Six Sentence Stories: The straight line of footprints

Walkaway Fairy. Artwork by Ford, TVTA.


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 line

 

 


Editor’s note: the following is an extract from a larger work in progress, a ghost story, and features the characters Henry and Marling. You can read a previous extract here.


The straight line of footprints

Henry went over to the sole window of Doctor Lessing’s office, and when he looked with his sole eye he spied the water fountain on the lawn where he had arranged to meet Marling tomorrow at noon; beyond this lay the sprawling avenues and groves of many trees, and the patients wandering the grounds – twinned by their long shadows which fell about them on the grass like phasmids and mantises from the sun’s late afternoon toil.

‘Not a bad view eh?’ Inspector Du Maurier said, joining Henry at the window. ‘If you enjoy looking at crazy people that is.’

‘How do you know they’re crazy?’ said Henry

‘How do you they’re not? Tell me, how’s the eye?’

Henry ran a finger across the lower seam of his eyepatch and replied, ‘There is no eye.’

Du Maurier stared at the one-eyed Henry then looked away, his gaze falling to the same fountain Henry had been looking at in monovision, his detective eyes – even from the second floor of Doctor Lessing’s office – not failing to see the straight line of footprints embedded in the mud, which led from the fountain and into the hospice, as though the ghost of Marling was deliberately leaving clues.


Six Sentence Stories: A Love Like Iron

Art Window, Paris. Photo: TVTA.

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 Iron.

 

 

Editor’s note: the following is an extract from a larger work in progress, a ghost story, and features two characters making a circular journey. I chose this extract for the Six Sentence Story as it mentions the word ‘iron’ many times, and seemed the perfect fit.

A love like iron

Henry felt the impatient pull of the maze, a magnetism drawing them to the window, reducing them to ferromagnetic powders sent scurrying to the vibrating point of an impossible attraction in an impossible place.

Marling took his arm and led him along, shoulder to shoulder, their cheeks so close they might have easily turned their faces and kissed as two lovers.

And they walked like this for moments in silence, pulled towards the maze, the midday sun finding the iridescence of Marling’s feathers which poked from her crown; medicine woman, animal power.

And the sun’s rays did also cast luminosity upon Henry’s new silk eye patch; pirate-bold, buccaneer.

When finally they arrived at the centre of the maze, the window had already been flung open by their enemy; the relentless pursuer who was waiting for them on the other side.

They entered the world of iron butterflies, iron maidens, iron ladies, iron men, iron giants, iron fists, iron skies and iron ages of a paradise wrought to a refinement good enough for the Eiffel Tower and Paris balconies, where once they haunted these structures as ghosts – flitting through the fretworks without a care in the world, and yet to be burdened by a guilt forged in iron upon their bare shoulders.

Love locks, Paris. Photo: TVTA.

The Eiffel Tower, Paris. Photo: TVTA.


 

Six Sentence Stories: Alice in Wonderland performed by the Fruit Ensemble of Pearsida

Agathe Tran Quang My and Biosca art for Anne Sylvestre – Fabulettes 1969.

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 Passion.

 

 

Alice in Wonderland performed by the Fruit Ensemble of Pearsida 

Once upon a time in a world far beyond our stars, there was a beautiful garden in the Kingdom of Pearsida, inhabited by fruit who lived peacefully together in paradise.

One day, Princess Passion Fruit declared there would be a performance of Alice in Wonderland, and so she built a grand stage in the garden, and from behind the velvet curtains she directed her cast of thespian fruit.

The fine cast included: Alicia Apple in the lead role of Alice (a part she believed she was born to play); the renowned method actor Bartholomew Cavendish Banana as White Rabbit; Spike Rambutan as Cheshire Cat; Marilyn-Mae Mango as March Hare; Bitter Lemon as the Queen of Hearts; and country and western singing star Pow-Pow Pineapples as Mad Hatter.

After many hours of rehearsals the opening night came, and in the audience sat two strangers, travellers from another world – a man and a woman – who watched in silence… goodness, what strange fruit they seemed, everyone thought!

At the end of the play, the strangers left without word, and it was observed by Princess Passion Fruit that her lead actress Alicia was missing, and she cried out to the other fruit: “But where is Alicia Apple, our star?”

“Twas those two strangers in demand of an apple…” said Spike Rambutan, “who snatched poor Alicia and gobbled her up, alas, and there was nought I could do as my prosthetic tail was caught in a dry ice machine, and I fear it is the last we shall ever see of our starlet… may she rest in peace in the great garden in the sky!”


 

More random book cover designs, and a spotlight on British Salvationist illustrator Jim Moss

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. 1999 Harper Collins. Cover by J.R.R. Tolkien.

We have you covered… again!  (See part one here)

Today’s book post features design covers and illustrations published between the 1920s and 2010s, courtesy of a generous donation of old books to TVTA!

What happened was this… an English teacher working in France was moving home and job, and before leaving she decided to give away a number of her old books. Finally, after a Pandemic-lockdown-observed-meeting outside the local park gates, two bags of wonderful books were handed over for the reading and scanning pleasure of those inside TVTA Towers – cue happiness 🙂

Some of the titles will be instantly recognisable, others obscure, some have been adapted for stage, film or television, but all are equal here in having interesting covers to bind their tales.

Enjoy your donated book!

1920 William Heinemann.

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Six Sentence Stories: The hen that came down a beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk. Illustration by Eric Winter, 1965, Ladybird Books.

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 Eternal.

 

 

The hen that came down a beanstalk

Jack is dead, oh, eternal be his memory –

Yet I have no time for his eulogy, as I clamber down this bristling stalk,

Over leaves as long as surfboards, over beans as big as basketballs,

Down, down, to meet my new horizon which shimmers with a hope

That I may return to a coop of my own.

 

Down I climb to claim this liberty, but – curses – that ogre is after me;

Bigger than me, bolder, brasher, brawnier, broiling with anger and betrayal and

Bloodlust!

 

“Get back ‘ere!” the ogre screams.

 

Frightened, frantic, faster and faster down the beanstalk I scarper,

While above me the ogre booms down oaths of murderous revenge:

The rain is his sweat, the wind is his breath, thunderbolts his words,

Flies and mosquitoes his crumbs of bread…

Broken from the bones of Englishmen like Jack.

 

Down, down, about to touch the ground, and there at the foot of the beanstalk stands

Jack’s mother – her each axe-chop a strike for Jack (oh, eternal be his memory) …

Chop… chop… chop… and at last the beanstalk topples, and with it the ogre

Who breaks his neck as easily as once he broke his bread.

 

Jack’s mother, she scoops me up and cradles me with more love

Than I had ever thought possible could exist; and for this, tomorrow,

After resting, and mending my wings and bruised beak,

I will lay for her a golden egg, as she puts on black robes for the eternal memory

Of her son, brave Jack, who set me free from a castle in the sky.


 

Six Sentence Stories: circles of unsleep

1983. Sleeping Beauty. Brazil.

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, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given. This week’s cue word is Circle.

 

 


Poem: Circles of unsleep (I wanna be sedated)

Circle is the clock face saying I should be asleep; circle is the cycle ride to work and back again; same shift, same protocols of care delivered in protective bubbles I dare not breathe too hard against.

Lately I have become disc-shaped playing cards of the person I once was; shuffled, dealt, a forever-hoped-for lucky hand, laid out on a round table next to coffee cup ringlets and saucers of treats meant to keep me going… like a faithful mouser at the family farm.

Circles, circles, going round and round, loops without digression, boomerangs navigating space to return to fingers that grasp in all faith the hope we will defeat the monsters which orbit us.

Will I soon sleep soundly and not awake in the night?

Come full circle, after untold circuits, round and round, our retrodden footsteps stamped into the ground, balls of confusion and spheres of illusion as misty as peering into crystal balls with both eyes shut, will we, will we, will we circumnavigate that which seeks to destroy?

Circle is the mask I wear on my face; circle is the hole in the heel of my sock; circle is the wheel spinning on my bike; circle is the pizza and the cherry pie; circle is the window I gaze longingly through, at the lantern light of the fat, full moon: O moon, you remind me of a great wheel of cheese, as I drift off to a sleep I know I will soon be disturbed from, ba ba baba, baba ba baba… I wanna be sedated.

(After Ramones)


Metallica vs. Ramones – Sedate And Destroy (YITT mashup)


 

Six Sentence Stories: Comtesse Marie-Paule and the Ancient Menace

Dracula. 1983. Sweden/Finland.

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, and six sentences only, based on a cue word given. This week’s cue word is Noise.


Comtesse Marie-Paule and the Ancient Menace  

The noise began as a SCREAM, then pitiful groans, soft whimpers, lastly a hollow silence before the tools of Comtesse Marie-Paule set to work making noises of their own: hack, chop, grind, slice, rend; noises which leeched into the downstairs quarters of the lodge, where Emilio stared grimly at the rafters and said to Lucianne, “What’s she doing up there?”

“She’s making sure,” Lucianne said evenly, her old, grey eyes not daring to shift from the lodge door and the yet banished possibility of minions charging in to avenge a slain two-thousand year old master.

Upstairs, the noises persisted: thump, slop, splat, burst, spatter – and a reek pervaded the lodge like a creeping mist clad in the robes of all fevers, plague, leprosy, and rotting bodies strewn about fields of military campaigns.

Comtesse Marie-Paule closed the door upstairs, and clopped down the steps to meet her two servants, and she gave to Emilio her wrap of tools, bloodied, wet and stinking, as was her cloak, her chains and crosses and pale skin, and she said to him, “Clean them.”

“You took your time, Comtesse,” Lucianne said to her mistress.

Marie-Paule gave a knowing smile and said, “These ancient vampyrs… you know… such tough meat to cut while abroad… unlike the tender, young ones we always find at home.”

Dracula N°6. 1983. Sweden/Finland.

I Vampire N°308. 1982. US.


Thank you for assisting us with an ancient menace!  🧛‍♂️🦇