Appeal

Appeal

Status: Finished

Genre: Flash Fiction

Houses:

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Flash Fiction

Houses:

Summary

Tom and Charlotte are witnessing history, the first global telethon. Actors, singers, and activists are united to raise both money and awareness of the expanding disaster. But after 12 hours of constant bombardment, Charlotte is feeling the emotional fatigue and Tom is left alone to wait for his favourite band to appear. But first, he must sit through one more public service announcement. Will it prove too much both for the audience at the arena and for Tom?
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Summary

Tom and Charlotte are witnessing history, the first global telethon. Actors, singers, and activists are united to raise both money and awareness of the expanding disaster. But after 12 hours of constant bombardment, Charlotte is feeling the emotional fatigue and Tom is left alone to wait for his favourite band to appear. But first, he must sit through one more public service announcement. Will it prove too much both for the audience at the arena and for Tom?

Content

Submitted: June 02, 2017

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Content

Submitted: June 02, 2017

A A A

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A “bwah, wah, wahhhh” blared out from the guitar and the drums gave a triumphant “tish” to mark the end of their set. Thirty minutes had raced by.

 

“That'll be the end of it then, that's their biggest hit, now change the channel for a mo will ya?” Charlotte pleaded.

“But why? We're witnessing history here Char. All these celebrities, all around the world, doing it for free! We'll never see this again in our lifetime!” Tom gave a nod her way. He was right, only a situation this dire would warrant a global outcry. Not to mention people giving their time for gratis.

“It's been 12 hours now Tom and I don't mean to sound callous but...” Charlotte was suffering emotional fatigue now, it was a good job she'd done her bit and donated earlier. “it's just... if I see another pair of those hollow eyes, Tom. Some of them are kids.” Her voice faltered mid sentence but the tears wouldn't come. She was all cried out.

“Char, it's The Skits up next. You know I love em. I don't wanna miss the beginning of the set, bad enough I couldn't get tickets to be there.”

“Fine. I'm going out then!” Charlotte jumped up in a huff and made for the door. Tom made no effort to switch the TV off, or even mute it. He wasn't going to miss this event, not for anything.

 

A petite, blonde girl took to the stage and Tom recognised her from Charlotte's celebrity magazines. She did some TV show or other, he couldn't remember the name of it but he did know this was her main “cause”. He briefly considered switching over, things were about to get preachy.

 

Hey there, London!” A cheer went up. “I said hey there London!” The crowd bellowed louder. “Good to see you here. So who's already donated?” More cheers and whistles erupted, as the pledge line number ran along the bottom edge of the screen once more. Tom knew the number by heart now 0800 203813. Blondie motioned with her hands for the crowd to hush for a moment.

 

“Now I know that you're all having fun today.” A few solitary whoops called out and Blondie motioned for quiet again. “But we're here for something serious today. It's complicated, I know that some people don't think that these folks deserve our help. But I've just come back from visiting one of their local tribes and I... I...” Blondie choked back her tears, determined to get her message across. “Kids.” she paused for effect. “Some of the starving are just kids.” She deliberately made eye contact with the camera, hoping to drive her story home, as a picture of her with one such child flashed up on the screen behind her. “This is Kyla. She's just 6 years old and she lives with her Aunt because both of her parents are gone. Kyla found them both. No child should have to go through that.” The camera cut to a middle-aged woman in the crowd sobbing on her husband's shoulder.

 

“I get that this issue's been going on for a while” Blondie's eyes looked out to the crowd again. “Back in the 80's they had the problem with contaminated meat, so they changed their diet and that hit us hard. I understand that, I do. But it's happening again, they're running out of food, and this time it's our fault.” The crowd seemed uneasy, some of them believed that Blondie was right, the rest were there because of the free tickets. “They've tried their best not to go down this route, but the Porcine diet didn't work. Some of them even tried to flavour it with herbs and spices but could you eat three meals a day that you struggled to swallow? Could you, really?”

 

A shadow shuffled at the side of the stage and slowly dragged itself up to the centre. Blondie flashed her a quick smile and whispered to the girl about how brave she was. “This is my friend Kyla, everyone.”

 

The camera that was fixed on the crowd made an emergency cut away from the Mother that pulled her daughter closer to her, in fear. The pledge line number crawled its way across the bottom of the screen again. Blondie continued her sermon. “Please for Kyla, do what you can. Give what you can, and do a Crossword a day. Go to night school. Keep that brain fit and healthy and when the time comes make sure you've signed a donation form. We can all do our bit to make sure that there's a sustainable food source for people like Kyla. Because a healthy brain is a nutritious brain and together we can feed the world.” She hugged Kyla close to her and then threw her right hand into the air, flashing a “v” sign. “Thank you London and give Zombies a chance.”


© Copyright 2017 India Emerald. All rights reserved.

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