Six Sentence Stories: Sing, Trilby, sing!

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences based on a cue word given.

This week’s cue word is bend


Sing, Trilby, sing!

“You will bend to my will or so help me, dear Trilby, I will break you into a thousand pieces!”

“But I do not want to sing.”


“I am tired of singing, tired of this life, tired of you, Svengali!”

“Sing, sing, SING!” came the volley of words torpedoed from his mouth on a hiss of foul air which parted the waves of his wretched beard; and in the silence that followed – outside, from the open window looking onto a square in bohemian Paris – came the lull of the crowds and the painters downing tools, and the emptying of cafés, and even the yapping dog from appartement cent vingt-cinq made not a whimper, and the afternoon slumped into its silent repose save for the church bell signalling quatorze… and her voice, floating through the same window on broken strings and damaged chords at the behest of her conductor and his spinning hands.

And as Trilby trilled to the command of Svengali, under his spell lay a small lagoon of lucidity in which she understood – if for only for a moment – that: no one should be made to sing at the hour of la sieste.

Editor’s note:

My story Sing, Trilby, sing! is inspired by the novel Trilby by George du Maurier.

Trilby, written and illustrated by George du Maurier (grandfather of Daphne du Maurier – The Birds, Rebecca) was one of the most popular novels of its time. Published serially in Harper’s Monthly from January to August 1894, it was then published in book form on 8 September 1895.

Trilby is set in the 1850s in an idyllic bohemian Paris, and is believed to have inspired in part Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera. It was also known for introducing the phrase “in the altogether” (meaning “completely unclothed”) and the term “Svengali” for a man with dominating powers over a (generally female) protégée, as well as indirectly inspiring the name of the “trilby” hat, originally worn on stage by a character in the play based on the novel.

Adapted from Trilby Wikipedia

18 thoughts on “Six Sentence Stories: Sing, Trilby, sing!

  1. V! dude! Where to begin?

    I remembered the title. Remembered the name Trilby and Svengali but did not remember them as characters in the same story. The mind is a funny thing. Ha Ha

    ok, lets take my next citation from Wikipedia and subsequent comment as just doing the book report as it should have been done fifty plus years ago and not as a rant on how hopeless it is to be in touch with the sensibilities of the reading public:

    “…As she leaves the stage, Svengali dies. Trilby is stricken with a nervous affliction. Despite the efforts of her friends, she dies some weeks later—staring at a picture of Svengali. Little Billee is devastated and dies shortly afterwards.

    I’ve read writing advice to the effect that a successful author should try to divine what the reading public wants… ayiiee! what the hell is wrong with people?! This was a bestseller…

    …Good Six!*

    *as always, got something both recreational and educational from your Six… your style was spot on and created a scene as easy to get lost in as 3:00am perfume in the backseat of a car….
    I also enjoy trying to figure how each of us accomplishes what we do in our Six Sentence Stories, from a technical perspective. Here, your eye (and, even more, ear) for style and setting being ‘in tune’ with the original.
    Nicely done, yo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Clark.
      Lol at: “that a successful author should try to divine what the reading public wants” … then, yes, everyone dies … and quite miserably too, haha.

      You know, flipping through the novel again, I realised how Trilby is a good lesson in how to construct six sentence stories; in that Du Maurier’s style of making sentences is cleverly and subtly divided into ‘small parcels of info’ by use of commas, semi-colons, hyphens, parentheses, and other wizardry one can only admire. Yet, it’s not an assault, more a carefully-chosen palette. My memories of a few other works from the same period and about are of extraordinarily long sentences that were a chore to read. Du Maurier (here) makes it a pleasure.


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