The Uptown Girl

TBP’s Online Writer’s Guild prompts this week are: A bajillion; My friends are all broken; Busted, bellicose, banjo. I managed to work out just one…

banjo boysLeaning against the back wall, the Bellicose Banjo impatiently waited for his musician so he could get to playing the night’s rowdy rhapsodies. The front door of the joint opened and in walked Ethereal Ellen with a giant black bag.

Ellen crossed the room near to the Bellicose Banjo, and tucked into a corner. She adjusted her black bag just so. Satisfied, Ellen then selected a chair from a nearby table and positioned it directly behind the bag.

Etheral Ellen’s bag was a damned odd looking thing, thought the Bellicose Banjo. Taller than Ethereal Ellen by at least a foot, it was also wide. And skinny, with a funny looking upside down triangle shape. What the hell sort of instrument was in it?

Ethereal Ellen reached down to the bottom of the bag and with a single sweeping motion, unzipped the entire thing from one end to the other. The bag fell away like flowering petals of a delicate orchid, revealing the most spectacular thing the Bellicose Banjo ever beheld. Luminous gold glowed off its surface, even in the dingy light of the old honky tonk. It seemed unworldly to the Bellicose Banjo, as if sent from high above.

The Halcyon Harp blinked as she adjusted her eyes to the gloom. Her soft, gentle gaze fell on the Bellicose Banjo and, in that moment, Bellicose Banjo felt for the first time in his life, calm and peaceful.

“What is this place?” Halcyon Harp asked.

“Me?” Bellicose Banjo blurted, “You talking to me?”

“Yes. What is this place?”

“Uh, it’s a honky tonk.”

“A honky tonk? What is that?” Halcyon Harp’s voice was gentle and lilting, and as beautiful as she.

“Well, y…you know,” the Bellicose Banjo stammered, “a jumpin’ joint. A dive! Place for folks to get down!”

“I’ve not been in a place like this before.”

“Oh, yeah? Where does a lovely lady like yourself go?”

“I’ve only been in churches. Cathedrals. Recital and concert halls. Parlors and salons. Botanical gardens. Not a honky tonk,” the Halcyon Harp replied. The Bellicose Banjo wasn’t sure, but he thought he saw a little bit of a smile spread across Halcyon Harp’s face.

“Yeah, well, I ain’t never been to any of those places, myself. I just been here, mostly, and the Sunday Market. Me ‘n the boys are always at the Sunday Market.”

The Halcyon Harp said, “I see you have strings. Somewhat like mine.”

“Yeah, I do! I mean, not as many as you. You got quite’a collection there.”

“Oh, do you think it’s too many?”

“No! I mean, what the hell, right? The more the merrier! Bet lots of pretty sound comes from all those strings of yours, if you don’t mind me sayin’.”

“I suppose. And, I don’t mind.”

Just then, the Bellicose Banjo’s musician walked in. Ethereal Ellen jumped up and skipped over to him. He wrapped an arm around her waist and she reached up on tiptoes to give him a kiss. The two kept smiling at each other like a couple of smitten school children.

“Get a load of those two!” the Bellicose Banjo bellowed.

Halcyon Harp smiled and lowering her eyes, said, “Mr. Banjo, it appears as though you and I are going to be spending some time together.”

Once I started with these two characters, I couldn’t figure how to fit the other prompts in. At least, not with only 25 minutes to write! I was pretty good keeping time this go ’round. The story took shape in the 25 and I edited for another 30.

A harp has 47 strings, so I choose that number for next week.


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