“What is Cauchemare Cris? Isn’t it a typo?” the neighboring loge asked us.
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My program said tonight was TBA.
To be announced. Pay attention to the first letters.
That is the clue to what is to come.
That was no typo, but we chose to wait until the music started. We have enjoyed our season tickets. This Gotham City Philharmonic has been rather unpredictable.
It turned out to be just that.
“What is this symphony everyone's talking about?” our friends asked us.
“Well, it’s unlike any symphonies you ever heard before,” I said still reeling from the shocking finale.
“They had a stage show? Explosions?”
“Yes and no, in a way. I would have to reenact it for you. Don't get embarrassed if I stand up and demonstrate the music with my hands.”
The overture to the symphony is very similar to The Flight of the Bumble Bee. In minor, of three recurring notes, all sixty-fourths.
Then the bee, gnawing like a hammer drill, seeks revenge: she has escaped the bug zapper. The stinger is heat-seeking its victims with its endlessly sharp prong. The promise of a blood-curdling, shivering bite is the baton to the overture.
The curtain unveils a rock band. More like a troop of thirteen electric guitars. The men look smart in tuxedoes while sporting punk hairstyles.
Slowly, the guitars start joining the throbbing violins. I would call this movement The Wrath of Metal. The anthem of heavy metal bands, united by juvenile anger, one voice, howling.
Their guitars, which must be the tuning forks for tuning machine guns and artillery, are roaring raw, taunting chords.
Celebration of anger, adrenalin, anarchy, anxiety and annihilation.
The chaos of diesel and smoke fans nightmares.
Violins, vultures and violence: the ballet for the maneuvering of evil bulldozers.
The Symphony is a dozen of shy and pimply debutantes playing their squealing violins. The violins are afraid of the dark. Darkness fills with fragility.
The Symphony is a muted bass drum bumping in the dark. I smell, hear and sense fear infecting the audience.
Timid plucks on a double bass follow, nudging the triangles to tinkle. Their tinkle arrives just in time before the thunder of the finale.
The snare drums, then the kettle drums, then the base drums, then the whole percussion explodes. Pursued by violins, oboes, French horns screaming in a roaring unison.
There is a gentle xylophone trying to break through the deathly darkness of the theater. The cellos whimper, calling out to violas. It is their wailing legatos rousing the gravely spirits, forcing the violins to abandon their skittish pizzicatos of fear. Tubular bells muster a chaotic but hair-raising jangling.
The cacophony yields to a sudden screaming from the startled violins.
The monotony of heavy metal suddenly grows, joined by the snarling grunge guitars. The bass guitars, the elegant violins, the entire orchestra seem to be climbing a stairway to a titanic and yet melodious grunt.
Now. Their climb has been frustrated. The scales are cut off by the wind section in one terror-filled flood, heralding: it has arrived! The backdrop lights up in deep stereo colors. The darkness ripped asunder, pierced by the exulting, glistening, bloodied sickle.
I snapped out of my narration. I looked around. I stood in the middle of a preppie restaurant bar, TGIF.
It was Friday, too. I am certain. As if attuned to first letters of all words, I looked around and I saw the flip side of the program. It said Hosted by Urban Triumph and City Horizons.
My hair stood up: my scalp felt a slow surge of fear.
The first letters spelled HUTCH.
He is everywhere.