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"So you would turn me into a salesman, yourself into a corpse, and leave poor Erin all alone with no one to accompany her to the ball?"

"I wouldn't do it right away. First I would hide out in a monastery until Erin got married. I'll have a spectacular last meal of wedding cake and shrimp dumplings with sautéed carrots in onion sauce, shake hands with the groom, toss some rice about, and then kick the bucket."

"How reasonable!" Pamela exclaimed.

"Kenneth! You're incorrigable. But speaking of the ball," said Erin, who was referring to the one her parents were having next week that was an annual event of the Desdemona's, "this year you are not to invite your usual sort, my mother was having spasms in her boudoir last year. Pamela, please restrain Kenneth for me."

Kenneth looked appalled. "I certainly have no idea what you mean! Why, every year I invite a totally different sort of chap out of only my closest friends from Eton. But every year they just don't seem to pass your godly expectations, but for some reason they always manage to pass the threshold of your mother's fragile tolerance. How is this my fault?"

"It is completely your fault," sniffed Pamela. "My girls are always respectable and properly behaved, but last year you invited that clairvoyant with Tourette's Syndrome. How do you think Lady Alderworth-Smythe felt when he walked up to her, smacked her in the face and told her her underpants had a run in the left polka dot?"

"Now how was I supposed to know he would have a relapse? He's really a splendid fellow if you get to know him," sputtered Kenneth.

"Yes, but Kenneth," pleaded Erin, "do bring a real gentleman this time. No mental disorders, no criminal pasts, no megalomaniacs, no spontaneous performers of juggling or Faust, no lechers, no lepers, no evangelists, no alchoholics..."

"And," continued Pamela, "nobody with hooks, humpbacks, excess weight of over 350 lbs, readily-removable glass eyeballs, and absolutely NO midgets."

"But you've cut out all of my friends! My nearest and dearest!" cried Kenneth.

"Surely there is someone?" pleaded Erin.

Kenneth sighed. "I'll try."

Kenneth immediately had the idea of following Erin's orders so perfectly and so brilliantly that even Pamela could not justifiably smack him with a cushion the morning after, but of course he could not just select any fairly acceptable bloke; who was it that he knew who could make half a ballroom pass out from ennui just by breathing the same air as him...? Aha! He knew just the person.

Pamela, too, had made up her mind as to who to bring. But as these two friends of Erin were walking gaily down the garden path of graceful oaks and chirping cardinals, they did not realize the momentousness of that instant neural spark, that leaping of neurotransmitters into the waiting tendrils of dendrites known as the casual decision.

Diagonal beams of sunlight illuminated the wayward dust and lent the garden - for an instant - an air of utopian solitude such as that found under the legendary banyan tree. It could be said that at that instant, with these three gay youths as witnesses, that space of the planet Earth reached its apex of glory, especially because in only 50 years time, that space shall be converted into a second-class warehouse for a sock manufacturer due to the dark hand of industrialization, which, if I cared enough, could be one of the prevailing struggles of this otherwise morally ambivalent harlequin story. But no. Maybe next time.

The three friends reached the end of the walk, and were now at the front of the grand château. Pamela was the first to break the silence.

"My God. I was planning to purchase a hat today for the ball, but I had forgotten as I was coming here. Kenneth, you shall accompany me to town."

Kenneth grumbled, "Well, why not. I suppose I have nothing better to do. Well, Erin, you heard the valkyrie, my soul must depart and help her select a winged helmet." And with that, he kissed her hand and ran after Pamela, who had gone too far to hear the comment and punish Kenneth accordingly.

Stay tuned for chapter 4, when we finally meet the two primary male protagonists (it's not Kenny, thank God.)


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(no subject) - breezeblossom - Apr. 11th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - breezeblossom - Apr. 17th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 17th, 2006 01:50 am (UTC)
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