A-Z Challenge Day 24

Short stories featuring musical instruments and those who play them!



x1‘Sold to the lady in the ravishing red dress’ Archibald the Auctioneer shouted as he slammed down his gavel, narrowly missing the delicate antique teapot which had just sold for a considerable amount of money.

He was a flamboyant character. Some turned up just to watch him perform! His quips, his flowery descriptions, his amusingly sarcastic remarks were priceless!

With another successful sale over, he packed his briefcase and popped his precious antique gavel into his pocket.

That wasn’t the only thing he was known for. Now and again he hosted ‘Amble Bay’s Got Talent’ at the village hall!

Some tried to sing, some clumsily performed magic tricks, others tripped over their performing dogs. But the highlight of the evening was always Archibald’s Musical Finale.

He played the xylophone. He was good at it, too. He tippety-tippety-tippety tapped two or three tunes before arriving at the point they’d all been waiting for.

He cast aside his mallets, then reached inside his pocket and drew out his precious antique gavel. The audience cheered as he held it aloft!

“All together now” he bellowed as he started playing and singing his signature tune … ‘If I Had a Hammer’!

Everybody loves Archibald the Auctioneer!


Incase you’ve forgotten it, here’s the original version of If I Had a Hammer by Trini Lopez from 1963!

Previous posts

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Years past

2020 – Stories featuring obsolete words starting with  – Xaass

2019 – Stories for children – X

2018 – My Friend Rosey – X

2017 – The village of Amble Bay – X

Click on the letter of the day to revisit.

21 thoughts on “A-Z Challenge Day 24

  1. ahtdoucette Apr 28, 2021 / 12:56

    Yes! I love Xylophones! I knew you would almost have to do it for X, but I was looking forward to what story you would tell for it, and this one does not disappoint. Much smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Apr 28, 2021 / 16:54

      There was little or no choice with X, so I’m pleased you liked it! Thanks so much.


  2. earthskyair Apr 28, 2021 / 13:45

    A fun, lively tale with a larger-than-life sort of character in Archibald. Now I’m going to have that song in my head all day long – xylophone style! lol 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Arti Jain Apr 28, 2021 / 13:51

    If Archibald played the instrument you’ve planned for your Z post, you could’ve managed the entire challenge in one full sweep–the whole, entire A to Z with one story. No?
    Well, there’s always next year:)
    Love his character, btw–hope to see more of him in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Apr 28, 2021 / 17:08

      Why didn’t I think of that!

      I deliberately located him in Amble Bay, a village from my 2017 A2Z, because I intend to bring it back to life sometime soon. So yes, he’ll be back!

      Cheers Arti.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Martha Reynolds Apr 28, 2021 / 14:53

    I grew up on this song, and loved Trini Lopez. Did you know he died last August due to COVID complications? Well done, Keith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith's Ramblings Apr 28, 2021 / 17:10

      Me too Martha. Actually, I learned that just yesterday when I was researching the song. He was great.


  5. Iain Kelly Apr 28, 2021 / 18:43

    No surprise with your X instrument, and I enjoyed the idea of the auctioneer being the player – I believe that’s called a ‘transferable skill’ these days!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JayashreeVats Apr 28, 2021 / 19:18

    I was eagerly awaiting the gavel post 🙂 Xylophone! That’s one toy that is common now for toddlers … it’s fun watching them hit the colourful keys with the plastic mallets! As for musicians it’s important to perform not just play and the auctioneer seems to know that well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Frédérique Apr 28, 2021 / 19:46

    Archi is the best, and you too 😉 Well done with this nice story!


  8. Gail M Baugniet Apr 29, 2021 / 00:31

    Fun story with an unexpected ending, Keith. Thanks for providing the clip of Trini Lopez. I’ll never forget the song, If I Had a Hammer, but it was enjoyable to hear him sing it again. Wish he could do a world tour about now to give moral a boost – and take Archibald the Auctioneer along with him.
    X is for Xylocarp and Coconuts

    Liked by 1 person

  9. msjadeli Apr 29, 2021 / 01:23

    eXcellent storytelling. He brought a lot of entertainment wherever he went.

    I accidentally linked my “X” tp your “Y” story and will try to remember to link the “Y” one tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jlennidorner May 2, 2021 / 03:21

    Beautiful use of X.
    I love letter X posts! Always such variety.
    It’s hard to believe the alphabet part of the blogging challenge is over for 2021. Down to the after survey, reflections, and the “road trip” sign-up.
    Plus, I’m taking part in the Bout of Books read-a-thon in May. So much excitement!
    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    Liked by 1 person

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