More RATTLER’S TALE Stories
by Anthony North
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with
PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold
TIP TAP TAPPING – a typewriter possessed
Grandad was dead.
But sleeping in the old house, that tip tap tapping.
All night long.
How prolific a writer did he intend to be?
Gets into your head, that tip tap tapping.
It was an old typewriter – very old.
Grandad found it many years ago at…
…he’d never say. But it inspired him to be a novelist.
He had many bestsellers before his suicide at 61.
Tip tap tapped.
I was hooked!
Then I found it – the last note Grandad wrote.
And I write …
…for 40 years 4 months.
It was signed Hemingway.
FOR POETS & STORYTELLERS UNITED
She loved him.
Was his mother. Yet …
Warned of danger.
She didn’t understand, of course; even though she hated the soldiers.
Was unable to grasp what he was; yet she grasped her staff tightly.
Given, he was, as if an undeniable miracle from heaven … but …
An incomprehensible death.
Explanation? Pointless, yet she was …
Never the less for it. Except …
She picked up her staff to strike the soldier, but his thoughts …
Persisted. Not with A CROss STICk.
FOR THE SUNDAY MUSE
Viruses have a habit of multiplying.
At first biological, they soon have their eye on the economy.
And once the economy is quarantined, politicians fall.
Revolutions go viral.
But luckily we left the tanks in stores; pointy things in silos.
But who would have thought.
When granny was quarantined she had to find something to do.
Add a weather beaten wall and a can of paint …
Granny was on a mission.
Yet granny soon went exponential.
And now that the biological, economical and political were over …
They looked at graffitied cities all over the world …
… the look of despair of the disenfranchised youth …
And banned aerosol paints for the over seventies.
Book 28 of 68, A Family Loss: A Crime cum Horror Novel, out 27 April
92 comments on “Rattler’s Tale #3”
Being Hemingway’s grandson would incapacitate most writers.
Thanks for that, Neil.
I believe he might have made his way into my story. 😀
Indeed, Tannille. We’re on the same track today. Thank you.
Grandpa never said where he got it from. The typewriter has its story…
Thanks for that, Anita. You too. And it has indeed.
What a find that would be! Imaginative story.
Many thanks for that, Rochelle.
Now there was a guy who could tip tap a bit!
He could indeed … forever
I do love Hemingway, and the myth that has grown up around him – but trying to compare you’re writing efforts to his is a path to madness for sure!
I wouldn’t dare.
Ah, clever and unexpected. Nicely done, Anthony.
Susan A Eames at
Travel, Fiction and Photos
Many thanks, Susan, much appreciated.
I did NOT see that one coming 🙂 Good twist, and I’m glad I don’t have any celebrated world-famous writers in my family tree!
Hi Linda, thank you. Glad you liked it.
With a typewriter like that you have to write
You do indeed.
I was expecting an end like Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart, but you surprised me with Hemmingway 🙂 Good story. Mine is along your lines.
Thank you for that. And you mentioned my favourite storyteller there – Poe.
I imagine it must be beyond difficult to follow in such footsteps…
Hi Dale, I’m afraid I failed big time with this story – 100 words was simply not enough to convey the fact that the typewriter was possessed, and thus the implication at the end didn’t work. I’ve now added to the title to make it clear. Sorry to you, and the above, for this.
There’s history in that thar typewriter. It’s dragging them in, almost!
Yes, it is indeed.
His spirit survives within the machine. Intriguing tale Tony.
Hi Keith, indeed it does. Thanks for the kind comment.
Nice twisty plot with a bit of bite – no wonder it’s a Rattler’s Tale!
Many thanks Penny – yes I do like my twisty tales.
I like the idea of a haunted typewriter – especially one haunted by the ghost of Hemingway. A ghostwriter perhaps? The repetition of ‘tip tap tapping’ is very effective, Anthony.
Hi Kim, a ghostwriter indeed 🙂 Many thanks for the kind comment.
I like the association of your grand father with Hemingway. I am sorry about both of their suicides.
Hello Frank, luckily it’s just a story.
What an interesting poem! Love the old typewriter!
Thank you Dwight, and welcome here.
Hemingway’s are all in museums, like his house in Havana, but I like the premise of your story. I did have some trouble finding the ending couplet though.
Ah, that poetic licence 🙂 Thanks for the comment, Glenn.
Liked this very, very much, the ending of course, but on another level it took me back to my childhood tictactactic tip tap tap too. My biological father who I saw last when I was 6 left this old writing machine, I remember him writing on it, lost to world. But I also remember later when unattended I got to make my first marks on paper with it too. Maybe i got hooked then already, the magic symbols. I also, as it was so noisy, played it like a kind of an instrument. 🙂
Thanks for that Julian, and welcome here. It’s good to look back to where a writer became.
Marvellous things typewriters, sadly my finger has got jammed between the keys…………
Ah, it happens
A fascinating write, and I myself was possessed with the typewriter and the story behind it! A final couplet would’ve been the crown jewel of the piece.
Thanks for that, Bev. Since I’ve come back to dVerse I’m having difficulty remembering there isn’t an open link every week.
…for 40 years 4 months.
It was signed Hemingway.
It certainly had rubbed off very well on the grandson.
Thanks for that, Hank.
Great take on the prompt. I’m sure that typewriter would have many tales to tell. The secret is how to get them out of it.
Oh yes, if only.
A heck of a legacy to live up to. Great write!
Thanks for that, Frank, and welcome here.
Brilliance to strive for. Well penned.
Thank you Susan. Much appreciated.
Big shoes to fill. Enjoyable tale!
Hi Brenda, glad you liked it.
I enjoyed your take on the Muse Anthony! I think the youth need to learn from the wisdom and passion that their grandparents have to bestow. I also love your typewriter story as well. Have a safe and wonderful weekend Anthony, and as always thank you for joining us at the Muse!
Hi Carrie, thanks for that. Glad you liked the post – and you’re right about youth.
Great response to #101! Going to grab my spray paint now. ‘Granny was on a mission’
Ha ha, you do right. Thanks for that, Helen.
I love “granny went exponential.” LOL. And I really enjoyed the post about the typewriter. I started writing at age eleven on my grandpa’s old Underwood, beat away on it for decades till I was dragged kicking and screaming into the electronic age. So I really enjoyed your post!
Thanks for that Sherry. Very kind.
I love all these. I have an old typewrite on my desk I bought at an antique store. I wish I knew its story. I bet granny will figure out how to make her own paint. 🙂
Hi Susie, many thanks for that. Yes, those old typewriters could tell many a story. Maybe granny will tell them on her wall? 🙂
I can picture the typewriter 🙂 quite an imaginative tale!
Thank you for that. Much appreciated.
The writing bug seems to run in families. LOL, more than once I or my son have said something out loud to each other to both declare “that’d be great in a story”.
Yes, it certainly seems to do so in mine, with three of my kids interested in writing. Although before me, there’s no evidence of any previous writers in my family.
Immersed in the tip tap tapping, I was startled by the suicide. Wonderful story. Thanks.
Thanks for that Hazel. Very kind.
Love the typewriter story–eerie and atmospheric, it coils close before springing. And I am left wondering…what was the revolution proposed by the grandmothers and were the two last poems related?
Thanks for that, Chrissa. Your question got me thinking. Not intentionally, but I’ve noticed unconscious threads can creep into one’s writings when written close together. I must practice literary distancing 🙂
with a typewriter of such history, you have no choice but to follow in the shoes.
Anyway, during this period arm all old grannies with colour spray cans. 🙂
Very true – on both counts 🙂
“Understanding” can be so subjective.
It can indeed. In fact I’ve often found the objective subjective, too.
Hemming was very prolific, you have developed a very reason foundation for that. Do you write Historical Fiction. I have one in mind but not a drop of ink or electronic bytes expended yet. Probably won’t.
Hi Jim, yes I’ve written the occasional period piece. As for what’s in your mind, I’m reminded of reading the only advice required for writers by Brian Clemens, a Brit TV screenwriter in the 1960s & 70s: Place bum on chair; pick up pen.
Love all these My favourite is the typewriter story I can here granddad Hemingway tapping away
Thank you Marja, glad you liked them. Much appreciated.
I like the tap tap tapping haunting and the surprise ending!
Thank you Colleen, very kind.
No spray paint for the #olds! I think the cohort of children coming of age in the pandemic are should be called #Baby Zoomers, since their schools have shut down and everything remote — teachers, doctors, parents…
Yes, I like that name – if not the reality it would create.
Yes, we all have our “ghost” urging us on…
We do indeed.
Enjoyed reading all of these. Lovely writing!
Thank you, much appreciated.
I enjoyed them all. You do like the twist in the tail, don’t you? 😀
Thank you Rosemary. Yes, I do have a habit of doing twisty tales. As I say: get rid of the wickedness in your writing and there’s none in your life.
Loved the close on the typewriter story!
Thanks for that. Much appreciated.
So it was the typewriter all along. Hmmm – that very suspicious and a tale for itself perhaps?
In open defiance I would see a gathering of geriatric spray painters creating “happy little trees” on the brick walls of the shopping malls after watching old Bob Ross videos. All the while screaming, “Give me Krylon or give me death!”
Sorry, Anthony. I get this way sometimes.
Oh, so do I 🙂
Love both, Anthony. So imaginative. Give me spray paint or give me death. Oh, wait, someone said something similar, didn’t they.
Ha ha, yes I believe so, Sara. Thanks for the kind words.
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