Gangsta Dux6 or Reverse Pygmalion

A very short story I wrote quickly for my little sister.

When university student 'Dalek' realises he could write a hit song with High-School student Parker's help, the two go about starting their own music group. Dalek helpfully gives Parker advice on how to be cool, like him, transforming her into the girl everyone wants to be around.
But in doing so, he makes both of them completely miserable.

A modern twist on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (movie, My Fair Lady), this is a fun, light-hearted story that focuses on false-face, good music, sweet lyrics, and relationships.

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1. Chapter One: Introduction to a Genius

'…for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart'

1 Samuel 16: 7b

 

 

'God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.'

William Shakespeare

 

 

'Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.'

Oscar Wilde

 

 

'Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.'

Homer

 

Chapter One: Introduction to a Genius

 

It sounded beautiful – it always did – and she could not help but stand outside the room and listen. He could not see her (if he could have, she would not have been watching him) and it was amazing to watch his fingers fly over the keyboard, especially when it was considered that he was making it up on the spot.

            She did this often while studying. She couldn't afford an I-pod or MP3 player, so this was the best she could do. Her other favourite was a male saxophonist, followed closely by the female violinist. The cellist was good too, and especially easy to talk to. But the pianist – he was special. Because she'd been at the school for two years – two years – and he'd never spoken to her. He probably wouldn't even recognise her, just like the violinist earlier that morning. She'd walked right past, frowning as if to say, 'are you new here?' Oh well, she thought. Better late than never.

            The music stopped suddenly, and the pianist looked up, as if he knew he was being watched. Well, she wasn't really watching him. After all, she was doing homework. But the disturbed look on his face was still unsettling. She decided to move on.

            She listened to the cellist for a while, until she heard the door to the piano room open and close. The music had stopped, so she knew he was gone. And no-one ever practiced piano at this hour – it was completely free. This was when she would practice.

            She slipped into the room unnoticed, as always, and began to play a few scales. She never paid them much attention before turning to a favourite piece, and she never practiced pieces for long before attempting to compose some of her own. They always seemed to be missing something though.

            She wasn't distracted today, probably because she was particularly down. It was her birthday – her 16th -   and her parents weren't coming. She hated this boarding school (School of Arts Support Centre, it was called), and loathed it all the more because she knew she would be stuck here until she had at least a Bachelor to show for herself. Yes, the school was that intense. It took students right through uni. She sighed and stopped playing.

            'That's terrible.' She muttered to herself, wishing she were a better pianist. 'I'll never be any good.'

            'Don't say that.'  Another voice said, and she jumped. 'You just have to practice a little more. Come on, go back to the scales. You passed over them far too quickly.'

            It was the pianist. The pianist who was hailed as the coolest artist in the school. The pianist who was sure to be the next great composer of the world. The pianist who was not considered tedious, over-intelligent, and prudish.

            'I don't like scales.' Was all she managed to say in reply. Then she regretted it and turned back to the piano. A free lesson from the pianist was not to be thrown away.

            'Neither do I.' The pianist said, smiling cheekily, and she began to understand why he was so popular.

            They had a very brief piano lesson, during which he told her to lift her fingers higher, play staccato, and hit the keys more directly. Then he smiled, cried, 'such improvement!' and looked as if he were about to leave.

            'Thank you.' She said quickly, before he could go.

            'That's all right.' The pianist returned happily. 'You looked a little down. Then again, you always look a little down.'

            She was astounded. 'You know who I am?'

            'Doesn't everyone? You're here for Literature, right?'

            'Yes...'

            'Your name's always near the top of every class list. It'd be hard to miss it.'

            'Still. How do you know it's me?'

            'Because.' And he pointed to her bracelet. It was a silver watch, which hung on a chain with charms clinging to it. One of the charms was a sparkling 'P'. 'It's kind of your signature look.'

            She smiled. 'Yeah. My parents gave it to me for my 13th birthday.'

            'Yeah? My parents haven't given me a birthday present for years. They say this is their present to me. I suppose I see what they mean, but... I wish they'd at least come.'

            The girl frowned here. 'Hey, you don't usually practice now. How come you came back?'

            The pianist looked away. 'Just down I guess.'

            'Yeah. Same here. What's your issue?'

            'Oh... just... my parents said they'd be here today... to celebrate and all... but they didn't come. I should have known. They didn't come last year for my Year 12 graduation... why would they come for my 18th, right?'

            She softened. 'Oh, I'm sorry. I thought my problem was bad.'

            'What's yours?'

            'Well... my parents didn't come for my 16th.'

            The pianist brightened up at once. 'Is today your birthday too?'

            She nodded.

            'Well, happy birthday!'

            'Thanks. Happy birthday to you too. 18 you said?'

            'Yup. Hey, just to check, your name's Parker, right?'

            'Yeah. I know it's weird.'

            'No, it's cool. I mean... it's better than mine.'

            'I'm assuming your real name isn't Dalek then.'

            'Ha, no. I... don't generally tell people what it really is. You look pretty trust worthy though.'

            'I am.'

            'Well, I guess I'll tell you. It’s Daniel Donald Luther Kane. And Luther has a’t’ sound. Not a 'th'. It's German.'

            'Oh, okay. So how'd you get to being called Dalek?'

            'Daniel Donald Luther Kane... DDLK.... people just inserted an 'a' and an 'e' and got 'dadlek'. I guess they were Dr. Who fans. At any rate, it turned into 'Dali', 'Lekka', and eventually 'Alek'. Any thing’s         better than my real name. What about you? Ever had a cool nickname?'

            'Not really.'

            'Maybe I can make you one. What's your full name?'

            Parker hesitated.

            'Come on. I trusted you.'

            'Fine. My full name is Parker Baye Crook.'

            Daniel smiled. 'Sweet last name.'

            'Thanks.'

            The young man frowned thoughtfully before saying, 'I can't think of anything right now. But I'll work on it. Anyway, I didn't know you played piano. How long have you been playing for?'

            'Since I was about 6. What about you?'

            'Since I was 5. What grade are you in?'

            'Just got to grade 7.'

            He smiled. 'I was worried for a minute there. Can you play anything else?'

            'Violin. Guitar. You?'

            'Really?! I can play violin too! Not guitar though. But I can manage percussion – if that helps.'

            Parker laughed. 'Sounds great.'

            'Does singing count?'

            'I guess so. Not everyone can sing on tune.'

            'Well, I can, even if I'm not great at it.'

            'Me too.'

            There was a brief pause before Dalek asked, 'what were you playing? I couldn't place it.'

            Parker blushed a little. 'Nothing. I was trying to make something up, I guess. But I can't figure out what to do next. I just have that one theme... it's driving me insane.'

            'Really? I have a similar problem. You probably heard it before, while you were studying.'

            Parker's face paled. 'You know about that?'

            Daniel smiled amusedly. 'Don't worry. I think I'm the only one beside the cellist that knows you eavesdrop.' He paused. 'I'm sorry I didn't say hi to you before.'

            Parker didn't see why he would apologise. After all, he was the popular one. He could do whatever he liked. Nevertheless, she said, 'that's okay. Did you want the piano back?'

            Daniel started in surprise. 'No, it's your turn now. Don't think I'm going to take it from you. I'll...' he looked away shyly. 'I'll leave now, so you can practice.'

            'I haven't got anything to practice, and my composing is awful.' Parker replied. 'I may as well quit while I'm ahead.'

            The pianist paused thoughtfully here. 'You know.' He suddenly said. 'I could use some-one to teach me about poetry and... stuff. I can't write lyrics to save myself.'

            'I can do that if you like. What are you trying to put lyrics too?'

            'I... I just got this great idea. What if...' Suddenly he stopped. 'Nah, it's all right. I'd better study anyway. I avoid theory like the plague, but it must be done. See you round.'

            Then he left.

            Parker simply shrugged and attempted to compose again.

 

     

 

 

 

 

Dinner came quickly, and Parker stuck with her small group of friends: Harry the artist (who was a girl), and Sam the linguist (whose real name was unknown). They knew everyone at the school, and spoke to nearly everyone, but (for the most part) they were at the bottom of the social ladder. Well, some-one had to be.

            Sam muttered something in Russian, and Parker nodded in what she assumed was agreement.

            'I hate fish too.'

            'I'm allergic.' Harry put in, rubbing in the fact that she had a special dinner all to herself.

            'I wish I was.' Sam groaned, pushing the fish to the edge of his plate. 'Does anyone want this?'

            'If I eat it, will you tell me your real name?' Parker answered.

            'I will never tell you my real name.'

            'I bet Sam is just your middle name.'

            ‘It’s not.'

            'Well there's your first clue.' Harry teased, taking a bite of her dinner.

            'I hate my life.' Sam moaned, taking a bite of his.

            'Oh, come on, it's not that bad.'

            'No, of course it's not.'

            'Hey, I just got a crazy idea.' Harry interrupted. 'Want to crash the cool dining room?'

            Sam froze at once. Parker laughed.

            'Are you kidding me?' She smiled. 'That's insane. We belong in here, Ree.'

            'Yeah.' Sam agreed. 'I've been here since year 7, and I know we can't just change dining rooms.'

            'Come on!' Harry persisted. 'If you don't have the guts to change things by year 12, when will you change anything?'

            'Never.' Sam and Parker said in perfect unison. Harry just laughed.

            The cool people began filing past to the other dining room, and Parker decided to go out on a limb.

            'Hey, Lek.' She said quietly as Dalek passed. The young man looked around confusedly for a minute before finding Parker and smiling uncertainly.

            'Oh, hey, Park.' He returned, using her nickname. He stood still, as if he didn't know what to do next, before Parker turned away and he moved on.

            Her friends were amazed.

            'Dude, Dalek just spoke to you!' Sam cried, at the same time as Harry exclaimed, 'you spoke to Dalek?!'

            Parker shrugged. 'Yeah. So?'

            'So!?' Sam repeated. 'That's a big deal!'

            'Why is he so popular?' Parker asked. 'He seems really shy.'

            'Shy?' Harry repeated incredulously.

            'He's popular because he's not rich.' Sam explained. 'Go figure.'

            'I'm not rich either.' Parker returned.

            'Parks, I said go figure.'

            'Apparently he's really entertaining.' Harry put in.      

            'And he's really good at music.' Sam added.

            'I know.' Parker finished.

            They ate the rest of their meal in silence, but they weren't sure why.

 

 

Daniel was sick of music. It was unfortunate, he thought, that he was good at it. And because of that, he had to support his whole family. All of them. Honestly, that was meant to be the burden of the Asians. Not him. Not your everyday, slightly reticent Australian bloke.

            He only had one hope, he realised. He had to get rich quick. And to do that he would have to write a hit song. His only problem? He couldn't write pop music to save himself, and his lyrics were terrible. That's where Parker would have come in incredibly useful. She was the dux of the literature class, and when he'd walked in on her playing piano she'd been playing chord progressions, singing the melody quietly. She was composing a pop song, the very thing he couldn't do. He had wanted to ask her to collaborate with him, but... that was ridiculous. He hated using people, and – besides – he hardly knew her. There was also the fact that she was probably filthy rich, and wouldn't be as dedicated to the idea of getting rich quick like he was.  But maybe – maybe he could warm her up to it. After all, she seemed nice... and she was an artist.

            Halfway through his practice he glanced up to check if she were listening, squinting to make out a shadow outside the tinted windows. He was one of the only students at the school who was gifted enough to be able to see through those windows, and the skill had served him well. But today he wished he didn't have it. Because Parker wasn't there.

            Maybe she was just sitting some-where else, he thought. Or maybe she still thought he was so incredibly cool that she had run away in fear and was listening to the saxophonist again. Either way, there was one quick way to rat her out. So he left the room.

            He waited for half-an-hour, and checked the room before he finally accepted that Parker wasn't coming. Which meant he had scared her off, which meant he would never ask her for help, and they probably wouldn't be friends either.

            And that was that.

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