A Stranger is a Friend You Haven't Sat On Yet!
"So a big American TV star has bought the performance rights for one of our songs, and he wants us to go on his show and sing it with him?" asked Mel Heebiegeebie
"'Sright," replied Victoria. "Apparently, he's got an audience of millions and millions. They're finally starting to take us seriously." She dunked a stick of celery into the jar of mayonnaise and took another huge bite.
"About time, too. We're serious artists!" Emma chimed from the table, where she was working on her colouring book. "What colour should I do the roof?"
"Roofs are red, in't they?" Melanie C told her, climbing down from her exercise bike. "The ones that in't black are, anyway."
The exercise bike put on her robe, and went off for a shower.
"So that's on Friday, yeah?" asked Emma, putting down the green crayon she had been using for the grass, and picking up a black one to write the entry in the diary.
"Will we just be doing the one song, or shall we write a new one?" Melanie C pondered.
I think it would be a good idea to write a new one," said Mel Heebiegeebie. "To make sure everyone knows how talented we are."
"I'll do it!" Victoria shoved the last of the stick of celery into her mouth, and picked up the phone.
"Tell him we want to write a happy one," Emma told her, as she dialled.
"Or a dance one!" Mel Heebiegeebie added.
Victoria spoke into the phone for a few seconds, then turned back to the others.
"He says we've already written a bouncy song and a ballad," she announced. "Which one do we want?"
"Bouncy!" beamed Emma.
"Yeah, bouncy," agreed Mel Heebiegeebie. "I don't mind doing the bouncy ones since we got rid of that big-chested bitch!"
Victoria relayed the decision.
"He said he'll send it over by messenger," she said, putting the phone back on the hook. "So we can learn the words we wrote."
"When did we write it?" asked Emma. "And what's it about?"
"We wrote it this morning," Victoria told her. "He didn't tell me what we'd written it about."
"Calm down, for God's sake!" the manager said.
"Calm Down???" the star screamed, rubbing his temple roughly with the ball of his palm. "I'll give you F%$^£*#+ Calm Down!"
He swept the box of make-up from the dressing-room table.
"Look at all this stuff!" he yelled. "Useless, all of it! I'm a F%$^£*#+ Actor, for F%$^£'s sake! You were supposed to keep me in Work! Real work! Not doing this F%$^£*#+ crap for the five best years of my F%$^£*#+ career!"
"Look, you should be glad you've spent the past five years working!" the agent retorted. "At least you've been getting paid! There just isn't room in the business for everyone to do Shakespeare!"
The star exploded.
"Shakespeare!" he screamed, hurling a puffy purple and yellow foot at the agent. "F%$^£*#+ Shakespeare!!! I'll Kill you!!! Get out of here!!!"
The agent fled the room, as other brightly-coloured body parts flew his way.
The star's shoulders slumped, and he sat heavily at the dressing table.
He picked up the medical report, and read it through again.
"No," he murmured. "Not Shakespeare. I'll never get to do Shakespeare..."
Bitter tears fell onto the doctor's letter as the star pressed his thumb into his temple, trying to wish the tumour away.
"What is all this?" demanded Mel Heebiegeebie. "What are all these little kids doing, running around backstage?"
"Yeah," agreed Victoria. "They're only four and five years old! That's lots younger than our target audience!"
"I know," said Melanie C. "These lot aren't up to our level of maturity and intelligence."
"No, our fans are supposed to be at least nine!" Emma huffed. "Why are they making us perform to people who aren't as smart as us?"
"Well, someone's going to get a piece of my mind!" stormed Mel Heebiegeebie.
"You're on in eight, girls!" called the stage manager.
He hustled them, grouching and complaining, through to the sound set.
"What are all these bright, primary colours?" asked Victoria, as they walked onto the stage. "Haven't they heard of black?"
"You!" screamed Mel Heebiegeebie, when she saw the star of the show, who was singing to the children.
"It's..." Emma whispered, awe-struck. "It's... Barney!"
"Barney!" growled Mel Heebiegeebie. "Bloody Barney!"
She stormed over to him.
"What's the bloody idea!" she shouted at him. "We were told this was a serious TV show!"
"Hello, Little girl," Barney replied, patting her on the shoulder. "What's your name?"
"Get your bloody hands off me!" she snarled; and she shoved him as hard as she could.
Barney staggered back, losing his footing and tumbling into a big pile at the feet of the children in the audience -- who all thought it was great fun.
The actor in the purple suit felt his blood pressure rising...
...The diagnosed tumour, which had been perching like some evil devourer on the border between his cerebrum and limbic system, heaved under the added flow of blood. His cortex screamed pain under the assault, and shut down completely, leaving his thoughts, sensations, and emotions totally at the mercy of his cerebellum and brain-stem. All higher human functions were cast aside, as his lizard brain took over his identity...
... In short -- Barney had turned prehistoric!
Mel Heebiegeebie staggered back, horrified at what she had done in front of millions of young viewers.
Melanie C cheered, and shouted: "Nice one, Mel!".
Emma stood and gaped; her jaw among her ankles.
Victoria rooted some dry, fluffy carrot sticks out of her handbag, and started munching.
The creature that had been the actor who had played Barney slowly dragged itself to its feet.
"Ghaarrrgh!" it said. "Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit!"
It swung around violently, grabbing a seat from the ranks of the audience, and hurling it with all its might at Mel Heebiegeebie.
The chair sailed through the air, oblivious to the world around it.
The little pigtailed girl in the chair cried: "Wheeeeeee!", oblivious to the fact that there was no safety net.
Mel Heebiegeebie fell backward, as the hard plastic edge of the seat caught her throat, slicing through flesh like... Well, like the hard plastic edge of a seat through flesh, actually.
"You..." spluttered Melanie C. "You've killed her!"
The Spice song: 'Goodbye' started playing over the PA system.
The creature that had been the actor who had played Barney reached down between the legs of the pigtail-haired girl's seat, and grabbed Mel Heebiegeebie's corpse's hair, wrenching hard to sever the head completely free of the body.
"Alas, poor Yorick!" he cried to the gallery. "I knew him well, Victoria!" And he hurled the head at the stunned, carrot-munching girl -- who ducked the gruesome missile, but immediately began choking on her dry, fluffy carrot sticks.
"Englut and swallow other sorrows!" screamed the thing that had been Barney, leaping up onto the scenery benches. "Heimlich manoeuvre!"
As Victoria fell to her hands and knees, choking, he leapt high into the air, coming down with all his weight onto her defenceless form. Her spine shattered, and she writhed for two seconds before the life left her eyes.
"You B^%£$^#*!" screamed Melanie C, and she ran at him, murder in her blood.
"Et tu, Brute?" The thing that had been Barney picked up Mel Heebiegeebie's head, and turned to face her. "Then Die, Chisholm!"
He swung the head in a massive arc – blood spattering where it passed – and brought it down with a sickening thunk onto Melanie C's skull.
The Spice Girl fell, two faces exposed to the world...
The thing that had been the actor who had played Barney rounded on Emma, who stood watching and whimpering, clutching a Barney doll she had found to her breast.
Barney loomed over her.
She looked up at him, teardrops falling from her eyes.
"I..." she stammered. "I Love you, Barney!" she whined.
The thing that had been the actor who had played Barney glowered at her, and tugged a piece of pretty white picket fence free from the scenery.
"If music be the food of love..." he growled, low and deep, "...Shut the F$*£ Up!"
He rammed the fence-pale upward into her stomach, lifting her from the ground, then tossed her aside, like a pile of useless rags.
He sat on the ground, and made patterns in the blood.
The audience gave him a standing ovation.
Since the terrible events of that day, the thing that had been the actor who had played Barney has appeared in several courts, to answer for his deeds.
Happily, no jury has ever found it in their collective heart to find him guilty of any wrongdoing, and there has even been talk of awarding him the Congressional Medal of Honor. Requests have flooded in by the thousands for other pop-stars to appear on 'The Thing That Once Was Barney' show.
Top runners to date are: Five, and B*witched.
The polls are still open. Get your votes in soon!