Fiction: A Catchy Little Tune

From the blog of Arthur Plague: singer/songwriter, creative genius (lapsed), as provided by Alan Bennington
Art by Scarlett O’Hairdye

Saturday: Farewell Abbey.

Well, what a hoot! Finally arrived in this God-forsaken place just after two, to find it’s not so bad after all. I booked it a while ago, just after my latest diagnosis. I reckon it should get my creative juices flowing if nothing will, so I decided to give it a fortnight. After all, if the doctors are right, I’ll be pretty much deaf by then, anyway.

So I checked into this monastery-come-retreat and was greeted like an old mate by the head honcho, Bernard. They all wear snazzy robes and stuff, but he’s got jeans underneath and he’s basically just some sort of hippie throwback with attitude. Middle-aged and loving every minute of it. Sickening.

And do you know what? They know all about me. All my chart hits and misses. My run in with drugs and the dark side. Obviously it’s no secret, but it was a bit of a shock to have this grey-beard from yesteryear waxing lyrical about my back catalogue, even quoting bits of “Siren Song” (his favorite) at me. But the amazing thing is they think they can help me write my “magnum opus” before the old lug-holes pack up completely.

They’re a weird lot–“A fusion of religions and cultures from east and west,” it says in the blurb. They have a “creed based on music, meditation, and mantra.” Bernie soon got busy showing me around. It’s like a mini-version of Hogwarts but with all mod cons. The worst thing is no cell-phone reception! I know it’s deepest Northumberland, but really. Thank heavens they have good wi-fi, so I’ll be able to keep you up to speed as my final masterpiece takes shape. I hope.

Photo of a sound board with images of DNA strands and chemistry equipment above it.

It’s 2 a.m., and I’ve invaded the lab!

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2019 collection.

Arthur Plague is, or rather was, a famous singer, composer, and self-confessed technophile. Finally admitting to himself that he is going deaf, he is desperate to write a “big song” that will be his final legacy. Any means must surely justify the ends!

Alan Bennington is a retired IT consultant who now teaches a few bits of English and mathematics. This is his first attempt at writing prose fiction.

Scarlett O’Hairdye is a burlesque performer, producer and artist. To learn more, visit her site at

“A Catchy Little Tune” is Copyright 2018 Alan Bennington
Art accompanying story is Copyright 2019 Scarlett O’Hairdye

This story originally appeared in Ariel Chart and Scribble.

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1 Response to Fiction: A Catchy Little Tune

  1. Willow Croft says:

    You know I’m lovin’ this one! Awesome!

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