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A Peculiar Party Under The Palms March 22, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Travel & Leisure, Word Play.
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An old friend invited me down to Naples for a Garden Party at his estate.  I accepted, of course.

When I arrived, the place seemed deserted.  Overgrown.  Neglected.  Untidy.


I called out and heard my words echo around the fountain, bouncing off the stones before sinking.


A few minutes later, my friend appeared in the garden, dapper and distinguished as ever.

But he seemed distracted.
Ill at ease.

A bit green about the gills.

After greeting me with his customary cold-blooded warmth, and inquiring after my journey, Freddie called for Teddy, the Butler.

Aah . . . good old Teddy.

I’ve known Teddy forever and wondered, given the odd appearance of the garden and Freddie’s apparent distress, whether he had been let go.

But no.


There he was, looking much the same as usual.

Oddly enough, he offered me a drink from an empty tray.

I accepted, not wanting to appear rude.

“Thank you, Teddy.  It’s . . . um,  refreshing.  And quite light.”

“Hoppy to hear that.”

While sipping my non-existent beverage, I scanned the garden for Freddie’s wife.

Betty was nowhere in sight.

Until I blinked.


She popped into view, with strobe-like stealth, behind Teddy (still proffering libations from an empty tray).

How curious!

Like Freddie, Betty seemed flustered and self-conscious.

I noted that she had one eye in the mirror as she watched herself go by.

She seemed to be admiring her hat.
Or its feathered plumes.
Or both.

I couldn’t decide.
I felt dizzy.
The garden spun round like a carousel.

Faster and faster.

IMGP3542cPerhaps the cocktail had gone to my head.

Betty patted her bonnet, with all the frou frous on it.

I gasped for breath, gulping like a guppy.

What was going on here?
Where were all the other guests?

What had happened to Freddie, Betty, and Teddy since my last visit?

What was happening to me?

Why were my thoughts echoing round, bouncing off stones, before sinking?

To Be Continued . . .

If you missed any installments, the entire story can be found at the Short Stories tab . . . or just click HERE!

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