"Good day, friends," the boy with the butt says. "My brothers and I were wondering if we might borrow your screen for a moment? We're lost and just need some help navigating."
The couple stares back at him for a moment without responding. Then both their screens start playing music. The same song, at the same time. 16 bars of a repetitive, ominous chord vamp.
They take a tentative step toward the boys in unison.
"He says he wants to borrow my screen," the boy sings, in a low, rich baritone.
"Borrow your screen? But what can that mean?" the girl, a lovely alto, trills in response.
They take two more quick steps towards the boys and sing together, harmonizing on a foreboding flat fifth: "And now his true intent is what we'll gleannnnnn."
"Ummm," the boy with the butt says. The boys all glance at each other like Idk what to do here. They take a step back, and the couple takes another step forward, and all around them the music begins to swell. After a brief vamp the pair begin singing again, trading off lines:
'To borrow' is a verb that, granted, seldom has been heard
To describe a sort of ownership quite temporary
-In which an object is transferred
With no recompense incurred-
Because possessorship, like life itself, is arbitrary
As they pair sings, more people begin to gather around. They have music coming from their screens as well and the more the crowd grows, the louder and more full the music becomes.
As the song continues and the pair trade verses interrogating the concept of property ownership, the boys start to hear little variations in the music - there's more strings coming from the people on the right, and more ominous low notes coming from the screens on the left, but together it's a full orchestrated wall of sound.
After a brief musical interlude with dancing a new group of people start singing. They seem more focused on the idea of the boys being lost and needing direction, and what that could possibly mean. Then the two sides of the song start arguing and no one is singing to the boys, there's something bigger happening here as they sing to each other, the lyrics calling back and forth from person to person; the boys just happen to be caught in the middle of it.
"OK," the boy with the hair whispers to his friends, "We should get out-"
But then a girl grabs him and twirls him away, and suddenly the boys are all being carried in different directions, swept up in the choreography of the scene. When the girl lets him he tries to grab a screen out of someone's hand, but there's no way - with one fluid dance maneuver the screen is in their other hand and the boy is being moved away, carried off by a man who moves surprisingly gracefully despite his imposing size.
As the song continues everyone's screens begin flashing different colored lights as well. The flashes turn on and pop from person to person, creating a little spotlight on whomever is singing at the moment. Then the singing stops and suddenly it's the dance break portion of the song, and everything gets more physical and aggressive. The boys are being thrown around from one part of the crowd to another, while people twirl and stomp and flip underneath them. It would be very impressive if it wasn't so terrifying.
The boys keep almost finding each other in the crowd, only to be whisked away at the last minute.
Then the dance break is over and the two sides are singing in counterpoint over each other, one half resolving the nature of property ownership while the other waxes philosophic about the the nature of being present in the world and the idea of being lost as a disconnectedness from our selves. It's really great.
Then as the music crescendos towards the finale people are flying through the air again. The dancers are amazing, tossing each other impossibly high, flipping deftly before landing on their feet and spinning to catch the next dancer.
Someone grabs the boy with the smile and throws him. He's actually still smiling - he loves this. Everything is amazing. What a weird, bizarre world they've stumbled on to. Who'd have thought he'd ever be part of something so magical? But he's no dancer, and can't do the flip the other dancers execute, and certainly has never learned how to take a fall, so he sails through the air, and it's achingly thrilling and glorious, but when falls to the ground he lands on his neck, which snaps instantly.
"NO!" the boy with the hair screams. He sees his friend lying on the ground, his head at a terrible angle, for just a moment, before the choreography changes and the scene vanishes and his friend is gone.
He wrestles himself away from his dance partner and fights his way to his nearest friend, the boy with the eyes.
"We need to get out of here, NOW," the boy with the hair says.
"YOU THINK??"" the boy with the eyes says. He manages to latch an arm onto the arm of the boy with the butt as he passes by. "COME ON," he says.
The three of them fight their way free of the crowd, all of whom are all singing one sustained, impeccably complicated harmonized note.
"Come on, move," the boy with the hair says.
"But what about-?" the boy with the eyes says, looking back at the crowd.
"He's gone," the boy with the hair says.
A look of horror and realization fills the eyes of the boy with the eyes. But with one last look at the performers they go, running away, deeper into the city.
By the time the song ends they're gone, everyone goes back to their screens and wanders off in various directions, like nothing ever happened. No one looks back at the body the leave behind on the ground.
Aww R.I.P. Boy with the smile, too sweet for this world.
Procedurally-generated musical numbers are pretty common at Eternal High, a random input can spark a scene. The students at Eternal High pride themselves as always being prepared to put on the show of their life.
Also I will apologize to my readers b/c I wanted a lot more of the musical number and its lyrics to be written out but it was slowing down the chapter & my writing pace. Eventually I'll go back and finish the whole song.
Next: As I recall Qynka got locked in a closet by Isabella_the_Ronin, hopefully she's OK? Let's find out.
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Cutie Cutie Ghost ShowHumor
Season 1 : Complete Season 2: Happening now CUTIE CUTIE GHOST SHOW is a near future dystopia about social media celebrities being turned into ghosts. In a corporate-owned city in a near future dystopia, children are imprisoned and taught to become...