|Prompt photo provided by Magpie Tales|
The barbershop quartet had just finished the evening’s practice with their signature song, “Singing in the Rain,” and Ernie was heading home, carrying his lunchbox and holding his umbrella, when he heard the song again.
The song was the same, the timing and phrasing were the same, but the voices weren’t those of his quartet, which had been together for years, and had been singing this song ever since he and his wife had seen the movie with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds.
Ernie looked around, stopped, removed the umbrella from over his head, and listened carefully. The sound seemed to be coming from the nearby lane.
As he approached it, he noticed five bicycles lined up along the street, as if their owners had all arrived together.
He looked down the lane and there, to his surprise, he saw five young men he had always considered layabouts and good-for-nothings — not ruffians, not criminals, but just the kind of youth he wouldn’t particularly want his daughter to bring home, if he had a daughter.
Four of them were were standing up straight, arms at their sides, one foot slightly in front of the other, shoulders back, while the fifth young man seemed to be directing them, suddenly saying, “No, no, no, stop. Now try it again. Griff, you try to remember how Mr. Ernie does it, you have to get it right.”
Ernie smiled, stepped back into the shadows so they wouldn’t see him, and listened. He heard them sing the song three more times before he realized he’d better get home. His wife would be worried, and she’d be alone, now that their twin sons had left for university.
As he turned, he heard the voice he assumed was Griff.
“Anybody would think we’re trying out for the stage, not entertaining at the youth center’s Christmas party, the way you push us, Max.”
“I have to push you,” he heard the young conductor reply. “One of these days, I want Mr. Ernie to listen to us and I want him to like what he hears.”
Posted for Magpie Tales
hosted each week by Willow, who provided the photo to get us to start writing. Thanks, I really enjoy this meme but I've been away. It's good to be back.
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