Ch. 17: Barb's Rock Tour

(Cover Art by MimiNicolette)

Barb walked into the room with her arms crossed and a smirk on her face. Something felt different about her sudden visit. The last time I saw her was about six years prior, so why was she here? I suddenly got this awful feeling in my gut that she was planning something terrible. But, I wouldn't know until she told me.

I turned to face her with my hands folded neatly in front of me. "What is it, niece?" I asked politely.

Her small smirk turned into a big smile as she ran up to the bars of my prison cell. "Dad just came up with the best idea EVER! Wanna hear it?"

I sighed. Her personality hadn't changed a bit since she was a child. "Sure," I said. "I'm all ears."

"Okay," she said. "So, you know how I was crowned queen just the other day, right? Well, I've been trying to think of something I could do to prove to our people that I can not only be a good queen, but a GREAT one!" She glanced at me quickly to make sure I was still listening.

I nodded. "Continue."

"So, dad came up with this brilliant idea! Me, him, and a few dozen other rock trolls are going to load up a bunch of piranha buses and visit all the other troll kingdoms as this, like, big and loud rock tour! We are going to show the other tribes how superior our music is!" She continued enthusiastically.

"Oh my goodness, Barb, that's fantastic!" I smiled. I was genuinely happy that she wanted to introduce rock music to the other tribes. I thought this tour she was talking about would be the first step to help bring all the tribes back together so we could all live in harmony once more. Then, I could finally see Titus and Trollex, and we could be one, big happy family again. My heart was fluttering just thinking about it.

"I haven't even told you the best part yet!" She said while jumping up and down. "Since our music is the only music that's worth listening to, after we visit each kingdom, we'll take their strings and unite all the trolls under one nation of music!"

I froze as my jaw dropped open in shock. Did I hear her right? Or was I hearing things? "I'm sorry, say that again? I-I don't quite understand what you are trying to tell me," I said shakily.

Barb started to pick at a hole in her fishnet tights. "I'm going to unite the six strings and then destroy all music...except for ROCK!" she shouted as she stuck her tongue out and threw her hands up into the standard rock n' roll salute.

My smile disappeared as I felt my heart drop into the pit of my stomach. This had to be a joke, right?

"Oh...okay," I said slowly while trying not to sound worried. I was waiting for her to say "Sike!" or "Gotcha!" but she didn't. I was starting to get a bit nervous. "Why are you telling me this?"

"Because.." she said. "Mom said that once I get all the strings, I can use their combined power to fix you! You can finally live out of that cage! Is that great?"

I felt a chill run up my spine. She was being serious! dad wanted this to happen! This had been his plan all along, hadn't it? To normalize me?

"" I muttered. "You've got it all wrong. I don't need to be fixed; I'm perfectly fine!"

Barb's smile quickly disappeared. A stern look appeared on her face as she glared at me. "Says the troll who's been locked in a cage for being a traitor."

I stared down at my hands and started to pick at my fingernails. She had a point, but I wasn't a traitor. Why was I being called a traitor when I still liked rock n' roll music? Sure, I had listened to nothing but that for the past twenty years and it was slowly starting to make me go crazy, but it was still good music. I just missed the other genres I used to listen to, too. Was that why I was being referred to as a traitor? Because I liked all different kinds of music?

"I'm not a traitor," I mumbled.

"Oh, really?" Barb scoffed as she continued to glare at me. "Prove it then! What's your all-time favorite music genre?"

I didn't exactly have an all-time favorite genre, but I knew there was one that I favored just a bit more than the others. Without even thinking about the consequences that would follow my answer, I blurted out the first genre that popped into my head.

"Techno!" As soon as I said it, I covered my mouth. Barb growled at my answer and slammed her fist into the stone wall. She was furious.

"Wrong answer!" She grumbled under her breath. "Mom was right...I wanted to deny what she told me about you, but now I know she was telling the truth. You really are a traitor to our kingdom!"

"No, please! Listen to me!" I squeaked as tears began to form in my eyes.

"I'm done listening to you, princess." The fact that she called me princess instead of auntie hurt more than it should have. Barb grunted in disgust and turned around on her heels as she stormed towards the door. "You've made it pretty obvious who's side you're on, and it's not ours."

I smacked my head up against the prison cell bars. Think Roxy, think! If you really are the next Harmony troll then you need to stop her rock tour before she starts it.

"What you are planning to do won't bring balance to the world!" I screamed after her. "You'll only tear it further apart! All the music in the world would've never...have existed..." Tears began to stream down my face as I reached towards Barb through the bars. "PLEASE! LISTEN TO ME!"

"Rockers! Move out!" Barb shouted as she continued to ignore my desperate cries. "I know exactly where our tour should stop first!"

"Where are we going, Queen Barb?" asked a troll with a black beanie on his head.

"Techno Reef," she said. My eyes widened. No...Titus...Trollex...they don't know what's coming...they won't be ready for their attack...

"NO! PLEASE!" I begged Barb.

Barb quickly looked back over her shoulder at me and laughed. "I can't wait to rock out with you, Auntie! See you soon!" She slammed the metal door shut, leaving me all alone.

"LISTEN TO ME!!" I screamed again, hoping she could hear me... but she didn't come back.

I collapsed to my knees and began to sob uncontrollably. As a pool of tears began to form around me, I grabbed the book "Katheryn" had given me and hugged it tightly. Everything that the story foretold was slowly starting to come true.

The uprising had begun, and I was powerless to stop it from happening.