Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Dances in Frances

In every person born on Earth
Live tiny creatures, there from birth,
Who every night, with glutton and glee
Do consume whatever was eaten for tea.

Now these loathsome beasts in your stomach lining
Do lie asleep while the sun is shining.
But the moment that you rest your head
They wake right up as if from dead.

On your mushy meal they start to feast,
Each one on twice its body weight, at least.
They prefer red meat, but they're not picky,
They'll take fresh veg or puddings sticky.

And then when they have had their fill
(Almost enough to make them ill),
They'll start to step in time and dance,
They'll skip, they'll pirouette and prance,

Rumbas, tangos (plus the odd fall),
Your stomach becomes a Dancing Hall.
And just before the tea dance halts
There's always time for one last waltz.

Now, this all sounds like harmless fun.
Indeed, mostly it hurts no one.
But once in a while it ends in tears,
Once every ten or fifteen years.

And so I introduce my tale
Of one young girl who hailed from Hale.
This eight year old by the name of Frances
Knew nothing of these nighttime dances.

It began one Sunday whilst sat in Church,
She felt her breakfast heave and lurch.
And before poor Frances could leave her pew
'Twas all over Miss Harris from number two.

Miss Harris, needless to say, was not impressed
That Frances had ruined her favourite dress,
But before an apology could be said
Frances' mother grabbed the girl and fled.

"I have never in my life been so embarrassed,"
Said she of the incident with Miss Harris.
"I'll not take you Church ever again.
"Well, not at least until you are ten."

Though this wasn't supposed to be something kind,
Frances found Mass numbed her mind.
So whilst pretending it would affect her badly,
She secretly embraced it gladly.

And frankly Miss Harris' look was improved
By the addition of the morning food.
She really was an ugly cow,
At least her outfit matched her now.

Though now I'm drifting off the point
And I don't want this story out of joint.
So I'll bring it back to the main issue,
Which required buckets and bowls and toilet tissue.

With barely an attempt to hide her displeasure,
Frances' mother took special measures.
Not an inch of carpet could be seen
In her mammoth effort to keep it clean.

Buckets and bowls hung from every wall,
Ready to break any further meals' fall.
And plastic sheeting from kitchen to lounge
Lest Frances fail to keep luncheon down.

But before spoiling Mother's decor,
First she'd have had to eat some more,
And she'd left her appetite in the place
Where she'd brought her mother shame and disgrace.

So early to bed without her dinner,
Her face appearing pale and thinner.
Fell straight to sleep, she was so tired,
Her day finished, cut short, expired.

Inside her belly, a creature waited,
Its fetid, noxious breath was bated.
Expecting one slice of bread at least,
With which its brethren could hold their feast.

But Frances, she had eaten none,
Not even a pea, not even one.
The creature was most disappointed,
Its mood was now firmly disjointed.

"Fear not," so he was bound to say
To keep his fellow beasts at bay.
"No dance tonight, but come tomorrow,
"A greater feast! Forget this sorrow."

On the next day when Frances woke,
The absent hunger of which we spoke,
Showed no more sign of its returning,
She merely felt her stomach churning.

Throughout the day, no crumb nor sip
Would pass beyond this young child's lips.
So when she came to rest her head
The creatures still would not be fed.

Frustrations could not be contained
And Darren (that was the leader's name)
Was forced again to make excuses,
To calm the crowd with claims effusive.

"I beg just wait another day,
"The time will come to swing and sway.
"This dance surely will be the best
"You've ever seen. Be patient. Rest."

Reluctantly, they heard his call
To wait until the next nightfall.
But three more nights, their table barren,
Finally, they turned on Darren.

With burning torches in their hands
They told him where to stick his dance.
It escalated rather fast,
This confrontation could not last.

And sure enough, before too long,
Someone did something very wrong.
Stood with his flame, held high, aloft,
And plunged it in the wall so soft.

See, humans aren't made to survive
An open flame in their insides.
The creatures all felt numb and hollow.
They knew exactly what would follow.

Confusion, panic, gripped them all,
They lost their heads, torches and all.
Their flames were dropped upon the floor,
And tragedy advanced some more!

The girl awoke with strange sensations
Not quite unlike balloon inflation,
And before she could let out a scream,
Before she could forget her dream,

Before she could focus her eyes
Upon the ceiling, wall or skies,
She spread herself across the bed,
Across her cuddly toys, her Ted,

Across the room, across the floor,
Across her posters, clock and door.
Across her dolls, across a chair,
Across yesterday's underwear.

Young Frances adorned every fitting
Like wantonly discarded knitting,
And strips of her hung from the lights
Like bloodied pairs of laddered tights.

Her sheets were black, the fabric burned
By Frances' nasty midnight turn.
And emanating from the mess,
The stench of burning human flesh.

Her mother found her the next day
(Which bits of her was hard to say).
She greeted with disgust, disdain,
Her daughter's soggy charred remains.

"Why can't she keep her bedroom nice?
"Even in death, mess is her vice.
"And who's expected to clean up?
"Old muggins, here. Well, I've had enough!"

The best neighbours would quite agree
With Mother over cups of tea,
That Frances deserved not one tear
For failure to keep her bedroom clear.

But there was one overcome with woe,
At number two just up the road.
Miss Harris wept and wept and wept
For the little girl who'd slept and slept.

So now you know, don't be a dummy,
If you acquire an upset tummy.
Force-feed yourself, for eat you must,
If you've no wish to spontaneously combust.