Chapter 2 - "Musical Malaise"

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 By: PseudonymForMe

Dear Disaster Diary,

It has been some time since I last sat pensively and penned prose about the fragility of life and the paradoxical reality of the human condition.

And by that I mean it's been one day and I'm still stuck in this damn basement surrounded by what is quickly looking to become the cast to my very own high school dramedy that is situational based, yet surprisingly relatable. However... it's a disaster! That's why I changed your name, Disaster Diary, because alliteration mends the mind and heals the heart.

But even alliteration can't absolve the atrocity I'm facing currently. As you know, the first day of Freak Week was yesterday, and even though Shih Tzus were raining from the sky, it was more inconveniently adorable than anything else. Sure, we were stuck indoors, but at least there was no real danger afoot. Alas, today is much, much different. Emotions are escaping from everyone because music is raining down from the sky!

That's right Disaster Robot Diary, music is booming down from the sky in a surprisingly diverse range of genres, styles, and time periods. Not only are songs humming in the air like a runaway hipster playlist, but instruments are also seeming to just appear on the ground outside, everything from grand pianos to piccolos to sitars. As if that weren't enough, every time the music starts up again, it makes everyone feel things. Emotional things. Yuck. As Marmie so aptly put it earlier, "Music makes people feel things, but nobody wants to feel my things, ya'll." So, whatever emotion is conjured up by the music becomes the dominant trait of each person, and they can't help but overtly express that emotion loudly and in front of anybody nearby. Like Crush, my crush. Speaking of, here he comes now. Wish me luck, Disaster Diary!

Lace slams her diary shut in an effort to appear cool and put together, like someone who doesn't write in a diary. "Hey Lace, Mr. Kevin thought somebody should come check on you, since none of us have seen you since that Japanese folk song made Banana burst into a passionate dance." Crush says as he calmly saunters up next to where Lace is sitting against some discarded, old lockers.

"I, um..." Lace stammers, "Thanks." Lace feels her cheeks reddening as she can't help but admire Crush, making complete thoughts hard to come by. She admires the way his deep set, dark eyes seem to sparkle with vitality, which compliments his mouth, which is almost always upturned in a smile. He just seems to radiate positive energy, paired with a quick wit and a self-confidence that no one this nice should have. His floral-print shirt goes great with his blue, short-cropped hair, and brightly painted nails, which gives off an "I only dress for myself and not others" attitude.

"Oh, no you don't, Lace." Lace thinks to herself, "You did not listen to Banana go on and on about feminism for hours only to be reduced to a blubbering idiot by some guy, who also happens to be cute. But, like really, really cute. Ugh, compose yourself, girl!" Lace takes a deep breath and says, "Thank you, Crush, for checking on me, but I'm fine, I was just trying to separate myself from the others to avoid any potential embarrassment during this musical malaise."

"Musical malaise, that's genius. I think alliteration is awesome." Crush says. "But emotions are natural, there is no reason to be embarrass-"

"Musical mayonnaise is embarrassing, everyone knows the best condiment is raunchy ranch! Which also happens to be my cowboy alter ego." Marmie interrupts as she bounds up out of nowhere, with Harry, Banana, and Mr. Kevin close behind her. "I'll alter your ego." Harry retorts. Mr. Kevin gives him a quick "teacher stare" before going on to say, "Lace, Crush, there you are. I think we should all go upstairs and see exactly what the conditions are like so we can form a game plan to get out of here."

"Great idea, Mr. Kevin," an enthusiastic Banana says, "Goals are best achieved through planning and careful thinking!"

"Unless your goal is a happy marriage," Mr. Kevin mutters under his breath. The group walks up the stairs, passed all of the broken remnants of desks and sports equipment stored in the school's basement, which sheltered them from yesterday's Shih Tzu storm. As they start to walk down the hallway towards the front of the school, a sudden low piano note rings out from seemingly nowhere.

"Oh, no, it's starting up again!" Lace says nervously, worrying about the others seeing her overly-emotional, especially Crush. "I wonder what music genre it will be this time and how it will affect us?" Crush wonders aloud. "I don't know about ya'll, but I could really use some 90's hip-hop in my life!" Marmie says excitedly.

As, the squad continues down the hall, the piano sounds seem to float softly through the air. "This is definitely an early 19th century piano concerto typical of the romantic era." Harry unexpectedly exclaims. The group looks at him in shock, "How do you know that?" Banana asks. "I heard some band geeks talking about it in the hallway," Harry mutters defensively. "They were casually discussing piano concertos?" Crush asks.

All of a sudden, as the crew arrives near the front of the school, loud crying sounds fill the air. They look over to find that Harry is standing motionless with tears streaming down his face. "This music is so beautiful, it's happy and sad, but mostly...freeing." Harry practically squeals. All at once, he leaps up onto one foot and performs a perfect pirouette, a smile spreading wide across his lips with tears still rushing from his eyes. "I can be whoever I want! I don't have to be tough and strong just to appease what everyone thinks a jock should be. I feel freeee ! " Harry exuberantly exclaims as he starts to perform graceful ballet moves around the others. "Ok, this is it," Mr. Kevin calls out, "the emotions are starting to manifest!"

Then, in a sudden fit of rage, Mr. Kevin throws himself to the ground, kicking and screaming like a toddler, shouting out, "It's not me, it's you!" and "Romance is dead!" while Harry very elegantly pliés and then leaps over him.

"No, no, no. This can't be happening, not in front of Crush and my friends," Lace thinks, "I can't show them my feelings, my true, deep-seated feelings! Then they'll see my true soul, and that is only reserved for my diary. I need to get out of here!"

Without thinking, Lace rushes to the door and runs outside, straight into the musical storm. She makes it about ten feet before a giant bass drum booms and then suddenly appears in her path. "The music, is getting more intense, and so is the storm!" Lace thinks urgently. "Oh, no, I can feel my emotions coming, being brought on by the sweeping strings and building percussion. I need to suppress them!" Lace continues around the bass drum only to be blinded by sheet music whipping around and around from the wind. She tries to continue, but trips and falls on a lonely oboe.

"No, this isn't fair, I should be able to decide when I feel emotions, not just have them," Lace sobs uncontrollably as the emotion of the music raining from the sky catches up with her. At that moment, Crush catches up with her. "Lace! What are you doing, it's dangerous out here!" Crush shouts in an urgent but caring tone. "We need to get inside before it gets worse!" he urges.

Lace, unable to hold back all of the pure feelings from the music shouts through her tears, "Crush! I can't stop my emotions, they're coming through. I'm feeling love. Raw and uncontainable, this music makes me feel love for yo-"

Phwack! Thud!

"Oh they're awake!" Banana shouts. "I thought you guys died." Harry says, sounding amused. Marmie whacks him in the arm and says, "Ya'll were out cold. You got cello'd. Cello'd hard." "Yeah, the storm picked up and threw a couple of cellos your way and knocked you both out. Luckily Banana and Marmie weren't emotionally affected by that song and were able to rescue you both," Mr. Kevin says. "Turns out intense orchestra numbers from the romantic period don't do anything for us two," Banana states matter-of-factly. "What were you two doing out there anyway?" Marmie asks.

"It must've been the weather, it made me run outside, although I didn't feel any emotions," Lace lies, trying to hide the fact that she was hiding her feelings. "And I was just running after her, I wasn't feeling anything either," Crush also lies. "I want to say, 'I felt love for you, too, Lace.' But I can't, not now." Crush thinks.

Suddenly, the doors whip open with a bang and a mysterious figure walks into the school, "Fun storm, eh?"

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