Once I blazed across the sky,
Leaving trails of flame;
I fell to earth, and here I lie -
Who'll help me up again?
A Shooting Star ~ by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
|Raven Thru the Looking Glass (by wiebkefesch deviantart.com)|
The Noah and Nancy Show
It's Saturday night.
It's 7 pm.
It's time for The Noah and Nancy Show.
The saccharine sweet TV entertainment show that is one of the most popular shows on the ABC Network.
At the heart of the shows enormous popularity reside it's two charismatic hosts.
Noah Myers and Nancy Price.
The ultimate glittering TV couple.
Donny and Marie Osmond reincarnated.
The couple made a name for themselves as Doctor Ken Cooper and Doctor Sarah Reed in the long running medical drama Hospital Ward.
They couldn't put a foot wrong.
Everything they seemed to touch turned into gold.
The world wanted to believe in the picture perfect couple.
And now they are riding on a crest of a wave which has no sign of crashing.
Myers and Price are the highest paid and most powerful couple in TV land.
The Noah and Nancy Show is the most popular family entertainment show on the network.
Regularly attracting huge viewing figures.
Noah Myers has blond hair and a cute little face with sky blue eyes and a cleft in the chin.
Nancy Price also has blonde hair and a dainty little face with bright green eyes and a peaches and cream complexion.
When the couple grin they reveal impossibly white flashing teeth.
Unwavering polite and devoid of any rough edges - they are the flawless and completely faultless couple whom everybody loves.
For all intents and purposes - the pair must keep up the pretence that they are a couple in real life.
Nothing must spoil their perfect image of love.
Even if in reality they both go their separate ways at the end of the show - and are chauffeur driven to expensive apartments on opposite sides of Manhattan.
The world has to believe that America's sweethearts are happily ensconced in a pretty house with a white picket fence.
The world has to buy into Noah and Nancy's vision of romantic love.
All hearts and flowers.
All the biggest stars appear on the The Noah and Nancy Show.
And tonight will be no different.
Two award winning actors and a popular pop group are lined up to appear on the show tonight and they are waiting in the green room.
The studio audience are all seated now and there is a frisson of high expectation in the air.
Que the familiar intro music.
"And now ladies and gentleman - please put your hands together for Noah and Nancy" A voice announces.
Cheers and clapping erupt throughout the enthusiastic audience.
Noah Myers and Nancy Price make a sweeping entrance holding hands and grinning broadly.
Both are dressed in white Valentino suits.
"Thank you! Thank you" Myers and Price cry in unison.
Gradually the euphoria subsides.
"We've got a great show for you tonight" Noah Myers informs the audience brightly.
"We sure have!" Nancy Price adds cheerily.
"You know something, I really missed you" Myers declares as he kisses his companion's hand tenderly.
"It felt like forever while we were apart" Price replies with a dreamy look in her eyes.
Then the couple launch into their signature tune.
The small orchestra at the front of the set strike up.
A rendition of You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)
Noah Myers and Nancy Price begin every show with the famous Judy Garland song.
You made me love you
I didn't wanna do it
I didn't wanna do it
You made me love you
And all the time you knew it
I guess you always knew it
The song comes to an end and the audience show their rapturous appreciation with hoots, cheers and more clapping.
"I love you" Nancy Price informs Noah Myers sweetly.
"I love you too" Myers replies with a fixed grin.
"I love you three!" Nancy Price interjects with an earnest expression in her eyes.
An audible sigh rises throughout the audience.
The picture perfect couple and their picture perfect love.
"So let's introduce our first guest!" Noah Myers suggests enthusiastically.
"Oh yes - let's!" Nancy Price adds brightly.
A fresh round of clapping and cheering bursts in the audience.
Nancy Price moves in front of Noah Meyers and bows slightly with her arms open as waves of recognition sweep over.
And Meyers isn't smiling anymore.
"You're blocking me?" He informs her through gritted teeth.
"Because you've been playing up to the camera again" Nancy Price informs him tartly.
"No I haven't!" Myers retorts "You're the one whose been shamelessly fawning to the camera again!"
The couple still affect a fixed grin to the audience as their tirade continues in hushed tones.
"What was that vibrato for during the song?" Nancy Price demands "You were trying to out-sing me again!"
"Out-sing you?" Noah Myers snorts "Call that singing? You warble worse than a cat!"
"Ugh - don't stand so close to me!" Nancy Price remarks disdainfully with a dismissive gesture "Have you been eating garlic again?"
"Always the lowest common denominator with you!" Noah Meyers growls
"Like that Film Production Secretary you've been sexing up behind her husband's back?" Price retaliates nastily.
"You talent vacuum!" Myers responds with disgust.
"I think we know who the real star of this show is!" Price informs him arrogantly.
"You vicious grasping little bitch!" Meyers snigger's
"Temper, temper!" Nancy Price goads him.
"Perhaps all that white stuff you've been snorting up your nose has effected that pea brain of yours!" Price interjects.
"As if your so innocent?" Noah Myers retorts "Uppers and downers off the street corner? You must be desperate!"
The heat from the studio lights suddenly seem overbearingly relentless.
Myers adjusts his tie.
"Paying a cheap hooker for money in a cheap motel?" Nancy Price declares "Aren't you man enough to get a woman without paying for her? I've seen the grainy photos they secretly took of you and her!"
"I'm surprised you were sober enough to focus!" Noah Myers snorts knowingly "What with that alcohol problem of yours! You hopelessly drunk bitch!"
The blonde woman throws back her head and gives a long bitter laugh.
But she remains resolutely in front of Noah Myers.
"You really should sue that surgeon for your poor nose job!" Nancy Price guffaws with peals of laughter.
"And you should get compensation for that dodgy face job!" Myers grins back darkly "Did you actually pay your surgeon to give you the dumb blonde brainless bimbo look?"
The audience are very quiet.
A horrified hush has descended upon them.
They are getting much more than they bargained for on The Noah and Nancy Show tonight.
In the heat of their fiery exchange - the warring couple have forgotten that they are wearing mikes.
Their emotions have run away with them.
And the audience are coming along for the ride.
They are now sitting on the edge of their seats as America's sweetheart's decimate each other live on TV.
There is mayhem in the wings.
Logan Martinez is the shows director.
Either his television career is over or it is the start of a surreal jaunt into commercials or indie oblivion.
Logan Martinez is staring in mute horror at the sparring couple as members of the crew run frantically around him.
But the damage is already done.
Countless households in America are tuning into The Noah and Nancy Show to watch a foul mouthed couple mercilessly tearing each other to pieces.
The two actors and the rock group are staring in disbelief at the screen in the green room.
Back in the studio - the war continues.
"At least I don't need Viagra to get it up" Nancy Price declares nastily.
"At least I'm actually getting it" Noah Myers retorts caustically "Ever fucked anyone? You cold-hearted little virgin!"
"Don't mock my beliefs" Price warns him threateningly.
"Which beliefs are they? Myers responds slyly "Mormon on Wednesday, Catholic on Friday or is it Buddhist on Sunday?"
"Fuck you!" Nancy Price sneers.
"Fuck you, too!" Noah Myers retaliates.
And with that - he grabs the woman roughly by the arm and tosses her onto the studio floor.
"You bastard!" She hisses.
Nancy Price recovers sufficiently enough to slap Noah Price hard across the face.
He stumbles back and as he does so - the studio begins spinning around him.
The camera lights seem to have been getting hotter and hotter throughout their altercation.
Myers squints through beads of sweat at his adversary.
Her make-up seems to be streaking down her face.
Along with much of her face.
"What's happening to me?" Nancy Price shrieks in terror as she clutches desperately at her dissolving skin.
Noah Myers struggles to comprehend what is happening before his eyes.
Then he grasps at his own face - and he feels only the sleek touch of fur.
It must be a trick of the light.
It must be some camera stunt some technical guy had pulled on them
Nancy Price is literally melting before him.
And changing into ...
It can't be happening ...
A couple of bright black eyes blink back at Noah Myers where her human eyes used to be.
Her facial skin has fallen away to reveal a twitching rodent's snout and silvery whiskers.
Noah Myers would have laughed - if he still had a mouth to laugh with.
But unfortunately most of his face was now lying in a pool on the studio floor.
He tries to speak.
But only a sharp high pitched squeak is emitted.
As the two mammal headed presenters struggle to come to terms with their metamorphosis The Noah and Nancy Show studio is quickly emptied.
Only the director remains to survey the scene.
Slowly he shakes his head as America's sweethearts scrabble desperately around the empty studio.
"You have been transformed into what you really are!" Logan Martinez declares "A couple of dirty rats"
Harry Cox has been shot in the abdomen.
He is in a critical state.
The wound is open and his intestines are visible.
The man is lying where he fell outside Goldman's Jewellers.
A blood spattered suitcase is beside him on the ground.
Someone has already called the paramedics.
But time is running out for Harry Cox.
Everything happened so quickly.
The air is still full of the acrid smell of gun fire.
All Cox remembers is walking along the street to the car.
Then a burst of noise shook him out of his reverie as several masked gunmen bounded out of the jewellers with bags full (presumably) of money.
Some sort of gunfight ensued between the robbers and owners of the store and unfortunately Harry Cox was caught in the cross fire.
Cox did not have time to run away or find cover.
Everything happened in a matter of minutes.
The big black getaway screeched quickly away leaving a huge grey mist of gun smoke and screaming witnesses.
One woman who was walking her dog and saw what happened has been screaming for three minutes.
A small crowd of people have gathered at the scene.
The shopkeepers wife has fainted and somebody is holding her up.
Several concerned people are standing over the fallen man.
"He's alive!" A thin young man cries after checking Harry Cox's pulse.
Cox took the bullet straight in the abdomen and the big suitcase went flying up into the air.
One minute he was daydreaming about his future and then next he was stricken.
Felled like a sick tree.
Now Harry Cox is lying flaccid on the ground where he fell.
Another couple of bodies lie a few feet away from him.
The shopkeeper and another unlucky bystander.
Everything happened very quickly.
And suddenly his future is hanging in the balance.
He surveys the scene.
A trail of blood like a slug trail connects his hand to the suitcase.
This was not where he wants to be.
"Lie still, sir" Lisa Philips from the National Bank informs him "The paramedics will be here very soon"
The man is helpless.
All Harry Cox can do is look up at the sky now.
Funny how he hasn't noticed how wonderful the sky is.
Today it is particularly clear with only a few white clouds which look like balls of cotton wool.
The sight of the big sky brings warm feelings to his soul.
Cox can't feel anything.
The searing pain has somehow subsided.
And he veers between reality and a sort of dream state.
It feels as if he is looking down upon his body.
The dark red patch of blood has completely covered his pale yellow shirt and is growing in a pool around.
He has never seen his blood like this before.
"It's my blood"
Harry Cox fights the urge to close his eyes.
|silent death (by beyzayildirim77 deviantart.com)|
The dying man should have boarded a plane to Sweden by now.
He had been expecting to wake up in the warm bed of his lover in Kalmar.
Now he is lying in the street he knows so well as more people crowd around him.
And life gradually ebbs away.
He can feel himself letting go.
It is getting harder to focus now.
Harry Cox feels warm and cold as he looks up into the faces that are looking down upon him.
"Hold on Harry!" Arthur Boerman of Glendale Bakery urges him.
The dying man smiles weakly.
Boerman's face disappears and other faces replace it but Cox is having trouble making out what they are saying.
The light behind their heads is getting brighter.
"Harry! Harry!" A familiar female voice calls to him.
Cox opens his heavy eyes.
Dorothy Cox is looking down upon him with large desperate brown eyes and tear stained cheeks.
His wife of thirty years.
Suddenly Harry Cox is back in his body as he feels her warm hand brushing his matted hair out of his eyes.
"Don't leave us!" The careworn brunette urges him.
That was it.
Harry Cox was leaving his wife.
That was it.
Harry Cox was leaving his wife to begin a new life with his male love in Sweden.
As the dying man remembers all that he had hoped to be - a sudden urge to close his eyes and sleep for a few moments overtakes him.
"Just a little nap ... and then everything will be just fine"
Choir practise in the old Gothic St Swithin's Cathedral.
The medieval cathedral stands on a hill overlooking the snow laden town.
It has been a particularly treacherous winter thus far and many roads have been closed as a result.
In the dead of winter, the most talented singers of St.Thomas Moore School gather in the mystical old cathedral to practise for the encroaching Christmas calender.
Rows of teenage choirboys in their familiar red and white Ecclesiastical robes stand in formation as light streams in through huge stained glass windows and countless candles flicker in the centuries old cathedral.
Perry Andrews observes the scene with mounting consternation - his small hands are rolled into tight little fists and his knuckles are white.
He has clear blue eyes and a pale face framed by jet black hair.
The choirmaster is Byron Archer.
A fellow of King's College, he is tall and good looking with a tousled mop of sandy coloured hair and quick green eyes.
He has a cheerful disposition and a genuine interest in the choral furtherment of his young charges.
Archer arrived at the school a month ago and created quite a frisson.
Already he has made great strides in the teaching of music and has definite plans for his pupils.
Of particular note is Jimmy Lee.
The lad arrived at the school three weeks ago and made quite an impression.
The new boy quietly established himself as the brightest lad in his year in a matter of two weeks.
Not least for his academic sparkle but for his good nature and impeccable manners.
Jimmy Lee is an angelic looking youth with blonde hair, blue eyes and a cherubic face.
Most importantly for Archer's choir - Lee has an astounding voice and an already impressive octave range.
Jimmy Lee is now the boy soprano and it's shining light.
Byron Archer fawns proudly over his choir and particularly dotes upon Jimmy Lee to the exclusion of all others.
Perry Andrews watches as Lee stands in the place where he was standing just weeks ago.
Now the boy is doing all the solos and carrying the entire choir with his angelic high pitched voice.
Andrews has been pushed into the shade.
He is unable to hide his mounting outrage at the sight of his supplanter.
Bile rises in his throat and he fights the urge to vomit where he stands.
Perry Andrews had been the boy soprano before Jimmy Lee arrived.
Even before Byron Archer had arrived with his peculiar ideas.
A violent burst of anger rages as he watches the choirmaster fawning over the upstart.
The angelic little thief standing in his place and taking his crown.
How much did Perry Andrew detest Jimmy Lee?
"Let me count the ways" Andrews hisses venomously.
A glowing look of approval flashes across the face of the choirmaster as he leads the choir.
But his eyes light up as soon as Jimmy Lee's astonishing voice rises above the others like an eagle soaring high.
A shooting star cast across the night sky.
Perry Andrews casts his mind back to the morning.
He is sitting in class behind Jimmy Lee.
And he is unable to hide his growing revulsion for the boy.
As the tutor reflects upon the art of essay writing - he singles out Lee for preferment.
"I am not implying that your essay's are particularly bad" Mr Hayes informs them "But next to your poor offerings Jimmy Lee's presentation is manna from heaven!"
Andrews sneers at Lee as he basks in the approval of his fellow students.
But he is able to hide his hatred under a mantle of goodwill.
The two boys have become friends over football practice after school.
But the venom that Andrews feels for Lee has not found a sufficient outlet yet.
Jimmy Lee has the look of a saint in an old masters painting Perry Andrews concludes as he observes the lad in class.
Andrews wonders if Lee says his prayers at night like a good little boy.
Andrews looks at the crucifix on the wall.
He suspects that he is probably the only atheist in the choir.
Perry Andrews decided that God did not exist because he didn't have any proof of His existence.
The day he concluded that God did not exist - he suddenly felt sorry for all the weak people who still believed in Him.
Andrews suddenly felt a rush of relief.
Like he had discovered something they had not.
And he greedily kept it to himself.
And it was just as he thought - he was more superior to them after all.
"The spineless who need God!" Perry Andrews sniggered.
Now he hated everything to do with God.
God was just a man made being to explain the world and to control people's minds.
He would forge a new path like all the other educated and intelligent people before him who dispensed with God.
He wanted to be different.
He didn't want to follow anyone around like a "weak minded sheep".
He would be the leader now.
He wouldn't be told what to think.
How to live.
And if God did not exist - he could do as he liked.
No need for morals.
No need to deny himself.
And if God did exist He deserved to be rejected for the failure of the human race anyway.
"I hate you!" Andrews sneered at a painting of Jesus in a book.
Everything was fine now - because Perry Andrews had sorted it all out.
He was a superhero.
Now Jimmy Lee has stolen his thunder.
Hymns to a God that Andrews does not believe exists.
"Beautiful!" Byron Archer declares "Simply beautiful - thank you everyone"
Jimmy Lee is beaming.
Perry Andrews is fuming.
Archer puts a protective arm around Lee.
The boy is treated like a rare jewel.
It turns the stomach of Perry Andrews.
He is incandescent with rage.
It is already dark by the time they finish choir practise.
A small group of boys make their way home following the safest path against the heavily snowed surroundings.
Andrews silently observes Jimmy Lee as he walks in front of him - most of the lads are hanging onto every word he says.
He talks about his holidays to Spain and about life back at the old family home in Norway.
He talks about his wealthy father and how they moved to England after he divorced his Norwegian mother.
He talks about wanting to be a doctor one day and work for Médecins Sans Frontières.
|Maybe one day (by hearthy deviantart.com)|
That evening Andrews goes out to stare at the frozen lake beyond his house.
Dark and conflicting thoughts are swimming around his head.
He hates his life.
He hates the stupid path that he is expected to follow.
But most of all he hates the God-loving lily milk white sop Jimmy Lee.
Perry Andrews throws back his head and lets out a loud howl of rage and frustration.
His voice echoes around him.
Everything is empty.
Like the godless world he believes in.
"There is no God!" Perry Andrews exclaims loudly as his voice vibrates around him.
But there is no response.
Then he grabs a rock and throws it at the icy surface of the lake.
A tiny crack appears and splintered outward.
Perry Andrews stares transfixed at the frozen lake and gradually an idea surges into his head.
An idea so dastardly that it cannot but work.
Perry Andrews laughs long and hard at the culmination of his nefarious brooding.
It is up to him to redress the moral balance now.
The following afternoon at Perry Andrews watches Jimmy Lee carrying the choir once more.
The boy's angelic face glows in the candle light as his voice arcs and reaches high.
A smirk creeps across the face of Perry Andrews.
Dark lights are glittering in his eyes.
Soon everything will be okay again.
"Isn't it dangerous out there?" Jimmy Lee cries as he teeters unsteadily on the frozen surface of the lake.
"Of course not!" Perry Andrews exclaims "I walked across it only yesterday"
But the young boy ahead of him isn't so sure.
"I don't like this" Jimmy Lee says "I think I'll be going now - it will be dark soon"
And with that - the pretty youth gently begins to glide his way back.
"Come on - don't be like that!" Perry Andrews reprimands him "You are quite safe!"
"I don't like this at all!" Lee protests "It isn't safe! I don't care if you have a tree house on the other side!"
"But Surely God has sent his angels to protect you from harm?" Andrews interjects
Lee shudders slightly at the sight of Perry Andrews darkened face and intense eyes.
There is something unsettling about his stare.
"The Bible says we shouldn't test God" Jimmy Lee informs him.
"Surely if God exists then he will save you!" Perry Andrews replies forcefully.
There is no denying the contempt in his voice.
Or the odd expression in the long pale face of Perry Andrews.
And suddenly Jimmy Lee wants to show Andrews that he can do it.
Suddenly he wants to get to the other end of the lake and make it to the tree house to show that he is not a coward.
"Go on then" Perry Andrews urges him flatly.
Jimmy Lee carefully swivels on his heels and begins gliding slowly forward.
The ice gives a slight cracking sound.
But unperturbed - the boy continues to skate forward carefully across the ice.
The ice cracks further but the boy artfully and lightly makes his way.
Jimmy Lee stands on the other side of the lake now.
He is beaming proudly and he waves enthusiastically to Perry Andrews.
"Now you!" Jimmy Lee cries.
Fuelled by rage, Perry Andrews moves forcefully forward.
He is cursing the other boy in his head.
Distracted by rage and completely disconnected - Perry Andrews bounds forward.
He sees nothing and thinks of nothing but revenge now.
Perhaps he will strangle the revolting little swine in the tree house with a piece of twine.
In his fury Perry Andrews miscalculates the forcefulness of his strides.
He has not been pacing himself.
The ice gives a loud snapping sound.
A large crack appears where Perry Andrews is standing.
Suddenly the boy is aware of the reality of his predicament.
But it is already too late.
Perry Andrews is teetering unsteadily on the icy surface of the lake as it breaks up around him.
Jimmy Lee is extending a branch out to him.
"Quick - grab hold of this!" Lee calls out to him.
But Perry Andrews resists accepting the boy's assistance.
His pathological hatred for Lee means more to him than a moment of weakness.
The last conscious thought of Perry Andrews before he slips beneath the ice is that he is sinking into a dark yet familiar place from which he will never emerge.
|Breaking the Ice (by YourEndlessDream deviantart.com)|