Asking for a friend…

Asking for a friend…

Letter addressed to the Wisborg branch of Herr Sargmacher & Sons, Fine German Coffin Manufacturers, January, 1838.

Dear Herr Sargmacher,

I am writing on behalf of a friend to ask if you might, by perchance, be able to supply a specialist coffin?

Length-wise you will be looking to accommodate a cadavar of approximately 6 feet 4 inches (1.92 m) tall, and with sufficient elbow room to allow for exceptionally long arms.

The lining must be of your finest red velvet, with the casing constructed of your sturdiest wood, and with a lid which may be opened and closed with minimal effort.

It is desirable that the coffin can stand upright as well as be laid flat.

As I say, asking for a friend,

Yours sincerely,

Count Orlok,


Asking for a friend… written by Ford Waight for Six Sentence Stories: a weekly writers’ challenge hosted by Denise at Girlie on the Edge blog. This week’s cue word is BRANCH.

Digital art by Ford with images from the 1922 film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (German: Nosferatu – Eine Symphonie des Grauens) directed by FW Murnau and produced by Prana Film.

TVTA & Atomic Mage Editor, Ford Waight. There’s a wasp? Where?

just say no to Dot

Six Sentence Stories is a weekly writers’ challenge hosted by Denise at Girlie on the Edge. This week’s prompt word is: BAND

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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!  🧛‍♂️🦇


Six Sentence Stories: The Duet at the End of the World

WH Barnes Ltd Vinyl Records. 1955. UK.

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 Safety.

The Duet at the End of the World 

It was said that each evening at seven, the sound of the boy’s piano would chime from the window where he sat and played, his notes flitting about the apartments and balconies like fluttering butterflies, damselfly chords and dragonfly harmonies beating wings above rooftops and chimneys to the inevitable dusk, and the saddening of yet another thieving night.

Lo, the residents, in fear of their number – they claimed safety in the boy’s music, wore his tempos and flourishes as suits of armour against the marauding dark; his soothing renditions of Rachmaninov, Satie, Chopin, Beethoven – they placed these compositions to their hearts like a sonic crucifix to ward off the night.

The residents, ever dwindling in number – would catch their breath at the boy’s bombastic offerings of Gershwin, Joplin, Horace Silver and Thelonious Monk – once, Queen: But I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me (He’s just a poor boy from a poor family, spare him his life from this monstrosity).

Hark, the residents, huddled in their cubes of isolation – did listen to the night come rapping at their windows with slimy fingers and hacking lungs, while the boy played on: ‘twas Holst, Mars, Bringer of War.

And it was said, as the gathering night claimed its last souls, that the boy struck notes upon his piano sweeter than a whispering call to Heaven’s gate, and that he played until midnight, and only stopped when there was no more audience to hear his song.

And then, one evening, lo, when all was silent and the night had grown old and weary and relinquished its sting, the boy played a song by Elton John… which was magically claimed by a girl’s voice, lyrics poured loud from her balcony below the boy’s window, a magenta feather boa waving to the night as she sang, she sang, she sang, she sang: I’m still standing, yeah, yeah, yeah…

Corgi audio range. 1980.

Play this one fkn loud!! \m/

Six Sentence Stories: Adam’s Imaginary Friend

Image from the illustrated book and record The Jungle Book. Walt Disney. 1983.

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 Question.

Adam’s Imaginary Friend


Adam decided to name his friend Bagheera, after the black panther in The Jungle Book. Inseparable, they spent hours playing in the basement: Dungeons & Dragons, Pac-Man, Star Wars, Hungry Hungry Hippos and G.I. Joe…  while Dad – upstairs in the study, agonized over family bills, and Mom – at the kitchen table, inserted pieces of paper into envelopes to earn extra money.

An only child, Adam embraced Bagheera as his best friend and confidant; secrets whispered, anxieties shared – the grave mood of Mom and Dad and the way they never seemed to have time anymore to give to Adam, and all their hopes, dreams, wishes… evaporating in inky mists made to disappear in the blink of tired eyes.

One evening, in the basement, Bagheera gave Adam a shoe box – inside it, tightly-wedged bundles of bank notes – twenty dollar bills – hundreds upon hundreds of them crammed together like paper sardines, the wild-haired and bushy-browed face of Andrew Jackson staring off into the distance.

With eyes the size of frisbees, Adam said, “But where did you get all this money?”

Said Bagheera, “Don’t ask questions… just hurry upstairs and put this box on the kitchen table, while your mom and dad are busy watching St. Elsewhere.”

Thanks for reading 🙂

500 vintage bonus points for the first person to state which year this story is set!

Six Sentence Stories: a viral poem

Britains toys. 1983. UK.

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and the cue word this week is Routine.

A viral poem:

The rime of the ancient healthcarer


07h: Colleagues arrive, smiles behind masks, Wuhan shakes all around, wash hands, clean-crisp uniforms, temperatures taken.

09h: Patients washed and fed, some ache, some throb, some sneeze, some cough, mask on, wash hands, gloves on, temperatures taken.

14h: Sanitize, sterilize, realize some don’t like their own company in isolation, oxygen, pills, hand gels and meals on wheels, change mask, wash hands, touch face – blast it, wash hands again.

16h: Mask on, mask off, wash hands, mask on, disinfect, tick boxes checked, temperatures taken.

20h: Wash hands, change clothes, mask off, go home, wash hands, change clothes, watch news with family, prepare sandwiches for tomorrow.

00h: A routine sleep brings bad scenes lathered in dystopian creams, because there’s not enough water to keep us clean in viral dreams it seems we all must share, day after day, day after day, they dropped down one by one; virus, virus, everywhere, and all the crowds were gone.

After The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

#Coronavirus #WashHands

Six Sentence Stories: The Girl in the Coat

FAO Schwarz Fall / Winter catalogue logo. 1980. US.

Greetings, vintage mates. I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and the cue word this time is Coat.

The Girl in the Coat


The harsh Winter was almost over, yet no less fierce with the promise of precious Spring about to come: that blissful, two, three weeks at best, tolerable weather event, before the incomprehensible heat of Summer broiled us in our skins.

The girl, she was shivering under blankets plundered from the last town we passed; the forsaken church we had taken shelter in, before the roof collapsed under the weight of snow as filthy and heavy as a Christmas scene postcard sent straight from hell.

The girl, feverish, with me as her guide, the endless walking, sleeping in abandoned trucks and barns, chicken coops long ago ransacked of fowl and eggs, the girl, the girl, the girl and me, hiding in trees from marauders and murderers, and those driven mad by Summer and Winter’s brutal empire… the girl, oh that poor girl, how she shivered.

The girl, in her fever, she called out to me: “Mommy…” and I wept for the girl, and for her mother too – and whichever cruel season had snatched her away.

And I wondered: should I give the girl my coat… if I did, she would surely survive until Spring, yes, but I would freeze, for certain, me… her weathered protector, her compass, her source of advice and well of resourcefulness, her hand to hold in countless blizzards and wind and rain and fog and storms, and heatwaves out to desiccate us.

The girl, I stared at her trembling bag of bones body, me… with no maternal feathers nor stripes to call my own, and she, the girl, the girl, no daughter of mine, just a girl I once found hiding under a bed; the girl who I take my coat off to and wrap around her frame, and fasten each button as her eyes at last brighten, and me, shivering now, the fingers of the wind entering my pores like frost-swords and ice-needles, my eyes glazing over as I give the girl up to the coming of Spring and all I had taught her.


#climate #change #care #love

The Girl in the Coat is inspired by The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Huge thanks to Denise for hosting Six Sentence Stories #inspiring