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Sondheim, Gilbert and Sullivan

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Part 1 - Waxing Poetic

Chapter 1 - The Firebrand

“Good Evening, Springfield! It’s me your guide everything entertainment, Christine Turley. Tonight we take a look at Werner Herzog’s new documentary, Sad Lonely Cats and the Internet that Loves Them. We’ll also be discussing the new must-idly watch Mediocre Summer television shows, because there’s nothing else on. All this and more coming up after our break.”

“and cut to commercial!” The studio manager said. A brief bell ringing. Christine immediately lit a cigarette. She exhaled.

“Careful, Christine. You might bruise a lung with one of those things.” Kent Brockman said lighting up his own cigar.

”Oh get bent, Kent.” she said. Brockman had made her career here a complete tire fire since she got here. She sensed he was threatened and couldn’t blame him but his remarks were particularly barbed these past two weeks. The make up girl was trying mask the bags under Christine’s eyes. These 12 hour days we're taking their toll on her. More hours, more takes, more b-roll. More research, more pitches on stories. It was a lot. It never got done. She was done with all of it.

After filming she rode the bus home and came home with a sigh. She was glad to be home. Her sanctuary. The works of high culture, wine and classical light operetta was often playing throughout. The large red, elegant Victorian home that she and her mentor of music and murder; Sideshow Bob resided. She walked in and smiled hearing the ending measures of “A Maiden Fair to See” by Gilbert and Sullivan playing over the victrola in the living room.

She sniffled, sneezing. She heard Bob’s footsteps coming down the stairs.

”Christine, it’s 8:30 at night. Are you JUST getting home?”

“Mhm..” she sneezed.

“..You’ve caught a cold.” He felt of her head.

She jerked her head away from him. “I’ve caught nothing..I just need to sleep.” She brushed past him.

It had been 5 weeks. 5 weeks since she had made herself known to his world.

Such fire, such passion within this woman. He had never known a woman so clever, nay a person so clever. She had told him her story. It was a sad monologue of neglect, orphanhood and sheer blistering spite. It was something right out of Dickens.
He had been looking for something to occupy his time ever since Francesca left with Gino to return to Italy.

She had come to Springfield to live with her older sister which of course erupted in a flame of jealousy and petty name calling. So she left that residence and began living at the Sleep-Easy Motel while she perused her dream of becoming a stage actress.

They were teacher and pupil. Boarding together. She paid him monthly to be there and she was flourishing not only with her vocal talent but her egarness to learn more about the art of revenge..was icing on the cake. He recalled one of the first few conversations he had with her. Just after she had attempted to set Llewellyn Sinclair’s car on fire. He stopped her but as she regaled him with her story and her anger at the director for picking over her for the lead.

He completely understood her murderous rage. He wanted to help her.

So she started learning from him.

“Have you ever tried to kill anyone before?”

“No.”

“That lighter is far too masculine. Too boorish. You’re too elegant for that. No...you need something lighter..sharper.”

He reached into his suit’s jacket and brandished a knife.

A mannequin was on stage. How convenient. He handed the weapon to her.

“Show me your form.” He said motioning to the dummy.

She raised a brow. He rolled his eyes. “Stab! Christine.” She looked at the dummy and screamed tackling it down and stabbing it repeatedly.

He jerked her up when she was on her 14th stab.

“You. Are quite mad. But..there’s potential here. How would you like for me to help you improve your voice and perfect your art of murdering on the regular?”

“I’d love nothing more..”

But now. She was a shell. A human automaton. It pained him to see such brilliant talent squandered.

A knock at his door shook him out of his soliloquy and he raised a brow. Who could that be?

He opened the door and it was Cecil. He immediately knew why he was here.

“Hello,Brother. I’m terribly sorry to barge in but Christine has alerted me that she’s not feeling well. And as a suitor of the finest repute I feel it’s my duty to comfort her.”
The younger Terwilliger carried an obvious torch for Christine. Ever since she started living here he had stuck to this house like an old corn flake to a ceramic bowl.

He waved a phone slightly to indicate she had texted him. Bob was a bit shocked she had given him her number.

In reality she had merely told him she wasn’t having a good day and she wasn’t in the mood to speak with him.

“...Hello Cecil. She’s just in from work so I don’t know if-“

She stood at the top of the stairs. “Cecil..” She was still frazzled and feral looking. A black turtleneck and a navy skirt made her look like a dark entity that was thirsty for something chaotic.

“Christine!..What an...interesting aesthetic you’ve chosen, My dear. It’s bold. I love it.” He smiled. Bob put a hand to his forehead in frustration.

“I’m here to care for you. I thought you’d fancy a light dinner. I could prepare it here. There’s a lovely Chanton Blanc in Bob’s cellar.” He smiled and leaned against the stairs. “Cecil, stop going through my cellar. I shouldn’t have to tell you that 2 times in one month.” Bob spitefully darted out. He looked up at Christine. Still worried for her.

“..That actually does sound nice...” she said. She walked down the stairs. Black pumps clicking softly. “...but only if Bob can join us.” She said tiredly gazing at her mentor. He smiled.

“Of course!..of...course.” He said defeatedly.