WAITING IN LINE – PART 3
Matt checked his watch again. “It’s 9:05,” he said looking around at the crowd around the still closed door.
Oh, no,” Marlee laughed, “something’s wrong.”
Josie punched her in arm. “Shut up. Nothing’s wrong. I am getting Bruce tickets today.”
Marlee stretched her neck to get a better look at front of the line. “Well, no one’s moved yet.” she said
“Wait,” Matt pointed to the doors as he saw them open.
“Get out of my way,” Josie waved from behind the people in front of her, “I can’t see.” She jumped up and down but couldn’t get a clear look.
“Hold on,” Marlee said, stepping up onto the concrete wall, “I’ll go see what’s up.” She walked on the wall, following it to the front of the line. Once there, next to the Punks who were first on line, she saw the store manager and three other people gathered in a circle, talking frantically.
“Hey!” she called to the Punks, “what’s going on?”
“Hey!” the one with the Mohawk called back, waving.
Marlee shook her head and huffed. “What’s going on?” she repeated.
He squinted, looking confused. “Something about the computer. I think it’s down!”
“Thanks,” she turned to go back. By time she reached her friends, they were pressed up against the wall by a crowd of people trying to get closer to the door.
“The computer’s down.” Josie told her as she reached them.
“That’s what I just heard,” Marlee stayed on the wall to avoid the crowd. “How do you know?” she asked.
Angie squirmed closer to Matt, trying to move away from the people invading her space. “News travels fast on a concert line.”
From where she was on the wall, Marlee had a perfect view of the door. “Look,” she pointed, “here comes the manager.”
Josie looked over to see the Store Manager, in shirt and tie, walking down the line of people. He stopped about ten people away and stood, looking at the tree that stood at the midway point of the line.
He took a deep breath and cupped his hands over his mouth. “Can I have everyone’s attention,” he called out.
Everyone quieted down and shifted to hear him. There was little semblance of a line, as a large group of people formed around the Manager. Marlee, Matt, Josie and Angie could barely hear him. All they could see was the top of his head.
“I need everyone’s attention!” he screamed again until the crowd was silent. “There’s been a delay. Tele-Tron’s computer system is down…”
He was cut off by a series of boos, hisses and vulgarities as he tried to continue. “They’re trying to correct the problem as I speak, but I don’t know how long it’s going to be,” he paused, staring at the tree, “I’m afraid we’re only going to be able to get tickets to the people who are in front of the tree. Everyone behind the tree will have to come back tomorrow.”
For a split second there was silence as people turned to see if they were in front or behind the tree line. Josie sighed, relieved that they were in front of it. She didn’t have time to release the sigh as a stampede of bodies slammed into her as everyone behind the tree scrambled to be in front of the tree.
“Whoooaaaa,” she screamed as she was pushed, against her will, forward.
Angie grabbed onto Matt as they were propelled forward by the mob. “Maaaat,” she cried out.
Marlee, still on the wall, watched in amusement as her friends sailed by. “Hey,” she called out, “where ya goin’?”
“My Funny Bones!” Josie reached out into the air as she tried to move against the current.
Marlee couldn’t help but laugh as she saw hundreds of people surge forward in one simultaneous motion. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a tie fly through the air. She searched for the Manager, but he was nowhere in sight. “Poor sucker,” she mumbled to herself as she followed her friends who were now packed in like sardines, but closer to the door.
“At least we’re still against the wall,” Matt said as Marlee stood on the hill next to them. “We have somewhere to sit.” He pushed his way onto the wall. He took a deep breath and pulled Josie and Angie out of the crowd to join him.
“What the hell was that?” Angie asked as she caught her breath.
“I feel like I’ve been run over by a train.” Josie added.
Marlee kneeled down so she was even with them. “This is a mob scene. There’s no line anymore. There’s nothing but a sea of people out there. Twenty deep.”
Josie turned to her, smiling. “At least we’re closer to the door.”
“Oh, big deal,” Angie moaned, “but now there’s more people in front of us.”
“It’s not that bad,” Matt said. “We’re not squished. We have some room.”
“Yeah,” Marlee said as she wiped her forehead, “but it’s getting really hot out.”