Billy grabbed his lute and strummed. The sound was horrendous, extreme dissonance that ground against the ear like a cheese grater. The instrument had not been tuned in years, but he kept strumming.
As he walked down the street, strumming his terrible lute song and singing the best he could along with it (which is to say, an atonal aural onslaught), a young man with spiked hair and piercings all along his eyebrows started to follow. Another joined. A young women dressed in all black with pale make-up entered the line-up. A preppy young man dropped his tennis racket and was led down the streets behind them.
As Billy continued, the line grew. All young men and women, no older than twenty. All being led through streets by Billy’s out-of-tune lute and out-of-tune singing. The elderly were shocked and confused, grumbling about youth these days. The thirty- and forty-somethings rolled their eyes and talked about how they had done it first. And still, Billy led his people.
Finally, they reached the wharf. Billy took his people right to the edge, singing and strumming, strumming and singing. Then he lifted the lute above his head and threw it into the water.
The ten thousand people behind him watched the lute sink, its last strum stilled. They turned and walked back to their daily lives, awaiting the next luter.