A lot of you want to be Steve Forti!
Here are the various ways you deployed string quartet:
french sojourn “G-String Quartet”
Steve Forti best ring quartet
Tim Lowe hamstring quartet
BJ Muntain blust'ring quartet.
Beth Carpenter string. Quartet,
J.R. Raglow A string, quartet of queer days, has mired me in a shoal
Colin Smith a string quartet of fishing lines
KA Claytor tie around hamstring. Quart Ethylbenzene,
Michael Pappas string quartet of sticky web
KD James Gaudiest ring quartet ever.
Diana The same fish she'd later string, quartets at a time, on her hook for dinner.
Amy Johnson “Four siblings, four former foster kids, four theoretical physicists,” says the article. “A string quartet.”
Here are the entries that caught my eye.
Pedro led the llama train, sure feet plodding between mountain wall and drop. The trail widened into a meadow near a shoal stream. Siesta time. The llamas grazed. Pedro's thoughts floated into dreams.
A rhythmic cry of alarm. A scream. He jumped at the blust'ring quartet. Llama to llama, he pulled them off the huddled figure.
"You can't help on the full moon," he told his son.
"Tonight's a full moon. Even I smell wolf on you. Go home."
He calmed the llamas as Miguel slunk homewards.
"Travel the world," he grumbled. "Have adventures. Come back a werewolf."
That final line just makes the whole piece.
Raine left no footprints in the muddy shoals.
It had to be a dream. She awoke on the couch, dropped in front of the television. Relief.
A nightmare from the true crime documentary. A view of the sandbar in the river flashed on the screen. She had been friends with the accused. Oliver. Decades ago. Everyone said he was innocent of that triple murder. Until the water pulled back from that sandbar to expose the old bones. She stared at Ollie’s image, remembered. Her body turned to bones.
A momentary horror. The knife. The pain. Then floating. And light.
I'm not exactly sure what's going on here but "her body turned to bones" is wonderfully enigmatic.
Before I met Chip, I never thought a tollhouse toff could fall for a bit of sugar and spice from the Shoals. He was all mine, right up until the day he spied a bunch of ne'er-do-wells floating around the kitchen: Rainier cherries. Sour cream. Cream cheese.
Snickerdoodle, Chip cried, Graham said I'd make the PERFECT addition!
Don't listen to that cracker, I wailed. He's nothing but crust!
Chip insisted. Persisted.
Sorrowfully, I desisted.
I'll be back, he promised, as he dropped over the side of our jar, but my semi-sweetheart never returned.
We were both crushed.
Chad jumped up from the snot-green couch—the most he’d moved in days. Cheetos rained down like confetti, neon orange bits smearing into the new carpet. He dropped the remote, picking it up with his bare toes. “Tallulah, fetch me another beer. Be quick about it.”
Wives are given a toll-free number, if the time comes.
A recording offers instructions with measured reassurance.
“To keep the body from floating…”
Tallulah scribbled furiously, ‘Twenty-pound weight, tie around hamstring. Quart Ethylbenzene, for sedation…’
Now, out beyond the shoal, Chad, his beer, and his remote keep company with the others.
Homage to the dearly departed snot-green couch.
(for those of you new to the reef, this was the description of my former couch, the one I revised with a carving knife)
John Davis Frain
Water Patrol pulls over Frain’s wife and boards her vessel.
“So you were fishing?”
“Following the shoals of herring to catch my husband’s dinner.” She points. “He’s down below.”
“But your boat has no cabin below.”
“Oh.” She winks. “He’s not in a cabin. He’s testing a floatation device.”
“How does that work?”
“It doesn’t,” she says, forcing a teardrop. “It’s why we’re drifting apart.”
That line took a toll on his patience. “I’ll have to cuff you for that one,” the officer groans.
“It was still worth it. I couldn’t live with that guy anymore.”
I love Frain's wife!
I dreamed I went to the lighthouse again. Like a spirit, I dropped off the cliffside and floated along the shoals and shores of the dark sea. The light chased me as I traveled. But it couldn’t catch me. I was unrestrained, ethereal.
I could sense you in the tower, watching, waiting. Sometimes you'd question your sanity. The loneliness took a toll. That’s how our fight started. With the questions turned accusations.
Now you direct them at yourself. Did I slip, or did you shove me?
The machines beep, but my eyes can’t open. See you soon, in my dreams.
I think of you whenever I hear the Raindrop Prelude.
I was a lone wolf, skinny and scabbed with mange, who mistook you for the moon – floating exalted, so bright, so cold – and sang you a wild nocturn.
Condescending, you invited me in, taught me more civilised music. I grew – stood on two feet, every aria tolling sophistication, your feral little protégé.
I cringed at your heel. But it was your shoal heart I craved.
One bold night of storms, I took it.
Only flesh it was. Only flesh.
Still, I think of you whenever I hear the Raindrop Prelude.
I'm not exactly sure what's going on here, but it's lovely.
Here are the four finalists
“Jus’ sayin’s, all. The best ring quartet’s the Olympic logo.”
“That’s five, dummy.”
“A strong contender. We floating ideas, I’m going brass knuckles.”
“On brand. Clever thinking.”
“Jupiter’s got four rings, ya know. Joe Montana, too.”
“My phone before it goes to voice mail.”
“That’s the winner right there. Love the creative juices. So we all agree? The bloody outline of the four bullet holes we put in the ayatollah here makes the second best ring quartet?”
“All right. Drop him in the hole and get burying. It’s about to be raining palace guards.”
Talk about a twist of an ending!
With the threat of extinction floating over us, I'm proud to announce a new, tidal form of energy production. We will begin construction on the shores immediately.
I won't be koi. I've paid atoll most severe. My scale reading has doubled. My health has gone to Shell. Sandy, my wife, dropped me for my best chum.
But, I couldn't do this alone. I've only seen further than others by standing on the shoalders of giants.
With our new generators, we can finally bring the fight to the dam surface-dwellers. May the Kingdom of Atlantis rain forever!
Oh suite mother of godiva!
Some days grandma misses her home so much she says it felt like a physical pain in her heart. She misses the rain the most, precious when it came, pounding the ocean like drums. She misses slipping off as a child, neglecting her chores to float among the bright shoals of fish. The same fish she'd later string, quartets at a time, on her hook for dinner.
Grandma grows very silent when I ask her why she can't go back. There's nothing left to go back to, she says.
Dropping twenty nuclear bombs on an atoll doesn't leave much behind.
my heart just stopped when I read that last line.
The parents float in and out, but Chelle makes sure the younger ones eat, get to school.
In sixth grade, Chelle reads L’Engle. Her shoal of classmates misses the points. Chelle reads it to Vincent, explains the bug on the string. Next, Ty. Then, Rosie.
Four siblings sent to four separate foster homes.
Bus rides, treks through the rain – to check on the three of them, drop off library books, encourage them. Incredibly, none of it takes a toll on Chelle’s GPA.
“Four siblings, four former foster kids, four theoretical physicists,” says the article. “A string quartet.”
I'm going to need some more time to pick the winner, clearly.
What an array of wonderful this is!
Let me know what you think in the comment column.