“Good morning Everybody!” A clear voice called from the top of the stairs. A group of 8 people walked up those stairs and all waved at Kristien, the girl who had just greeted them.
When they all sat down on their places, Kristien looked at everybody. “Look you guys.. We have that weekend in the Ardennes coming up, and it’s time that we practice our repertoire there for the upcoming concert.
“Upcoming concert?” Terry asked. As usual she vaguely remembered there was a concert, but couldn’t exactly remember the specifics.
“Uhm.. I just told you in the car on our way here.” Her sister, An said with a sigh. “It’s for a colleague of mine… Her fathers birthday?”  An stopped when she saw a flicker of rememberance in her sisters eyes. She muttered some not so friendly words as she started to unpack her clarinet. Terry, happy as always, shrugged and took her guitar to tune it. Soft guitar notes filled the air. When she was finished she passed the tuner on the Elke who played on two recorders, guitar and piano. She played some notes, sighed and stretched the smallest recorder as far as it could. “This old recorder is looking for a retirement..” The other instruments were tuned rather easily. Elke passed the tuner to the girl next to her. Judith, the youngest of the bunch, playing on the violin, played all notes quickly and set everything right. She gave the tuner to her sister and Hannah tuned her guitar. She also played the xylophone and other percussion instruments, but they didn’t need any tuning. Hannah looked at An and gave the tuner to her. She had finished assembling her clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone. She quickly tuned every instrument and passed it to Winke who tuned her flute. She then gave it to her flute-colleage Leen. Leen easily tuned her flute and turned the tuner off, keeping it close-by. Kristien took her horn and asked Liesbeth to play an F on the piano as she played her instrument. Geert, the only male person in the group sat behind the small drum and waited till everybody was ready.
“Let’s play Lord of the Dance.” Kristien said as everybody took the paper and placed it in front of them.

 When that piece was finished, Kristien said “We’re so good!” Everybody grinned as they all took another piece.
The repetition took about 2 hours. They played all sorts of pieces going from classical pieces to film music.
“So what about next weekend? Who’s going to drive as well?”  Kristien asked the group
“I can always drive?” An said.. “But my boot is already filled with our instruments..”
“Oh but my boot is big enough.” Kristien said smiling. “By the way, how is your cello lessons?”
“They’re alright.. I can now use my 4 fingers! And how are your percussion lessons?”
“Really good.” Kristien said “I just learned to use both feet and hands togheter.” Kristien demonstrated what she had learned on the little drum of Geert. All applauded when she was finished. “You know what, I’ll bring my cello.”
“Good idea.” Kristien said as she passed the drumsticks to Geert.
“See you all on Saturday!” Kristien called as everybody left and she closed the door.

Going on holliday

The week passed quickly with school for Judith, Hannah, Leen and Winke and the others had to work. Kristien, Liesbeth and An were al nurses. Elke worked in a school, Terry worked as a psychologist and Geert was a professional painter.
Kristien and Elke were already waiting when An and Terry pulled up the parking lot. They got out of the car and walked to the other two girls. As they did, the other two sisters were dropped off by their mother. Winke and Leen came with their bicycle. “So now where waiting for Liesbeth and Geert..” Kristien said overlooking the group.
“They live closest by and they’re always late.” An sighed and smiled weakly.

About 5 minutes later, they got there in their car. “Sorry we’re late, we had to go to the shop for some food.” Liesbeth said
“Everything was planned you know, you didn’t need to bring your own food” Kristien said smiling
“Ah.. Well now we have more then.” Geert said with a tone that you couldn’t quite point out if it was meant in a good way or not.
2 minutes later they were all in a car and on their way to the Ardennes.

 About 3 hours later they got to the little home they had rented for the weekend. It was a cute little cottage that was hidden in one of the forests. “Look at that!” An said as she parked her car next to Kristiens. “It’s even better then the pictures isn’t it?” Kristien said, appreciating the view as well. All of them were happy with the little house.

“Let’s all get unpacked and then let’s get started.” Elke said as she searched for her suitcase and instruments and got inside. Soon followed by the youngest of them all and eventually everybody followed except for An. “I’m just going to look around. I’ll be right back.” Before even waiting for an answer she was out of the clearing and into the forest. Her sister was used to these sudden impulses and took her suitcase and that of An. After that Terry took the instruments and got inside to take a look.

An in  the mean time went deeper and deeper into the forest. It took her only 10 minutes to get totally lost. She stopped and looked around. “Did I come from here? Or was that the way I was going?” An spinned around and wondered how she could have lost the way in only 10 minutes. "If only I had used pebbles or even bread crumbs..." She stood still for a while and then decided that she would just take her chances and just go in one direction.

Back inside the house, the others had all unpacked and were ready to start practicing just before supper. They were all about ready when Terry said: "Has anyone seen An? She should have been back by now.."
All thought for a second, and they all shook their head. They hadn't seen An, and they needed her just as much as they needed every other member of the group.
Terry sighed and siad: "I knew I should have at least try and stop her."
"That never works." Liesbeth said. "She's stuborn."
"Well we beter go and find her." Kristien said.

The group called out her name, searching the forest. Now it was getting dark as well, making it harder to find their lost member. But then they saw something, a person sitting against a tree. "An is that you?" Geert asked. Terry getting closer to the person, hoping her sister wasn't hurt. But as she got closer, she saw that it wasn't her sister, but a man that was relaxing and enjoying the hot summer evening. "Hello!" he said, "My name is Kerick. He jumped up and gave Terry a good handshake. The others were soon hugged as well.
"Did you, by any chance seen a girl here? Her name is An." Terry asked.
"Sure I did! She was very impressed by Sparken. She is now taking a ride on him."
"A what?"  Liesbeth asked.
"A ride... On my dragon?" Kerick said, smiling brightly. "I can't let you all take a ride on him, but I can all take you to Keltic Spirit?" He smiled again, "Ah there she comes." And as he had said it, little sparkles came from the air. A big, yellowish dragon landed not far from them. An jumped off him, her hair in a big mess.
"Wow! That was wonderfull!" She grinned. "Oh, hey you guys. Missed me?"
Terry sighed, ignoring her sister, coming a bit closer to the dragon. The dragon turned towards her.
"Hello." The dragon said, showing off his electric wings.
Ok. We're so going to this place!" Kristien said.