The Crescendo

Sometimes you just can’t help yourself

J.A. Taylor
4 min readJan 5, 2021
Photo by Bappie on Unsplash

As the crescendo climaxed, laughter punched Nate and Mindy’s guts like a box full of trapped cats. Nate tried silence, but it didn’t work. Mindy’s hands flew to her mouth, awaiting the applause to mask her irreverence. They both bit their lips between their teeth, trying to hold the laughter in, but bursts of hilarity flapped from their mouths like air from a loose balloon.

Mr. Farnsworth straightened his bowtie and cast a scornful look across the darkened highschool auditorium. Signaling their condemnation, he silently invited others to join his disdain. It quieted them for a moment. Until the tuba solo. As the bulky instrument rumbled a long, low note, Mindy turned to Nate and whispered, “Excuse me.”

Nate exploded. A string of snot shot from his nostril and Mindy roared with laughter, pointing a finger at him and drawing looks from at least a dozen people. Nate felt the glaring eyeballs and buried his head in his lap, shaking and convulsing until the song ended. Silence. Then applause.

“Thank God, it’s over,” Nate cried. He was sweating. Mindy’s face was a dark crimson. She didn’t say a word, but bobbed in her seat, resisting turbulent guffaws. Before she could get herself under control, the fattest woman she’d ever seen waddled on stage, stuffed into a shiny, white dress like…