So, I’ve managed to end up here, in this predicament, where the first step will shower every room, through the sprinkler system, with paint; fortunately, it’s a water-based paint which will wash out easily, but that’s of no benefit to the diners dining, the dancers dancing, the drinkers drinking, and the cleaners cleaning (who will have to clean every inch of the Bistro’s building) should I get this challenge wrong.

The challenge is simple enough, or nigh impossible – to leave the room through that door in the corner over there – avoiding the first step.

Flight’s always an option, but you have to step up to take off; this funny panel that surrounds the block I’m on feels everything, so the slightest movement will fire up the generator, and activate the sprinkler system leading to everyone getting a nice colourful surprise.

The funny panel is too large to jump over, but again there’s that first step caveat with that if I could jump it… and it is by a pure stroke of luck I have my spatula with me, where a perfectly aimed throw would knock out the generator power, although the generator switch is neatly shut away inside that cupboard by the door, scuppering that idea – mind you, even if it was open my aim isn’t that perfect, especially with that pipe in the way.

That thought, though, has given me one way to write myself out of this corner I’m in.

I jump, I hear the generator start up, I run, I hear the pumps starting, I open the power cabinet and flick the power to this level off, I see the lights go out, I hear the clanking in the pipes, I open the door, I reach the stairs beyond, and descend two at a time, thereby not taking the first step; there’s always more than one first step, and thinking outside the box (or in this case, room) helps to highlight that fact!

Six Sentence Café & Bistro logo

A second post for Six Sentence Stories, where the theme is Stroke, and written in response to a comment Clark made over on Chris’s post:

There is a place, probably a sub-basement (or maybe an attic) at the Café that consists of a large room with a sprinkler system plumbed into a reservoir of paint. By mechanisms vaguely understood, guests, friends, intruders, employees and even the occasional Proprietor awaken to find themselves in a corner as far from the door as is possible, given the geometry of the space.
The first step towards the door triggers the sprinkler (and) a sign: in bright, round, Broadway light bulbs:

Write Your Way Out of This

I merely swapped a few things around, where the first step toward the door was actually outside of it, and not within the room. In other words, I cheated a little… ahemwalks away, flicking around my spatula in my right hand then gently blowing the end of it before returning it to my back pocket, humming, and ignoring the sounds of surprised screaming emanating from somewhere outside, obviously not within the Six Sentence Café & Bistro, definitely not… I have food to prepare.

27 thoughts

    1. I honestly thought I wasn’t going to make it, Chris… and then the solution sprung to mind! 🙂
      Outside? Oh, that… I think someone mentioned a problem with the overflow or something… 😊
      Thanks for the third!


  1. Well done, Señor Tom!

    The Six Sentence Café & Bistro, customers and Proprietors alike are impressed with your decisive action, applauds your creativity and wonder when their BLTs will be ready.

    serially, while demonstrably ingenious, the thing that stood out (imo) was the phrase: “…there’s always more than one first step

    Dude! As succinct an instruction to us all of the key to open open closed doors and discover previously un-explored storylines…

    I’m with Mimi, you totally deserve a raise.

    ‘course the question is: how much of what type of ennumeration is appropriate to a virtual chef in an imaginary establishment in an ever-so-slightly-questionable section of a large(ish) city, location indeterminate.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. A new spatula will be fine, Nick. Although thinking about it, I don’t really use the one I have currently, properly… I just seem to carry it around with me! 🤣

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you very much, Denise – it was all Clark’s fault.
      As for the raise, would you settle for a spatula instead? I’ve seen a solid rhodium one, which would only be for decorative purposes, and very well looked after. (Well, don’t ask don’t get!) 🙂


  2. Very cleverly done Tom ✔️ 👏 Intriguing tale of six 😄 – it is a work of art in itself to achieve all that in 6 sentences…they being such very short 😉😜 sentences too!!I wouldn’t never have dreamed up such “out of the box” ideas myself but you have most certainly suceeded😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I very nearly didn’t, Icewolf… this was written in real time, and at the beginning I had no clue. Fortunately, inspiration struck just after the middle!
      Nothing like writing on the fly! 🤣


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