When ALL was struck with lightning and shattered, the wooden parts of his cabinet burned and the rest of him was a twisted pile of metal. What went flying out into the night through the huge hole in the ceiling were his thoughts. These were the thoughts that had led him to know that he was able to make beautiful music. His thoughts separated into many pieces. Those who were to be stringed instruments broke into many different sizes and strengths. The same thing took place with all the other sounds of instruments that were inside ALL. These partial bits of ALL’s thoughts are the “VibraKids.”
Now, floating outside the empty, dark auditorium with the storm still raging, the shattered pieces of his mind were all scared. The lightning was flashing and the thunder was terribly loud. The wind lifted them and they were soon spread throughout the whole darkened city. They were all alone, heavy with the dampness from the rain, wondering where they should go and what they should do next. The worst part of it was being separated from each other.
When the storm was over and the sun came out the next day, these little pieces of musical vibration all dried off. Soon they regained the strength of their own particular sound. This sound was the part of ALL’s vibration that they were left with along with the electricity of the lightning strike.
There were three main groups that the VibraKids divided into. These were the strings, the horns, and those Kids who were mixtures of sounds that were fused together at the time of the explosion. Some of them had almost exactly the same bit of electricity or vibration as other VibraKids and they soon began finding each other. How happy they were to meet another one that was vibrating at almost exactly the same tone that they were.
The horns were the bravest of all the VibraKids. They started looking around at all areas of the city. The strings were more shy and fearful, but they soon began following the horns and learning their way around.
The Kids who were mixtures of different sounds didn’t like the city at all. Because their vibration was higher and finer than the other two groups, the lights and sounds of the city made it painful for them to try and come down. They pretty much just stayed up in the air above the city, some of them higher than others. Besides, they could see more of what was going on in the whole city by staying up high. They called to the VibraKids as they tried to keep them all together.
Before long groups began forming in the different parts of the city that appealed to them. Some of the VibraKids liked the area around the lake at the southern edge of the city and they formed their own little city there in the branches of a large pine tree. Others liked the excitement they found out by the football and baseball fields and made their home under the grandstand. Still others liked to hang around the botanical gardens and settled in the attic of the butterfly house.
They finally ended up with seven different groups of VibraKids spread throughout the city. While exploring around the city one day, a few of the VibraKids from under the grandstand, the horns, discovered a musical instrument factory on the other side of town. They began hanging around the building and watching happily all the different musical instruments that were being made. There were two different parts of this factory. One part made instruments that used the wind to make sounds. The other part had sounds that were set into motion by the vibration of strings. This was fascinating.
This group of VibraKids began telling the other groups of what they had found and soon all the VibraKids were hanging out down by the Junction Musical Instrument Factory. Each VibraKid was a small bit of music but needed some way to express this music – a body of some kind to serve as an instrument. They also knew that to be able to make the sounds that ALL could make before the lightning struck him they would have to group together and be able to blend and mix.
The VibraKids floated around above the musical instrument factory and watched with great interest. They listened when the instruments were being tested for the sound of each one’s “voice.”
It was at this point that one of the VibraKids decided he wanted to experience what it would be like to be inside this newborn trumpet that had just come off the assembly line. He felt sorry for the horn and he decided that he would enter the trumpet. This way he would know what it felt like to make musical tones through the body of the trumpet and also the trumpet would no longer sound so bad.
It was Tommy who entered the trumpet. When this particular trumpet got to the room where the trumpets were being tested it had a sound that was far better than any of the other trumpets. It was sweet and clear as a bell and very easy to make beautiful music with.
Frank, one of the workers in the instrument factory, said, “Isn’t the sound coming out of this trumpet something special?”
“It sure is,” responded Clyde. “Let’s look it over and test it some more and see what makes it so good.”
By this time Tommy had had enough fun for the day. He decided to get back out of the trumpet so he could roam around with his buddies, free to go wherever he wanted. All the while he was in the trumpet he had to do trumpet things. He had no control over what happened to the trumpet, where it went, what it did, who played it or if it got played at all, or what kind of music was played on it. This wasn’t any fun like Tommy thought he would have while inside the trumpet. But what do you know? Tommy couldn’t get back out of the trumpet. He was stuck in it; he was caught between two valves and just couldn’t get loose. He tried to get the other VibraKid’s to notice him.
The other VibraKids didn’t listen to Tommy. After seeing what he did, many of them had gotten brave enough to try the same thing and before long all of them had found an instrument they liked and had entered it.
Fanny had chosen a flute because she thought it would show how she felt better than some of the others such as the trumpet that Tommy had entered. The trumpet was bold and daring which suited Tommy.
Martin chose the cello because he thought it was the prettiest sounding of them all. Trent, who was slightly overweight, had entered a tuba, a large horn; skinny little Sally was inside an oboe, a very slim instrument. Nathan was caught in a saxophone; Bill was enmeshed in the workings of a clarinet; Jennifer had chosen a violin and Bobby insisted on getting into the big bass viol. Matt picked a viola that Maxine wanted so she chose a slide trombone instead. It went on this way until they all found themselves inside an instrument. Once they were inside none of them could get back out of the body of the instrument they had entered.
By this time some of the VibraKids who had stayed up above the city because they were mixtures of different vibrations, had also found some instruments being made that appealed more to them because they were different. These VibraKids didn’t have pure sounds like the horns and strings and wouldn’t have been happy in those instruments. They felt they would be better able to fit into one of these other instruments. These were the accordion, guitar, mandolin, drums and the piano.
Paul entered a bass drum and Paula a snare drum, Heather and Linda both crawled into pianos, Mandy chose a mandolin, Frankie a banjo and Ed picked a guitar. At the last minute Annie decided to come down and join them when she saw what fun they were having and she entered the accordion. Judy followed her and chose the piccolo. Now they were all caught inside the instruments except the ones who had stayed up very high because they were so sensitive they couldn’t stand the sounds of the instruments.
Before ALL had been hit with lightning he wanted to be able to make beautiful music with all the different possibilities of sound inside him. Because of this the VibraKids felt right about being inside the instruments, but they didn’t like being at the “beck and call” of them. They wanted to be in control and be able to make the instruments respond to their thoughts. If they were sad they wanted to express it through the body of their instrument. If they were happy, they wanted to be able to get “happy” sounds out of their instruments. They soon began to see that they were in for a long period of learning about their chosen instruments and how they could improve their control of them.
The VibraKids all had a common goal that they wanted to reach. This was for all of them to join back together inside a cabinet like the one that ALL had been in. They wanted to make beautiful music together again as one instrument, a mighty organ. You see they were still ALL’S thoughts so they all had the same thoughts, goals and desires. They wanted so badly to be able to do this for ALL.
Those VibraKids who didn’t like the city and had risen up high above it saw what had happened to their friends. They were determined to stay up high and give their friends as much help as they could. They wanted to help them learn to control the instruments so they could all meet again and plan the new, improved model of the mighty organ that they had all started out together in.
Thus begins the journey of the VibraKids and their travels in the city and beyond. In some cases, the instruments they got inside of are harmed by being dropped or perhaps totally destroyed. When this happens they enter another instrument, maybe the same kind as the one that was destroyed or perhaps something totally different. This depends on how brave they are, what they feel they are ready for and what they need to learn. They know it will be a long time before they can all meet again. For that reason most of them decide to reenter another instrument and learn more about the music of life instead of just waiting above the city for the others.