The Heavy Metal Kettle Special

Heavy Metal. Starlog Japan. 1981.

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 or article constructed of six sentences based on a cue word given.

This week’s cue word is Kettle

There once was a lady who lived in a kettle

Who loved to listen to Heavy Metal:

Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and AC/DC

And many more groups besides these three.

Yet she also loved other styles of music:

Gothic, Post-Punk, New Wave, New Romantic,

Classical, K-Pop, Hip-Hop and Be-Bop,

Ragamuffin, Reggae, and Lovers Rock.

There was Afrobeat, Zouk, Funk and Jazz,

Country and Western, Honkytonk and Bluegrass,

Shoegaze, Electro, Jungle and Grime,

R&B, Disco, Folk and Ragtime.

Then Punk, Ska and Rock, and Congolese Rumba,

Chicago Blues, Gospel Blues, Swamp and Delta.

And all this she loved, did that lady in the kettle,

Yet none so much as her dear Heavy Metal.

Her dear Heavy Metal, her dear Heavy Metal –

None was so loved as her dear Heavy Metal.

Thank you for rocking the metal kettle with us 🙂 \m/

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

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.

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.

Six Sentence Stories: The Safe House Women VS The Masked Man

Starburst masks small ad. 1987.

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 Random



Editor’s note: the following is an extract from a larger work in progress, a ghost story, and features the characters Henry and Marling. This new instalment introduces two other major characters: Wendy Harper and the the Masked Man. You can read previous extracts here and here.

The Safe House Women VS The Masked Man

When they entered the bedroom they saw that the window was wide open and the curtains were flapping about like two demented phantoms, and that two metal coils were bobbing in the distance between Mrs Parker and the bed, which made it evident to the women that Mrs Parker had deployed her taser – further confirmed by the hooks of the coils which had attached themselves to the torso of the biggest man any of them had ever seen, a man wearing a mask – a buffalo mask of all things – and who was slouched upon the bed with the grin of the devil beneath his disguise, and Wendy thought… there’s no goddamn way this creep is gonna get the better of her and her friends.

Eighteen female eyes burned like lasers into his massive form, and his devilish smirk was wiped clean from his mouth as Wendy launched her knife – just missing the head of Mrs Parker in its trajectory, before embedding itself into the man’s left bicep… and the man – he didn’t so much as blink or yelp or cuss, but did nought else than pluck the blade from his arm and toss it to the floor, and then he growled, and then he roared, and he snorted, and he bellowed, and he made to rise his bulk from the bed to charge at the nine women standing before him, as though they were flimsy matadors to be tossed in the air before the goring began of each of their throats, which he swore in unsaid oaths he would rip open in one minute flat.

But the launching of Wendy’s knife served only to set off a wild and impressive catalyst, as the women began shouting and hurling missiles at the man who received body blows and headshots from such random items that included books, slippers, a bottle of mineral water, a table lamp, a cassette of Blur’s Greatest Hits, perfume, shampoo, a hairdryer, a set of hair straighteners, and a Hello Kitty toothbrush.

The man, understanding then that the women were about to charge him, did nothing more than leap from the bed and flee his tormentors, and in two long strides he was among the flapping phantoms the curtains still made, and hurling himself from the open window to return from whence he came.

They stood there in utter exhaustion, the nine women, puffing, panting, exclaiming enough curses between them to make a sailor blush.

“Well, that’s something to tell the grandchildren about one day,” Wendy said to no one in particular.

In zany we trust – you do have to be mad to work here…

“There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.” Aristotle

Greetings, vintage mates. A funny thing happened to TVTA on the way to archives… we got a little more zanier than usual… I blamed the cat, and he blamed me, then we called it quits and decided to blame Denise over at Girlie On The Edge Blog

If you would like to blame Denise too, then why not follow her lovely blog and join in the zany fun that is Six Sentence Stories!

Here is our zany detour in all its kooky glory…

Oxford English Dictionary definition of zany


(comparative zanier, superlative zaniest)


  1. strange or unusual in a humorous way
  2. synonyms: wacky; crazy; funny; kooky

… and now… TVTA brings you (a most zany): SIX SENTENCE STORY

Zany Janey



There was a young girl called Janey

who everyone thought was zany.


T’was largely her diet

which caused such disquiet

for Janey ate everything with gravy.


Cornflakes and gravy, poached eggs with gravy,

bananas and gravy, hot chocolate and gravy,

peanuts with gravy, fish fingers and gravy,

pancakes and salad and croissants with gravy.


With certain dismay, her mum said one day: ‘Janey it pains me for you to be zany and eat all your food mixed up with gravy.’


Replied Janey quite sanely and with words spoken plainly: ‘Mum don’t berate me for being zany, when at school my friend Daisy says gravy with everything makes you brainy!’


Zany word origin: late 16th century from French zani or Italian zan(n)i, Venetian form of Gianni, Giovanni ‘John’, stock name of the servants acting as clowns in the commedia dell’arte.

… yes, you do have to be mad to work here, and it helps 🙃

Thank you for being zany with us!