The Art of the Rubber Band | Teen Ink

The Art of the Rubber Band

May 19, 2012
By Anonymous

Author's note: I was inspired to write this because of my friend Katya. I was palying with a rubber band and she told me that she didn't like the sound and that it hurt to shoot it. which got me thinking of a super hero that had powers of a rubber band

In the city of Iglopotris, Evil is afoot. Only one person can save them, only one person can protect them. That person is

Rubber Band Man

But, who is Rubber Band Man and where did he get his amazing powers???

It all happens when the most popular jug band in Iglopotris was formed

They were the rising stars of pop culture and it all began with a bet and a twang.

The bet: whoever can knock on old man Chopp’s door and is able to obtain a single rubber band wins.
Loser: jump in the river wearing nothing but their underwear.

Nazar Dragoon and Zoya Popik began the bet with a coin toss.
“I call heads,” Nazar exclaimed.
“Fine, then I get tails,” Zoya replied.
Zoya took out a grout and flipped it high. Those few seconds would change both of their lives forever. Eyes glued the airborne coin; they watched it clunk to the ground.

The verdict: tails, Zoya had to go first.

A grin immediately appeared on Zoya’s face. “Just watch Nazar, I’m going to get a rubber band and then you’ll be freezing cold.”
“HAH, I’ll see that when you have the rubber band, smartmouth.”

Zoya puffed up her chest and turned to the Old Man Chopp’s front door. As she looked at the leering doorknocker, all her confidence she had suddenly faded away. Zoya had heard all the stories about Old Man Chopp.

He is said to have once been an incredible magician who could do anything. But one day, one of his experiments went wrong and he was never the same afterward. Everyone called him mad, to this day not one in the city has seen or spoken to him.

Zoya took a deep breath and knocked, nothing. She knocked again, nothing.
Annoyed now, she took the knocker and banged it full force. What she didn’t know is that Old Man Chopp was on the other side of the door he just wasn’t opening it for her. Annoyed and defeated, she turned around and walked away.
If I couldn’t do it, Nazar certainly won’t be able to, Zoya thought. I mean, he’s such a scaredy-cat. She put on a grin and went down to meet Nazar.
“So, did you get it,” Nazar asked excitedly
“Old fart wouldn’t even answer the stupid door,” she replied tartly, “it’s your turn now.” I sly smile crossed her lips.
“Well then, it’s time to show you how pros do it.” Zoya knew he was putting on airs, she could see him shaking so much from fear that she wanted to punch him and tell him to man up.
Nazar slowly went up to the door, sweat dripping down his neck. All the rumors he’d heard about Old Man Chopp were reeling through his mind.
This was all because you wanted to show Zoya that you weren’t a scaredy-cat you dumb butt. Now look at what you’ve gotten into.
Hand shaking, Nazar grabbed the knocker and pounded at the door. No answer. He knocked again, hoping that no one would answer. “H-hello, is anybody there?” was a final attempt of courage.

On the other side of the door, Old Man Chopp heard his voice and approved. He opened the door in a flurry and looked down at Nazar. “It’s him, finally he’s come”.

Nazar jumped when the door flew open. He stared up into the dark eyes of a very big, burly man.
“Um, are you Old-“
“Old!” the man bellowed
“I mean Mr. Chopp, sir,” Nazar’s voice came out as a timid murmur.
Then something surprised Nazar, the man began laughing at the top of his lungs.
“Old, hahahaha, this precocious boy called me Old.” He laughed for the first time in ages, and it felt good. “Yes, boy my name is Chopp,” he finally admitted after tears came and dripped into his bushy beard. “I believe you are here for a reason, no one would come and knock on my door just to say hello.”
“Uh…I…um…what I mean is…”
“Aye, I hear you. I believe this is what you came here for. Is it not?” He pulled out a small velvet pouch from his pocket and handed it to Nazar. Nazar took it, slightly puzzled. He opened the bag and inside was a rubber band.
How did he know what I wanted?
“It seems as if you’re confused, boy. Don’t worry you’ll figure it out,” he gave Nazar a huge grin, “if that’ll be all, I suggest you leave, your friend is probably waiting for you.”
Nazar left feeling more confused than ever before.

“So, did you get it?” Zoya asked as soon as Nazar came back.
“Huh?” Nazar was still thinking about what happened with Old Man Chopp.
“Did you get the rubber band?” she repeated this time slowly, pronouncing every word.
“Oh, yeah I did.”
“Well, let’s see it,” Zoya said slightly annoyed.
How did he get it, and the door wasn’t even answered for me??
Nazar pulled out the velvet pouch and took out the rubber band. Now that he was looking at it from outside the bag, Nazar could make out symbols, engraved on it. Zoya tried to pull it away from him, but for some reason he resisted.
“Stop it, Zoya! Let go! It’s mine!” he cried out.
Zoya wasn’t listening. She was still trying the wrench the rubber band from Nazar’s grasp. Nazar couldn’t take it anymore. He took the rubber band and thwacked it on Zoya’s arm. When he did this, the rubber band started to glow a bright blue color.

Something inside Nazar began stirring. He felt a warmth well up inside him. He felt as if he could do anything at all. When the blue light faded he looked at Zoya, there was a huge bruise on her arm. She looked on the verge of crying.
“Zoya what happened?”
“I don’t know. After you flicked me with that stupid rubber band, my arm felt like it was broken!!”
Don’t cry whatever you do, girl, don’t cry in front of him.

And this was the story of how Nazar received the magic rubber band from Old Man Chopp.
Three months later, after testing out all the abilities of the rubber band Nazar decided it was time to put his new found powers to good use. Along with Zoya and three other of his friends, Nazar created a jug band called Five. But, underneath the happy tunes Nazar used it as a cover to what he truly had become.

A year after Five was created, Nazar got his first whack at his new powers. Not only did his magical rubber band provide amazing music without him trying, he obtained the abilities of a rubber band.
The key was to activate the rubber band.
Activation: think of what you want the rubber band to accomplish then…BAM…instant powers.

The first target was from a rival jug band that was up to no good. The man’s name was Billy Bob the Blob (I’m sure you can imagine why). He was the wash boarder in the new band called Green High.
They were scheduled to compete at Battle of the Bands, but Billy Bob had different ideas…

Battle of the Band
Friday, January 23rd
Sign-up at the Pavilion by Jan. 1
Admission $20 for non-band members

This was Five’s chance to shine. They were the favorite of winning this year, and everyone thought that no one was even going to come close. Too bad that there was!

Billy bob had a plan, it was an ingenious plan. No one could ever trace it back to him.

What no one knew was that Billy Bob’s washboard was no ordinary washboard. It had the power of hypnosis. Billy Bob the Blob intends to use the power of his washboard to hypnotize all the powerful and rich people in Iglopotris and command them to do whatever he bids.

First off, Billy had to invite them to the Battle of the Bands. He did by hypnotizing the town mayor and having him send out the invite. It was an ingenious plan; no one would ever figure it out.

No one, except Rubber Band Man.

Nazar met Billy Bob in the line to sign-up. Because Billy’s band wanted to sign-up as quickly as possible, they cut the line. They pushed Five out of the way so that they were first. When they did that, Billy and Nazar fell over. Billy Bob’s washboard slammed into Nazar, releasing the air in him. As they tried to get up, Nazar picked up the washboard. He noticed that there were symbols on the side. Symbols that was similar to the ones that adorned his rubber band. Billy Bob saw Nazar with his washboard and quickly snatched it away from him.
“What are you doing? You stupid village boy!” Billy Bob the Blog growled at Nazar.
“I was picking it up for you!” Nazar gave him a glare.
“Well, I don’t need your help!” He practically spat on Nazar. Nazar had no clue why he was a grouchy man, but the markings on his washboard did make him interested.

January 23rd: 2 hours before Battle of the Bands.

Nazar had done some digging in the Library of Magical Resources and found a book entitled Instruments of Jugan Bandorma. The contents were filled with information about instruments with symbols that were identical to the ones that were crafted on his Rubber Band and the Washboard. As he read, he learned that the instruments were crafted here in Iglopotris centuries ago. They were crafted by a magician named Erasmus L. Chopp.

WHAT!?! If this is who I think it is, then…

Taking the book with him, Nazar sprinted to the one place he thought he’d never go back to.

Old Man Chopp’s house.

Old Man Chopp told Nazar everything. The instruments played together could either bring great destruction or restoration depending on the song played. Alone, the instruments have specific powers given to the owner.
The washboard has the power of Hypnosis. And in Billy Bob’s hands mass destruction was indeed possible.
With his new found knowledge Nazar set-up a plan to deceive and defeat Billy Bob the Blob and his band.

Night of Battle of the Bands: Everyone important in Iglopotris is in attendance.

It was already Billy Bob’s band’s turn. Meaning, Nazar had exactly 10 minutes to stop Billy Bob’s plan from working. The only way to stop Billy Bob was to stop the song. That’s how the magic of the washboard worked; completing the song activated the instrument.

Nazar told Zoya exactly what was going on. He needed some back up; he didn’t dare try and do this in his own. Besides, Zoya’s good at action and diversion.
All Zoya needed to do was cut the circuit breaker to shut everything down. Then turn on one button.

The spotlight button

Nazar’s job was simple, expose Billy Bob for what he is.
It can’t be that hard, can it?

“And now, we welcome Green High!!! Let’s hear what you guys got!”

Billy Bob and his band came out. They welcomed everyone for coming to see them. Billy Bob had a sly smirk on his face.
Zoya started making her way to the circuit breaker. It was up in the sound box. The only way to get up was to get past Thor – the huge security man. But, as always Zoya was a head on girl who thought later.

“Excuse me, sir. I have to get upstairs I’m part of crew” she gave him her sweetest smiles ever.
It didn’t work, “Pass”
“I’m sorry I seem to have misplaced it” this is taking too long, sorry Nazar I might have to do this my way.
“No pass, No entry!”
Zoya was getting annoyed. She whispered something in the man’s ear. Thor looked at her confused, she nodded her head. Thor let her in, no pass.

Nazar smiled, he knew Zoya could get in. But, he did wonder how. Either way, she only had a few minutes before the end of the song. Nazar needed to do his part of the plan.
Before the show, he and Zoya set up a video/listening device in Billy Bob’s changing room.
All he needed to do was hook it up to the sound mainframe of the Pavilion. That could be done from where he was, Nazar was a tech. geek and he brought his laptop.

“Okay, let’s do this”

Nazar looked into the sound box. It looked like Zoya was having a bit of trouble.

Come on Zoya, the song’s almost over.

The song was on its final chorus and things were looking grim. Billy Bob smirk became smug.
Soon it will all be mine.
Billy Bob was playing the last notes on the washboard. It was starting to leak a red smoky light.
“Uh oh!” Nazar said.
Right before the final notes sounded, everything went pitch black.
“Yes!!! Way to go Zoya!”

“Alright all I have to do now is turn on the spotlight. No biggie.”
Zoya scrambled around until she found the switch for the spotlight. She flipped it and the spotlight blared awake. Everyone was stunned in their seats. What was going on? Was written all across their faces.
The MC walked out and told everyone that it was a minor power outage. It would be fixed momentarily. Nazar and Zoya knew better.
Zoya had the spotlight fixed on Billy Bob, who hadn’t left the stage yet. He was fuming in anger.
Zoya had to chuckle a bit, this was actually pretty entertaining.
“Alright Nazar, it’s your turn.”

Nazar was whizzing through the security set up within the Pavilion mainframe. It was like child’s play.
Soon he was in and connecting the device up. All he needed was a few more minutes and everything would be exposed. Except Nazar didn’t have a few more minutes, he had right now.
Billy Bob saw Nazar clicking away intently on his laptop. He got suspicious. He stalked over to him and grabbed the laptop from Nazar. Nazar fell over and looked at Billy Bob in fear.
Oh No!!!!
Nazar scrambled to his feet.
“Hey, that’s mine!” He said with more confidence than he was feeling.
“What are you doing on here boy?!” Billy Bob stared at the screen trying to decipher what was going on. The green download button was 99% complete. Only a few more seconds…

Billy Bob started to fitz with the keys, trying to stop whatever he was doing. Nazar felt a feeling well up in his gut.
On his wrist the rubber band started to glow blue. The feeling grew bigger. Nazar knew exactly what to do, but he needed to act fast. Zoya or the laptop wouldn’t hold on much longer.
He only had one chance to do this. Nazar pulled off his rubber band and took aim.
Ok, you can do this! It’s all up to you, you can do it.
Nazar let it rip. It hit Billy Bob square in the face.
“Yes! Direct hit!” Nazar jumped up in a hoorah. The familiar blue light flashed and left Billy Blob the Blob in a stupor.
This gave him just enough time to grab the laptop and meet up with Zoya.
“Is it done?” Zoya asked when Nazar met up.
“One sec.” Nazar hit the enter key on his laptop and the speakers came on.
It played everything. Billy Bob plan was completely exposed to the entire city of Iglopotris.
Nazar and Zoya grinned and each other and high-fived. Nazar noticed that the rubber band reappeared on his wrist.

Later that same night
Billy Bob was arrested and taken to prison.
The Five played…with a new washboard 
“And the winner to Battle of the Bands is…
After the event Zoya and Nazar took the washboard to Old Man Chopp’s house.
“I think you should wait here,” Nazar told Zoya at the entrance gate.
“I agree,” Zoya looked up at the house and a chill ran through her spine.
I know I’m not welcome there.

“Aaahh boy, I think you have something you want to give me,” Old Man Chopp asked.
Nazar was a little surprised to see him waiting for him on his porch.
“Oh…uhhh…I have…um”
“Spit it out. Come on!”
“The washboard!” Nazar squeaked. He handed Old Man Chopp the washboard and the rubber band.
“I figured since you made them, you would want them back”
“I will take the washboard, but the rubber band has chosen its owner. Use it wisely and it will bring great joy to the world.” With that Old Man Chopp went back inside, leaving Nazar alone with the rubber band.
I guess he isn’t so bad
Nazar sprinted back to Zoya at the gate.
“So, did he take ‘em?” Zoya asked while Nazar caught his breath.
“He took the washboard but let me keep this.” He held up his wrist adorned with the rubber band.
Zoya smiled, Nazar grinned and both broke out in a roar of laughter.

And this is the story of how Rubber Band Man came to be!!!

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