights.”

“Wait, I think I got it!” Sam said. “How about The Serpents?”

“The Serpents?” Alex said. “Hmmm…that doesn’t sound so bad.”

“Yeah,” Jason said. “I kind of like that. That actually sounds pretty cool.”

“No wait,” Sam said. “Forget ‘the.’ How about just Serpents? Doesn’t that sound pretty cool and fitting? Serpents?”

“I like it,” Alex said. “What do you guys think?”

“Yeah! Let’s be Serpents!” Jason said.

“Robbie?” Sam asked.

Robbie sighed.

“Okay,” he said. “I admit it. It’s better than The White Knights.”

“So, it’s settled then?” Sam asked.

Robbie, Jason, and Alex all nodded.

“Awesome,” Sam said. “From this point on, we are Serpents!”

“Great,” Jason said. “We have our official name. Now all we need is to do is have several hits, best-selling albums, and become one of the greatest bands of all time and my life is complete. I need a smoke.”

“Hey, we’ve got plenty of great songs,” Robbie said. “Thanks to our front man, of course. At least one of them has to turn into a hit. Honestly, if people ignore these songs, I’m gonna’ lose faith in humanity.”

“Too bad we live in a world full of stupid people,” Alex said.

“Speaking of which,” Sam said, pulling a few sheets of paper out of his backpack. “I actually just finished writing another song. It took me like eight times to get this one right. Y’all wanna’ try it out in a bit?”

“What’s it called?” Jason asked.

“Rogue,” Sam said, handing the sheet music over to Jason. “Check it out.”

Robbie, Jason, and Alex spent the next few minutes looking over the music and nodding back and forth to each other.

“Well, I like it,” Robbie said. “But that’s not out of the usual. I think we may actually need to hear this one to see how good it is.”

“Honestly, I have a lot of high hopes in this one,” Sam said. “I think people are gonna’ love it. We should totally play it on Friday.”

“If we can get it down by Friday,” Alex said.

“Hey, it only took a day for us to get Several Years down,” Robbie said.

“Great,” Sam said. “So are y’all ready to get some more practice done?”

“More ready than ever,” Alex said.

“Same here,” Jason said. “Let’s blow this thing up and go home.”

“Never say that again,” Alex said.

“Are y’all ready for Friday?” Sam said.

“Sam, do you need to do this every time a gig comes up?” Alex asked.

“Hey, I’m only trying to motivate y’all!” Sam said. “Don’t y’all wanna’ do great on Friday?”

“Sam, we’re gonna’ do great on Friday,” Robbie said. “That’s pretty much a guarantee.”

“As long as Sam doesn’t forget to show up, that is,” Jason said.

“Oh, don’t start with that again,” Sam replied.

“No no no,” Alex said. “Don’t even try to deny it, man.”

“You gotta’ stop lying to yourself,” Jason said. “You know it’s true.”

“Seriously, guys?” Sam asked. “Do y’all really not think you can do great on your own? There’s no ‘I’ in team, right?”

“In this case, there is,” Alex said. “Hey, we should change our name to Team I.”

“I still remember hearing you guys play without me last year! And y’all were great!”

“I don’t even remember how we sounded before Sam joined,” Jason said.

“Like crap, that’s how,” Alex said. “That’s why we didn’t win the talent show.”

Sam sighed and sat down in his piano chair.

Come on guys, he thought. One guy doesn’t carry on a whole group. Y’all are just as equally important. No self-confidence or what?

Robbie probably caught the look in Sam’s eye, because he suddenly smiled and said: “Well, Sam, even if we were just as good on our own, it wouldn’t change the fact that you’re a brilliant musician. I can’t be any more grateful that you’re part of the band.”

“Well…yeah,” Sam said. “Thanks.”

“Honestly, we wouldn’t be as good without you because we’re a team. We all serve as different parts of the body. The body can’t live without the head. And you’re the head.”

“I guess that makes me the feet?” Alex asked.

“I’m probably the pinky toe,” Jason said.

Sam continued to smile and looked at the group for a moment.

“Thanks Robbie,” he said. “Guys, I just wanna’ say that I’m glad y’all look up to me so much. As I’ve said before, this is one of my many wildest dreams. I’m…I’m so glad that I met y’all.”

“Can’t believe it’s only been a year,” Jason said, “It feels like Sam’s been with us since the beginning.”

“Maybe because we sucked so much on our own that Sam completely overshadowed it,” Alex said.

Sam sighed and grabbed his sheet music for “Rogue.”

“Y’all ready for some more practice?” he asked.

“You bet!” Robbie said.

“Alright! Let’s do this!”

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