Follow 22 and 23

Follow 22

The challenge? Write a story in 6 sentences, no more & no less, and if you’d like, share your creation or just visit and comment on others’ ideas, with GirlieOnTheEdge, Denise. The prompt is “LOUNGE”, and here’s where you join the party: Six Sentence Stories  

Jack leaned back against the pestle, slowing its side-to-side roll inside the mortar as it approached the golden cupola, finally stopping just below where cupola met tower, to reveal a red door with a tarnished brass keyhole.

Jill pushed against the door and exclaimed, “Just our luck Jack, the damned thing’s locked!”

“I’ve got this,” he answered, blowing on his chilly fingers before slipping his switchblade out of his pocket and deftly digging and jiggling it in the keyhole; he smiled as the lock clicked open, and gave the door a firm push.

Jack stepped through the door and into the cupola, which was a large – surprisingly large – and round room with scarlet plush couches scattered along the walls, a snooker table with an unfinished game set up under a rectangular, stained-glass chandelier, sconce lighting on either side of a full bar with an embedded crystal pie safe filled with fruit pies, cream pies, chocolate and berry pies, and what looked to be a late 20th century stereo system perched on the edge of the bar rail.

Jill followed Jack into the cupola, pulling the door shut to keep out the cold, and turned to survey what looked like someone’s basement party lounge.

“It looks much bigger on the inside that it does from the outside,” she remarked, adding, “So it seems like we’re still in a magical place, and not quite home yet.”     

Follow 23

Jack reached back and grasped Jill’s hand, warming it in his own, and they wandered around the perimeter of the cupola lounge to look through the four windows evenly spaced around its curve.

The first window showed, from overhead, the snowy scene they had just left: three billy goats of various sizes shaking snow from their heads, tails a-twirling as they laughed at a very wet troll climbing the creek’s slippery bank and padding off into the woods toward a small hut with chicken legs, a thin snake of blue smoke slithering warm and viscous, out of its chimney.

Window number two was filled with the nearly blinding light of a full moon, and in the spotlight below, Queen Buttermilk was stirring eggs, oil, baking soda and a couple pinches of salt into a large bowl of waffle slurry and issuing orders, while a hare and his second-in-command shook two ragged, red-capped creatures from a checkered table cloth and attempted to fold it, at the same time a sharp-nosed man in a top hat with a much-folded note about available hat sizes slipped into its ribbon, tenderly picked up a baseball glove and snuck away with the dormouse still asleep inside it.

The third window was darkened to a wavering deep blue and green, and the two friends paused and gaped as fishes with lanterns on stalks protruding from their foreheads followed striped and brightly colored loners that were giving them the side-eye, and schools of silver strips darted and parted around the drama about to ensue, and then narrowed their eyes to make out a distant castle with a red dragon snaking sinuously around its golden towers.

The two walked to the other side of the bar, past the entrance to a slide that curved off into darkness, and peered out the fourth window, where spinning planets and sparkling stars reeled across an open sky that was neither blue, nor black, nor no color at all, while across this brilliant, silent span, a hypnotically dark spot rolled and wavered, growing in size as it approached.

Jack screamed and Jill yelled and both tumbled to the lounge floor as the spot suddenly turned and rushed the window with staring blood-red eyes and a triple row of teeth, between which protruded a knife-sharp tongue.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2023)

20 thoughts on “Follow 22 and 23

  1. Oh, I love it!
    Save me a seat there, Liz!

    (Apart from what I have already told you I enjoy about your writing, I pinpointed one more: your pen radiates an intimate connection to nature).


  2. The images come and come! I have a few episodes to catch up on while I was away (which I will do today) but these two are fiery! The lounge is fun to picture with its snooker table and hi-fi system 😁
    The four windows… window #1: I’m still freaked out by the books I read about the Three Billy Goats Gruff as a kid 😱 My fave was the Ladybird edition with super scary illustrations!
    Window #3: I imagined a football fish/angler fish… stuff of nightmares!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Again I am in aware of the evocative ‘visuals’ in your Six(es).
    (The word ‘fantastical’ comes to mind, but I’m not certain how to use it*)

    follow-up, odd question: Jack screamed and Jill yelled Deliberate assignment of verbs? (Refreshing, either way).

    *lol, I know, like that’s ever stopped me

    Liked by 1 person


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