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

Six Sentence Stories: Sweet tooth / Meat tooth

 

Zapf dolls. Hamleys. 1983. UK. Image enhanced by TVTA.

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 Slice.


Sweet tooth / Meat tooth

She lived in a house made from gingerbread and candy, with marshmallow walls and marzipan doors, butterscotch tables and toffee chairs, and two plump beds made from Turkish Delight – for when the children stayed over.

A sweet tooth she had, but always craved something saltier; something hot and tender she could slice into succulent cubes, and watch the pink juices run loose.

She glanced through the window at the arrival of the boy and his sister.

She licked her lips and threw another crooked handful of salt into the cauldron.

She tipped back her head and cackled at the thought of such delicious stew to come, never knowing as she let them in – until it was too late – of the sharpened axes they were hiding behind their backs.


Thank you for eating candy with us 🙂

Six Sentence Stories: The Ape that could Heal

Revell Endangered Animals. 1974. US.

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

The Ape That Could Heal

In the mirror you see the ape, black and white, a monochrome beast of healing, standing behind you and claiming your bathroom as his consulting room.

You prey he might help strip away your grief; the daily spooking performed by ghosts who arrive as regular as commuters, subway trains, and parcelled-up self-healing books from Amazon which you always finish with disappointment.

“Wash away your pain,” says the ape, his black-olive eyes primordial, sad, gentle, elemental and kind.

You wash and you scrub and you clean and erase the sticky pain which had set itself deep inside your pores, like shellac filling the grain of mahogany tables you have no desire to ever sit at, and where patina seals over all that mattered back then, when you were young and terrified, shivering below a desk in the biology lab, while all around you lay the bodies of classmates.

Says the ape, “Keep scrubbing, and peel back those layers until you see yourself grinning, just like me…”

And all at once, the ape arches his lips and gives the most exquisite and comical grin you have ever seen, and one that causes you to reciprocate; and only then do you find, in your reflection in the mirror, you are monochrome – black and white, just like he – the ape that claimed your bathroom as a consulting room, and helped heal you with ablutions and grinning teeth.


Thank you for healing with us 🙂