Home > Fiction > The Countess and the Milliner’s Son

The Countess and the Milliner’s Son

Here I am with my contribution to Mondays Finish the Story, hosted every week by Barbara Beacham. This is the challenge where we get a photo, an opening sentence and 150 words. The supplied opening sentence is in bold in my story.

I usually post this on Monday, but I had a germ of an idea yesterday and despite several hours of incubation it failed to become a full-on disease… okay, we’ll leave this metaphor now as it has become a little unhealthy-sounding.

Click on the blue froggy for this week’s other contributions and without further ado, here is my good old-fashioned story of love, romance and a willingness to do whatever it takes to find happiness.

2015-03-02-bw-beacham

 

When it came to a challenge, Jim Smiley just had to jump right in!

And what bigger challenge than the delectable Countess Josephine? “Jim Smiley, milliner’s son” would not do, and so he reinvented himself.

“Tarquin Farquharson-Smythe” had the right ring, he felt.

He took diction and “cor blimey, it ain’t ‘alf ‘ot today, guv’nor” became “oh, I say, frightfully warm for the time of year, what?” He learned table manners and etiquette.

When word reached him that the inestimable lady would be overseeing the 1865 leap-frogging championships, he entered. Long he practised his leaping, the better to make a bold impression.

The day arrived. The Countess looked exquisite. Jim leaped, jumped and won. Holding the winner’s plaque, he attempted to woo her free of her undergarments. She advised him, however, that she “preferred a bit of rough” and promptly ran off with the woodcutter’s son.

Undaunted, “Tarquin” became “Jim” once more and headed toward the snack tent where he had espied the delightful Lady Jemima taking tea.

 

  1. March 3, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Eh, what … guv’nor … Cute commentary. With deep cultural overtones. Oops, sorry. I meant it’s funny 🙂 Congratulations on your win on Evil Squirrel’s Nest. I lobbied for you.

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Glad you liked my story and thanks for lobbying for me in ES’s competition. I saw your lovely comment on his results post yesterday too, thanks!

      Like

  2. March 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Exquiste parable of supreme taste enough to enlighten the dimmest lady of questionable taste ~~Roughly speaking mate that could charm the draws off a Queen Anne Chest ~ 🙂

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Ha ha touché! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Like

  3. March 3, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    This is delightful. She ran off with the woodcutter’s son because she liked it rough Ha. Oh, pity. Poor, little Jim Frog.

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Who knew? Ah well…
      I’m glad you liked it!

      Like

  4. March 3, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Excellent story! I love how he reinvents himself, abandoning his everyday lingo for the upper cut vowels. Perhaps he should have read Lady Chatterley first. All ‘Ladies’ seem to prefer a bit of rough. Cleverly done and very funny. 🙂

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:43 am

      He certainly needed to do a bit more research first! All that work for nothing 🙂

      Like

  5. March 3, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Great story! I love his transformation into Tarquin. I love even more how he takes his defeat – returning to being Jim and moving on to the next potential conquest. 🙂

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:45 am

      He took it all in stride – switch to plan B with no hesitation. Heads up Lady Jemima – incoming 🙂
      Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. March 3, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    This made me laugh! Very well written, and I could picture Jim preparing himself in a mirror and practising what to say.

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:45 am

      He must have spent hours getting everything “just right” – and to no avail 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. March 3, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    One should always be true to one’s self. Cute.

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Yep, he should have stayed “Jim”. Lesson learnt!

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 4, 2015 at 11:34 pm

        I submitted my short story, but there isn’t a link to add the blue box. I’ve gone to InLinkz, but can’t find it. Where did you get your HTMH texed?

        Like

      • March 5, 2015 at 8:43 am

        I did “View Source” on the original post (right click on the browser window), searched for “new.inlinkz” using CTRL-F and then copied and pasted everything inside the anchor (“a”) tags into the text view on my post.

        Like

      • March 5, 2015 at 2:16 pm

        Tried. Not as tech savvy as you. Thanks anyway.
        I dropped a note to Monday’s. Maybe the link will magically appear.

        Like

  8. March 3, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Oh, such a delightful tale! How he hops from one to another… 🙂 Loved it, and thanks for participating! See you next week! Be well… ^..^

    Like

  9. March 4, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Where do you get these ideas? 🙂

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:49 am

      I don’t know. They just pop into my head 🙂

      Like

  10. March 4, 2015 at 3:25 am

    If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Who says it has to be with the same lady? Great story Drali!

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:49 am

      Jim’s not fussy. I’m sure he’ll succeed sooner or later!
      Glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. March 4, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Those ladies… all they care about in a man is the size of his diction…

    Like

  12. latasun
    March 4, 2015 at 4:46 am

    so funny.. i loved it! you can never guess what a lady wants!

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:51 am

      It looks as if Jim is a quick learner, though! Let’s hope the Lady Jemima isn’t more partial to a more refined gentleman.
      Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. March 4, 2015 at 5:40 am

    Struth! Crikey! 😀

    Like

  14. March 4, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Well, Ali, at least he got the prize and a good lunch out of it. Concerning Lady Jemima, you left us with kind of a cliffhanger ending. Funny as usual. 😀

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      I’m sure the winner’s plaque made it all worth while 🙂
      Good luck with Lady Jemima, Jim!

      Like

  15. March 4, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Great story, cute.
    Angels Camp is a old gold miners camp a few hours north of me. Every year there is a frog jumping contest and celebration.
    Mostly consists of a lot of drinking and eating.

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Cool! I didn’t know it was a real place or event, though a couple of stories mentioned “Calaveras” which Google tells me is in California, so that made me think that maybe it was real after all.
      Sounds like a jolly old knees up 🙂

      Like

      • March 5, 2015 at 4:28 am

        I’m think Mark Twain jumped frogs there also.
        A person can take your own or rent gold pans to give a try at finding their own nugget.
        Very old old ragged place with a few attempts at improvements.

        Like

      • March 5, 2015 at 8:47 am

        I gathered something about Mark Twain from some of the other stories. I think I was probably the only person who didn’t know there was a “Mark Twain” link, but I’m not very well read.
        We have a place near us where you can do something similar looking for gold, called “The Gold Centre”.

        Like

  16. March 6, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Cute story. Jim sure can rebound!:)

    Like

    • March 6, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      Yeah, he crashes and burns, he moves on!

      Like

  17. March 7, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Haha, loved the names! It’s great to reinvent yourself but sometimes it’s just best to be plain old you, I guess! 😉

    Like

    • March 7, 2015 at 9:57 am

      I think Jim is just starting to come to that realisation 🙂

      Like

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