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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 12th day of Storing, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 146 > New Series > The Thunderbolts: Part One

The Thunderbolts: Part One

by yellowlabs765

“Five! Six! Seven! Eight!”

     The garage buzzed with the pulsating sounds of the band: the stirring vibration of the electric guitar, the deep thrumming of the bass guitar, the loud banging of the drum sets, the oscillating sounds of the keyboards. The feeling inside the little room was fast-paced, energetic, electrifying...

     "Cut!" Montana slapped his black guitar and slumped to the cement floor. "We stink. We really stink. We need to start over."

     For as long as they could remember, Montana, Tansy, Mike and Wynn were the best of friends. When they all turned six years old, they went to see Stix 'n' Stones in concert. They were so inspired by the band, they all asked their parents if they could take music lessons. A day later, the four pets were armed and ready to take their first lessons. Montana learned to play the electric guitar, Tansy took up the bass guitar, Mike jumped into the keyboards, and Wynn, being the rowdiest of them all, chose the drum set. Soon, the pets were playing like polished musicians, and Montana proposed they formed a band. So, only a month after their first music lessons, the Thunderbolts were formed. At first, the pets thought that they were the best they could be, but since more and more new bands started appearing on the scene, Montana began to push his friends harder. They were determined that they would get a gig at the Hall. But sometimes Montana tended to overreact. The pets were practicing late into the night, getting up early in the morning.

     "Aw, c'mon Monty," Wynn the brown Mynci whined as he tossed his drumsticks into the air, "it's ten o'clock! We need to call it a night."

     The black Gelert began picking the flaking thunderbolt stickers off of the face of his guitar, pretending not to listen. "I'm not hearing it. We stink. We're not leaving until we play all three songs perfectly."

     "I'm with Wynn, Mont," Tansy the pink Acara agreed as she sluing her pink bass guitar from her shoulder and began polishing it with the edge of her shirt. "We all missed supper hours ago, and I'm not for eating cold dinner. Besides, how could you say we stink? We've actually been doing better this month than last month! I just say we go home. How about you, Mike?"

     Mike the Electric Eyrie remained silent, his eyes closed, his head rested on his keyboard. Tansy sighed and threw her hands in the air. "See, there we go. Mike fell asleep again! And if Mike falls asleep...it's definitely time to go home."

     "No, no, NO!" Montana yelled as he rose from the floor. "Do you know how badly I want a gig?"

     "We all want a gig, Monty," Wynn argued flatly. "This band isn't all about you. There's no I in Thunderbolt, you know."

     "Yeah," Tansy chimed in. "You're working us too hard. And if we want a gig, then we have to..." She opened her mouth wide and yawned loudly as she raised her paws high into the air and stretched her arms. "We need to get some sleep. This is tiring."

     "I agree." Wynn stuffed his drumsticks deep down in his jeans pocket. "I'm so sleepy, my eyes are about to drag my head to the ground. I'm leaving."

     "No, you..." Montana slicked his antennas back in frustration, his eyes growing wide. "You can't leave...just ten more minutes..."

     "Enough is enough," Tansy drawled. "Maybe we should give the band a rest for a while."

     "Fine. Whatever. We'll take a break for one day. But..." Montana blocked Tansy's path and snatched her guitar case from her. "What about Mike?! He's not spending the night at my house again!"

     Tansy glared over at the Eyrie snoozing peacefully at the keyboard, gaping mouth, loud snoring and all.

     "Wynn," Tansy moaned, her eyes narrow slits, "it's your turn."

     The Mynci stopped cold at the garage door, then turned slowly, a horrified look at his face. "Unh uh. No way. He's not coming home with me! Forget it!" He began waving his paws in front of his face in horror, but Tansy grabbed his paw and smiled sweetly at the Mynci.

     "Do it for me, Winnie."

     The Mynci rolled his eyes. "Not that voice again. Fine, anything for you, Tansy." Wynn tramped over to the keyboard and draped one of Mark's fat arms over his shoulders. "The things I do for you, Tansy." As Wynn marched past Tansy, she smiled again and waved daintily. "Tootles, Winnie."

     Montana slowly closed the garage door and looked over at Tansy. "Well, aren't you leaving?"

     The Acara's eyes wandered as she twiddled her thumbs. "I just wanted to say..." She flung her arms gratefully around Montana's neck. "Thanks for the break. I really appreciate it."

     Montana rolled his eyes. He was glad he had proposed a break, they could all use one. But he didn't want to admit it; Tansy might see him as weak. He slowly eased Tansy away from him. "Whatever." He handed her the guitar case and opened the garage door. "See you Wednesday."

     "Okay." She turned and waved. "Bye, Montana!"

     Montana slammed the garage door shut tiredly and leaned his head drowsily against the wall, sighing heavily and slowly closing his eyes. "Don't tell me...Tansy and me?..." The Gelert grimaced. "No. It would never happen."

***

Wednesday rolled around faster than Montana had expected. At nine o' clock that morning, he was pacing uneasily across the empty garage floor. Would the group remember that they had practice today? Would they arrive on time? Would they remember the songs and play them well?

     The Gelert's train of thought was cut dangerously short by three sharp knocks at the garage door. Montana sighed heavily, wiped his forehead and opened the door. He was quite surprised at what he saw: Tansy cradling Wynn uncomfortably in her arms.

     "Tell...her...to put...me...down!" Wynn wheezed airily.

     "It's okay, Baby Winnie!" Tansy babbled as she glanced up at Montana. "Oh, hey Monty."

     Montana placed his paws on his hips and raised one eyebrow. "Wynn...is he..." The Gelert cocked his head curiously to one side. "Is he...okay?"

     "Sure," Tansy grinned.

     "No...I'm..." Tansy stuffed a mouth over the struggling Mynci's mouth.

     "Tansy," Montana scolded, "put him down."

     The Acara dropped the Mynci harshly onto the cement. "Ow! A little help here!"

     "Where's Mike?" Tansy asked as she sauntered into the garage.

     "Don't know. Why don't you set up and wait awhile?"

     "Why don't you help me up?" Wynn groaned.

     Tansy stooped down to open her guitar case. Wynn wobbled over to his drum set, twiddled his drumsticks, and rapped out a loud cadence on the snare drum.

     "Since when do you play that well?" Montana asked utterly as he twisted the tuning pegs on his sleek black guitar. "Why couldn't you do that in band at school?"

     "Mr. Nero was cruel," Wynn backfired with a goofy grin on his face. "I liked upsetting him."

     "Whatever." Montana strummed a somber chord. The notes rippled out through the garage and escaped through the open door.

     "Where's Mike again?" Wynn asked.

     "I'm here," a voice drawled. The pets turned and looked towards the door. There was an Electric Eyrie, a large brown box tucked under his left arm.

     "What's in the box, Mike?" Montana asked as he slung his guitar over his shoulder.

     "Food," Mike boasted. "Just snacks and drinks."

     Tansy rolled here eyes. "Of course. Come on in and set up."

     "Okay." Mike loafed into the garage.

     "Alright." Montana walked to the front of the garage. "Today I want to work extra hard. On Friday my owner is hosting a huge birthday party for my brother on Mystery Island. I was hoping we could play a few of our songs or something."

     "Sure," Wynn said. "Ooh, ooh, ooh! Can we play 'Indigo Jungle'? Huh? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?"

      "You only want to play it because you get a solo," Mike quarreled. "I never get a solo."

     "You get a solo in almost every song, Mike!" Tansy butted in. "I'm the one who should be whining. I want to play 'Heart of Ice'!"

     "No way..."

     "Everyone just BE QUIET!" The garage was deathly still. Montana cleared his throat. "Just listen. I haven't even gotten to the best part. Now, I've been doing some eavesdropping. I heard my owner talking to one of his friends...he says that he's going to try and invite the agent of Stix 'n' Stones and 2 Gallon Hatz! How cool is that?"

     "Stix 'n' Stones and 2 Gallon Hatz?" Wynn scratched his head. "Boy, that agent's got weird taste."

     "That's great, Monty!" Tansy cheered.

     "How'd she pull it off?" Mike asked.

     "Don't know. But it'll be an especially good opportunity for us," Montana continued quietly. "So, I figured that we could play one of our best songs. You know, like Frozen."

     "Frozen!" Wynn began to bob up and down on his stool excitedly. "Let's practice! I love that song! Let's practice! Come on, come on, come on! Fro---Zen! Fro--Zen! Fro---Zen!"

     "Okay, we'll play it," Montana grumbled. "Just stop bouncing off the ceiling and get ready to play. You okay, Mike?"

     "Uh-huh," Mike said, a tear streaking down his face.

     "Then what's the matter?"

     "I'm..." The Eyrie wiped his eyes. "I'm hungry!"

     "Whatever. Five! Six! Seven! Eight!"

     The song started with a loud roll on the cymbal, then the song jerked into full swing. Tansy bobbed her head and Mike wept the whole time as he pounded on the keyboard. Montana stepped up to the microphone and started singing:

     The wind was whipping and howling outside,

     I took a deep breath and swallowed my pride

     As I stepped into the cave, and trembled in fear

     As the blast of deathly cold breath began to race near.

     He's cold!

     He's cold!

     He's cold!

     His heart is frozen,

     He's cold!

     He's cold!

     The lonely Mr. Snowager...

      All of a sudden, a hideous chord rang out from the back of the garage. "I'm hungry!" Mike bawled as he slammed his head against his keyboard.

     Montana turned in disgust towards the sniveling Eyrie. "How can you perform for the agent of the greatest rock band ever if you're whining and complaining that you're hungry?"

     "I..." Mike wiped his eyes and sniffled. "Oh good. A break. I think I'll just have a little snack." He filed through his large cardboard for what seemed like an eternity. "Jelly Llamas...Pyramicake...Ginger Snaps...Aha!" The Eyrie lifted a large glass jar out of the box. He quickly screwed the top off of the jar, gouged a handful of the food out of it and began gobbling it noisily.

     "He eats like my Snorkle," Tansy said as she winced at his loud hocking and grunting.

     "He eats like my owner," Wynn exclaimed. "What the heck's in that jar, anyhow?"

     Mike looked up from the jar, red syrup caked all over his mouth, grinned, and slammed the jar on top of his keyboard. "Cherries Jubilee. Want some?"

     The others began to gag and mumble loudly. "No, no thanks," Montana said. "Second verse. Five! Six! Seven! Eight!"

     The music started up again. It was Tansy's turn to sing. She walked up to the microphone and began the second verse:

     He snorts when he eats, it drives me berserk,

     Boy, eating like that must take a lot of work!

     Sure, he falls asleep in practice, and that's no big prob,

     He only drives me crazy 'cause he EATS LIKE A SLOB!!!

     "Cut!" Montana wiped his forehead and stomped his foot. "What was that about?"

     Tansy had a remorseful look on her face. "I'm sorry. I just had to get it out. "I'm really sorry, Montana. I won't do it again."

     "Hey, that was pretty good Tansy!" Wynn rebutted.

     "You know," Mike blabbed, sugary saliva skimming down his chin, "if I didn't know any better, I'd say that she was singing about me."

     Montana snagged the jar of Cherries Jubilee from Mike's keyboard and tossed them into the trashcan. "Listen! I am about this close to snapping like a twig!" The Gelert's amber eyes were aflame with frustration, beads of sweat cascading down his forehead. "There is no excuse for this kind of tom foolery!" Montana began pacing around the garage, yelling in each of the pet's faces, "That party is in two days, and if we're not ready, we can forget getting a gig! At the rate we're going, music will be extinct before we ever get a gig! Is that clear?"

     The garage was still.

     "Is that clear?"

     "Yes, Montana," the three pets wheezed weakly.

     "Good." He walked back to his place on the floor. "Second verse, again."

***

9:46 PM NST

Dear Journal:

There’s so much loaded onto my plate...the band won’t cooperate, the party’s in two days , the Stix ‘n’ Stones agent will be there, and Mike’s at my door, asking for food.

About Tansy:...gee, I don’t know what to say about her. There’s just so much I feel for her...she’s my friend, she’s like a sister, she’s an enemy...she’s so much more to me. But that’s something else >_

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

The Thunderbolts: Part Two

The Thunderbolts: Part Three

The Thunderbolts: Part Four


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