Control the Beat

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18 | Keep The Beat

“I could travel the world, but still I wouldn’t know-” I sang softly. I paused as I rethought my words. It wasn’t working. My song was getting nowhere.

“Urgh.” I grumbled, as I threw the piece of paper containing my attempt of a song, into the bin.

If you haven’t guessed, it was songwriting class. Usually I can write a song in seconds, but I had writer’s block.

And it sucked.

“You alright there May?” Melissa asked, glancing over.

“Just peachy.” I grumbled, as I played a few notes on my guitar. I didn’t know what my problem was. It was probably the sky getting to me.

Yes you heard me right. The sky.

It was pitch black, yet it was five o’clock in the evening. A storm was coming, which was obvious. The weather had been amazing for a full two weeks.

“I wish the storm would just start already.” I muttered. It was beginning to annoy me. I usually love storms. Thunder and lightning always fascinated me, I’d get all giddy and hyper when there was a storm. But for some reason, the sky was freakishly scary.

The door opened, and Mr Williams stumbled in. “The wind’s picking up out there.” He informed us.

Everyone looked up at him with a smile. It was just automatic. Whenever Mr Williams comes near you, you smile. It was probably because he was was so cheerful all the time.

I tried my song again, but ended up getting flustered and almost throwing my guitar across the room. Everyone turned and stared at me. I growled to myself.

“You okay dear?” Mr Williams asked as he came over. He smiled and sat down beside me. He looked tired and weary, yet still forced the smile onto his face.

“I just can’t write the song.” I murmured.

“What do you want it to be about?” He questioned.

“Well, a girl who is so in love with this guy, that she can’t find anyone else like him, basically.”

“Is it a true story?”

I paused, and glanced curiously at him. “The song? No..”

“There’s your problem! If you write a true story into your song, you’ll get rid of the writer’s block.” He explained. “I learned that a long time ago.”

“But what exactly do I write about then?”

“How about this place?”

I thought about that. I guess there would be a lot to write about.. “That’s a good idea.” I murmured.

I began playing a few random chords, and I think of an idea that I could use. There was so many stuff that had happened at this place. I made friends, I had fun, Josh, Marc, Chase…

Mr Williams stood up, “Of course it is! My idea’s are always good.”

I chuckled in reply, and picked my guitar up. “Sure-“

A crash of thunder interrupted me. “About time.” I cried in excitement, I jumped up and ran over to Shannon, who was sitting still, her eyes wide.

“Don’t you like thunder?” I mused.

She glared at me. “Do you?”

“Yes.. It relaxes me for some reason.”

“Well I’m glad you’re going to be relaxed!” She grumbled, as she sat back down and wrapped her arms around herself. She looked like a vulnerable child.

Another crash of thunder when threw the sky, it was very loud. Louder than the thunder storms I had heard. A couple of people screamed as lightning flashed.

“Dude! That was almost hitting the ground.” A guy shouted, looking around in astonishment.

Shannon squeaked in fright, and I sat down, and wrapped my arms around her. I watched as people began to close the blinds of the classroom. Lightning could be dangerous to look at, and might hurt your eyes. Well that’s what I was told, I didn’t listen though. I always watched lightning.

“Ms Kenny.” Mr Williams spoke up. “I think we should go underground. Just to be safe.”

The teacher nodded in agreement. “I’ll call Dave and the other trainers, and let them know.”

I frowned. Let them know what?

Mr Williams glanced out the window and looked at us expectantly. “Okay guys. Follow me.” He led us to a small door that was sitting in the corner of the room. The same door was in every classroom, which I had found weird before. He unlocked the door, and opened it to a set of stairs.

“The fuck?” I muttered, staring curiously down at the secret stairway.

“It’s a basement thing.” Shannon explained, as she packed up her bag. “Apparently there was a huge storm at camp before, and they didn’t have anywhere to go, so Mr Williams had this made as a result.”

I grabbed my guitar, and swung it over my shoulder.”How about camp Turn It up, do they have one of these?”

“They probably have their own too.”

I breathed a sigh of relief at that. I guess I didn’t want to any of the neighboring campers hurt… Including Chase. I began to walk slowly and carefully down the stairs. And to tell you the truth, I am extremely clumsy so stairs were always a challenge for me.

After climbing down for a minute, we entered a large room. It was lit with lamps, and had shelves full of tinned food.

“This is so weird.” I muttered. Thunder rang through the air again, causing Shannon to whimper. I poked her arm, and smiled comfortingly at her. Melissa sat in the corner, and pulled a book out of bag.

“This is going to be a very long night.” She announced. I skipped over and sat beside her, followed by Shannon. Another door opened from the opposite side of the room, and Shane entered first, followed by Josh and Cassie.

“Hey!” He called coming over. He was about to sit beside Shannon when an idea popped into my head. I shook my head violently at him, and he furrowed his eyebrows. I jumped to my feet, and gestured for him to take my place. Which he did cautiously, I plopped back down on top of him. “Jeez. If you wanted to sit on me, you could have just asked.” He grumbled.

I smirked, and watched Josh take his place beside Shannon. Shane chuckled into my ear, realizing my suddenly weirder than usual behavior, and I smirked. This matchmaking thing was quite easy.

Mr Williams was sitting in a chair close to us. He looked worn out. “You okay sir?” Shannon asked, worried.

“I’m fine Shannon, the storms just getting to me. That’s all.” He replied, shooting us a tight smile.

Dave walked over and handed him a glass of water, which he took gratefully.

Thunder became more recent. Every thirty seconds, there would be a huge crash that would shake the shelves on the wall. I didn’t feel giddy anymore, I was terrified.

Shannon let out a sob, and Josh wrapped his arms around her in comfort. I didn’t understand why the storm was affecting her so much. Yes I was scared too, but I always thought Shannon was tough. I had never seen her cry before.

Everyone was quiet, all waiting for the storm to end, and hoping the end would be quite soon. The floor was extremely uncomfortable.

The room was full of all the campers. Yes all of them. That’s how crowded it was. Cassie lay at the other side of the room, on top of Max. While Jessica was cuddled up with Corey. No one was talking, some people were watching around them and waiting for the next sound of thunder.

I shifted my guitar onto my knee and began to play a few notes, hoping to ease the atmosphere. Shane wrapped his arms around my waist and began to sing to the tune.

“And after the storm.” He sang into my ear. “I run and run as the rains come down.”

And I look up, I look up. On my knees and out of luck I look up.” Josh joined in.

“Night has always pushed up day,
You must know life to see decay.
But I won’t rot, I won’t rot,
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won’t rot.” Shannon sang, as she wiped away her tears.

I congratulated myself for coming up with a great distraction plan. Mental pat on the back for me!

I began to play faster.

“And I took you by the hand!”
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.” I sang, speeding up the song.

Mr Williams was smiling at us, and the song seemed to take peoples mind off the storm.

“And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.” Everyone in the room sang together, blocking out the sound of thunder.

I cuddled into Shane, and everyone looked at Mr Williams with a smirk on their faces. He smiled warmly at us and began to sing.

And now I cling to what I knew!
I saw exactly what was true..
But oh no more.

That’s why I hold,
That’s why I hold with all I have.
That’s why I hold.”

We all grinned at him, as he relaxed back into his chair. His voice was still amazing. Yes it was a bit croak-ier than it used to be, and he couldn’t say his words as fast, but he was still extremely talented.

“And I won’t die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I’ll just go home,
Oh God knows where.” He whispered.

I frowned, something wasn’t right. His usual bright eyes had faded, and looked dull and tired. He seemed to find it difficult to talk.

Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind and what’s before.”
His words came out in a slur. My heartbeat began to pick up, and I threw my guitar off me and ran over to him, followed my Shane and Shannon.

“Sir?” I whispered. His mouth began to slip down to one side, and the glass of water fell from his hand. I rooted in my pockets looking for my phone, which wasn’t there. “Someone call the ambulance!” I screamed.

Dave came forward, his eyes wide. “Do something!” Josh snapped.

“I need an ambulance!” I heard Jessica’s panicked voice in the background. “At camp step up the beat.”

“May..” Shannon whispered shakily. Tears were pouring down her face.

“I-I can’t do anything.” I whimpered, as I held Mr Williams hand.

“I know there’s a storm! But he’s having a heart attack or something!” Jessica screeched down the phone.

“It’s a stroke! Tell them he’s having a stroke!” I cried, remembering the television ads. If his face falls to one side, if he can’t do anything with his arms and his speech becomes slurred. All we can do is act fast and call for help.

“May what do we do?” Melissa sobbed.

I didn’t know. I wasn’t a nurse. All I knew to do was act fast and call an ambulance. That’s all they said on TV ads, they never told us what to do.

Everyone was staring at me, hoping I could do something. They weren’t looking at any of the trainers, who were staring in shock, or at the queen B, who was the only one doing anything useful.

They wanted me to do something. And I couldn’t.

“I don’t know!” I sobbed. Tears were streaming down my face, and I glanced at Dave who looked helpless.

“I don’t care! Get your asses here now, or I will sue the living life out of you!” Jessica yelled down the phone.

“It’s okay sir.” I whimpered. “You’ll be okay.”

He was beginning to lose consciousness. “Keep the beat.” I heard him mumble.

Josh had his face buried in his hands, and Shane was cursing.

Jessica hung up the phone. “They’ll be at least twenty minutes.” She whispered. “They can’t take the helicopter because of the storm.”

As soon as she said this, another crash of thunder was heard.

I shook my head. “That isn’t good enough.”

It wasn’t good enough.


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