Resignation Letter from God

Dear Earth,

I quit. It’s over. I just don’t feel the same way about you I once did. I don’t understand why, but I can say it’s me, not you.

(It’s definitely you, but it sounds nicer that way).

I think it’s high time we went our separate ways. When I created you, I had plans. But now, something’s changed. I can’t really picture a future together. This degree of commitment is too much right now. And you deserve someone better than me.

(I deserve someone much, much better than you.)

I’ve decided to start over, to try to do better next time. You won’t miss me. There’s a lot of people down there who want to rule the world. Try your luck with one of them.

I do hope we can stay friends. I’ve had a nice time with you, in any case.

See you around.

Maybe.

The Hospital Mash

I was working on the wards, late one night

When my eyes beheld an eerie sight

For the patient from his bed began to rise

And suddenly, to my surprise,

He did the Mash! He did the Hospital Mash!

He did the Mash! It was a Rounding Smash!

He did the Mash! The Nurses caught on in a Flash!

They did the Mash! They did the Hospital Mash!

From the student lounge in the second floor, east

To the cafeteria where everyone feasts

They all came running, as if towards a code

To get a jolt from my electrodes

They did the Mash! They did the Hospital Mash!

They did the Mash! It was a Call Night Smash!

They did the Mash! The Patients caught on in a Flash!

They did the Mash! They did the Hospital Mash!

Out of the speakers, the voices did ring

Seems they were troubled by just one thing

Instead of calling a code, they called out this:

“What is this madness? Have you forgotten The Twist?”

But it’s the Mash! It’s now the Hospital Mash!

It’s now the Mash! It’s a Triage Smash!

It’s now the Mash! It caught on in a Flash!

It’s now the Mash! It’s the Hospital Mash!

Now everything’s cool, it’s just a Med Student Band

And the Hospital Mash is the hit of the land

For you, the healthy, this mash was meant, too

When you get to the door, tell them Beatrice sent you

Then you can Mash! You can do the Hospital Mash!

And do the Mash! Do the Medical Smash!

Then you can Mash! You’ll catch on in a Flash!

And you can Mash! You can Hospital Mash!

Ah, ooooooooh! Ah, ah, ah, ooooooh!

An Opening Night’s Dream, and the Events Thereof

A.N. A bit different from the usual. My crack at romantic-comedy-spoof.

It was three days to opening night, and Tom Banks was thrilled. Everything was just as he’d imagined: the sets, the costumes, the musical scores… not to mention the actors. It was the dream cast, Tom was sure of it. The mere novelty of the plot had managed to attract stars from all of the major acting houses to the auditions, and Tom had gotten his pick of the flock.

Naomi Burns, Brooklyn Leigh, Jackson O’Leary, and Dylan King. Each a star in his own right, but, together, an unstoppable blaze. Tom could picture it now: their photographs plastered on the front page of every major newspaper and social media site. The only uncertainty was which shot they’d pick. The epic curtain call? The double-time romantic ballad? Or maybe the catchy, cast-wide dance number?

But, as good as they were, the cast was young (even in Broadway years), and their minds often drifted towards other things. Like each other. Tom could have written a soap opera based on the whole thing, if he were a soap opera sort of fellow. You see, when a group of attractive young people are placed in close quarters for such long hours, something quite specific is bound to happen. And happen it had. Dylan was head-over-heels for Brooklyn, who had fallen for Jackson, who was smitten with Naomi. And Naomi herself? Tom wasn’t quite sure there. She did have a habit of setting people up, though her targets were quite unpredictable and, often, poorly chosen. Tom had heard rumours that Naomi had played a rather large role in setting up Taylor Swift with seven of her past eight boyfriends. Hardly successful relationships, although they had produced quite lucrative albums.

But as for falling in love herself, Tom wasn’t sure. Naomi did seem to have her head in the clouds. Tom doubted she’d notice a boy unless he landed in her lap.

 

It was the evening of one of their final rehearsals, Naomi’s latest scheme was well-underway. Three of the four actors were in their respective dressing rooms, facing similar dilemmas.

Brooklyn Leigh eyed the plain, unaddressed envelope on her dressing room table warily before pouncing, ripping the paper open with a swift, fluid motion. The typed note was concise:

 

Brooklyn,

 

I love you. I can’t hide it any longer. If you love me, too, knock on my dressing room door twice, and I’ll meet you on the rooftop after rehearsal.

 

J.O.

 

At the same time, young Dylan King was opening a similar envelope, albeit with much more caution.

 

Dylan,

 

My eyes light up only for you. If I can prove my love for you, knock twice on my dressing room door, and I’ll meet you on the rooftop after rehearsal.

 

B.L.

 

Of course, both young dreamers leapt from their chairs and raced to their beloved’s dressing room, knocking twice on the door. There was no answer either time because 1) Brooklyn had left, and 2) Jackson O’Leary was busy trying to make sense of a letter of his own.

 

Jackson,

 

After rehearsal, can you put on your skeleton costume with the glow-in-the-dark zombie mask and come to the roof.

 

Thanks!

 

Naomi Burns had thrown in her cards. The rehearsal was difficult, and Tom knew something had happened. Dylan was winking at Brooklyn, who was trying to hold hands with a baffled Jackson. Naomi was observed the whole thing with a keen interest, and an unwitting Tom retreated to the rooftop patio after the final failed number to try to gather his thoughts.

Why had Naomi interfered now, of all times? This show was crucial, the turning point in Tom’s career! His actors were already established, but he wasn’t. Broadway was merciless; one flop was all it took to turn an aspiring director out onto the streets.

 

It wasn’t long before Tom’s pensive solitude was met with company. First Brooklyn appeared, a fresh coat of red lipstick applied and her hair let loose. Moments later, Dylan appeared. “Brooklyn,” he started. “I’m so…”

“Not now, Dylan,” Brooklyn said, fiercely waving her hands. “I’m waiting for Jackson. It’s important.”

“Jackson?!” he said. “But your note said you were waiting for me!”

“Note? What note?”

The door to the roof opened once more. “Okay, gang! Who ordered the skeleton costume with the…”

“ACK!” shrieked Brooklyn, clinging onto Dylan’s shirt as he wrapped an arm around her. “What is THAT?”

“That’s Jackson,” Tom said, with growing irritation. “You’ve been Naomi-fied.”

“Naomi?” said Dylan, as Brooklyn slapped his arm away. “You mean she tried to set us all up again?”

“Set us up?” Jackson said, ripping off the zombie mask. “You lot got letters, too? Those must’ve been from her.”

“So…you didn’t want to meet me up here, Jackson?” said Brooklyn. “I should’ve known it was too good to be true.”

“Naomi is trying to set us up? With each other?” said Dylan. “I thought she was busy with Taylor Swift.”

Tom made  a mental note to invite Taylor Swift to opening night. Perhaps Naomi would forget about her co-workers in light of a more exciting romance to set up.

But the trio were more than annoyed, and set their personal feelings aside to plot an appropriate response to their co-star’s failed ruse.

 

The next morning, Naomi Burns arrived in her dressing room to find a typed note in a plain, white envelope.

 

Naomi,

 

I can’t stand it any more. I’m in love with you. Knock on my door three times if you love me, too.

 

  1. K.

 

The plan might have been fool-proof if it weren’t for the immediate response. “DYLAN!” Naomi had squealed, throwing her arms around the shocked male who had opened the door after the tenth knock, punctuated by squeals of delight. “I’m sooooo in love with you, too. AAAAAAHHHH! THIS IS PERFECT!!!!! AND TOMORROW’S OPENING NIGHT, TOO!!! THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE!!!!!”

 

If possible, the rehearsal that day went even worse than the night before. Naomi wouldn’t stop trying to kiss Dylan, who was staring sadly at Brooklyn, who was attempting to hold hands with Jackson, who was trying unsuccessfully to pull Naomi and Dylan away from each other. It was utter chaos, and Tom Banks was sinking further and further into an abyss of despair. Opening night was only one day away, and his four leads were mad with love and rivalry.

Whoever said all was fair in love and war was wrong. This was not fair, no, not at all.

 

When everyone had left the theatre that night, Tom sat alone on the stage, a single spotlight still shining somewhere above his head. Was this really the end for him? Perhaps he should have picked some less-attractive actors, some more arrogant actresses, a different combination that wouldn’t have fallen foolishly and hopelessly into a hapless love…square? Rectangle?

Maybe it was luck. Maybe Tom wasn’t meant to be a big-whiz Broadway director. Maybe this was just the universe’s way of letting him down gently, letting him know that there was no point in getting his hopes up, letting him now…

“Ah, young love.” An dainty voice rang from the balcony. “So romantic, wouldn’t you say, Tommy?”

“Who’s there?” Tom scowled. “I’m not in the mood for visitors.”

“My name is Titania,” said the voice, coming closer, although Tom could see no one there. “I’m the…”

“Queen of the Fairies,” spat Tom. “Of course. Just what I need. Story time isn’t until tomorrow night, so you can come back then to see the big flop.”

“Don’t be silly,” said Titania. “I’m not a fairy. Fairies don’t exist. Have you seen a doctor lately? I think you’re starting to crack around the edges. Too much pressure. You should learn to relax a little.”

“Uh,huh,” said Tom. “So, could we make this quick? I’m a little tied up at the moment.”

“On the contrary,” said Titania. “You’re at the end of your rope. I think you’d rather benefit from a few knots in your way.”

“What do you want?!” snapped Tom. “And why can’t I see you anywhere?”

“You don’t need to see me. I’m just here to help,” said Titania. “Look to your left. No, no, your other left. Yes. See that, in the vial? It’s a powder. A special, magical powder.”

“I thought you said you weren’t a fairy,” said Tom, picking up the vial with vague disinterest.

“Just because I’m not a fairy doesn’t mean I can’t dabble in the finer arts,” said Titania. “Besides, you need help. You really mustn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, Tommy. Just sprinkle the powder on the stage, and your actors will fall in love with the first thing they see. It’s fool-proof. None of this love square-rectangle nonsense.”

Tom considered this. A bit of powder wouldn’t hurt. And, if it did work, it sounded perfect! He would get to play Naomi for once, set these fools up with each other properly, and his play (and his career!) would be saved. “All I have to do is get them to look at each other. When, when, aha! Act Two, Scene One! They all come on together, at the same time. It will be perfect! We’ll do it tomorrow, during our final run-through. Oh, this’ll be perfect!” Tom left the stage cackling, not noticing as the final spotlight gradually faded out.

 

The one thing that Tom Banks didn’t account for, however, was how slippery fine powder can be on a soft felt slippers while they are walking on a polished stage, never mind running. And Act Two, Scene One began with all four main characters running onto the stage at the same time. And so they did, running, jumping, slipping, and falling onto the stage, all at the same time. Tom cringed at the sudden ‘bang’ that echoed across the theatre, but even more so at the prolonged silence which followed.

All four leads were staring, not at each other, but at the stage.

“Wow,” said Naomi. “I never realised how wonderful it was, to stand on the stage.”

“I love being on stage,” said Dylan. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

“I love the stage, period!” said Brooklyn. “And I love acting!”

“This is the best view in the whole world,” said Jackson. “The best place in the whole world!”

“They’re in love with…the stage?” Tom wondered. “Well…that’s not the worst outcome. In fact, it’s probably the best thing that could’ve happened to me!”

 

And that, my friends, is the story of how four rising stars realised their love for the stage just in time for a successful opening night in a comedy so bright it can only be described as an Opening Night’s Dream.

The Mighty Surgeon (Jabberwocky Parody)

‘Twas sterile, yet the slippery sutures

Did twist and tumble with every shake

All flimsy were the filaments

And the tiny threads soon out-gave

And thus the vicious needle poked right through

Out of the flesh, and into soft skin

Blood merged with blood, a battle unseen,

The foreign product of an untimely Sin

“Beware the Surgery Core, my son!

The hands that tie, the blades which snap!

Beware the needlestick injuries, and shun you must

The hair that pokes out beneath your cap!”

He took the cautery pen in hand

Long time the herniated foe he fought —

And then he rested in the locker rooms

And stood awhile in as if deep in thought.

And then, as if in godlike splendour he stood,

Mighty Surgeon, with eyes of flame,

Came running  back into the operating room

And scrubbed-in four times as he came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The scalpel blade went snicker-snack!

He cauterised, and went inside

And then retracted all of it back!

“And hast thou met the Surgeons, my son?

Come to the books, my beamish boy!

O post-call day! Huzzah! Hooray!”

He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brilliant, yes, the surgeon at work,

How his hand twisted and tied in its wake

All flimsy were the suture strings

But not a single one did he break

 

oh no

oh no

falling in love with you all

over again like all those nights

before i try to keep my hands away

but there you sit, so close, too close!

the smell of you fills my nose

i feel the goosebumps on my skin

the taste of you melting inside my mouth

and i reach

out

to grab you

fresh-baked pizza

straight from the oven

The Cream Bottle

A.N. …sorry. 

The Devil had spent all day with the flowers

So when he had finished, he needed a shower

I offered him the chance to quickly use mine

He was only a guest, so I thought it was fine

But I was insane to let him upstairs

And when he had finished, I fell into despair

Because he had performed a despicable deed

He’d entered my cupboard, and stolen my creams!

And now I had nothing to moisten my face

No lotions or powders could ever replace

The sweet-smelling creams that I used to own

But the Devil has taken them, and now calls them his own

I have no idea what he wants them for

Why he took all my creams before he walked out the door

But now I am cream-less, and my skin with be hard

The cracks on my face mirror the ones on my heart

While the Devil has skin like a red carpet model

Thanks to the contents of my beautiful cream bottle

Spoken Holiday Word

A.N. This piece works best as spoken word.

 

So, at holiday gatherings and Christmas parties, everyone always asks that same annoying question, “so how is a beautiful girl like you still single?”

Everyone, that is, except my Auntie Lula. Auntie Lula is cooooonvinced that I have some secret boyfriend — or five — stashed away from the rest of the family. And she thinks of clever ways to trick me. Like counting all the rings in my jewellry drawer and asking me what self-respecting girl buys so many for herself. Or counting the number of times I check my phone and dividing that by three, since three is the maximum number of times one boyfriend should contact you during a family dinner.

So, finally I’d had it with Auntie Lula, and decided to give her a run for her money. The next time Auntie Lula began harping on about boyfriends, I raised my hands in mock surrender.

“Okay, okay, Auntie Lula,” I said. “You caught me.”

“Ah ha!” screeched Auntie Lula, in that ridiculously high-pitched voice. “I knew it! I knew it, knew it, knew it! What’s his name?”

“…Liam,” I said.

“Liam what?”

“Liam…Payne.”

“Payne?” Auntie Lula scrunched her nose, and, for a moment, I feared she actually knew the members of One Direction “What’s that? French? British?”

“Bit of both,” I said.

“How often do you see him?” she asked.

“Not often,” I said. “But I hear from him a lot.”

“What does he sound like?”

“…musical.”

“Is that so? Is he a singer?”

“Ye-e-e-es, but he also does a lot of other things, like playing the guitar and song-writing.”

Auntie Lula clicked her tongue against her teeth. “That’s not honest work. Especially in a man.”

“He does make good money,” I said, in spite of myself.

“Does he, now?” Auntie Lula said, regaining interest. “How much?”

Right then, my phone beeped, relieving me of the need to determine how much Liam Payne was making. “Oh, it’s just my friend.”

“Another one!” Auntie Lula said, properly scandalised. “Another young gentleman friend, perhaps?”

I was already this far in. “Yes. It’s Joe.”

“Joe…?”

“Joe Jonas.”

Auntie Lula squealed. “Oh, you shady girl! Dorothy,” she called to her daughter. “Dorothy, come and hear all about Tessie’s boyfriends. Liam Payne and Joey Jonas!”

From the look on Dorothy’s face, she knew exactly who Liam Payne and ‘Joey Jonas’ were. And she wasn’t the type to keep a secret.

“Hmm, do you smell burning?” I said. “Oh, no! Must be the fruitcake! See ya later, Auntie Lula!” 

Family Schmamily  

It’s Christmas time, and they’re all here

What a way to end the year

All the howling and whining and screaming

Biting and fighting and incessant weeping

All the name-calling and all of the grief

When will this end? I need some relief!

Stupid Aunt Yaz is at it again

Feeding the squirrels cold Cornish Hen

And Aunt Viv is yelling at Pat on the phone

Wondering when he will “get the hell home!”

And all of the cousins are gathered around

Spewing off gossip to make themselves proud

“Oh, I’m CEO.” “Well, I’m MVP.”

“Well, I have a baby. She’s number three!”

I try to escape to my room for some peace

But it’s all in vain. They’re all stalking me!

“Hey, how’s it going?” said mean Mary-Sue

“You’re room really stinks; oh, wait, that’s just you!”

Then terrible Tara jumps on my bed

And says, “It would be better if this were your head!”

So I run back downstairs and find it a mess

The whole place is crazy thanks to our ‘guests’

And I hate them all because they are so mean

But Mum says, “Bear with them. They’re your family.”

Family Schmamily is what I say

Whenever they’re near, it spoils my whole day!

Crazy Aunt Cher is talking to air

The language she uses makes Granny despair

But worst of all’s Maya, who I thought had died

But turns out she hates me, and that’s why she lied

And Mum says “Be nice”, but I say “Who cares?”

I’d much prefer if there was no one else here!

They might be family, but they’re not my friends

They won’t be with me when I’m at my wit’s end

They won’t support me. They’d love to see me fall!

So, now that I know that, why put up with them at all?

I could drive in my car and go far away

And stay there for a while, until the family goes away

But then my mother would be disappointed

Because problems like these cannot be avoided

But I’d really love to –just once! — watch them squirm

Mix up their guts like a can full of worms

I wouldn’t be nice — no, I’d be plain mean!

And give them a taste of the things that I’ve seen

Maybe that’s when they’ll learn to be kind

Kind like my mother, and open their minds

But until that day, I’ll hide under the table

Keep really quiet until I think I’m able

To handle this madness a few minutes more

Or until all of this ‘family’ walks out the front door