This story was written in response to a challenge set by Esther Chilton on her blog:
The challenge was to write a story, poem or limerick about my favourite songs or artists.
The story was also inspired by the following word prompts:
A Paragon of Vocal Virtue
The auditions were not going well. They had already listened to a number of wannabees who, frankly, should have stayed at home. They weren’t even up to Karaoke standard, they couldn’t hold a tune let alone perform the classics that they mangled with impunity.
He’d had to listen to a performance of “Baby, Love”, that would have made Diana Ross turn in her grave if she occupied it; he’d have to google that later and check.
Then a young man tried his best to sing Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”, one of his favourite songs and in Ironic fashion, he’d forgotten the performance already.
And those were the half decent ones, the rest were complete dross.
In a rather petulant manner, he crossed his legs and wriggled his right foot in the air and shouted “NEXT!”
A large, voluptuous woman walked up on stage. She was dressed in a classic 50’s or 60’s style with her hair in a beehive and her eyeliner thickly applied and with a stylish flick at the end. Her dress was a fitted gown in emerald green which showed off her ample curves. Waiflike she was not, but she had a touch of glamour that he admired, in a non-sexual way. If she’d appeared on stage naked and riding a unicycle he wouldn’t have been physically attracted, but he could appreciate her energy and style.
She stopped mid-stage and looked out blindly at the lights.
“I’m going to sing a song made famous by Ella Fitzgerald. Now, brace yourself” She said. Her voice was warm and rich, it carried effortlessly to him at the back of the hall, without sounding forced.
He sat back in the chair and waited for her to start, smiling at her comment to ‘brace yourself’.
Then she slowly moved her arms up either side of her and breathed in, when her hands were level with her head, she let rip. The force of her voice as she sang “Halleluiah” nearly knocked him off his perch.
She gave a wonderful rendition of the song “Get Happy” and while she belted out the song she moved gently across the stage and clicked her fingers in time to the music. It was the most professional performance he had witnessed in some time. It was clearly abundant that he had, at long last, found someone he could put forward.
He wasn’t the type of man to vacillate. He knew what he wanted and rarely changed his mind.
When she finished her performance, he applauded and she blushed.
“Thank you. I’ve prepared some more if you’d like to hear it” She said, slightly out of breath.
“Yes, please, I’d be delighted to hear more” He responded with enthusiasm.
She then gave a rendition of Doris Day’s song “Secret Love” that sent shivers up and down his spine.
This was followed by a version of Karen Carpenter’s “We’ve only just begun.”
Her voice, though always her own, seemed to adapt perfectly to the song and style that she’d chosen to sing. It developed the soft velvety tones that Doris Day was famous for, then the warm clarity that Karen Carpenter’s voice possessed.
He sat enraptured by the paragon of vocal virtue. He was the harshest of critics but this voice had won over even his stone hard heart.
When she finished, he stood up and gave her a full standing ovation.
This was going to be the best talent competition the village of Lower Wallop had seen for many a year.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 04/October/2018