I wrote this story using the following prompt: FOWC with Fandango – Propensity
It’s hard when your vocals are off, your batteries are flat and you’re last in the queue.
A Bung Note
I feel like a lyric from that song “Just Dropped In” (To See What Condition My Condition Was In’) because my condition is seriously bad.
I have seen it coming for a few weeks now, I’ve become whiney and I’m getting more and more croaky, and there will be no credit given to Frank the battery-powered, ceramic ornamental frog on the porch, for that. He croaks if a leaf drops, he is worse than the dog who has the propensity to bark at fresh air. Frank fancies himself as a watch-frog, so now the dog, Monty, has got the pip and sulks in his kennel.
But enough about the other members of this noisy household, my problem is far more important. I’m not delivering the melodious sounds that I used to. Instead, I sound like a badly played violin; my chime will curdle your custard. It’s an assault on the eardrums.
I am a door chime, and my job description stipulates I am to announce visitors, regardless of status. Whether it is a parcel delivery, or a long list of callers like the lawnmower man, associates from the bowls club, siblings and cousins, the grandchildren arriving to visit or the next-door neighbour popping in… (takes breath, wheezily)…I am expected to sound very pleasing to the ear. Sadly, this is not the case, and my guarantee doesn’t say what compensation I get for having a wonky ringer.
I feel very awkward when I see a finger pointing straight at me, knowing I am going to sound a bit like nails on a blackboard. This plays badly with my anxiety, as I dread my buzzer being pressed.
There is, however, an extremely easy solution to my dilemma; my tired batteries need replacing.
I could hardly contain my excitement when I saw my homeowner, Ken, head out to buy some supplies. I knew he was getting more batteries. He could not stand my awful sound either. His expression was one of extreme distaste when I chimed. Even worse than his look when his tea goes cold or when too many advertisements delay his favourite TV show. He pulled that face every time my buzzer was rung.
He taped over my buzzer with duct tape, which usually fixes 99.9% of problems, but I must be the 1%. The tape was curling up at the edges and began to peel, so the neighbour said “”pfft, that will never do”, and pulled it off completely. I am sure Ken missed my melodious friendly welcoming tones, though, as every time my buzzer was pushed, my chime sounded like a something psychedelic from the ‘70s.
When a new 10-pack of Double A’s arrived home with the shopping, they were buried in the bag under the pasta and low carb bread. I could feel my sparkle returning as I tingled with delight at the thought of new energy pulsing through me.
But my excitement was wasted! I missed out on my replacements! Frank was first in line, followed by the wall clock, then the alarm clock and three figurine toys that needed battery power to come to life and entertain the youngest of the grandchildren when they visit. One of the figurines has a smaller vocabulary than mine, as it were, so I really should have been ahead of him in the queue. But what Buzz Lightyear wants, Buzz Lightyear gets. Something about the Universe and beyond…? Whatever.
My patience is wearing thin, but I am next in line. When I do get new batteries, I will put in a request for a new chime. I am playing a piece of Mozart now, not that you would recognise this masterpiece through my speakers, but I would be delighted to have a new sound. I have 30 tunes in my memory, so it is such a waste not to expand my repertoire. I can do Big Ben, jazz, birdsong, harps, and echoes, and a foghorn, just to name a few.
Maybe when I am in a better voice, I can drown out Frank so Monty will come out of his kennel. It will be good to see him slobbering happily all over Frank.
With tuneful notes, peace will reign again in our harmonious household!
Thanks for reading my story
Copyright Fleur Lind © 2021