Tibby Elliott

School: The Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh

Some delirious thoughts from near midnight


(I grew a bit bored from writing the previous piece, so I decided I'd make Bad Writing Number Two a poem. It's not my strong point, and I have no idea what it's going to be about, so wish me luck.)


(Though then again, I could just try to entertain you (and win the prize) by just writing like this for a while.)


(Would that be boring? I don't know)


(Because the problem with writing is that you don't get any immediate audience feedback.)


(Actually, there's probably an app for that.)


(No, this isn't an advert for Grammarly.)


(No, really. I hate advertisements.)


(Unless it's a trailer for the new series of Doctor Who.)


(Should I actually write something now?)


(I could do a screenplay involving... My thoughts.)




(OK? Roll the camera...)


(But first, I think I'll introduce the characters:

Sensible brain (SB)

Paranoid brain (PB)

Wild brain (WB)

Nerd/pedantic brain (NB)

Devil brain (Lucifer)

I think that's everyone...)


(Roll the camera properly this time.)


SB: Guys, we should probably go to sleep. It's.. (checks alarm clock)...11:40.

PB: Oh God.  You know that sleep deprivation can lead to serious medical issues in old age? We're gonna get cancer in later life. And we'll never be able to become an astronaut.. We really need to go sleep - your happiness could depend on it.

NB: (ignoring paranoia, as normal) By the way, it's 11:37. Not 11:40. Just saying.

Everyone else: Shut up.

SB: And paranoia, you shut up too. You know perfectly well that Buzzfeed isn't a reliable source of information.

PB: Oh... B-

WB: (staggering in, if a thought can do that) Look, y'all, you're not feeling sleepy at all... And all of YouTube is wide open...

SB: But the light from your phone woul-

Lucifer: (raising eyebrows) You're on your phone at the moment. Typing this... screenplay?

WB: Lucifer's right. Let's just mess around until we’re actually sleepy, and then go to bed. OK?

Lucifer: Hear, hear.

SB: It's nearly midnight now. Can we just get some sleep?

WB: (looking put out) Can we just watch that video on clean Tumblr memes? Or the one on trigonometry?

(NB smiles at the latter suggestion)

SB: No.

(some time later)

NB:(Murmuring) Trigonometry... Trigonometry...

(Now very loud) I wonder what the origin of the word trigonometry is? Presumably Latin, from tri-, or three, but where does the rest come from?

SB: Look. How badly do you want to know?

NB: Very badly.

SB: Fine. Google it quickly.

PB: But we’re typing this - what if it doesn't save? What if our-

Lucifer: - 40 minutes -

PB: - of hard work was all for nothing?

SB: Shut up.

Lucifer: Just saying, sensibility, you've thought the most out of all of us. So shut yourself up.

(having Googled it)

NB: Cool. But I wonder why there was such a big drop in the use of the word 'trigon' in 1860?

Lucifer: (Spotting his opportunity) I don't know. Why not Google it?

SB: Shut the-

Lucifer: Language, language.

(seconds pass)

NB: Hey, you know how we just added that 'spotting his opportunity' bit? Why did we just assume that Lucifer was male?

Lucifer: (heated) Yeah, I'm a girl, thank you very much.

(Some time passes)

SB: Midnight has been and gone. Sleep, maybe?

PB: But the deadline for the Pushkin prize is tomorrow - we need to keep typing! What if we don't get it done in time?

WB: Can we just watch some exurb1a stuff or something? I'll take the LearnGaelic website if that's what it comes to – ‘s e dòrainneachd agam!*

Lucifer: Plus, you have 35 messages on Whatsapp.

NB: And, I still don't really know what a verbal noun is. Sorry, sensibility, but you're outnumbered.

SB: (looking defeated) But it's half past 12.

NB: 12:31. Actually.

SB: Shut up.

NB: Never. (pauses) But... Fine. I might consider going to sleep.

SB: Thank you!

(A few minutes pass. It is now 00:36, and I'm not joking, this is the time that I'm typing this at.)

PB: Oh my God. Can I hear something downstairs?

SB: (annoyed) Yeah, it's Leo. He gets back from the restaurant around now.

PB: But are you certain that it's Leo?

(SB is already asleep)

(It was at this point I decided to attempt sleeping. Goodnight.)


(The next morning)

SB: C'mon guys! Up, up, up! Big day!

Lucifer: There's nothing big about it. Just stay in bed for ages.

WB: Lucifer's right. I wanna lie-in.

SB: If you wanna lie-in, just read over what you've written.

(Having read over it.)

SB: Not bad. But did we introduce too many characters?

Lucifer: You can't send this in! You'd better rewrite it!

PB: But Lucifer - if you're right -

Lucifer: - I'm always right -

PB: - then we've got no chance of getting it done in time!

SB: Dad just shouted. Let's go have breakfast.

WB: groans

NB: But writing this is fun...

(I eat breakfast at this point.)


(Back in my room.)


WB: Why are we actually sending this in? I mean, there's not really much point to anything that we’re doing. Not much.

Lucifer: You an existentialist?

WB: I dunno. What's an-... existentiam-... ex-ist-en-tial-ist?

NB: Someone who be-

SB: Shut up, all of you. We should kinda go get washed.

Everyone else: Fine.

(I come back, my breath still smelling of toothpaste.)

NB: I wonder what gives toothpaste its minty flavour?

PB: Probably some dangerous chemical.


(Mum asked that I come downstairs at that point)


SB: We should finish this off. I mean - we've still got to write the third story.

NB: That's alright - I've got an idea.

SB: What's it about?

NB: About some aliens, basically.

Lucifer: God. I hate aliens.

SB: Well, goodbye, whoever may be judging us.

Lucifer: And may the odds be ever in our favour.


*There is boredom at me?

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