A/N: He he this is just a bit of fluff. One of those, you know you're Sweeney obsessed when you're playing Monopoly with your friends, and you HAVE to have Fleet Street at any cost! So this is what I thought out of sheer boredom: ever wondered what learning the Alphabet would be like if Sweeney Todd was the teacher? No? Well read on to find out! And no, I don't own Sweeney Todd.
THE SWEENEY TODD ALPHABET!
Mrs Lovett was standing at the front of the classroom. She counted twenty-three children. All of them under the age of seven! Blimey – they had their work cut out for them, she and Mr T! How on earth were they going to teach these little bleeders to read?
"I'm sure 'e'll be here any minute!" Mrs Lovett was staring nervously at the clock on the wall in front of her. Where was he? Meanwhile, twenty-three pairs of eyes were on her.
"Mrs…Lovett?" A little boy with bright ginger hair spoke up. "Why don't you teach us the alphabet?"
"Coz I don't 'ave the book, that's why! An there's no point telling a bleeding story without pictures, is there?" Mrs Lovett was breaking out in a cold sweat. They were onto her, she was sure. Well, I'll give 'im five more minutes, Mrs Lovett thought, and if 'e's not 'ere by then, I'll 'ave to teach them it meself! But how? If only I could remember wot comes after H, I'll have it! A, B, C, D, E, F, G, K - no, that couldn't be right!
Mrs Lovett went to the board, and picked up a piece of chalk. She drew a giant 'A', slowly and carefully. WHACK! "OW!"
One of the little bleeders had thrown a spare duster at Mrs Lovett's head. Luckily, the size and density of Mrs Lovett's hair prevented her from sustaining any serious injuries. The baker turned round and threw the chalk on the floor. "Who threw that?!"
The class giggled.
"Right! I swear I'm going to murder each of you little –"
"Murder, Mrs Lovett? Strong words." It was Sweeney Todd, standing in the classroom doorway and quietly smiling.
All the children gasped. "It's Jack the Ripper!" a little boy screamed.
"Oh fiddlesticks! Mr T's a giant lamb." Mrs Lovett poked her tongue out at the child, and went to help Mr Todd off with his jacket, giving him a quick peck on the cheek. She had to keep it G-rated for the littluns. "Now, Mr T, you sit there in this chair," she directed, "and you can help the little kiddies with their alphabet." She dragged a spare wooden chair, barely bigger than the size of a cat, for Mr T to sit on. "Did you bring the book?"
Mr T looked up at her wordlessly, and drew out a black, white and red illustrated book. On the cover was the picture of a smiling barber holding up a twin pair of blades. SWEENEY TODD'S ALPHABET, it read, BY SWEENEY TODD AND MRS LOVETT. It was the first time she had seen it in completed form. Both she and Mr T had been working on it for several months. It was a labour of love. She had done the illustrations, he most of the colouring. And now it was finally bound and ready to be read!
The black was ink, Mrs Lovett guessed, but as for the red…well, red ink was expensive. They couldn't afford that. It was definitely blood. But whose? The suspense was killing her. And Mr T wouldn't tell her, not until they got home. How nice it was, Mrs Lovett thought, to be finally married to Mr T. And now they would have all their famous adventures that led up to their marriage in one sweet little book! Although, she thought, it had taken fifteen years of waiting on her part to finally tie the knot.
"Very well," Mrs Lovett began, walking to the chalk board, "who wants Mr T to read them the alphabet?"
Not a single hand shot up.
"Blimey don't rush us now!" Mrs Lovett looked at them expectantly. "Come on, who wants to hear him read? He's bloody good!"
The same ginger-haired boy put his hand up. "Father says it's rude to swear."
"Tish-tosh!" said Mrs Lovett. "Everyone swears! Be flamin' good for you to start learnin' it, too! If you can learn your ABC, you can learn your swears!"
"I think, Mrs Lovett," said Mr Todd, watching her good-humouredly, though he didn't smile, "they, as well as myself, would rather hear the alphabet than your voice."
"Fine," Mrs Lovett said, slightly wounded, and shut up. But she came and sat by Mr Todd's knee next to the rest of the children. "Turn the book around an' 'old up the pages so's they can see," Mrs Lovett suggested.
Mr Todd stared at her.
"Alright, alright, I've 'ad me penny's worth. I'll be quiet."
And so, in his quiet, roughly mannered voice, Mr T began. "Sweeney Todd's Alphabet," he read.
A is for the Arsenic with which my Lucy took her life.
B is for the boisterous Baker Mrs Lovett, who is now my second wife.
C is for our Cannibal Customers, who devour every pie
D is for Dead, which is what happens when you die, or you eat one of Mrs Lovett's pies
E is for Eavesdropping, which was Judge Turpin's special habit
F is for Fleet Street, where people carry on a blood-raged racket.
G is for Gandering, of which Judge Turpin accused Anthony
H is for Hallucinations, which caused the Old Woman's malady
I is for the Idiots and Imbeciles who dared get in Sweeney's way
J is for Judge Turpin, who kidnapped my Johanna, and dearly paid!
K is for Killing, the sweetest past time ever known!
L is for Lovett, my wife, my woman, my home
M is for Mrs Mooney, who has now been gaoled for cooking cats
N is for my Nemesis, who was Turpin, the foul rat.
O is for Orchestra, which accompanies me when I sing
P is for Mrs Lovett's Pies, famous for their tasty zing
Q is for my un-Quenchable revenge, which drives me round the bend
R is for my Razors, my eternal, undying friends
S is for Sweeney, the sweetest man that's ever lived!"
Suddenly Sweeney stopped reading. "Mrs Lovett," Sweeney roared, "I didn't write that!"
"I know, love," said Mrs Lovett, blushing, "but I think S sounds better with Sweeney in it."
"That's what happens when you marry her, Sweeney," Mr Todd muttered to himself under his breath. He took a deep breath, and continued:
"T is for Turpin, the serpent, who's head hangs over our bed,
U is for the Urchin, Toby, who always whines,
V is for Vengeance, which will always be mine!
W is for the World, a great black hole that is filled with shit.
X is for X, because nothing useful in the dictionary stands for it.
Y is the question they ask me, when my victims' throats I reap!
Z is Zzzzzz, the sound Mrs Lovett's makes when she's asleep.
"Mr T!" Mrs Lovett's hand flew to her mouth. "How could you! You stuffed up the alphabet. You spell why with a "W," not a "Y"!"
"Mrs Lovett," he answered, frowning with a frown that only Sweeney Todd was capable of giving, "why don't we let them decide?" He swept his gaze over the sea of children's faces.
"O'right," said Mrs Lovett, jumping to her feet. "Wot did youse think of Mr Sweeney's pretty little ditty, hmph? Do youse know ya alphabet yet?"
None of the children answered. They were too busy staring up at Mr Todd, their expressions frozen with fear. As you would too, if you had a murderer sitting right across from you.
"Oh well," said Mrs Lovett, sighing. "Guess they're not ready for serious drama yet. Maybe we should read them something more their age. 'ow's about Blue Beard, Mr T?"
Mr Todd broke into a grin for the first time that afternoon. "A brilliant suggestion, Mrs Lovett. It just so happens, Blue Beard is an old favourite of mine."
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