Welcome to Three Word Thursday #5. This week, joining the quondam word-list, we have hitonious; teterrimous & mellifluous. We also have a whole list of perspicacious writers. If you enjoy reading my story, leave a comment then click on the names of the other players and go see how they used the words. You’ll be entertained (and possibly educated) all at once.
Mortimer Murgatroyd McMitchellson had a melliflous voice. His singing charmed birds from the trees. Unfortunately Mortimer Murgatroyd McMitchellson had hitonious halitosis, and if he held the same note for too long, those charmed birds dropped over dead at his feet. No matter how sweet his singing, Mortimer could not keep an audience.
Miss Beatrice Pennyweather used to sit on her porch swing in the evening, and listen to Mortimer singing in his house across the street. She was not at all surprised when the birds swooned from the tree branches. She thought them faint with bliss. After all, she was. Often Ms. Pennyweather wished she had the courage to step out of her gate and introduce herself to her mellifluous neighbor, but years went by and she never did.
Finally came the eve of Ms. Beatrice’s 30th birthday. She lived alone, unless one counted her three cats. She ate alone. She slept alone. And, after 5 years of watching the house across the street, she was pretty certain her handsome neighbor did as well. Ms. Beatrice put on her best dress, powdered her nose, painted her eyelashes and lips, and gave herself a squirt of her favorite perfume; then she went out and sat on her porch swing.
Every night, Mortimer Murgatroyd McMitchellson, stood at his bedroom window and sang. He sang for the lovely lady across the street as she sat on her porch swing each evening. Sometimes he even fancied that she sat there waiting just for him. Because he watched, he knew she very seldom ever had visitors to her house, and only on rare occasions did she venture out in the evenings. When he saw her dressed up, Mortimer thought that this was going to be one of those rare evenings, and that his audience would soon be swept away, so he poured his heart and soul into his first song.
Ms. Beatrice was so moved by the lovely music that she spring from the porch swing, hastened across the street, and opened the latch on Mortimer’s front gate. That is when she saw all of the birds scattered lifeless on the lawn. Mortimer was so caught up in his performance, he didn’t realize that Ms. Beatrice was in his yard. He belted out a particularly long and melliflous note, and three more birds tumbled from their perch in the oak tree and landed near Ms. Beatrice.
And that is when the teterromous odor hit her. Ms. Beatrice blinked. Tears streamed from her eyes. She couldn’t draw a breath. Her lungs were paralyzed. Thankfully, her feet were not. She bolted for home, where she sank gratefully onto to her porch swing and gasped for air.
Across the street, Mortimer ended the song and looked out his window. Ms. Beatrice was still there. As he’d done every night for the past five years, Mortimer wished he did not have such teterrimous halitosis. Ms. Beatrice, still choking and gasping, wished, word-for-word, that very same thing at that very same instant.
Time stopped. A little calico cat chasing fireflies froze in mid-leap and just hung in the air. Ms. Beatrice lurched from her porch swing. The swing didn’t move. She gave it a push, but it remained steadfast and still. She backed away slowly. Her shoulders encountered the screen door. She reached behind her and grabbed the knob. Just then, the firefly flashed bright magenta, corkscrewed into the air, then floated down until it hung at Beatrice’s eye level. “Don’t be afraid,” it said.
Beatrice whimpered. The creature — whatever it was — appeared to be dressed in shifting rainbow lights. Beatrice decided she must have fallen asleep. She was dreaming …
“You are not dreaming,” the wee creature said. Her voice sparkled like wind chimes. “Every so often, although quite rarely in human years, two people will breathe the exact same heart-broken wish at the exact same time, and when such a wish occurs, it must be granted.”
“Wha — what?” Beatrice stammered.
From across the street a triumphant shout rang out. The window sash squeaked open and Mortimer’s head and shoulders emerged. He sang a chorus of, Happy Days Are Here Again, and not not one bird fell from the sky; however, several neighbors opened their own windows and doors and shouted for Mortimer to shut up.
“His voice!” Beatrice looked at the creature of light. “What have you done to his voice?”
The small being shrugged, “All magic comes with a price. Mortimer must give his voice to cure his hitonious halitosis.”
Across the street Mortimer was having the same conversation with another glowing being. “For love, it is a price I will gladly pay,” Mortimer said.
“Oh no,” Beatrice shook her head. “That is too great a price. I would rather suffer alone than forbid the world his glorious voice.” But it was too late, the creatures of light were gone. The porch swing gently swayed; the calico kitten and the firefly resumed their romp across the lawn; and Beatrice stood on her porch steps staring up at Mortimer, who looked down at her from his bedroom window.
“I am coming down,” Mortimer yelled, and disappeared from the window. Beatrice walked down the steps and across the lawn, wondering again if it were all a dream. Mortimer’s front door opened. Beatrice gripped the top of the gate. Mortimer walked down the sidewalk and stopped. There they stood, gazing into each other’s eyes. Finally, Mortimer reached out and put his hands atop Beatrice’s. They both stepped closer to the gate and slowly, slowly leaned forward, not breaking eye contact until just before their lips met.
Mortimer and Beatrice married. Beatrice moved across the street into Mortimer’s big, two story Victorian house, which they promptly filled with three stair-step children who all sang like angels and had breath as fresh as spring.
Three Word Thursday #6:
Every Thursday I will give you three new words. You have until the following Thursday to compose a story using all three of the words. Then, on that following Thursday, post your story. After you post, come by here and sign in in the comments. Then, just like up above, I will put your links up for all to visit.
The Week Six words will be: sternutation; zoilist; anopisthograph
Got it? Good! In that case: Your story is due on: March 19th, 2009
No actual birds were harmed in the writing of this story.