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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2. Chapter Two: Going Viral on YouTube

 

 

Everyone was always friendlier at the start of a new term, Parker thought. At least for the first week. Then they'd slip back into their little cliques, and the new people would float around aimlessly. Parker and her friends would chill with them for a while, until they broke off into their own little groups and decided they could do better than that. But Parker began to see things would be different this year – ever so slightly.

            They were the youngest of the new comers – both in year 9 – and didn't look that much alike considering they were twins. The eldest (by five minutes, the younger reminded him) was a boy that seemed confident but did not say much, and the younger was a bubbly girl, with impressively long hair and dark blue eyes. Their names were Liam and Leilani, and they took to Harry and Sam like ducks to water.

            'You're not ditching us?' Sam asked bitterly as the two sat down at their now empty table.

            Liam shook his head, but Leilani did the speaking. 'You guys are cool.'

            'The cool people sit in that room.' Sam corrected, pointing to his right. 'And they're passing now.'

            The two newcomers inspected the people as they passed, chatting happily.

            'Which one's the coolest?' Leilani asked. 'None of them look cool to me.'

            'Dalek's the coolest.' Harry explained. 'He's exclusive to. I doubt he even knows we're alive. Except for Parker. For some reason he knows her name. It's crazy.'

            'Dalek?' Liam repeated. 'What kind of a name is that?'

            'I don't think it's his real name.' Sam said, taking a bite of his bread and making Parker smile.

            They ate slowly, until they were the only ones left in the 'loser' dining room. Sam and Harry left promptly, arguing that they had to study, whereas Parker hung back with the two new kids.

            'So what are you two specialising in?' She asked.

            'Music.' Liam replied, giving one of his famous mono-syllabic answers.

            'History.' Leilani brightly answered. 'What about you? What do you do?'

            'Literature. You know, poets and stuff like that.'

            'Are you Parker Crook?' Liam suddenly asked. Parker nodded, and he smiled teasingly. 'So you're a genius?'

            'No.' Parker replied quickly, also smiling. 'I just know what the teachers are looking for.'

            'That's smart.' Leilani offered.

            The cool people began filing out of their dining room, and Liam leant forward.

            'Show me which one's Dalek.' He whispered.

            Parker nodded and pointed the young man out as he passed. 'That one, with the dark hair.'

            Leilani frowned. 'The one with the blue eyes?'

            'Yeah, that's him.'

            'And the pale skin and freckles?' Liam added.

            'Yes, I think you've seen him too.'

            'That one?' They both said in perfect unison.

            'He doesn't look cool.' Leilani muttered.

            'No, he dresses up sometimes.' Parker explained. 'But I think he mainly rides on his personality. Which is a good thing, I guess. Others say he's popular because he's not rich – but I'm not rich either, so I don't know about that.'

            'That's my brother!' Liam cried, and Parker's jaw dropped.

            'What?'

            'He's our brother!' Leilani corrected. 'And our brother is not cool. He doesn't have a life outside of music, he can't be cool.'

            'Well... he is here.'

            The twins seemed unable to believe a word they were hearing, and shook their heads frustratedly.

            'He always does this.' Liam explained himself. 'He always convinces people he's something he's not.'

            Parker shrugged. 'I don't understand it. As far as I can see he's just nice.'

            'He probably feels comfortable with you because you can't change people's perceptions of him.' Liam muttered. 'No offence, but outside of Literature class your opinion doesn't seem to mean much.'

            'No offence taken. Good observation. I suppose that would make sense.'

            'He's actually really shy.' Leilani added, staring at her brother as he left the room. That was when he turned around and saw her.

            Smiling, the young man excused himself, turned around, and headed towards his siblings.

            'Hey.' He said, sitting down, managing to glance at all three at once.

            'Are you disowning us?' Was the first thing Leilani said.

            'No.' Daniel replied. 'But no-one knows my real name, so they're not going to know we're related. If they do find out, could you please not tell them my real name?'

            'Whatever. How did you get the name Dalek?'

            'What's a Dalek?' Liam cut in.

            'Looks like a salt shaker, acts like a robot.' Parker explained briefly.

            'My initials. You know, D, L, H, K. Dalek. Makes perfect sense.'

            'Yeah...'

            'I don't follow.' Liam admitted.

            Dalek didn't seem to really understand either. 'I don't know. But, hey, if any of you,' he glanced at Parker to make sure she understood the invitation was also for her, 'want to sit at my table, you're more than welcome.'

            'Thanks.' Parker said.

            'I'll pass.' Leilani and Liam said in almost perfect unison.

            Dalek shrugged and turned to face Parker. 'I haven't seen you round the music room for a while. Hope I didn't scare you off.'

            Parker tried to laugh, but Daniel had hit the nail on the head. She didn't like watching people once she was aware that they were aware of her.

            'You should listen again.' Dalek continued, trying to make a joke of things. 'Otherwise I never get to see you.'

            'That's kind of the way I like things.'

            'Oh... well, anyway, I'd better go. See ya.'

            He walked off, and his siblings rolled their eyes.

            'This school must be whack if they think he's the coolest guy around.' Leilani muttered.

            Liam sighed. 'He is cool. But his character isn't.'

 

 

The Literature class had an excursion the next day, so Daniel worked up the courage to do something outrageous. He broke all social expectations. He sat with the lowest of the low.

            Sam stared at him with his jaw gaping open, his eyes wide in shock. Dalek just smiled at him shyly. As for Harry, she couldn't stop asking pointless question after pointless question – she answered all of them herself, so he just smiled at her politely.

            Sam had been called the ugliest person at the school (or in the world – the two were interchangeable) ever since he had arrived in year 7, and (unbeknownst to the boy) Daniel had always worked hard to stop people from speaking badly of him.  He admired the way in which the boy managed languages so easily, and – the more he watched him – the more he realised he wasn't ugly at all. Not really.

            'Ugo Leobardo, right?'

            Sam managed to speak now. 'Ssh!' He warned. Then, terrified, 'how do you know my name?'

            'I remember it. I was there when the kids realised the first two letters of the names sounded like ugly. I – uh – tried to stop that, if it helps. Where did Sam come from?'

            The boy glanced around nervously, and was relieved to see that no-one had over-heard Dalek saying his real name. 'My dad's name.' He muttered. 'Samuele. He... died.'

            Daniel looked down timidly. 'I'm sorry.'

            'You didn't do anything. Anyway, I guess we are pretty ancient at this school. I can remember when you weren't cool. Funny, I don't remember your name though.'

            'That's the way I like it. The girl's Harry, right?'

            'Yeah, how do you...'

            'How do you know my name!?' Harry cried, finally saying something sensible.

            Dalek simply shrugged.

            'Do you know my name?' Leilani muttered testily, and Daniel took the hint.

            'That's my sis. And Li's my bro.'

            'Really?!' Sam and Harry cried in perfect unison.

            'Well that's weird. I've been at this school how long and I thought you were an only child.'

            'May as well be.' Dalek muttered under his breath, so no-one heard him.

            'Why are you sitting here?' Liam asked.

            'I just wanted to see you guys.' Daniel returned. His siblings just shrugged.

            It was probably the most awkward meal of Daniel's life. No-one spoke to him, except for to ask him about how awesome he was, and seemed completely oblivious to the fact that he was extremely shy, except for his siblings who eyed him angrily. So he left quickly, and wondered why he'd sat down at the table in the first place. His friends were equally confused.

            'What were you doing?' Hamish the movie-maker asked. 'How come you ditched us?'

            'I wanted to chat to my siblings.' Daniel replied honestly.

            'You have siblings?'

            'Yeah. Just two. I hardly know them though.'

            'I know what you mean. But come on, you looked like you were speaking to Sam and Harry – especially Sam.'

            'That's because I was. Sam's cool, you know.'

            'Sam's ugly.'

            'He's not, and besides, who cares?'

            'His face just freaks me out, okay? It's so ugly it's scary. Now... could you not do it again? Or at least not too often. We have a reputation to keep up.'

            'Yeah, whatever.'

            'Okay, cool.'

            Hamish walked off, and Daniel sighed. He needed to get out of here.

 

 

A whole week passed before Daniel was brave enough to sit at the loser table again, and even then he nearly lost it when he realised Parker was there.

            'I thought the Lit. class was out.' He said before really thinking about it.

            'They are.' Parker replied brightly. 'But I got out of it. Wanna sit down?'

            He nodded hesitantly and sat down, but he felt uncomfortable. Parker had obviously been avoiding him, and he wasn't sure interrupting her social life was such a good idea. She might not like it...

            'Rebelling against social expectations are we, Lekka?'

            He smiled. 'Sure am, Kerry.'

            Parker frowned. 'That's terrible.'

            'Yeah, on second thoughts, that's awful.'

            'How's study?' Liam asked, warming a little to his brother.

            'Okay. My composing's all right so long as I never write modern music. You know, with lyrics, and stuff...'

            'So you don't write anything cool.' Leilani teased, flicking a pea in her brother's direction. He managed to catch it before replying.

            'No. That's my problem.'

            'It's only a problem if you want to get rich quick.' Sam objected.

            'I do.'

            'Then like I said, it's a problem.'

            'Wanna play cards?' Harry suddenly interrupted.

            'Sure.' Liam agreed. 'In the main room?'

            'Yeah. Dali, you coming?'

            Daniel hesitated. Then he shook his head. 'Thanks, but no thanks.'

            'Right then. See you round.'

            And they were gone again.

 

 

Parker found it hard to be inspired when the room was dead silent. She needed music, any kind of music, and so – reluctantly – she crept downstairs to the music hall. There were only two people practicing today: a terrible trumpeter, and Dalek. But today he wasn't playing any music – just chord progressions. Parker looked into the room and frowned at how frustrated the young man seemed.

            Suddenly, he turned and looked right at her. His face lit up instantly, and he rushed out and called, 'hi!'

            Parker smiled. 'Hey. How's it going?'

            'All right. Unless you're talking about my music, in which case, it's going terrible.'

            'Terribly.' Parker corrected without really thinking. 'What were you doing?'

            'Um... I was trying to compose a pop song... using your method.'

            Parker laughed. 'That hasn't worked yet.'

            'Neither has my method.'

            There was a pause.

            'Were you serious when you said you want to get rich quick?'

            'Oh yeah. See, I have to support my family, right? So I figure either I get stuck with a life of this...' he gestured dramatically around him. 'Or I get rich quick and get it over and done with.'

            'You don't like this?' Parker questioned, gesturing around as Dalek had done.

            'It's all right. But it's not art if you have to do it.'

            'That's debatable, but I suppose I see your point. Anyway, I guess if you keep trying you'll get there. Good luck.'

            'Nah, I think I'm just about ready to give up. I just... I have half a song. And I know what I want it to be about, but I can't write the words well... they sound stupid. I don't know, it's just not working.'

            There was another pause, during which Parker eyed Dalek thoughtfully.

            'I think I know what your crazy idea was.' She finally said.

            Dalek smiled. 'Yeah? You remember that, huh?'

            Parker nodded.

            'Do you like it?'

            'I love it. Do you still want it?'

            'I think that would be great.'

            'So... what, would it be like a band or something?'

            'Um... I guess so. A group. Coz there'd only be two of us. I don't think any-one else would want to join.'

            'Maybe we can tempt them with an awesome song.'

            'I think that sounds amazing. Hey, your half song sounded pretty good. Did you ever finish it?'

            'No.'

            'Want to smoosh it with mine?'

            Parker beamed. 'I'd love to.'

 

Once they were together, the music was easy to write.

            'What do you want the song to be about?' Parker asked suddenly.

            Dalek hesitated. 'Okay, I'm not sure if this makes sense to you, but I want it to be called Clonk.'

            Parker blinked and smiled a little. 'What?'

            'Well, I opened the dictionary, and that was the first word I saw, so I ran with it.'

            'Right. And what's it about?'

            'Well... clonk is the sound something makes when you hit it right?'

            'Right.'

            'So Clonk is about some-one who keep getting hit by insults.'

            A pause.

            'I like it.'

            'Yeah, it's pretty abstract. But the most I can do is come-up with a chorus: 'Every time you speak to me I swear I hear a clonk. Every time you talk to me you hit me and I clonk. Every time you insult me I hear a whopping clonk. Every time...'

            Parker was in fits.

            'Gee, is it that bad?'

            'No! It's fine! It's just... I don't think it fits that romantic, swaying music we just wrote.'

            'You think it should be bouncier?'

            'Yeah. Like Bounce... or Gangam Style.'

            'Oh please no.'

            'Hey, you said you wanted to get rich quick.'

            'I guess so. So like... a bouncy piece that's like... got a rappish section before a bridge where it's like... when you speak you hurt me... all I hear is... all I hear is... When you insult me. It's like you hit me. And all I hear is... CLONK. And then that clonk idea is repeated, like in Bounce or Gangam Style?'

            'Yeah. I guess that will work. And then we need a cool YouTube video.'

            'No probs there. My man Hamish's an awesome tech-guy. He'll be happy to help.'

            Parker laughed. 'We could get Sam to translate it into another language for us and be even cooler. You know, like Parlez Vous Francais, or Gangam Style.'

            Daniel actually considered this. 'That could work. But I can only speak English.'

            'Dan, I was joking.'

            'Oh. Sorry. But I still think that could work.'

            'We should definitely incorporate that into another one of our songs.'

            'How many are we making?'

            'As many as possible, of course. Unless you only want to be a one-hit wonder.'

            'I'll go with the first idea.'

            'Sweet. So I guess we should write the music for Clonk.'

`           'Wait. What are we called?'

            'Us? I don't know... why not just 'two kids and a piano?'

            Dalek smiled. 'I prefer not to think of myself as a kid.'

            'True. Well um... what do you think?'

            'I don't know. Your last name's pretty gangsta.'

            'And your first middle name is after a duck.'

            Daniel laughed. 'Gangsta Ducks!'

            'Oh, that could work!'

            'That was a joke. Like singing in another language.'

            'But it could work! Just think about it... you're the top of the music class, and I'm the top of the Literature class. We could be Gangsta Dux, and our symbol could be a duck.'

            'Gangsta dux implies there is only one dux. Not two.'

            'We could have a little 2 symbol after the x. You know, like 'gangsta dux to the power of 2'. Get me?'

            'Yeah, I think I do. That could work. But then, are people going to read it 'Gangsta Dux to the power of two?' Coz that's quite a mouthful. What about Gangsta and Dux?'

            'That implies only one of us is cool and only one of us is smart.'

            'You think you're cool?' Daniel teased.

            'No. But you don't have to rub it in.'

            Dalek smiled kindly. 'You're cool, Parkes. You're actually cool. Not a fake like me.'

            'Oh! That could make a great song!'

            Daniel laughed. 'Fine. We'll have a song called 'Cool Actually' or something.'

            'Yeah, that should work.'

            'So we're Gangsta Dux with a two then?'

            'Yeah, if you like it.'

            'I love it.'

            'Sweet! So we need duck uniforms.'

            'Woah, I'm not dressing up as a duck...'

            Parker laughed again. 'That's not what I meant. I mean, we can have yellow T-shirts with rubber ducks on, black jeans... you catch my drift?'

            Dalek perked up. 'Yeah, I get you! And yellow canvas shoes. And we can add one trademark feature or something.'

            'What'll yours be?'

            Dalek shrugged. 'I'll work it out later.'

            'Hey, does your friend Hamish do photos? We'll need an album cover.'

            'He sure does.'

            'Sweet!'

            'Will we keep writing now?'

            'Yeah, let's.'

 

 

The first dress rehearsal was the most fun, and took place in the school's stunning gardens. Hamish seemed more than happy to help Dalek out, but was a little confused as to why he was working with Parker.

            'Who is she, even?!' He asked Dalek. 'There are so many other people you could have done this with!'

            Dalek shrugged. 'She was just in the right place at the right time. And she seems to think this will be fun.'

            'It should be. But, Daali... she's just not cool enough. And unless you're going to be doing all the talking, that's going to be a problem.'

            'She can speak just fine.'

            'But she's not cool!'

            'I don't understand.'

            'She's just not cool, Dalek. Don't tell me you haven't noticed.'

            'I've noticed no-one thinks she's cool.'

            'Exactly! And if we don't, the public won't either.'

            Dalek sighed. 'Okay, I think I see your point now. Look, here she comes - I'll tell her to try act cool. Happy?'

            'Very. Give her some pointers – she needs them.'

            Dalek sighed and walked off.

            He smiled as Parker approached. Her light blonde hair blew in the wind, hiding the fact that she had a boring hair-cut, and she wore black track-suit pants instead of black jeans – which she obviously didn't have.  The yellow duck T-shirt they had ordered online was almost like a mini dress on her, so she'd put a black belt around her waist. Fortunately though, the yellow canvas shoes were a perfect fit.

            'The belt's a nice touch.' Dalek said as he came into earshot.

            Parker laughed and took in Daniel's outfit. He had hidden his trendy haircut with a black hat which had a red ribbon around it. To tie in the colour, he wore red braces, which held no practical value whatsoever. After all, he did have skinny jeans on. As for the T-shirt, it was a perfect fit.

            'Do you think we look a little too happy?' She asked, feeling a little nervous.

            Dalek shrugged. 'Happy's good right?'

            'I think that should be another of our songs.'

            'Yeah. We also need to make a song called 'Gangsta Dux'. It totally needs ducks quacking in the background.'

            'Sounds like a hit in the making. So what are we doing?'

            'Okay, first things first. I have to give you some advice.'

            'Yeah?'

            'Keeping in mind this is just a rehearsal, I need you to start practicing your cool.'

            'Okay. I guess that's fair enough. So how do I be cool? Should I just copy you?'

            'I... I guess so.'

            'Right. So I should be... distant and confident?'

            'Yeah, that works.'

            'Okay, sweet.'

            Hamish walked over, shaking his head as he came. 'Can you get your hair done?' He asked.

            Parker looked skeptical. 'How so?'

            'I have a friend who could probably style it for you. And a bit of bleach would look cool.'

            'You want me to have white hair?'

            Dalek liked this idea. 'That would be awesome!'

            'I guess so...'

            'Also,' Hamish continued, 'I think a fingerless glove thing would work. Two gloves. Not one. That's already been done. Lek, maybe you could have a scarf in winter.'

            'Fine. When it snows I'll wear a scarf.'

            'Ha ha, very funny. Parker... that is your name, right?'

            'Yeah.'

            'Right. Maybe you could get one sleeve changed to a long sleeve. That way you'd be cool. It could be yellow with slashes revealing black.'

            'Would that work? In my mind it looks weird.'

            'It looks good in my mind.' Hamish returned. 'I think that's all I've got to complain about stylistically. Just – try to be cool Parker.'

            'I will.' Parker grumbled, beginning to take things personally. 

'So first things first.' Hamish continued, walking over to his equipment. 'You're going to need a signature dance move. Just for this song at least. I mean, you can drag it into your other video clips if you want.'

            'A dance move...' Dalek pondered.

            'I can't dance.' Parker mused. 'So keep it simple.'

            'Something to do with clonk...' Daniel continued thinking aloud. Slowly, he began doing some crazy foot moves.

            'Woah, woah, slow down!' Parker warned. 'I'll never be able to do that!'

            'What about this?' Daniel offered, slowing things down a bit. Then, keeping his hands still by his side, he began doing something which – when done quickly – almost looked like an Irish jig. 'Right foot forward, left foot...'

            'Like walking.' Hamish observed, trying to do the move too.

            'Then jump, cross legs, left foot in front. Jump again, cross legs the other way – so right foot in front. Then jump, right foot forward, left foot, jump, cross legs, jump, cross again, jump, right foot.' He'd moved quite a distance away now, and Parker attempted to copy him. Hamish had already worked it out.

            'This isn't too hard.' Parker acknowledged. 'I think I can do this.'

            'It looks a little lame.' Hamish admitted.

            'Wait for the arm movements.' Dalek persisted. 'Watch, if the arms copy the feet, it'll be easy. So... right arm forward, left arm forward, cross arms, then...' he paused. 'Push behind.'

            'Nice finish.' Hamish complemented.

            Parker was struggling to do this. 'This makes it a little harder. But I can see it's possible.' She improved slowly, until finally, Hamish said,

            'I think you've got it.'

            'Yes!'

            Dalek laughed. 'How's that, Hammy? Cool enough for you?'

            'I don't know.' The young man replied. 'It kind of looks exactly like skipping.'

            'We can turn while we do it.' Parker put in. Then she demonstrated, jumping forwards, turning around, moving sideways and doing things backwards.

            'That's awesome!' Hamish cried instantly.

            'Love it.' Dalek added, copying Parker. 'Nice and easy. But if we speed it up...' He whistled for want of a word.

            'Is it going to work with your song?' Hamish asked.   

            Dalek was astounded. 'Haven't you heard it yet!?'

            'No.... I didn't even know you'd made it already. What's it sound like?'

            'It's like a techno, dub-step, pop song.' Parker offered. 'It's really cool.'

            Dalek helpfully played it, and Hamish began dancing despite himself.

            'Guys, this is awesome. But seriously, what's with the lyrics?'

            'They're awesome!' Dalek defended himself. 'Don't bag them out!'

            Hamish laughed, and listened to them carefully. First was the rap section.

 

            I do my best to write a song, to make a poem, to paint a roof,

            But all you ever do is snort and say that it's a waste of time

            You hate me, call me names, don't 'preciate me

            Every day I live I'm just in pain

            Coz it's like you hit me o'er and o'er again

 

            They say some peeps you'll never please,

            They spread their anger like a disease,

            And I think you must be one of them,

            Always ruin everything

            Wish you'd stop calling me lame

            Coz I'm in relentless pain

 

            Then came the bridge, which was sung.

           

            When you hit me

            With your insults

            I swear everyone can hear.

 

            When you hit me

            With your insults

            You know that all I can hear... (there was a sort of echo at this point)

 

            Is... Clonk. (Insert techno dance section).

            Clonk.

            Yeah, all we're hearing is a clonk.

 

            When you hit me.

            With them insults.

            Yeah, all I'm hearing is a clonk.

 

There wasn't actually much to the song besides these words, but it sounded cool, so the two composers were confident that they would get away with it.

            'That's sweet as.' Hamish complemented them once they were done. 'Can't wait to hear your next one.'

            Dalek beamed. 'We're working on it.'

Parker closed her eyes.

            'Just... don't cut it short, okay?'

            'I won't.' Hamish's friend, Sarah, promised. 'Just hold still.'

            Parker nodded.

            Soon the cutting was over and done with, and Hamish walked in with the bleach. 'Ready to go?'

            'Sure am.' Sarah replied. 'Like the hair cut?'

            Hamish smiled. Sarah had put layers in Parker's hair, and given her a jagged side fringe. 'It looks awesome.'

            'Sweet! Thanks, man. Okay, onto bleaching.'

            As Sarah continued working on Parker's hair, Hamish continued speaking. 'I bought you black jeans and yellow and black fingerless gloves. One of my friends fixed your tee,' he held up the top, now complete with a longer yellow sleeve, slashed to reveal black underneath, 'and I bought you a cooler belt too. It's fluoro red.'

            'But nothing else I'm wearing is red.' Parker objected.

            'But it's cool.' Was all Hamish said in reply. 'That's all you have to worry about.'

            'Right. Cool. I'm meant to be it.'

            'That you are. Okay, I'm going to leave now, but don't forget: we're shooting tomorrow, outside. Four o'clock sharp.'

            'I'll be there.' Parker promised.

 

 

The shooting was fun, and the time passed quickly.

            'Parker!' Sam cried, for the fifth time. This time, though, the girl heard him.

            'Yo, Sam?'

            'It's dinner time!'

            Hamish looked ashamed at having lost track of the time. 'Already?'

            Sam nodded boredly.

            'All right then. Well, guys, we're done anyway. I'll see if I can have your video up by tonight.'

            'Cool! Thanks, Hames.' Dalek replied.

            'Yeah, thanks.' Parker agreed.

            As they went inside for dinner, Sam rolled his eyes at Parker.

            'Nice hair.' He muttered, not at all sounding complementary.

            'You don't like it?' She questioned. 'I kind of do...'

            'It's all right, I guess. Say, how are your 'cool' lessons going? Are you cool yet?'

            'Not yet.' Parker laughed. 'I don't think I ever will be. I just have to learn how to pretend to be cool.'

            'Your point is valid. But be careful, Parkes. You know the Pygmalion plot.'

            Parker raised an eyebrow skeptically. 'The whole idea of a guy 'fixing' a girl and then falling in love with her? It's not going to happen. Don't worry.'

            'It might.' Sam persisted, and Parker ran to Harry to avoid the conversation.  

            Dalek frowned. 'Why'd she run off?'

            Sam smirked. 'I suggested this might end up like the Pygmalion plot.'

            Dalek blinked. 'What?'

            'You know – My Fair Lady? That's the movie version of it.'

            Dalek instantly laughed nervously. 'Don't worry. That's not going to happen.'

            'That's kind of the whole point of the story. Everyone says it won't and then it does.' There was a pause. 'As long as she still speaks to me.' Sam muttered. 'Just don't turn her into one of your exclusive little minions.'

            'I don't have minions.' Dalek objected.

            'Just don't.' Sam finished. Then he walked off.

 

 

'Morning, Parkes.' Dalek greeted on the way to class. 'Did you see the video?'

            'Yes!' Parker cried excitedly. 'It was awesome!'

            'I know, how good was it?!' Dalek agreed. 'We've already got – like – 800 hits. So I was thinking: we really need to compose another song. How about we do something on that swaying tune we wrote?'

            'Yeah, that's a good idea. Same time?'

            'Sounds great. See you then.'

            The hours passed slowly, and class seemed more boring than usual, but finally it was time. Parker walked confidently into the piano room and turned to Dalek.

            'What'd you wanna call it?'

            Dalek shrugged. 'How about that happy one?'

            Parker shrugged too. 'Sounds as good as any.'

            The two began composing Happy is Good, Right?, when, suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Parker turned surprisedly to Dalek.

            'Did you invite some-one?'

            Dalek just shook his head and went to let whoever was knocking into the piano room.

            'Sam!' He cried in surprise. 'Fancy seeing you here! What's up?'

            'I saw your video on YouTube.'

            'Oh! Did you like it?'

            'Yeah. Can I join you guys?'

            Dalek was surprised by the boy's bluntness, and turned to Parker.

            'That's fine with me.' The two said in perfect unison.

            Sam's face lit up instantly. 'Sweet! So do I get cool lessons too?'

            Dalek frowned. 'Wait, is that the only reason you wanted to join?'

            'Of course not. I love music. You know I play bass?'

            'What, bass guitar?'

            'Yeah, that's it. Got it with me and everything. I think you should be able to use me.'

            'Yeah, we should.' Dalek agreed. 'And I guess you can have cool lessons. But we haven't really had any yet...'

            'How about we have one after we finish this song?' Parker suggested. 'Oh, Sam, do you like it?'

Clearing her throat, she began reading the lyrics.

 

Verse 1:

            I walk into the massive party

            Looking around I see all my friends

            Wish I could stop smiling and just be sad.

 

            As a laugh I feel so guilty

            That I can't speak, not for a while.

            How can I move on when I know you're mad?

 

Bridge:

            I want to cry. And I want to feel horrible,

            Yet all I can do is smile and laugh without you.

            And I just don't know what to do!

Chorus:          

            Because I'm happy. Just happy here.

            And all my friends surround me.

            Oh, I'm happy. Just happy here

            And happy's good, right?

            It doesn't feel right

            Tonight.

 

Verse 2:

            I'm sorry that I yelled at you

            And didn't try to understand

            I'm sorry, and I want it to show.

 

            I wish that I could take it back,

            But you don't believe I'm sorry

            Because I don't look sad – how could you know?

 

Return to Chorus.

 

            'It's short.' Was all Sam sad in reply.

            'Ooh, clonk.' Dalek teased. 'I thought it worked.'

            'I guess it does. So can we have cool lessons now?'

            Dalek sighed. 'Fine. Everyone listening? Here's your first tip on how to be cool: when you speak to people, don't ever look too interested. You have to look like you can walk off at any given moment. Trust me, it works.'

            'I trust you.' Sam said convincingly. 'So when do I get a uniform? And do you have to add a three to your name now?'

            Parker laughed. 'I didn't even think of that. But – speaking of 'uniforms' – Hamish is probably going to want to cool you up.'

            'Hey, sweet. Where can I find him?'

            'Room 16, floor 2.' Dalek replied.

            'Thanks.' Was all Sam said before leaving. 'And I'll be sure to try your advice.'

            Dalek nodded. 'Parkes, you have to try it to.'

            Parker sighed. 'I will.'

 

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