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.”

“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


Spring and summer fashions of 1963

It’s been more than an extraordinary spring and summer 2020, thanks to Covid-19. For some of us the holidays and beach and the fashions which compliment these two seasons have been drastically modified, or cancelled altogether.

TVTA takes a look back at the pages of 1963 – to a calmer, pandemic-free time when spring and summer promised an abundance of fun and pleasure.

Photographs and illustrations courtesy of the 1963 spring-summer catalogue from La Redoute. La Redoute is one of France’s most successful clothing and home decor companies, founded in 1837 in Roubaix.

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Six Sentence Stories: Don’t Look

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 station

 


Jim Heimann postcard design for retail store Heaven.

Don’t Look

Witnesses said the old man ‘threw himself in front of the train’, ‘jumped right in its path’ – the 3:15 Euston to Birmingham as it passed through the station – and that he ‘didn’t stand a chance’, but the truth was he didn’t throw himself in front of that train, nor did he jump; he simply leaned backward on the platform edge and allowed gravity to take its course as the train came in and scooped him up at more than 100 mph.

The British influencer Kim Pluskudos happened to be there, and she said: “I didn’t see a thing, thank God, ugh, like, I was taking a selfie as the old man – um, fell over the edge, and then BANG! and screams as the train sped on, and voices saying Oh my God that old man just committed suicide!”

Kim’s sister said to her: “But you must have noticed him before he fell… he was standing right in front of you on the platform… I mean, you couldn’t have been posing in front of your phone all that time?”

And Kim replied: “Why would I notice an old man when I was standing in front of a vintage poster for Kew Gardens; the perfect poster, I’ll add, when your middle name happens to be Kew, like mine, and the perfect background for my latest promo… hey, I’m an influencer, babe, not some roving reporter waiting for random suicides to happen.”

“Let me see the selfie you took,” said Kim’s sister, and Kim Kew Pluskudos tutted and huffed and handed over her phone, and there she was beaming her teeth in front of the poster which said ‘COME TO KEW GARDENS’.

Kim’s sister felt the shiver crawl across her skin as she studied a grainy image in the lower corner of the poster’s glass frame… the reflection of the old man’s face, just seconds before he fell backward into an oncoming train, and my God, thought Kim’s sister, the last thing he ever saw before he checked out was a woman taking a selfie in front of a poster, and Kim’s sister couldn’t decide if it was serenity or solicitude claiming the final expression on the old man’s face in that snapped moment in time, before the 3:15 Euston to Birmingham passed by on that fateful day.


Dungeons & Dragons and Tasting the Rainbow

Dungeons and Dragons. 1995. US.

Dungeons and Dragons. 1996. US.

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Six Sentence Stories: A Tale of Two 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 Useful

 

 


A tale of two books

“Why don’t you make yourself useful for a change and take those library books back,” she said over breakfast, “I mean, it’s not like you have anything better to do.”

He looked across at her from his laptop between a mouthful of marmalade on toast and the words not daring to express themselves: Actually, dear, I have my book of poems to finish – but, ah, yes, thirty years of marriage had taught him when the optimum time was to answer her back – and it certainly wasn’t over breakfast.

He bundled the books into his old school bag – the brown leather one he used to take for marking homework in days that seemed as ancient now as the bag itself – and he decided to walk to the library instead of taking the bus, never mind the rain, and each street he encountered reminded him of the years that had passed, and each corner was yet another best-forgotten page, and each road he crossed was fraught with noise and cars and danger and people seemingly neither from the future, past, nor present.

Inside the library he waited at the counter to return his books; and that’s when he noticed her approaching, her head buried in the concluding pages of a paperback as though she was desperate to reach its end before time ran out – and he recognised her straightaway, and his heart thumped and his stomach made a flip, and he opened his mouth to say her name, and in the moment it took for words to travel the ever-decreasing distance between them… his mind conjured the possibilities he had dreamed of since he last saw her.

They had met on a pottery course; each Tuesday evening, nine weeks of clay and kilns and conversation to throw the soul, and at the end of it all phone numbers exchanged… gah! like a bloody fool he had neglected to write down a paper copy as he always did with his numbers, and when his mobile phone died so did she… and with it a love which had blossomed so briefly in an art room in London, and where things you created got fired and cast into shape, and were tangible enough to hold in your hand forever.

“Catherine, is that really you?” he said, and she replied… “Peter?”, and all at once time stood still in a library one minute before noon, and she noticed then the book in his hand – Down and Out in Paris and London – and it was the same book as hers, though a different edition and cover, and she smiled at him, and he smiled back, and outside the library a clock in town chimed noon, and it stopped raining.


NERF – It’s Nerf or Nothin’!

NERF is a toy brand created by Parker Brothers in 1969 and currently owned by Hasbro. The company is notable for producing brightly coloured toy blasters (NERF Blasters) which shoot foam-based ammunition. Other products include NERF Sports, Dart Tag, Rebelle, Zombie Strike, Super Soaker, and Lazer Tag.

NERF 25th birthday prizes. 1995.

NERF Cyber Stryke Gear. More Fun From Kenner Catalogue. 1997.

NERF Whip-Tail Scorpion; Mad Hornet; Electric Eel; Razor Fin; Coral Viper; Lazer Fang; Venom Shot. More Fun From Kenner Catalogue. 1997.

NERF Stinging Scarab; Gator; Manta Ray; Head 2 head. More Fun From Kenner Catalogue. 1997.

NERF Sports. More Fun From Kenner Catalogue. 1997.

NERF Commlink II Blaster; Ratchetblast; Autogrip; Perceptor; Strongarm; Armorshot. More Fun From Kenner Catalogue. 1997.

NERF Terradrone. Metronews 2014.


Thanks for looking. Remember… NERF – not to be confused with:

  • Scruffy-looking Nerf-herder
  • N*E*R*D
  • Nerfing Compares 2 U
  • Smurf