Links to Chapters 1 and 2
That Dreaded Announcement
The next day saw Ann making her way to the music room for Ms Ingtune’s music lesson, a feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach. She knew the consequences of a Naomi fight. And was not looking forward to Ms Ingtune’s announcements.
“As you know, we’ll be holding auditions for Thunder Idol,” Ms Ingtune began, her eyes resting on Ann, who was a bundle of mixed feelings. Just thinking about being on Thunder Idol filled her with an indescribable thrill. Knowing that she would incur the wrath of Naomi, though, filled her with dread.
Ms Ingtune picked up on her nervous vibes. “We already have a few interested students who have yet to confirm their participation. I’ll release a participants list when and if they do.” She glanced at Ann meaningfully Ann felt herself cringe.. There was a reason Naomi was known as Naomi the Nuance..
Ann was glad when the lesson finally ended. She was the first person out the music room door.
The Naomi Chronicles
As expected, Ann had a human block to deal with before she could go through the music room door.
“Just where do you think you’re going?” Naomi enquired with a sneer that would make titanium shudder.
“P….P…...Practice with Ms Ingtune?” Naomi offered weakly. She tried to brace
herself for what was to happen next.
With an effortless heave, Naomi lifted Ann 5 centimetres off the cemented classroom floor and pressed her against the wall.
“So you think you can sing, eh?” Naomi snarled, her face enveloped in an angry
Scowl. Enveloping her face. “That Thunder Idol trophy already has my name engraved on it. Adding one more will be troublesome indeed,” she uttered meaningfully, raising Ann another five centimetres and slowly releasing her collar.
“O...ok…” Ann stuttered helplessly, her eyes betraying how petrified and determined she was at once.
Naomi finally let her go and she dropped on the floor with a sickening thud.
“Don’t make me teach you not to take what’s not yours..’ She let out an animal-like growl. She and her gang skulked out of the room, leaving a slightly bruised and very humiliated Ann cowering on the restroom floor.
Naomi was not known for her subtlety.. The commotion she had created in the restroom had garnered Ms Ingtune’s attention.. She came out of her office go, witness a shaken Ann cowering on the restroom floor.
“What happened, My dear?” She ventured to question Ann. The girl simplylaid her head against the dated bathroom wall and cried.
“Let me guess,” Ms Ingtune ventured as she helped an unsteady Ann back onher feet. “Naomi.”
Ann shook her head vainly. “ I can’t sing in peace knowing that she’s two steps behind like a tiger in the woods..”
Ms Ingtune spoke with furrowed brows. “Why give up on a dream for the sake of hoodlums like Naomi? You have as much right to participate in Thunder Idolas she does.”
Ann staggered to her feet, her sobs gradually trailing off, weakening as the truth of Ms Ingtune’s words sank in. “I’ll…….think about it,” she managed weakly and started to drag her fatigued little feet home.
Sleep came with much difficulty for Ann that night, but exhaustion finally claimed her and she finally drifted off to dreamland. A stage appeared before her, and the lighting on the ceiling above it gradually brightened. A star emerged, brilliant and inviting. She reached for it, and it fell, almost automatically, into her hands.
She awoke with a start, and realisation dawned. She found herself outside Ms Ingtune’s door the next day.
The Ugly Cogs of Naomi's Mind Turn
Our hapless heroine (though the word ‘hapless’ was now in question) resumed her practice with Ms Ingtune in earnest. The Impossible Dream resounded in her head nearly without end.
After witnessing Ann’s newfound determination and knowing that The Mouse was voiceless no more, an overwhelming urge to protect her Interests began to sweep over Naomi. The Plotting Wheels in her mind began to spin furiously.
“We can’t stop her from singing or croaking,” Naomi told her gang. The group gathered, enclosed. within the dark walls of her bedroom. “But maybe we can stop her from winning."
“How?” Victoria, one of the group’s most active participants, raised an eyebrow. “All of us know that she has the best voice. What’s worse is that she has Ingtune’s support.” she furrowed her finely tattooed brows and frowned.
“We may be able to get our hands on the trophy. We just need a diversion. I know where Ingtune keeps the keys to the cabinet where she puts them. They’re In the drawer of the teacher’s desk in the music room. She thinks that we don’t bother or notice, but she often forgets to lock it. If we can cause some kind of distraction and get everyone out of the room, perhaps I can grab it while everyone’s busy filtering out of the room.” Naomi put forth her ideas with a self-satisfied smirk.
“Why not,” Bella, another group member, chimed in. “ We should teach the mouse that no one messes with our group and gets away with it..”
The other group members nodded in agreement, and the wheels of Naomi’s mind started to turn.