More RATTLER’S TALE Stories
by Anthony North
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with
PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields
Dick bought the holiday hat but it didn’t work.
‘I remembered I was still in isolation.’
The virtual reality salesman sighed. ‘I warned you,’ he said.
Silence followed. Then, changing his hat, the salesman said:
‘Go for the full download – guaranteed to escape Covid.’
‘What? You download something into me?’
The salesman showed his new computer.
‘No. We download you into IT!’
‘Anything to escape isolation,’ said Dick.
Moments later, there was a ping and Dick disappeared.
He enjoyed his holiday for a while, then…
The salesman put on his undertakers hat.
A virus had got him.
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE
The theatre was very old and had consumed many a performance.
The actors stood on the stage, taking in the atmosphere.
It was their final rehearsal, yet they knew they’d be interrupted.
Maybe it was the acoustics, but constantly the voices.
And the apparitions.
It was a busy stage.
They tried to concentrate, on their own lines, but …
… was that from West Side Story … and then Wilde …
… and …
‘All the world’s a stage.’
In this world, and the next.
Outside, the passers-by heard it, too.
‘Can you hear it?’ asked one.
‘Yes,’ the other replied. ‘Theatre – storytelling – outs our soul.’
‘It gets into our heads,’ said a third. ‘Makes us what we are, forever.’
‘There used to be a theatre here, you know.’
And the rubble began to sing.
107 comments on “Rattler’s Tale #8”
Trouble on’t holodeck
Certainly is. I see you’re speaking my language today, lol
That was my first thought too! I wonder what adventures he went on before Geordie or Scottie was called in to fix it.
And don’t forget O’Brien and Torres.
There’s no escaping it, even virtually.
Unless you abide by the title and forget holidays this year, which is one of the central messages the govt is trying to hammer home in the UK.
Staying is the best thing to do. Live in a virtual reality but even that can be subjected to viruses.
Very true, Tannille.
Skipping a holiday this year is going to be tough for many people. I want me one of thsoe hats, though 🙂
Yep, I think I’d like one myself.
I don’t want to buy what he’s selling…
Wouldn’t mind the hat.
Would that we had holodeck programs. I would insert myself into a virtual swimming pool. If the virus got me, I’d die happy. Sounds like that proprietor knew what he was doing. Imaginative.
Thanks for that. If only it would be safe.
Very original idea – and one we can only hope remains in your imagination! 🙂
Susan A Eames at
Travel, Fiction and Photos
ha ha, thank you – I’m sure it will.
Think I’ll not take my chances this year. It won’t kill me to hang out in my backyard for a staycation.
Great story. My husband works in IT for a university, and today they got hit with a big cyber virus attack, which was considered a possibly national security issue. Quite frankly, I thought we had enough going on with the coronavirus.
Virtual reality sounds like a wonderful idea. I could happily embrace VT forever!
Thanks for that, and welcome here. Sadly, hackers don’t stop, ever.
This is a very creative story! I wonder how many downloaded others he meets inside of the computer?
Thanks for that. Hopefully loads.
Very creepy. Good idea for this prompt 🙂
Many thanks, Linda.
Good stuff, Im camping in the garden for the summer, much to the irritation of the kids, but until it’s gone we have to stay at home.
Yes, I’m with you there.
Into a computer is the wrong place to go to escape a virus. Clever idea.
Nice story. I wonder where he is now and if he knows he’s gone yet.
Thank you. Good question. the answer’s in my mind … somewhere. I’ll have to see if I can find it.
i guess you can run but not escape the long arm of the virus. 🙂
So very true.
He seems to have forgotten that computers get viruses too. Very clever and I love the changing of hats!
Thanks for that. Much appreciated.
Looks like there’s no way out, it’s going to get everyone one way or another
I think so, either virally, psychologically or economically.
Those hats might be the closest many of us get to a holiday.
I think you’re right Sandra.
I guess it seemed a good idea at the time! I was due to go to Cuba; I won’t even try a virtual trip after reading this!
Oh, I’m sure it’s safe, Keith.
I like the way you use the hats to give a unity to the story- especially the undertaker’s hat!
Thanks for that Penny.
That’s torn it, virus 10 -humanity 7, can we have a rematch
Oh, we’ll win in the end.
Creepy. Very creepy!
Thanks for that.
The building may be rubble, but it’s still alive in the hearts of the players, isn’t it?
For always, and in the collective soul of all of us.
As a wannabe actor, prolific theatre volunteer … “outs our soul” is a perfect analogy.
Thanks for that, Helen.
Oh how I love this Anthony! Those last lines really resonated with me. A new favorite for me of yours!!
Thank you Carrie. very kind.
I loved the story of the old theatre, and could picture the actors in theirn final performance. Loved the rubble singing………..
Thanks Sherry, much appreciated.
That made me giggle. A much needed chuckle these days. 🙂
Thank you Angie, pleased to oblige.
The building my be rubble but the theater lives on.
Oh yes, it does indeed.
There’s a magic about storied places. Spirits linger ……………….even in rubble.
They do indeed, Bev.
Very imaginative! I really like where you took the prompt.
Thank you, very kind.
…”and the rubble began to sing.” That is a great line and very frightening.
Many thanks for that, and welcome here.
“the rubble began to sing.” – Nice! At first I read it is “the rabble”, which sort of works too!
Ha ha, I suppose it depends on how well they sing – not too gravelly.
Oy vey. One can escape reality, but do it long enough, or fully enough, and there’s a price to pay …
Yes, there always is.
From evidence around the world it seems people want to fight the virus rather that hide away safe from it. There has always been this strange reluctance to do as we are advised!
Indeed there is. How many will die by idiot?
The singing rubble slipped right under my skin.
An excellent poetic comment.
Thank goodness for the stage of the world, where the performances never end!
A hat for every occasion, all the way to the end.
i guess it is still best to stay put in the house. 🙂
At the moment, yes.
Sigh .. there is no escape. Is there?
It seems that way.
I love your imagination. That salesman must be from the twilight zone!
Thank you for that. Much appreciated.
A cautionary tale!
There is a lot to take in here, first is there no escape from a virus, external and internal mayhem? Oh, the songs the rubble would sing so all the world would know it was once a house of song.
Thanks for the comment. The first is simply a cautionary tale.
Very cool. I was a stage director for many years, and always listened to the stage–there is no truly empty space. (Visiting from Sunday Muse.)
Many thanks. It’s good to know, from a professional, that I got it about right.
I love that the rubble sings–somehow that makes it all better.
Thank you and welcome.
That hat has some dark magic. The theater is haunted?
That’s one interpretation, certainly. Or maybe it’s the stories performed in theatres that get inside us.
The first piece is very entertaining (as Awful Warnings go) but it’s the second one really gets to me. Quite haunting (sic).
Thanks for that. I always try to place a little humour in those cautionary tales.
I’m so glad we’re not holiday hat people and that, being shielded, I can’t be tempted by a virtual reality salesman! Creepy!
I enjoyed ‘All the World’s a Stage, Anthony. I have a thing about old and/or haunted theatres. Some of the oldest theatres are said to have ghosts and, having been to a few of them, you can definitely feel them. They seem to soak up everything into their very fabric, which is why I like the lines: ‘The theatre was very old and had consumed many a performance’ and ‘Theatre – storytelling – outs our soul.’ I love the rubble singing at the end!
Thank you. Yes, I’ve felt that in old theatres, too.
Excellent – both the virtual reality and the singing rubble!
Thank you, much appreciated.
There is a ping in the second story as well before the rubble sings
Thanks for dropping by Anthony my sumie Sunday
Thanks for that, Gillena.
As for “Stay Home,” you have a touch of Rod Serling and with “All the World’s a Stage,” I like the idea of the spirits of the performers echoing from the rubble of a fallen theatre. The play must go on, eh?
It must indeed. Thanks for that.
Interesting writes, Anthony! i like the photo accompanying them too. great entries, great writes!
Many thanks, and welcome here.
Love the twists and turns in your first poem. Your second scenario was so vivid, I could see and hear it.
Thank you Sara. Much appreciated.
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