The Stoop

I was made, created by the greatest and the best – Willy Loman. My God, My Creator, I’m a stoop.

I’m made of sand brought over from other buildings and I’ve seen a lot over the years. Biff and Happy bringing more sand so Willy could make me better. One day there was a loud noise about the time they came back, everyone was distressed and Willy saying “They weren’t stealing. Don’t ask me about stealing,” I don’t know what that is but I do know I was bigger and better than ever after that.

Happy and Biff used to play hoops after school. Bernard came in yet again to get Biff for study, can’t think why study is important. Willy is important, he’s the best, I know, he made me!

Willy’s outside again, sitting on me and enjoying the fresh air. Breathe deep, Willy, breathe deep, get that fresh air into your lungs.

But there he goes again. Can’t enjoy fresh air but has to start talking to no-one. No, Willy, Ben’s not here, he has not invited you to go back to the jungle. Don’t spoil a lovely day by talking to Ben he’s just not here. Talk about how you made me.


There you go again, talking to that girl. Willy, you are outside on your stoop, the stoop you made so cleverly, look at Happy, he’s lost weight and you can’t look at him?


Here’s Linda, without Willy…so that’s why she looks worried, he’s not here. I know I’m always worried when Willy isn’t here, he’s the best and makes me look fabulous. But why is she talking to Charley? He’s never here during the day when she is hanging out the washing. They’re talking about Willy.

Linda: I’m so worried about Willy.

Charley: How long has he been on the road this time?

Linda: He left the day before yesterday so everything must be okay so far.

Charley: He came to me before he left to get $50. I’m going to offer him a job, it would be better than having him begging off me each week.

Linda: I do appreciate you and your money. A job would be much better, make him feel like he’s doing something useful and earning his money. Thank you for being such a good friend to him.

Hmmm, Charley’s gone now. I know there are problems, Willy’s changed so much over the years. He used to come home all happy and excited to be back, sharing his stories with the family but over the years he’s changed. He drives in looking pensive and unhappy. Sometimes it feels as if he’s back too soon and that’s always the time when Linda is more worried.


Happy and Biff are back, sharing a room together like in the old days. Ah…it is good to have everyone here again, pity Willy doesn’t look so happy, he’s talking, no arguing with Biff again. Used to think Biff was an Adonis but now he just wants him to be well-liked.


Biff’s here shooting hoops, doesn’t really look as if his heart is in it. Willy should be home…here he is! Hey Biff! Your Dad’s here, you talk and be happy. But…but…they’re arguing. They’ve never done that before. A buyer in his room. Oh I’m sure it was innocent Willy says so, she was just having a wash.


Willy, you don’t plant in the middle of the night. I’m sure things will grow better planting during the day. You made me during the day. And why are you discussing twenty thousand dollars with Ben? he’s not even here. I know it sounds like a great proposition but I don’t think it sounds so good.


Willy died. I don’t really know what that meas but they’re talking about him as if he’ll never come back. That can’t be right. Everyone who dies seems to come back and talk to Willy so why can’t he come back and talk to me? Biff is very upset, keeps saying Willy had the wrong dream and that he should have stayed with making things. Then he said the best thing to Charley “…there’s more of him in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made.” Yes, that’s my Willy!

Mondayitis – Ajax


Meat, smells of human.

Fond of human, eat meat…

More meat, eat meat…

Still hunting…

More meat, follow meat.

Sniff strange rock. Smell of human. Meat inside, follow meat. Rock closes.

Meat appears at odd intervals, smelling of human not my human.

Long time in closed rock. Sometimes it opens, try to run but put back in rock. Not sure why rock moves.

More long time in rock. My human comes, opens rock, lets me out.

We go, find her little dogs, we go back to territory. All is good, can hunt again.

The Golden Wolf by Mary Elwyn Patchett

The Golden Wolf by Mary Elwyn Patchett

Mondayitis – Epithium

An Epithium am I…what? You’ve never heard of me! I should not be surprised, I was hand made by Miss Martha Grimstone’s father, he made compositions to control the weather and used me when playing them. There is only me, I am unique. When Mortimer Grimstone died Martha started playing me in her own way.

Ah, Miss Martha Grimstone. So many talents and so much potential. Lady Sterling heard her playing and invited her to stay in Darksbury in order to be able to attend the Music Academy. Music is such a big event in Gloomington, it controls so much and is very much enjoyed. It is very important Miss Martha learn more control over the music and over my skills, the Music Academy can do this for her even though they’ve never seen the likes of me in the past. Miss Sterling understood this, making sure Miss Martha received everything she needed.

Miss Martha is such a lovely person, she makes friends wherever she goes. She’d only been in the Music Academy for a moment when she struck up a friendship with Albert and only a little longer before she started being friends with Viola. She was very encouraging of Viola’s singing so Viola sang at the concert much to her parent’s pleasurable surprise.

Miss Martha assisted the bats to a new home, the clock was very appropriate for them and as they enjoyed the sounds it made they were much happier there than in the chimney.

I see much goodness in Miss Martha’s future, and I know I will be right by her side at every turn. She will need me for her music. We will be heading home soon to manage the weather and assure her family’s future, but only after helping Viola and her family with a concert. Viola will be singing!

The Grimstones: Music School by Asphyxia

The Grimstones: Music School by Asphyxia

Ed: You can buy The Grimstones: Music School at Booktopia. It would be a wonderful way of encouraging a young person to learn music.

Mondayitis – The Ponto

You know, Jack’s a decent kind of guy, I mean, he’s worked wonders with me. I’m brand new, no-one’s ever seen anything like me before and it’s all down to Jack. Jack the Inventor!

But even inventors can have problems and school can have lots of problems. George Hamel is one of them. Jack is good at school, but George calls him names, people copy and before you know it Jack hates going to school.

Anna told her parents who told Jack’s Mum. She went ballistic, I had to stay home so couldn’t see it but Jack told me later. She told them how good Jack is at home and how she can work because he’s such a tower of strength, how the school didn’t know him and didn’t seem to care, how Jack was being bullied and how he wouldn’t be going back to that school again.

The Principal asked for Jack to have a few days off so they could do some investigating. When their investigation was over they talked Jack into going back to school. He goes in and sits with Mr Angelou, they drink cola together and talk about photography. Mr Angelou thinks Jack should enter the Inter-School Photographic Competition so he does and wins!

Jack’s the man! Not only is he the inventor of a brand new vegetable but he’s also a great photographer and he stood up to the bullies…the bullies are past history now. I’m not, I’m the best and so is Jack.

Jack is Jack and I’m the Ponto, it’s been a pleasure being your narrator today.

I Am Jack by Susanne Gervay

I Am Jack by Susanne Gervay

Ed: Bullying can be a big problem and can cause ‘interesting’ health problems. Finding someone to listen and take action is another challenge. I Am Jack by Susanne Gervay shows this from the victim’s perspective in such a way young people can understand. I found it available on Booktopia.

Mondayitis – The Adventures of Bumbersnoot

by Karen J Carlisle.

I never thought I would end up in a girl’s school. It was during a Pickleman attack on the airborne Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. I plopped down onto the dirigible deck. Luckily one of the students scooped me up and adopted me.

Sophronia is an odd sort. She sneaks off in the middle of the night, leaving me behind to endure the attentions of her friends. Eventually they joined Sophronia on her midnight jaunts. I was glad when she befriended the Sooties, who live in the bowels of the school dirigible. I was getting rather hungry; even mechanimals need feeding. And I do love coal.

One day, I thought my luck had changed. Sophronia dressed me up in silks and ribbons, then finally took me on one of her adventures. A strange woman stood in the room teaching them how to take tea, swoon and use handkerchiefs in most interesting ways.

I was not allowed to join in. I was under instructions to stay quiet. Very quiet. I tried. I don’t know what I did wrong but it must have been terrible. One night Sophronia shoved an explosive device into my mouth and sent me off with a fortune teller to live with pirates.

I just don’t understand young girls. Maybe I would have been better off with the Picklemen.


Karen J Carlisle is a writer of speculative fiction – mostly steampunk and fantasy. She is currently working on a steampunk novel – The Department of Curiosities. You can follow her blog at Purplefiles or connect with her on twitter.


Ed: Curtsies and Conspiracies #2 in the Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger is available at Booktopia.