Lord Carbon Decides by Carol Lowden

‘Court is now in session,’ declared Lord Carbon cuttingly. ‘In my capacity as Star King Element, I now pronounce a new, improved periodic table. Quality indicators are hereby measurable by iPhone applicability, so we need to cull a few of you more useless elements. To be specific, elements not needed to build new iPhones. Resources are scarce, so I hope you’ll all see the sense in this and not make a damned big fuss.’

This went down among the elements like a lead balloon.

‘Surely a joke,’’ murmured Lady Antimony. ‘We’ve been together on this table for 500 million years – in fact, since Cosmos Collision Day. I must protest, Lord Carbon-’

‘Sorry, old girl,’ Lord Carbon interrupted. ‘You are henceforth dropped from the iPhone periodic table.’

A hush descended on the group, along with the faint whiff of burning fossil.

‘Well I for one am proud to be on-board with iPhone. I am in every awesome upgrade, and I am also vital to the beauty industry,’ bragged Neodymium, shuffling her gorgeous shoulders. ‘Tanning booths especially. What about you, Platinum? I guess you’re invited to the party?’

Platinum crossed her atomic legs and fiddled with her Diana Dors up-do. ‘Sure am, Neo. And I’m headlining in the world’s most expensive Smartwatch.’

‘This blows!’ shouted Magnesium. His chrome dome glowed white hot. ‘You two are denser than Osmium. You lot really want a world without Epsom salts or mag wheels? Lord Carbon, you are so full of methane.’ Osmium continued to slumber in the corner; his eyelids were always so heavy. Methane shrugged huffily and rolled his amorphous eyes.

‘Simmer down, Mg,’ drawled Lord Carbon. ‘You’ll ignite yourself again. So uncool.’

‘Uncool yourself, you old white honky,’ snapped a dapper Iodine. ‘You want a world without my healing powers and purple smoke? Just saying, Prince could never have purple-rained his epics without me.’

A uranium-angry green smouldered at the top of the table. It was Beryllium, an element so high she mostly hung out with Lithium.

‘So can I stay-cay?’ enquired Lithium anxiously. ‘I party in all the smartphone batteries, Lord C. And when I melt, I burn hot-pink – way more vibey than you, Iodine. Soz, Iodine….’

‘Traitor!’ glinted the viridescent Beryllium, her elemental confidence responsible for the glow of emeralds. ‘Imbeciles! I am Be, the most beautiful Beryllium who hath adorned the breasts of Cleopatra and Elizabeth Taylor. I am rarer by far than your dullish diamonds, Lord Carbon. Who made you King is incomprehensible to me. I am Element Four, as deadly to humans as Kryptonite to Superboy. I am leaving this shamble of a meeting and I might just take the world with me.’

‘Hahaha!’ squeaked Helium, the element who travelled at three times the speed of sound with the aid of his Noble Gas Umbrella. ‘What a gas! Haha, dude, we Helium Bois outnumber you, Mr Carbon Boi, you old skellington. Come on, Beryl, let’s ride. My crystals can disable every iPhone on the planet. Hey, hey, let us lovebirds renew this whole joint! Latch on to my atoms, sweet thing, even if we ain’t the same number. I dig your greenness, gurrl.’

‘Needs must,’ breathed Beryllium. ‘For a stable element you are pretty darn crazy. Let’s do it then. Together, we can foil Lord Carbon and royally piss off these betwattled millennials.’

She rose above the table, flinging on her scintillating and toxic green cloak.

‘Thanking you, He. Let us shine.’

‘Wait for me!’ carolled Mercury, as he mercurially moon-danced up to Be and He, his silver eyelashes catching the light. ‘I won’t be irrelevant for an instant longer. We may be old school,’ he beamed, with a courtly bow towards Lady Antimony, ‘but we rock for sure.’

Oz-magical realist, Carol leans towards the whimsical- probably a result of way too much PG Wodehouse and Enid Blyton in her youth. On her days off from the hospital (worker- not inmate) she is a radio-playwright.