Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: NOISE (05/03/18)
TITLE: The Brand-new Switcheroo
By Nancy Bucca
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“Your grunts are like an avalanche of metal rocks. What are you trying to do, push my ears off a cliff?”
“Aw, stop turning hums into cacophonies! Your gross exaggerations are like nails on a chalkboard!”
“Gee, thanks for popping THAT lead balloon over my head. Your lack of sympathy makes me – ARGH! Turn off that ham radio!”
“Why? What do you have against pigs, ya oinker?”
RUMBLE, GRUMBLE, HISS.
They sound like stinkbugs searching for a light. Thank heaven for my handy translator device, which decodes their buzzes perfectly – unlike some phones I know which ‘auto correct’ perfectly spelled words and replace them with expletives.
Finally, dry ground at last! Now they’re running fast. All I hear as I pursue them to their hideout is the sound of my own whooshing.
As they burst through the door, their backpacks hit the floor.
CLINK! CLANK! CLUNK!
I hear grumbling as I stand outside their window.
“I said, turn off the ham!”
“What spam? That’s just your stomach growling.”
“My, aren’t WE a boatload of bad vibrations!”
“Well, duh. It’s our job. We do it well, and now the whole town is applauding. What a party we had at the courthouse! The screams and raised fists were to die for. We saved the boss man’s band. WOO HOO!”
“Speaking of the boss man, we’d better speak with him before we get in trouble, because the culprits we apprehended –”
ZING, ZANG, TWANG! The sound of rusty base guitar cuts short the half-baked thought.
SNAP! A guitar string breaks. Angry fists pound hollow drums, as if to drown out the growing quake.
“Stop interrupting and let me talk,” yells the interrupted one. “Those terrorists we turned the tables on are dangerous. Who knows what explosions will erupt if they escape?”
His partner laughs wickedly. “Just place your trust in the old switcheroo. You know it’s sure to stick to them like glue.”
“OW, my ears! I hate it when you rhyme. It’s like the shrill toot of an out-of-tune flute.”
“Hey, they don’t call us The Exterminators for nothing. If our sounds don’t get you, our fury will. The king of Broken Records knows that, which is why he called on US to crush the nerdy band who stole his star diva.”
“I believe his exact words were, “Fry the hams who want to hog the limelight.”
“And we did. That garbled batch of stick-in-the-mud blues we stirred up left those straight-laced losers wallowing in the waller. We made them look like desperate criminals.”
“Yes! The so-called ‘nice guys’ with their clean-cut melodies have been dethroned. Now heavy metal tops the charts! That’s what the old switcheroo is all about.”
More strings break. Walls get kicked. Glass shatters.
“We started a riot that landed them in jail!” the fiends howl in agreement. “The boss man should be well pleased.”
More like diseased, I think, knowing that no mere gong-banging, cymbal-clashing believer stands a chance against such passionate rebellion.
The more doubtful of the pair chuckles uneasily, however. “There’s just one thing that worries me. What if there’s more to their songs than meets the deaf eardrum?”
“You mean, what if the ‘Good News Shoes’ truly believe the stuff they sing, practice what they preach, and actually embrace that horribly excruciating sound called love?”
Suddenly the entire house begins to shake. The bad guitar player’s ham radio sputters like hot bacon grease.
“Hello? ... Boss Man? Are you there?”
Piercing wails split the air. The last time I heard screams like that was when my buddy rolled that stone away from the famous empty tomb.
“I knew it!” shrieks the main complainer demon in the room. “They flipped the script and changed our mournful songs to JOYFUL noises. Thanks a lot, Paul and Silas, for ruining our plans. You and your brand-new switcheroo!”
That’s my cue to enter. Brandishing my two-edged sword, I boldly declare, “Yes, the Savior does make all things new! And now it’s time for me to rid this land of you!”
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