Shawls and Dolls – Six Sentence Story

Artwork by Phil Burns

This challenge is produced by GirlieOnTheEdge with the following simple rules:
Write 6 Sentences. No more. No less.
Use the current week’s prompt word – PLAY

Click here to hear the author read his words:

Shawls and Dolls

So, my friend J tells me, I gave Sheila this beautiful shawl, created in Russia back in the time of the Tsars, which I inherited from my grandmother (it might have been great- or great-great-grandmother, I don’t know, because I had, to be honest, stopped listening after the mention of Sheila) and you’ll never guess her reaction!

Well, she continues with scarcely a breath-length pause to allow any guess (not that I was about to offer one, but still), she leapt about twenty feet into the air (a pretty unlikely scenario if you happen to know Sheila) and shrilled that she couldn’t possibly accept anything from that inhumane regime.

And so, J goes on, I pointed out to her that not only does she still play, albeit appallingly badly, the works of Mr Tchaikovsky on her painfully out-of-tune piano, but that the current ‘inhumane regime’ comprises the descendants of those who executed the previous ‘inhumane regime’ for being, as you might say, a bit inhumane.

Furthermore, (J is still spluttering indignantly), I reminded her that the current victims of the aggression have a less than spotless record on the old human rights front, and just because a nasty wee bully gets his face punched by a nasty bigger bully doesn’t automatically make the nasty wee bully a good person.

So (and her tale is, I sense with considerable relief, now approaching some semblance of a finale) Sheila eventually accepted my argument and my gift, laying it (the gift, not the argument) on the table-top and turning over its beautiful folds one by one.

Finally I speak, a significant feat when J is in full flow, asking ‘And did she find within it a set of successively smaller shawls?’

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28 Responses to Shawls and Dolls – Six Sentence Story

  1. jenne49 says:

    Yes, but being of the sisterhood, I’m allowed to say it! 😉


  2. Sitting amongst the others in the auditorium, I too clap, hands in applause.


  3. clark says:

    Excellent ‘punchline’!

    (full disclosure: it’s no secret that I enjoy a certain appreciation of the technical side of the writing of the Sixes. Usually on the second read. Disclaimer*: despite having only a 3.8 (grade average in college days) understanding of most of the greats, I was getting so much of a Joyce vibe as I read that I demanded (rhetorically, of course that someone explain ‘how did fricken ceayr manage that effect**)


    *that’s a first! disclaimer to a disclosure?!? can he even do that?!
    ** to maintain sense of narrative sans punctuation

    Liked by 1 person

    • ceayr says:

      Glad you enjoyed, Clark, but is 3.8 a percentage?
      (There is much about the USA that leaves me uncomprehending!)

      Full disclosure: While I love his short stories, I find Joyce’s major works unintelligible.
      So this is, for me, a dubious compliment!


  4. Great story within a story, shawls, and political commentary quite the match, a bit like Fiddler on the Roof.


  5. UP says:

    i get most of my inspiration from history.


  6. I’m surprised you made it to the end without nodding off!


  7. dorahak says:

    History is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and bullies.


  8. Spira says:

    What Jenne said!
    Nailed it.


  9. Reena Saxena says:

    She found stories hidden in the folds of history.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You’ve mixed the deep and the light delightfully here.


  11. Wisdom worthy of George Bernard Shawl. Seriously, a lot to admire here, ceayr, including ‘she continues with scarcely a breath-length pause to allow any guess (not that I was about to offer one, but still)’.


    • ceayr says:

      As I said on your post this week, Doug, Orwellian rewrites make me very concerned.
      The media tells us that yesterday’s baddie is today’s goodie and vice versa.
      What happens when China invades Russia?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice description of the cycle of inhumane regimes executing the previous inhumane regimes like those Russian dolls or shawls covering up the one inside it.


  13. jenne49 says:

    Another universal truth laid out here – this time that of a typical female/male conversation in all its glory!
    I haven’t stopped laughing yet.
    But the sad political truth is there too, nicely summed up: ‘…and just because a nasty wee bully gets his face punched by a nasty bigger bully doesn’t automatically make the nasty wee bully a good person.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • ceayr says:

      You’re surely not suggesting, Jenne, that the female of the species is more garrulous than the male?
      And yes, I’ve always been wary of the ‘enemy of my enemy’ viewpoint.


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