Singers in High School

Image Credit: Warlito B., Tamuning, GU “No.” Troy’s lips were in a thin line as they all walked through the door. Who did they think they were? The Cullens? “They will never make it.” Miley/ Hannah rose her eyebrows as she eyed them. “They don’t look like they have an ounce of talent in their body. Were their fathers 80’s has-beens?” “Some of them have been on Broadway!” Tory began biting her lip nervously. “We’ll never make it. We’re the ones who will get crushed! Look, they’ve got a pregnant girl!” “Will you” Gabriella ran her hand down Troy’s arm. “If you and I get…” “Ew. Stop. That’s disgusting.” He pulled away quickly, “Do you really need a pregnant girl or a jock with a Mohawk or a beautiful, amazingly talented cheerleader…” Gabriella slapped him in the face. “Shut up. Just because I can’t dance…” “I know you can!” Ryan interrupted, climbing up on a table in his tight, pink pants. “Oh, shut it” Sharpay pulled him down. “Look. They’re guy is actually gay. Like, he’s admitted it? Ugh, that one though, she needs to go.” “Over. Over. Over. My show is over!” Tory continued to bang on the table, tears streaming down her face. The Jonas Brothers and the guys from Big Time Rush crowded her with tissues. “Look. I’m sure I’ll get pregnant soon.” Miley spoke up, “And Lilly’s a cheerleader and Victoria has the hair and the voice for that one Broadway overkill. Ryan, with a little more…vocal practice…can take the gay guy and I’m sure Troy can tackle Mohawk and Chad can handle that other dude.” She crossed her arms, satisfied. “What about that really hot Latino cheerleader? And those…Asians? Oh, oh, what about that dude in the wheelchair? Oh, and that big, beautiful, dark crooner?” Troy asked. “I’m sure we have a wheelchair in the prop room” Sonny sighed. “Put a Jo-Bro in it. And who says I can’t be a hot Latino cheerleader?” “No one. Who says, who says I can’t be superman?” Miley chipped in. “Too bad you’re goth.” Sharpay whispered. “Anyway I’m sure Cat from Victorious could play an Asian, right?” “What?! No. No.” Cat shook her head frantically. “Go in the chair Kevin” “No! You, Nick.” “Joe!” “They’re staring.” Sonny/ Mitchie whispered. “Look, High School Musical and Camp Rock were groundbreaking movies! And Big Time Rush, Victorious and Hannah Montana are holding their own! I mean, with my voice on Sonny With a Chance…” “We have no chance. I can’t listen to another inspirational speech from you, Sonny!” Nick wailed. “Look.” The pregnant girl stood in front of all of them, holding her stomach. “I’m Quinn. That’s Rachel, Finn, Puck, Santana, Brittney, Tina, Mike, Artie, Kurt and Mercedes. We’re the McKinley High Glee Club. We just want to be friends.” She held out her hands, a ditzy smile on her face. “Let’s show them what we got” Rachel said smugly. “FINN! HIT THE MUSIC!” with that, she ripped off her reindeer sweater and plaid skirt, so she was in tight fitting clothes, along with the rest of the Glee Club. “This isn’t the Lizzie McGuire movie” Miley sneered, “You can’t just go ripping off your clothes.” “You’re one to talk.” Rachel backed up and got into line. Magically, choreography and lyrics came to them. Of course every single member of Glee knew the lyrics to 80’s hits by heart. “Get up on this! Oh baby, baby. Ba baby, baby…” “No, no, no! Stick to the stuff you know!” Sharpay gathered her group on the tables. “If you wanna be cool follow one simple rule…” “You get the best of both worlds! Chill it out take it slow…” “What does that even mean?” Puck whispered to Santana, making Miley scream with frustration. “When I make it shineeeeeee!” Tory was now on the table, her hand up, her eyes closed, looking like she had a clue as to what she was doing. “Off to the races, I’m going places…” “Gonna hit it big-time!” “Don’t stop believing! Come on, Glee!” “We rock, we rock, we rock…” “Those aren’t lyrics!” Rachel yelled. “Lyrics are…” she whipped around, pulling out a chair and daintily sitting on a table. “Mama, who bore me?” “EW!” they all called out, the glee clubbers tossing slushies in her face. “Hey, gay!” Kurt called out to Ryan, who turned with a hint of a smile. He strutted toward him. “I like the pink pants. Though the print up top is a little overkill…” “I’ll give you overkill!” “You are so hot…” Troy tried to grab Santana’s hand when Gabriella poked her in the back. Sharpay and Brittney were holding a dance-off, while Artie showed off for the Jonas Brothers. Quinn and Miley were engaged in a conversation about being pregnant, while Rachel and Mercedes were trying to give Tory a lesson in being…good. Cat was giggling with Tina and Mike. Red, blue and purple slushies began hitting the Nickelodeon and Disney kids, who screamed in high pitched, girl voices. Everyone broke out in song, angrily singing. “Hey!” The entire Fame cast stood in front of the doors. “Guys, come on. You are all singers in high school! You all lead unrealistic lives! You have that in common! Now, come on and follow us…one two three…FAME! I’m gonna live forever!” “I’m gonna learn how to fly!” “Come on I feel it coming together!” “PEOPLE WILL SEE ME AND DIE!” With everyone’s perfect dancing and singing, it suddenly didn’t matter the show or the network, or the content. They were all just amazingly, unrealistic singers in high school.


The Balloonman presents the poodle, smiles and begins another. The child lifts it overhead; refracted color splashes his face. Autumn engulfs the horizon—the carnival sags. The Balloonman squints as summer burns itself out. The swan completed, he bows to one last girl, sighs, and turns toward evening and home. Melody Leming-Wilson lives and teaches in … Continue reading MELODY LEMING-WILSON: Balloonman →

STORY OF THE MONTH: November 2019

The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month. The finalists for November were: Sundays by Una Nine Nine Rain Dance by Raymond Sloane Surrender by Eileen Hansen Shadows by Dmitri Christopher The winner of the November 2019 Story of the Month, and the $10 … Continue reading STORY OF THE MONTH: November 2019 →

KRISTA ROBEY: Birds of a Different Feather

Displayed in front of the Catholic school assembly, Lydia felt like an ostrich: swollen belly perched on teenaged stork-thin legs, dying to bury her head in the sand. Afterwards, the nuns expelled her. It was then she decided “pro-life” was a crow veiled in a habit, not an olive-branched dove. Krista Robey is an unapologetic … Continue reading KRISTA ROBEY: Birds of a Different Feather →

CASEY LAINE: Photographs of the Condemned

Capturing those final shots On the eve of an execution I wonder what words Her lips do not speak I wonder, yes, but I do not ask Because I know In my shadowed heart That a look as blue as her eyes in that light Is an answer in itself. Casey Laine comes from a … Continue reading CASEY LAINE: Photographs of the Condemned →


When I saw him the other day, I felt the strangest urge to strike up a conversation. Most peculiar, seeing as we’ve hardly been close. But the moment passed and I saw it wasn’t him, remembered it couldn’t be so. A curiosity indeed that we’re always friendlier towards the dead. Gretchen wants to make being … Continue reading GRETCHEN IVERS: Hey →