H is for HARP

Welcome to Day 8 of the Third Annual A to Z Challenge!

My theme my 26 fiction posts will revolve around something musical – it could be anything, as long as it's musically-related… maybe a song title, an artist/band, musical terminology, musical instruments, words relating to sound/rhythm/movement/dance etc.

MUSICAL ASSOCIATION/CONNECTION. HARP – a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard.


 Matilda Martin droned on. Like the buzzing of a persistent fly that wouldn’t go away…

It was her “harping” voice. Harp on the same topic… day in and day out.

Actually, there were five harp subjects. In no particular order, and dependent on her mood, the time of the day, her recent luck at the racetrack, the weather, or her weekly horoscope prediction.

Who puts food on this table?

What on earth are you doing with that moronic boy from down the street?

Where are you off to at this unearthly hour?

When are you getting a job?

Why do you always have to have a new pair of shoes/outfit for a party?

Nag. Nag. Nag.

Harp. Harp. Harp.

Bertha had long since learned how to cut off… the tune-out countdown kicked in… five, four, three, two, one… *ping*

She could see the mouth moving, but she couldn’t hear a thing. It reminded her of the old black-and-white movies, you know the ones where everybody moves around in soundless fast-motion?

Nag. Nag. Nag.

Harp. Harp. Harp.

Enough was enough …

The i-Pod was set to play the specific section, over and over again…

The monotonous, robotic, staccato-styled voice repeated the set of words five times, at two minute intervals…

Who ? What ? Where ? When ? Why ?

The gentle strains of a harp filled the silences in between.

A bound and gagged Matilda sat hunched in the corner of the cellar, earphones in place, while a look of disbelief laced with fear, emanated from her wide-eyed face.


  1. DL Hammons on April 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I love the sound of the harp!  Very nice piece!!  🙂

    • michelle on April 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Yes, it has the most amazing, gentle, soothing, therapeutic sound…  🙂

  2. Elise Fallson on April 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Love the way your character tunes out voices. I used to be able to do this after moving to France. My French was not that great and I spent a lot of energy focusing on what people would say to me. By the end of the day, I was exhausted, my brain overloaded, and I could tune-out entire groups of people/conversations. Now it's more difficult because I know the language better.  Anyway, nice piece, made me smile. I can imagine your character rolling their eyes thinking "Nag, nag, nag….harp, harp, harp." (:

    • michelle on April 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      The tune-out function is probably a good mechanism for any human being. It could come in handy and actually preserve your sanity when needs be (yours is the perfect example…) 🙂

  3. Rekha on April 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Revenge is sweet isn't it?…Your devious mind has come up witha wonder tale. 🙂

  4. michelle on April 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    *giggles* I couldn't resist this "revenge angle"… what would you do if you experienced such constant nagging, day in and day out? At the end, the torturer had to endure what she gave out… 🙂

  5. Robyn Campbell on April 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Oh Matilda! If only you'd known. Ha! Super. I loved reading about Matilda getting what she gave. I can see her wide-eyed face in my minds eye.
    The harp is a beautiful. I wish I could play one. I wish i could play any instrument.
    Wonderful post, excellent blog. I followed you back networked blogs. 🙂

    • michelle on April 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks Robyn. The question is… can she really endure her own "brand of medicine" which she has been dishing out for a long, long time? 🙂

  6. Diane Weidenbenner on April 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    First, I like the name of your blog. Wish I had thought of it! Second, enjoyed finding and reading your blog today. I hope you're enjoying the Blogging from A to Z Challenge – this is the first time I've participated and it's great!

  7. michelle on April 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    It is without a doubt, a wonderful blog name. Writing is a never-ending journey, after all…  and we meet and connect with loads of fellow travellers along the way.

    This is my second A to Z Challenge – I completed last years challenge… and it's definitely lots of fun! Nice to meet you!

  8. Denine on April 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    What a great idea for a theme! So much fun to see what's on the mind of our band of merry bloggers and what motivates us write every day…for fun! This is great!
    Denine (A to Z Blog Stalker 🙂

    • michelle on April 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      You are so right – it's fun to see what everybody else comes up with every day…   🙂 Happy Stalking!

  9. The Golden Eagle on April 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Oh, now that was unexpected! Though part of me sympathizes with the character–some people just talk (rather, harp!) on and on and on.

    • michelle on April 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      I caught you off-guard, did I? *he! he* Instead of saying what's on their mind, in a straightforward manner and then letting it go; some people opt to go on and on and on and on—— ANNOYING!

  10. Texas Playwright Chick on April 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Love the idea that a harp can be lovely strains…or discordant 'harping'.  Great post!
    <a href=http://www.playwrightchick.com>Texas Playwright Chick</a>

    • michelle on April 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      That's what is so perplexing about the English language… and fascinating at the same time!

  11. Julie Flanders on April 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Michelle! What a great piece, and I love your theme. Thanks so much for coming by my blog, I'm so glad to find yours. Looking forward to more of your musical posts. 🙂

    • michelle on April 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks Julie. Nice to meet you and enjoy the rest of the A to Z Challenge!

  12. Stephen Tremp on April 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    We had a harpist at our wedding. That girl had a serious attitude problem. Even ran over my brother in law's foot as she wheeld her harp back to her car after she finished. 

    • michelle on April 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      That was so NOT nice of her! I'm sure you harped on the topic for days after the event….  🙂   Thanks for the visit.

  13. Debbie on April 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Ok, so when my daughter comes home from school today, I am not going to nag her at all, not about anything. Sad to say, but I could very well be your Matilda. Great story.

    • michelle on April 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      No way, Matilda represents the "height of harping" – nobody could beat her! And I think it's a parent's prerogative to nag a child, within reason, of course… though some kids are so stubborn, they just don't listen! At the end of the day, I might just be inclined to sympathise with Matilda who was just doing the best that she could… 🙂

  14. Patricia Royal on April 10, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Nice. The ending made me go eep! lol

  15. michelle on April 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Thanks for swinging by… 🙂

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