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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 26th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 26 > Short Stories > Listen to the Band

Listen to the Band

by jedipikamoon

There was a cold chill in the air and a light snow was falling as a small yellow Chia walked to her new school for the very first time. Singing along with the newest hit from "Jazzmosis" playing from her radio headphones. ChiChi_Chu had a good feeling about today. It was a little late in the school year to be just now enrolling, but her family had recently moved to the large city Neopia Central from a small community outside of Furgleton, and that meant that this was her first day of school.

Just as she was getting to her favourite part of the song, the drum solo, Chichi reached the front steps that led to the entrance of the school. She looked up and stopped dead in her tracks. Massive stonewalls, dotted with darkened windows loomed before her like a giant rock face. A row of doors in which students were streaming in and out of, was protected from the falling snow by a flat overhang. Above which a sign read:

Welcome to Neopia Central Public High School
Home of the Conquerors.

"Not exactly what I had in mind," she said aloud to nobody in particular.

Taking a deep breath the Chia removed her headphones and walked up the steps toward the doors.

Upon entering the building her first impression was "It's so big!" The high-peaked ceiling of the entryway of the sheer size of most of the students loitering about was enough to make her feel very tiny. A row of windows straight ahead offered a view of a huge cafeteria full of students, pets of all sizes, shapes, and colours, eating chatting studying, even dancing. To her right was a glass cabinet, almost overflowing with shiny trophies, plaques, and other awards. To her left were benches lined with even more students. On ether side were corridors leading to other parts of the school.

"We're not in Faerieland anymore," she murmured, looking about, her eyes wide.

This place was so different compared to her old school. Where she used to go was much, much, smaller. The teachers learned everyone's names within a day because of the undersized amount of students. There was no competitive sports teams ether due to the fact that the school was in such an out-of-the-way community. On top of that, the majority of the student body were Chias such as herself. Chichi knew that Neopia Central High would be bigger, but she never imagined this.

Pushing her way through the crowds, she choose a hallway and walked down it, hoping to find the main office. She passed door after door and looked at the signs above each one for a clue as to which one was the one she was looking for. Unfortunately as she did this, she wasn't exactly watching where she was going and--WHAP!!!

Papers scattered everywhere, and Chichi found herself on the ground. Looking up she realised in horror that she'd hit someone, not just anyone, but a teacher!

"I-I'm so sorry ma'am. I-I wasn't paying attention!" she stammered over her tongue as she scooped up the fallen papers.

"Oh, don't worry about it sweetie, no harm done." The teacher, a pink Kacheek with a pair of reading glasses fastened around her neck with a gold chain, stood up and brushed herself off. The Chia, her face flushed rose with embarrassment, offered the stack of papers to their owner.

"Why thank you hon. You know, I don't think I've seen you around here before, are you new?"

She nodded.

"What's your name?"

"Chichi_Chu, but everyone calls me Chichi," she replied. Relived that the teacher wasn't mad.

"I see, Chichi Well I must be going, the bell's about to ring any minute now and it wouldn't be right for the teacher to be late for class now would it?" the Kacheek said with a laugh.

And with that, she hurried away, but not before she told Chichi how to get to the office.

After finding and going into the office, she was greeted by the secretary, an enthusiastic Uni, who was definitely a morning person.

"Hello! Hello! Welcome to Neopian Central High! I'm Miss Pippins! You must be the new student that we've been expecting; I hope you come to like it here! Now before you meet the principal you'll have to fill out these forms."

Before Chichi could reply, Miss Pippins handed her a humungous stack of documents. She sat down and started to fill them out as the secretary kept talking about anything and everything. It was the most she could do to nod at the occasional question as the Uni's 'conversation' came faster and cheerier with each breathe.

"What unusual weather we're having lately, I like the snow but the cold is too much. Do you like smoothies? My favourite kind is Rasmellon. It says here that you played the drums at your old school. I've always wanted to be a drummer but I don't have hands!"

Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the forms were completed and she could see the principal. The secretary slowed down long enough to say good-bye as Chichi hurried out as fast as she could before Miss Pippins started all over again.

She introduced herself to the principal, Mr. Montgomery, a large Skeith wearing a garish clip-on tie and a permanent smirk on his face.

"Well young lady, it seems that you've come from Three Pine High School. Hmmm, that's quite a ways away… a 9th grader, eh?" he said in a rough booming voice.

"Yes sir."

"Your grades are impressive, yes I do believe you'll do fine here. You know, looking over your achievement in the fine arts, I think you'd do well in marching band. In fact I'll add that to your schedule."

"Marching band?! But sir--" she protested.

"Now, now, no need to thank me, you'd better get a move on. You're late enough as it is."

"But, but…"

"Yes, it was a pleasure meeting you, too. Good-bye now."

And with that, Chichi found herself on her way, schedule in hand, to her new 1st hour class, Marching Band.

Class has already started as she tried to locate the band room, so the halls were empty. Despite this the frazzled Chia was talking to herself about her predicament.

"What the heck? Marching band?! I don't know the first thing about marching! I'm a drummer, I can't be that and a marcher. Besides I'll never fit in! These type of things are like, closed to outsiders like me. Dose someone up there find this funny!?"

She felt so helpless, back at her old school, she at least had her friends to encourage her. Besides, she'd known everyone in that band since kindergarten. She finally reached the door marked 'Band Room' and taking a deep breath, she opened the door to accept her fate.

Then the most amazing thing happened, instead of walking into a room full of grave leering eyes stabbing at the newcomer like she expected, she was met with laughter and a chorus of greetings. The room was full of students, all with and instrument of some sort, all were smiling as if someone famous had just walked in. The atmosphere of the place was surprisingly warm and welcoming, Chichi didn't understand, what was going on?

"I thought you'd end up here," came a familiar voice from behind.

She turned around to see the pink Kacheek from earlier that morning.

"Hey, aren't you that teacher that I…"

"Yes, I'm Mrs. Rudeau, director of bands at this school. Welcome to the 'Neopia Central High School Marching Conquerors', we're happy to add you to our family."

Then as if on cue everyone got up and crowded around the Chia. A hundred exited voices started talking at once.

"What instrument do you play?"

"Where are you from?"

"You'll love it here!"

"Have you seen the cafeteria food yet? Yuck!"

"Cute backpack, is it new?"

"What do you think of our school colours? So boring…"

"Have you been to a marching competition before?"

"Does anyone have an extra clarinet reed?"

"You're a drummer? All right! Drumline rocks!"

Chichi just smiled and answered what she could. They simply up and accepted her as one of their own, no questions asked.

Maybe this won't be so bad after all, I think I'll like it here, she thought to herself as they showed her to her new locker.

The day went on without any more problems. Chichi went to all of her classes, with the help of her new band friends, and only got lost twice. For the most part her teachers seemed nice too. As for marching, she was promised that she'd get her own drum and be thought everything she needed to know starting tomorrow at 6:30 A.M. NST (Ms. Rudeau said marching band had to start early, and that she'd get used to seeing the sun rise over the practice field.)

Walking home from her hectic first day at Neopia Central High, she found herself looking forward to her second and third days as well. Headphones in place on her head, singing along to the catchy chorus of a song by Yes Boy Ice Cream, and a crisp breeze in the air, things were looking good.

The End

From the Author: I hope you all enjoyed my first story. I anticipate making this into a continuing series starring Chichi and the NCHS marching band. ^_^ If you are in a marching band and would like to comment, or if you have any feedback at all feel free to Neomail me. After all, a writer is only as good as the criticism. ^_^ Thanks.

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