Writing Up a Storm


"Jennifer!" Alexis whined. "No! Give it back!"

Jennifer smirked evilly and kept the paper out of reach of her friend. "How much will you give me for it?"

"Ugh! You're so mean!" she sulked.

Jennifer quieted. "Oh, I see how it is. Okay then, maybe I'll just drop it off the top floor? See how the judges like dirty paper, hm?"

"Jennifer!" Alexis squealed.

Jennifer rolled her eyes. "Okay, fine. But don't go all gaga when you win…again."

"Yeah, yeah, just give it back!!!"

Jennifer handed it over. It was Alexis's poem she would enter to the Citywide Poetry Contest. She had won twice in a row, so this year it wouldn't be any different. The two friends sat down at their table at the diner.

Jennifer also dabbled in poetry, but it wasn't her calling. She preferred to research the happenings of the world in prose, thank you very much. Jennifer was aiming to become a journalist, while Alexis was just trying to get through life until she managed to publish some poetry.

"I can't believe we're still so childish," complained Alexis. "We're already seniors, for goodness' sakes!"

"Well, maybe we won't age as much, right?"

"Whatever. Hey, quick! The waitress is coming! What should I get?" inquired Alexis.

"Why should I answer that? How would I even know?" replied Jennifer bitingly.

"I don't know what I should get!!!" Alexis hissed urgently.

"Uh, okay, get eggs."

"I don't like eggs! I hate eggs!" Alexis murmured, as the waitress drew closer.

"A sandwich, then! Whatever!" The waitress reached their table.

"So, what'll it be?"

"I'll take the cheeseburger, thanks," said Jennifer.

"Umm, umm, I don't know! Wait! I think…the turkey sandwich! No mayo!" cried Alexis.

Jennifer sighed, scowling slightly. "I hope you're aware that's what you ordered last time. No!" she said sharply, as Alexis tried to tell the waitress to change her order. "Remember? You said you liked it."

"Oh, yeah, I guess. I'm just so busy now! I'm trying to get fully moved in to my new apartment, but it's so hard!" Alexis grumbled.

"Uh, it's right across the hall from your old one. Remember?" said Jennifer in her usual scathing tone. Her black hair swayed slightly as she made a face. "You're weird sometimes."

Somewhere else, in another state, the rising pop star singer Damian Barre was at a loss. He had a huge on stage thing coming up, and he had no idea what to do. He could, of course, continue to remake other songs by other singers, but his fans urged him to bring forth some of his own songs.
However, that was not a good idea, as he had a terrible poetic skill, and couldn't write for shit.

Melinda Massey, his assistant/secretary/helper, was considering their options. Barre was much too terrible of a poet to actually write any song, and she wasn't about to do anything more for him. He didn't pay her enough as it was. God, he was such a lazy ass. She was more of his baby sitter than anything else. Lord above help her, she hated it when he had her do his laundry. Disgusting! She ran a hand through her short brown hair.

An idea seemed to strike Damian.

"Melinda! I have it! I'll have someone else write some songs for me! I'll do all the actual music writing, but the lyrics I can get other people to do it! That's why I'm a pop star, right? Just get people to do all the other crap, and I'll do the singing!" he said excitedly.

Melinda scowled inwardly. He was always getting other people to do 'all the other crap,' as he so lovingly described it. Why not get lazier and get people to write his songs for him, too? Lazy bastard. However, he did control her paycheck, so she wasn't about to argue.

"Fine then, good idea Mr. Barre. I'll do a scan right now, and we can get some official lyrics writers to do the job," she said, cold but efficient.

Damian shook his head sorrowfully. "No way can we have professionals! I want some raw, untested talent, so new and yet so good! So yeah, someone who isn't any old hand at this kind of stuff, but maybe someone who still hasn't hit it big time. I think we can afford to bring them some of my good fortune," he said with a winning smile.

Melinda frowned dubiously. "Okay, if you insist. I'll get right on it, Mr. Barre."

"Yeah, Massey, you better do that! Fame's out there waiting for some young, lonely poet!"

Melinda rolled her eyes as she turned to leave his office area. How stylish of him to hire some young untested newbie to write his poems. If it was her, she'd get some professional, who knew what he was doing. Well actually, if it really was her, she wouldn't let someone else write her poetry for her in the first place! The only reason his agents even kept him in stardom was because of his truly beautiful tenor. Even at age 20, he still had the voice, and didn't seem anywhere near to losing it. So he would probably keep stealing songs for most of his life, and probably his entire career. How charming.

A few days later, Damian asked her about it. "Hey, Massey, what do you got for me?"

"Mr. Barre, I have found five likely candidates in different states, and I have sent them all emails with the proposal."

"Great! So, you make sure you tell me which ones are accepting the offer, okay? Call me or whatever, but yeah! Now I'm going out! I gotta celebrate this, man!! Whoo!" With that last whoop, Damian grabbed his keys and hopped into his sporty convertible.

Jennifer cursed her math homework as it tortured her mind.

The phone rang. Dammit! She'd almost stared the answer from the question!

"Who is it!" she snapped, not caring that she was being rude for no reason.

Fortunately, the person on the other end was completely oblivious. "Jenny! Jenny!!! Oh! My! God! Jennyyy!!!" Jennifer squeezed her eyes shut and held the phone away from her ear. When it seemed the squealing had dimmed down, she put it back.

"What the hell happened? And what's wrong with you?"

"Oh! My! God! It's--it's!!!"

ennifer sighed. "Alexis. Calm down," she gritted. "Relate to me, without leaving anything out, exactly what happened to you to make you so--hyper."


It took Jennifer a few seconds to decipher her friend's speech, and while she was thinking, Alexis read out her email.

"Okay, okay, listen to this!!!

"Dear Miss Barnes,

I would like to congratulate you for winning the Citywide Poetry Contest. As what you might think of as a consolation prize, I would like you to express your skills in a slightly different--but still poetic--form of writing. Damian Barre is currently in need of a lyrics writer to write lyrics for his songs. If you accept this proposal, then you will be given a contract to sign and flown over to our headquarters in New York for a brief meeting to discuss your writing options.

Thank you for your time,

Melinda Massey

Director of HR for Damian Barre."

"They want you to write his songs for him?"

"No! Just the lyrics!"

Alexis, you do know that this guy will basically be copying from you, right?" Jennifer was stunned that Alexis would even be excited about this.

"But Jennifer! This is a one in a lifetime chance to meet a star! And to be able to hear my own songs being sung by that voice!!"

Jennifer could practically see her friend swooning at the other end. "Alexis, listen to me. You don't want to get involved with these people. They are the press, and they are Hollywood. You never hear good things about either of these!" Jennifer breathed loudly into the phone, frustrated at Alexis's naïveté.

"Ow! That hurts my ears!"

"You know what, that does it. They're going to use you, and when they've milked you for all you're worth, they're gonna cast you aside! They won't even let you take credit for your work! You aren't going to find any enjoyment at all in doing this!"

There was a short silence at the other end, then Alexis screamed, "Shut up! You don't know what it's like, okay? Just shut up, and get off it! I'm not gonna talk to you. Huh, you're probably just jealous, anyway."

Jennifer hung up. If she was going to be that way, fine.

She got dressed and stalked out the door, not wanting to be kept in her room with her homework any longer. It was only the start of the year and she was already failing! And her closest friend was pretty pissed, and for a stupid reason, so Jennifer wasn't going to apologize! God, she hated when Alexis got one of her moods.

Her angry sulk-walk around the neighborhood was interrupted when someone bumped her in the shoulder. She looked around, and saw that not only was there just one person, there was a lot of walking space.

"Hey, you!" she yelled angrily. The guy turned around, a scowl firmly in place. So, he was in a bad mood too? Fine by her.

"Yeah, I'm talking to you! Are you blind of something? There's more than enough room here, so you did that on purpose!" He just rolled his eyes and turned around.

"Oh?" Jennifer taunted. "Scared of the big bad girl? Maybe I'll karate chop you or something, huh? It's getting dark soon, you know. That's when the bats come out to play." She grinned wickedly as he finally rose to her bait.

"Ha! You? I'm not scared of you!" He turned to face her. "You want to fight? Fine. Let's go."

He rushed at her, eyes fierce and glaring. Jennifer grinned. If she ended up getting beat, well, at least she would be distracted.

Number one of a few. Fortunately, I've got it all planned out. I hope. Let's just see what happens...Review if you like!