If you have been following our stories about Gladys, you'll know that her three sisters are in a girl band - but although Gladys is younger and not a performing member, she is the brains behind the band. In the last episode, Laura, who is the lead singer, has walked out. Gladys has promised their manger, Arny, that she will persuade her to return soon so that they can continue working hard to get to the top.
Read by Natasha. Story by Bertie (with lots of inspiration from Natasha). Proofread by Claire Deakin. Picture of Laura the Solo Sister for Storynory by Tania Fernandes
After Laura walked out of the band, it was almost as if she had left the family too. She still lived with her sisters and their dad in the same house, but she came in out very quickly and spent a lot of time on her own in her room. Music that was louder and stranger than before blared out from under her door. Ever since she had met Ming, her new boyfriend, her taste had changed a good deal. She listened to what she called “real” music. Many of bands she liked were “unsigned,” which meant they didn’t yet have contracts with recording companies and you could download their music off the web for free. Often they sounded like they were playing in an echoing garage, and in some cases, they probably were. Her favourite came from Newcastle and were called The Droopies. Their lead singer was a girl, and Gladys had to admit that she had a beautiful voice that soared over the thrashing guitar chords – but she couldn’t catch more than the odd word from the lyrics.
Laura was plugged into her iPod while she ate her breakfast, standing up by the toaster. Although she still travelled to school with the others, she didn’t join in their conversations. Often she would strut out in front of her sisters as they walked along the pavement. She wore a look of strong concentration on her face. Gladys thought she looked too old and too beautiful to be wearing school uniform, and no doubt Laura thought so too.
In a way, it was a relief for Gladys to put the chiX’s ambitions on hold. She no longer felt tired, because they didn’t have to get up at 6am for rehearsals. She had time to catch up on her school project and she started reading books again. Her sisters were less weary and less grumpy too. Even Sam started being quite nice to her.
But it also seemed that everything was a little bit, well, hanging in the air. The chiX had split, but Gladys had promised Arny, their manager, that they would soon be back together again. Whenever she thought about Arny, she felt guilty, because he had believed in Gladys and the chiX and she didn’t want to let him down.
One Friday evening she went to see Laura in her room to talk to her about it. “Look Laura, don’t you see? We owe it to Arny to get back together.”
Laura was busy looking in the mirror and applying her smudgy eye shadow before going out with Ming. She said, “Don’t bother about Arny. He’s a businessman. He was planning to rip us off one day anyway.”
Gladys thought that was unfair, because Arny had only helped them. But she knew her sister, and understood that there was no point in trying to persuade her to do anything. She thought that she ought to ring Arny and say that she was sorry, there was no chance of the chiX getting back together – but somehow she couldn’t quite bring herself to make the call.
On Saturday evening, Gladys, Mandy and Sam watched a talent contest on television. It seemed like the biggest show on TV at the moment. The girls thought that most of the acts weren’t bad – they were just boring.
When a singer came on, Sam commented, “Core, she hasn’t even shaved her armpits.”
Mandy said, “I really think the chiX could have made it.”
“Sure,” said Sam. “We were much better than anyone on this show.”
“No we weren’t,” said Gladys, “because we didn’t stick at it.”
They turned off the television because it was all too depressing. Gladys and Sam went to bed early. Only Mandy stayed up until Laura got home.
On Sunday morning, when Gladys was doing her homework, Mandy knocked on her door softly and came in.
“Guess what?” She whispered. “Laura came home in a right temper last night. She was banging around the kitchen. I think she’s split up with Ming.”
And Gladys said, “Well he lasted longer than most. They’ve been going out for almost five weeks.”
Although Laura didn’t say anything about it, they could tell from her mood than Ming hand dumped her, because when she dumped her boyfriends she was usually in the best of tempers, but now she looked not sad, but furious, and she even shouted at Dad, which nobody ever did, because Dad was one of easiest-going dads that you could imagine.
The next weekend Laura went out on her own, and when she came back she plugged her iPod onto Dad’s stereo in the living room so that her sisters could hear it play. This was quite unusual, because normally she listened to music on her own.
It was a very thin sound; mostly drums and bass with the occasional guitar chord. Then a girl’s voice sang:
“I’m me, I got to be, oh so free, because you see, I’m only me, so don’t go telling nothing to me.”
Occasionally her voice was turned into a chorus so it sounded like several people singing at once, but the lyrics repeated over and over again.
The girls recognised the voice - It was Laura’s! When the track finished the girls were silent.
Eventually Laura said, “Alright, I know it’s pants. Don’t tell me what I know. I’m not stupid.” And she went up to her room.
On Monday, when Gladys came out of School, Arnold Lane was waiting for her in his limousine. He opened the door and said, “Hop in Gladdy. I’ll give you a lift home.”
Gladys asked him to wait. She rang her dad to say that Arny was giving her a lift – only her dad didn’t answer, so she called Mandy instead because she understood that was really important that somebody always knew what she was doing and who she was with.
When she had told Mandy that she was getting a lift with Arny, she got into his car. It was huge in the back – almost like a living room. He had a opened a little fridge and said, “Well girl, what can I offer you? Something Fizzy? Cola? Tropical smoothie more your style?”
“Yes please,” said Gladys.
“How’s Sister Solo getting on?” He asked. Gladys was used to his strange way of talking. She understood that he meant Laura.
“Terrible,” she said.
“Thought so. We’ll see if this gets her running and skipping back. I’ve entered the chiX for the first round of the Eurovision song contest. You girls are going to be on TV in six weeks’ time. So you’d better get practising.”
“Oh dear,” said Gladys. “I don’t think Laura will like that. She’s into indie music these days.”
Arny chuckled. “Nobody’s acutely into Euro pop. Well perhaps they are in Bratislava, I don’t know because I’ve not been there. Nobody’s into it here, but everyone loves it all the same. Tell her it’s all in the spirit of Post Modern irony.”
“Post-what did you ma-call it?”
“Ok. Well don’t tell her that. Tell her it’s so un-cool that it’s super, ultra-cool. She’ll get it.”
Gladys thought that Laura probably wouldn’t get it, but she promised Arny that she would tell her that all the same.”
Many thanks Josh for great suggestion. Unfortunately it looks like The HIghwayman is still in copyright as far as UK law is concerned – but otherwise would love to do it (I think its now public domain in USA). http://www.potw.org/archive/potw85.html
Dear Colin, very glad to hear that you are not grumpy and I also hope that you aren’t a fish. Many thanks for listening and for your comment. I hope you don’t mind too much that you share a name with a grumpy carp.
Hello Bertie. My name is Michelle. It’s only been 2 weeks since I started hanging out in stoynory, and I quite like it very much.
Just the other day, I was at my computer, searching storynory for a very intresting story, when I came apon ‘Christmas writing competion winners’. I am very into writing, so I decided to try it.
Bertie, I have won all the awards there is in every single subject, especially writing. It has become a hobby of me, so I began to wonder. Please, if you decide to reply, please answer the questions below.
1. When is the next writing competition?
2. What is the topic for the next writing competition?
3. How can my story and I enter it?
4. Will the winner storys end up on storynory?
5. What is the prize for the competition?
I do not mean to be pushy, but I would be grateful if you answered all 5 questions.
July 21, 2009
Michelle, Thanks for your comment. The Christmas Writing competition was a couple of years ago. We haven’t decided yet if they will be another one.
Posted July 21, 2009 at 3:13 am | Permalink
Guards! wake up! Arrest that fake Bertie above!!
Is really Bertie say?
July 21, 2009
November 6, 2009
The Eurovision song contest!?!?! WOW!! I think Laura will try to enter as a soloist there, and the chiX will win and Laura will realize that she really misses the girls and go back with them! Great job reading Natasha, you always do a great job! Oh, and please do some more singing! Your great at it!
November 17, 2009
Hi Katie…. that’s a good guess … wait and see… but you are good at thinking up plots. I’d be interested to know what you think of the pictures, and the Circus Song when you get to it.
Yo, Bertie could you tell me the order (from first to last) of the chiX series
Sam Woods —
October 10, 2010
Dear Sam, have a look in the sidebar – we have a link that gives you the stories in the right order. It’s under All Stories, Browse all 11 chiX stories in order of publication. Thanks for your question though – it’s interesting for me to know whether or not people find these things easily. Perhaps I need to think how to make it more obvious.
L-o-v-e:) it so much I want to be a singer too!:”}
April 24, 2012
why do u need kids 2 listen 2 ur stories bertie. how does it turn u back into a frog? by the way u r awesome! keep making stories w/ Natasha.
princess d. —
May 1, 2012
hate hate hate it!!!!!!!!!
May 14, 2012
i heart the chix! now i have listened to them all and hope more will come out!
chix lover —
May 26, 2012
This is a great chapter. The Young Solo sisters are very talented when they work together and Arny is a great Manager.
In this story Gladys the youngest of the Chix reveals her talent at writing song lyrics for the Chix music.
I’m sure there will be more Gladys and the Chix stories soon.
I have commented about so many ideas and yet I find that you have been ignoring them. This, I must say, is very rude and unfair. According to my careful calculations, I have told you about ideas 15 times. And though I read your posts, I notice Katie stories and others are often from ideas of children. This is outrages ! How many times am I going to do this ? It is better that I use my ideas for my own benifit,oh and Natasha, it’s alright if YOU ANSWER TOO !! You keep this up, your going to lose readers. I know, because I write as well.
I have loved storynory for a while and when the chiX story came out i loved it. but there hasnt been ANY storys in ages and i know that you have finished the chiX series but maybe you could do a carry on series maybe about arnie and his life
April 30, 2014
Hi Meg, more Gladys coming up within the next two weeks or so. In May certainly.
i was wondering if you could do some more storys about you and the pond life. and some more katy the witch storys . and a series of storys about colin the grumpy cob. if you could it would be great
April 30, 2014
I my play button is working then finishes halfway
Please help I can’t listen to full stories noooooo
May 9, 2014
Dear Stella, try downloading the story to your computer or phone. It’s sometimes better that way.
I Really liked this one. It’s my favorite in the sieres.
August 22, 2014
I had 2 frogs once but dey die
.?? .?.????????????? —
September 16, 2014
i really like these stories but do you think you can make them longer like you used to. 🙂
cat lover —
October 5, 2014
Thank you in advance if you do 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂 😉 🙂
cat lover —
October 5, 2014
Dear, Bertie I love your stories very much
You are my favourite author pleaze do not stop writing more!!!!
Your Best Reader,
October 9, 2014
Bertie can you make more wikid uncle plz reply
October 14, 2014
HAY bertie it’s me robin I’ve been listening to storynory since I was 5-6 now I’m 10 I justlove this website so much love all your stories ESPECIALLY prince bertie returns because your become a prince also love chiX astro pup and katie
January 6, 2015
Hi Robin, We haven’t mentioned the dog … though well spotted. I suppose she could have one. And glad you heard Prince Bertie Returns. It’s a special story.
January 6, 2015
Love the story
January 21, 2015
Will you make a silly story
January 21, 2015
I don’t under stand the pic
February 28, 2015
Yea, can you make a silly one?
May 21, 2015
August 8, 2015
The story is cool
April 5, 2016
Love the story!
May 1, 2016
I love storynory its kool i don’t realy know how you guys do this and I am having so much just fun lysaning to you. you have changed my life
June 6, 2016
I actually found this more enteitainrng than James Joyce.
December 7, 2016
Hi. I have a question. Like who is youngest and oldest. Plus I love your storys. Its 10 and I have to go to bed now byeeeeee♡
September 20, 2017
It was the most boring story in the WHOLE WILD
October 28, 2017
Hi!!this story is AWSOME….please please write back Birtie.
November 2, 2017
Jana Elizabeth —
November 3, 2017
hi, I was wondering what your faviret story. Please respond
November 11, 2017
Dear Avery, I have so many favourite stories – I can’t say – but I am very fond of Bertie in Siberia !