Nov 07

The Four Bronze Band


One day, after school, my older brother, Nat, sat me down and told me a story. 

He never really talked to me all that often, so I was both equally excited and confused when he sat across from me. His hair was long and curly, and he always wore long black clothes that covered his arms and legs fully. He is always in his room, or away at his job. Or sometimes, he will disappear entirely, and be gone for days at a time, without telling anyone where he went.

He was quite the mysterious person. 

He cleared his throat, and looked at me. 

“Sam, I have a story to tell you. Do you know that old bridge running between Lake Fardway?”

“The one that has a hole in the middle of the road?”

“Yes, that one! Well, “ he looked from side to side. “Want to know how that hole got there?”

“Was it aliens?” 

“No.” 

“Did someone nuke it?”

“No! Of course not.”

“Just tell me already!” I begged him.

He cleared his throat again, and bent in close, lowering his voice. “It was the four bronze band.”

I just stared at him. “The what?”

“Of course you have never heard of it before, they are no longer around anymore.”

“What happened to them?” I whispered

“Well… it all started one day after school...” 

***

“Jack! The bridge!” Leo yelled, racing across Jack's backyard to the treehouse. Leo scrambled up the rickety wooden ladder, and landed inside with a THUMP!

Will and Ed were already inside, all drinking soda. “The what?” Jack asked, taking a sip of soda. 

“The Bridge. Is. OPEN!” Leo yelled again, waving his arms. 

Jack spit is soda out, coughing. Will and Ed looked at eachother, and before Leo could blink, Jack, Will, and Ed were jumping down the ladder, and racing for their bikes. 

“Hey! Wait for me!” Leo proclaimed, jumping down the ladder. 

They jumped on their bikes, and furiously peddled to the bridge. 

Already, there was a crowd there, swarming the entrance. The little gang looked for their neighbors and school friends, but they saw only lynx fur coats, crisp expensive tuxedos, and little kids in frilly outfits. Police officers held back the crowd, and the mayor stood behind the police, armed with a huge pair of scissors, standing next to a beautiful golden ribbon that stretched across the bridge. Everyone quieted down, egeralying waiting to see what the mayor was going to do next. 

“The Fishlay Bridge is now-” The mayor held up the scissors. “Open for business!” And with a little snip, the ribbon fell away, and everyone cheered. The gang cheered too, and that is when two police officer’s grabbed them by the belt loops, and lifted the kids up. 

“HEY! Woah, Officers! Let us go!” Will yelled as the two cops carried the kids out. “No Scraton folk allowed, only city folks.” The cops said, dumping the four boys in a pile next to their bikes. 

“What is THAT supposed to mean?” Ed said, hands on his hips. 

“Don’t give me your sass, kid. It means no poor, only rich. Mayor's orders. Now, go home.`` 

The officers turned and walked away. 

“Well, that's not fair. Why can’t we use it? We can’t get to the mainland anymore! The jerks” Leo complained, kicking his bike. 

Jack sat in silence, thinking. 

“What’s wrong, Jack?” Ed said, strapping on his helmet. 

“Guys, I’ve got an idea.” 

***

“No way.” they all said, staring at each other in awe. 

“Way.” Jack said, thinking. “Now, the only problem is, how are we going to get that many shoes?” 

Jack shrugged. “I know people, who know people.”

“What people?” Will asked, shocked. 

“Yeah, and how will we get there?” Ed said.

“Just… trust me.” Jack said. 

He held out his hand. Sighing, Will, Ed, and Jack held their hands out on top of one another. 

“THE FOUR BRONZE BAND!” They yelled, throwing their hands up in the air. 

***

Will, Jack, Ed, and Leo all sat on top of a building, spaced out along the ledge. Holding a long and thick roll of canvas paper, they waited for the signal. 

A crowd of people were all piled up by the entrance in their shiny cars, the mayor at the very front in his black limo. A few cops were removing the last of the orange and white cones off the front of the bridge. 

It was a cloudy night, and it looked like it was going to rain later.
Then there, lowering gracefully from the sky, was a blimp. A little man was in the basket, with a long black top hat. But that was not the best of it- Under the blimp, attached to the basket, there was a Ginormous wire mesh basket of shoes. Huge Spot  lights focused on the blimp, Illuminating the sack of millions of shoes. 

Watching in anticipation, the four boys witnessed the little man hold up something golden- it glinted in the light- and the man started to snip away at the rope connecting the wire mesh sack to the basket. 

The mayor got out of his car, his hands waving in the air, a desperate attempt to get the man to stop. 

Everyone went silent, and with a large ripping noise, millions of shoes fell into the middle of the bridge, falling from the clouds.

They quickly piled up, and the glorious golden bridge bent under the weight of them. FInally, there was a pile, 200 feet tall, of shoes in the middle of the bridge. 

The bridge was bending under the weight, but it did not break. The boys all let out a sigh of disappointment. 

The mayor clapped his hands in glee, and laughed. 

The little man bent over the side of the basket, and shook his head. Bending down, he took off his own shoes, and threw them, one by one, over the side. 

The shoes fell on top of the pile. 

A moment passed. 

Then, with a huge and long groan, the bridge gave way, and a huge infixable hole broke in the middle of the road. Millions of shoes plunged into the lake, and Jack yelled out the command in pure delight!

The boys let go of the canvas sign, and it rolled down the building, unscrolling itself. 

Hundreds of people got out of their shiny cars, and stared at the canvas, reading it’s message in wonder, shock, and confusion: 
 
"THE FOUR BRONZE BAND WILL BE BACK"

***
 
“And did they ever come back?” Sam asked, leaning forward on his knees. 
 
 
Nat shook his head. “Sadly, they all went their separate ways, but there are rumors.”
 
 
“Rumors?”
 
“That the Four Bronze Band will be back, and will strike again when the time comes.”

With that, Nat ruffled my hair, and stood up, and was about to leave the room when Sam yelled out one more thing.

“How will we know?” 

Nat sighed, his hand on the door frame. “You’ll know.” With a smile he left the room. 

But before he did, his pant leg rose up, and there was a little bronze tattoo, the Number “4” ected above his ankle

 
About the Author: cgracielaw
Carolyn Grace Lawrence
MSG / CONTACT