“Wigan’s the place for podiums!” said Sue, waving her baton at an imaginary orchestra.
“What about Amazon?” her sister Shirley replied.
“I want to go to the podium shop!” The baton flew across the room hitting the cat, Dr Evil, on the head.
The next day they drove through grimy streets towards the town centre. “Isn’t there a pier around here somewhere?” said Shirley.
“No. Look, there’s the shop!” Sue gesticulated towards a sign that read ‘Peer’s Orchestral and Band Supplies’.
They entered through a maze of stands for seemingly every orchestral instrument imaginable. Sue gesticulated towards a side room, partially obscured by a long wall of shelves piled high with dusty sheet music. “Look, podiums!”
An ancient assistant attended. “These are cedar,” he said, wheezing and pointing to a yellowish box, about four feet by three, and one foot high, “and these, mahogany,” indicating browner, shinier ones.
Sue mounted a reddish one labelled ‘Bubinga’, pacing around and finding it quite solid – ‘Quick to assemble and compact for transport.’
She imagined blazing spotlights, a hushed, expectant audience, the thundering opening chords of Beethoven’s Fifth and herself, Sue, commanding a world-famous orchestra!
“D’you fancy a burger? I’m starving!” said Shirley.
Featured in the book and audiobook, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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