The Influencer's Tale (WIP)

by Albert Semple, 2022

  1. "While story telling is the worst,
  2. I'll volunteer to tell mine first.
  3. My name is Mim, I'm twenty two,
  4. My calling is to share with you
  5. My life of decadence and glam
  6. On YouTube, Twitter, Instagram.
  7. I know you're thinking: Who is she?
  8. How does she live so perfectly?

  9. "The things I do to stay this way:
  10. Repaint my eyebrows twice a day;
  11. Extend my locks with human hair;
  12. (Retrieved from women God knows where);
  13. I plump my lips with filler gel
  14. (With breast enhancement booked as well);
  15. My nether parts with bleach I treat;
  16. And fish exfoliate my feet."

  17. "I get this thing called JSA
  18. That gives creators steady pay.
  19. I have to sign on fortnightly -
  20. I guess they're like my agency."
  21. The sporty youth did interject
  22. "I'll prob'ly see you, I expect:
  23. I also sign on for the dole -
  24. But never had to bleach my hole."

  25. If bothered, she did not let on
  26. Ignored the youth, and carried on:
  27. "I've got a team who take my pics
  28. And edit footage — my sidekicks.
  29. They're on an unpaid internship
  30. Until I get some sponsorship,
  31. But I expect some any day
  32. And once that comes I'll give them pay."

  33. "Until it comes, these times are hard,
  34. I'm maxing out my credit card
  35. On clothing, beauty treatments, shoes -
  36. The things that drive my on-line views.
  37. I can't wait for the funds to come,
  38. Move out the house I share with mum.
  39. A city penthouse I will rent
  40. With floorspace for my spray-tan tent.

  41. "Before that happens, I'm stuck here,
  42. Prepared to judge my waiting peer.
  43. I'm disconnected from my fans,
  44. Neglecting all my filming plans.
  45. This contest helps to some degree
  46. Consume artistic energy.
  47. No more about myself I'll say,
  48. Let's get my story underway."

  49. I saw this tragedy unfold,
  50. Three years ago, the truth be told.
  51. A pair who were at school with me
  52. At St. Veron Academy.
  53. His name was Roland J O'Toole,
  54. A senior pupil at the school.
  55. A sporting hero of the town,
  56. In football he held much renown.

  57. With sandy hair and suntanned skin,
  58. Athletic frame enclosed within
  59. His prefect's blazer, golden braid,
  60. To show that he had made the grade
  61. As captain of the football team.
  62. (Since first year that had been his dream.)
  63. The school's A-list celebrity,
  64. So popular and charmed was he.

  65. And from the junior years, our maid
  66. With wavy hair an Auburn shade
  67. Her name was Julianna Thwaites,
  68. But known as Julie to her mates.
  69. No sporting team would let her in,
  70. Instead she played the violin
  71. In orchestra three times a week
  72. Rehearsing string and bow technique.

  73. She hadn't had a boyfriend yet
  74. But lustfully she hoped to get
  75. A beau that she could call her own
  76. (At least one she could practice on)
  77. So while we're paused, to no avail,
  78. I'll tell our star-crossed lovers' tale
  79. Of Rolly O and Julie T
  80. At St. Veron Academy.

  81. The Sports Club ball was in the spring,
  82. A sporty pupils' gathering,
  83. Where players from each discipline
  84. Would find a pub who'd let them in:
  85. A social club, or bowling green,
  86. Who'd serve them though they weren't eighteen.
  87. T'was famous as a raucous night
  88. That partied through to morning light.

  89. The football, tennis, rugby crew,
  90. And even golfers, swimmers too,
  91. Were all invited to attend
  92. The Friday of the May weekend.
  93. A source of pupil jealousy,
  94. The guest list it was held to be
  95. Exclusive to the sporting set
  96. (Their plus-ones they could all forget).

  97. Excluded from the invite list,
  98. Alas, musicians always missed
  99. The school's night of debauchery,
  100. But that would not stop Julie T.
  101. She had designs on Eddie Bream
  102. The fly-half from the rugby team,
  103. So travelled to the ball's venue
  104. To trespass at the Sports Club do.

  105. Together with her friend, Adele,
  106. They snuck in by the back stair well
  107. In search of Julie's paramour.
  108. They both slipped through a fire door,
  109. Of Railston Miner's Welfare Club
  110. (A sticky-carpet, flat-roof pub)
  111. And came out by the disco gear
  112. Into the smell of stagnant beer.

  113. The lights were low, a smoke machine
  114. Ensured their cunning stayed unseen,
  115. So no-one noticed them arrive
  116. Into this dingy drinking dive.
  117. And through the crowd they both did squeeze.
  118. "We'll have two Pernod Fanta, please."
  119. The barman rolled his eyes then turned
  120. To fetch the cocktails that they yearned.

  121. But then, the subject of her dream,
  122. Our Julie spotted Eddie Bream,
  123. "But look! He has his arm around
  124. That tennis slapper, Stacey Hound!
  125. And now they're snogging! Such disgrace,
  126. I think she's going to eat his face!
  127. How cruel to flaunt it, such a shock
  128. (Despite the fact we never talk.)

  129. "Betrayed!" our Julie then declared,
  130. Before their drinks had been prepared.
  131. She fled the scene, and led Adele
  132. (Who liked a drama, just as well).
  133. The barman turned to take their cash
  134. But just in time to see them dash,
  135. He saw them leave the bar with haste:
  136. Two Pernod Fanta gone to waste.

  137. So broken hearted Jules did flee
  138. Onto the "smokers' balcony"
  139. Where smokers, vapists, hangers-on
  140. Indulged their habits, thereupon.
  141. It wasn't quite a high plateau,
  142. The pavement only feet below,
  143. It's aspect on to Orchard Grove -
  144. The road the local buses drove.

  145. But standing in the rain and cold
  146. Was Rolly O, who'd freshly rolled
  147. A cannabinoid cigarette.
  148. He paid no heed to Juliet
  149. Who, silenced now, did long survey
  150. Him through the fog of Mary J.
  151. Perhaps she'd pass on cheating Ed -
  152. Perhaps she'd have this boy instead?

  153. Forgetting Ed, no more to grieve,
  154. She wiped her snot upon her sleeve,

  155. Then gave a hearty, manic laugh,
  156.  photograph

  157. In hope of drawing Rolly's gaze

  158. Designed to Attention to attract
  159. In hope that they'd then interact.

  160. Convinced herself she'd caught his eye
  161. While, with his team mate, Lawrence Fry,
  162. His focus on his cigarette.

  163. She told Adele of her intent,
  164. Applied her lip gloss, off she went
  165. And leaning in to have a kiss
  166. Said "Hello Rolly,

  167. To land a headbutt on his nose

  168. He smelt her cheesy Wotsit breath

  169. He moved attempting to evade
  170. The cheesy breath her mouth conveyed
  171. But leaning o'er the ballustrade
  172. He over-balanced, clumsy lad,
  173. And tumbled over,
  174. The pavement broke his fall below.

  175. Sent Lawrence rushing to his friend

  176. He put his hand on Rolly's head,
  177. "I feel no pulse, I think he's dead!"
  178. Then Lawrence panicked — fight-or-flight -
  179. And disappeared into the night.

  180. "My heart is broke in two again,
  181. My love is crushed by fickle men.
  182. If he has died, then so must I,
  183. And so, cruel word, I bid goodbye!"
  184. Then from the ballustrade she dove
  185. Down to the path on Orchard Grove.
  186. She went headfirst, beyond the wall.
  187. Made no attempt to break her fall.

  188. She'd read that in a libra'y book
  189. .
  190. (Parked 15 February 2022)
  191. (Reconsidered 27 Jun 2022)

by Albert Semple
191 lines over 32 stanzas.