The Birdy dance, aka the Chicken dance. Turn it loose somewhere, have fun.
Shayde was wearing the patched muumuu. Which meant that her ‘street’ act, today, was something she called Stump the Frump. Which was ironic, because he knew for a fact that she’d spent an entire hour making certain that she looked like she didn’t care.
The act was, people would bring her musical instruments and, if she couldn’t wrangle a tune out of it, the person or persons with the instrument won the pot.
So far, it was four enormous glass bowls filled to the brim with enough Minutes to pay for half a Month. And she was working on a fifth.
Nobody else had yet noticed that Shayde was paying for new bowls out of her own cash.
Nevertheless, competition was getting intense. And then someone handed her an accordion.
“Aw yer kiddin’ me… noooo… No’ that…”
“I can only play one tune on this. Yer goin’ tae regret it.”
The laughter stopped.
“Uh… do you play badly?” risked the accordion owner.
“Worse. I play infectiously.” And then she began. Two notes, at first. At increasing speed. The bystanders thought it was hilarious. And then they realized that it was just the preamble to the actual tune.
The rhythm was relentless. The tune simple and repetitive. The actions of the dance… very silly indeed. An increasing number of people moved their hands like beaks, then flapped their elbows like wings, then waggled their rumps like… Rael did not know what. The refrain graceful enough that random pairs attempted ballroom dancing in the halls.
It was the kind of tune that drilled a hole into the central nervous system and made a permanent home there. Even Rael found himself coming into sync with the ridiculous gyrations of the crowd. At least before he realized what he was doing and forced himself into rigid stillness with the help of a handy column.
She had the entire hallway doing it by the time she finished the number.
Shayde handed it back. “Lor’ forgive me, I bought back th’ Duck Dance. Yer goin’ tae be a year gettin’ it oot a’ the music halls. I’m sorry.”
“But it’s such a good song,” said the accordion-owner.
“Try tellin’ me that in three months, when yer proper sick of it.”