'Flash!' Winter 2017

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium

A short story written by Imaginarium House member, Hullabaloo22.

Chapter 19 (v.1) - Just Sing!

Submitted: November 25, 2017

Reads: 84

Comments: 1

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Submitted: November 25, 2017



Just Sing!


It was the night of the college variety show and everyone seemed to be in either a state of high excitement or extreme nervousness. Students were rushing here and there, looking for each other, finding each other, only to be called away by tutors wanting a last minute word.


The drama crowd were trying to practice their lines, find missing costumes, work out just which part they were playing first. There was a bit of self-importance from them. They viewed their role in the nights show as being more crucial to its success than that of the singers, musicians or comedians.


The solo performers themselves were slightly jealous of the drama crowd. At least if one of them forgot a line there were others that could cover for them. It wouldn't be quite so glaringly obvious as a mistake by one person alone in the spotlight. And no matter how much they had practised, no matter how good they believed themselves to be, they all shared one thing. Each performer was strung out on nerves.


The college band was preparing to go onto the stage. The audience had been chatting, moving, shuffling around but were now starting to settle. There was the odd cough, the occasional laugh, but otherwise it was quiet.


The unmistakable sound of Mr Dean's voice rang out amid a screech of static. Emma grimaced then turned to her friend, Hazel. “They never manage to get that right, do they!”


Hazel was glancing apprehensively around. “What? Where the hell is Aiden? I knew I should never have trusted him.”


Emma looked around then shrugged sympathetically. “Stop stressing, would you! He said he'll be here so he'll be here. Has he ever let you down?”


Hazel looked at Emma, who realised her mistake. “You know he has, Emma. Aiden's always saying he'll do this, be there...But when it comes to it he just doesn't show. I must have been out of my skull to agree to this.”


The two girls stood side by side, one looking to the left, the other to the right. Neither said a word for a while as they scanned the crowds of students.


Look, why don't you go and ask Mark?” Emma suggested. “You know how he worships the ground you walk on. He'll not turn you down.”


Hazel looked at her feet. “I'd rather not. He probably wouldn't know the words. And anyway, it's Aiden I've practised with all these weeks. He'll be here. He's got to be!”


Okay, Hazel. You stay here and I'll go off and see if anyone has seen him. He might not be Mr Reliable but I cant' believe he'd let you down like this. Don't leave it too long. If he doesn't show, ask Mark. Okay?”


Emma looked at her best friend. She was getting more upset by the minute. Not that she blamed Hazel. They had spent hours rehearsing, had performed so well in the practice run in front of the other students. She'd be sure to give Aiden a piece of her mind, after the show.


Hazel watched Emma disappear into the crowds of other students. One more act and she should be going on. This was so unfair; she'd already been nervous enough, now she didn't know if she could even go ahead with it.


Mr Dean walked up to her. “Okay, Hazel? You're looking a bit worried. And where's Aiden? You're on next, you know.”


That's the problem, Sir. I can't find him. Could you move us back a bit? Just give us a little more time?”


After thinking for a minute Mr Dean agreed. “I'll give you until after the play. Say, twenty minutes? But that's it, Hazel. It'll be then or not at all.”


With ten minutes remaining Emma returned. “No luck, Hazel. Nobody's seen him. Try his phone. I'll stand in front of you. No one will see.” All the students had received strict orders that mobile phones were to be kept turned off for the duration of the show.


Reluctantly, Hazel took her phone from her pocket and dialled Aiden from her contacts. No answer, just voice mail.


Emma saw Mark looking over. “Right, come on. Now's your chance. If you don't ask him I will.”


Okay, okay. I'm going.” Hazel walked towards Mark, trying to put a smile on her face.


Hi, Hazel, where's your other half, then?” Mark didn't like to seem jealous of Aiden but all their friends knew he was.


He hasn't shown, Mark. I'm going to kill him when I see him. I've got to go on next and I can't do it on my own. Sing with me, Mark. Please!” Hazel knew she was looking pitiful but she really could not stand the thought of going on to that stage by herself and singing to all of those people.


Well, Id love to, Hazel. But the thing is.....”


Mark found himself being pulled towards the stage by Emma who had suddenly appeared right next to him.


I told you Mark wouldn't let you down, Hazel.”


Yeah, but Emma. Hazel.....There's something you need to know.” Mark was trying to halt their progress towards the stage but Emma just kept him moving.


Please, Mark. Please!!”


Would you ever get up there and just sing!”


Hazel walked onto the stage. Mark staggered on after her, trying to recover his balance from Emma's shove.


The music started to play.


Mark tried one more time. “Hazel, I can't.....”


But she was singing now. Mark realised what an amazing voice she had. Shame he was about to go and spoil it for her.


Hazel looked towards him, willing him on. He was not going to be able to escape so he opened his mouth and sang.


To say he couldn't sing was an understatement. The noise was tuneless, discordant, horrible!


Hazel tried to hide her shock. She somehow managed to carry on. Emma stood to the side of the stage, mouth open in amazement that anyone could sound quite so bad. And the audience looked on in stunned quiet.


As the song drew to a close there was silence. Then a voice spoke up from the seats.


Well, you've got to admire the nerve of the lad.”


The applause began, then carried on building. Somehow they had got through it. Hazel and Mark took a bow and almost ran from the stage.


I was trying to tell you, Hazel. I cannot sing at all. Not one note. But now I've made a total fool of myself for you in front of the entire college, you owe me. I'll pick you up Saturday at 8pm. You and me are going on a date.”


And Hazel found herself agreeing. After all, how could she possibly refuse.





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