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A Peculiar Party Under The Palms March 22, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Travel & Leisure, Word Play.

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!

You might also enjoy Kate’s post: Amphibious Action Hero.


1. theonlycin - March 22, 2013

This is good stuff, Nancy!

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Thanks, Cin! Good to see you out and about. 😀

2. Tammy - March 22, 2013

Can’t wait…

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Thanks, Tammy . . . I’m enjoying myself. 😉

3. SidevieW - March 22, 2013

Hmmmm, been smoking something?

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

What chou talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

Keep your eyes open and maybe you’ll see a few Fairies . . . hiding in the bushes having tea. 😯

SidevieW - March 22, 2013

Zakly, fairies at the bottom of the garden

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Or, perhaps, a few Pixies. 😉

4. teamgloria - March 22, 2013

quelle delicious opening line….

An old friend invited me down to Naples for a Garden Party at his estate


nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Merci beaucoup!

5. dearrosie - March 22, 2013

Hah hah what a fun story! I can’t wait to read part 2… The pictures are marvelous.

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Thanks, Rosie. I’m having far too much FUN with this one. 😀

6. kz - March 22, 2013

haha really enjoyed reading this ^^

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Thanks, kz! I’ve almost finished the next chapter. Stay tuned . . .

7. Pix Under the Oaks - March 22, 2013

Ha ha! Very good! I am waiting…….
Teddy is cute.. 🙂

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Pixie . . . I am having such FUN with this. I can’t wait to see where and how the mystery ends.

8. vastlycurious.com - March 22, 2013

Fun! I followed ..rare for me being a visually stimulated individual ! Nice mystery for a frog!

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Thanks, vastly curious! With a nom de plume like that, I’m delighted to hear that I piqued your curiosity. 😉

9. ericjbaker - March 22, 2013

If I participated in the chain letter of blog awards, I’d nominate you for the Versatile Blogger.

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Thank you, Eric! If I participated in the chain letter of blog awards, I’d accept. :mrgreen:

10. adeeyoyo - March 23, 2013

Not fairies nor pixies, but maybe g(e)nomes, Nancy. 😀

nrhatch - March 23, 2013

Good idea, Denise. Maybe I can get the Travelocity Gnome to help me solve this mystery! 😀

11. kateshrewsday - March 23, 2013

Curiouser and curiouser, Nancy! My favourite has to be the butler. I want my own!

nrhatch - March 23, 2013

Freddie and Betty are delighted with Steady Teddy! But once this mystery is sorted, they might loan him to you for a few weeks ~ he’s always wanted to visit London and its environs.

12. sufilight - March 23, 2013

Looking forward to the next chapter. Now, that invisible cocktail may have something to do with the weirdness, humans are not used to invisible drinks. 😀

nrhatch - March 23, 2013

Thanks, Marie. The invisible cocktail will be touched upon again before this tale is through.

13. Grannymar - March 23, 2013

I wish I had an old friend to invite me down to Naples for tea, or even an invisible drink right now. I have cabin fever from being snowed in. 😦 Roll on the next installment.

nrhatch - March 23, 2013

Sounds like a common thread . . . Pixie is also experiencing cabin fever from snow, snow, and more snow. I’ll try to keep things moving along.

14. diannegray - March 23, 2013

I love this, Nancy! 😀

nrhatch - March 23, 2013

Thanks, Dianne. I am having FUN watching the story unfold.

diannegray - March 24, 2013

Me too! 😉

15. Three Well Beings - March 24, 2013

The little green amphibians have certainly been entertaining lately! I like the common thread moving about with lots of whimsy! Your sense of fun is contagious…nice. 🙂

nrhatch - March 24, 2013

I posted this on Friday and then noticed a common thread with Kate’s post on her Amphibious Action Hero. What a great surprise! 😀

16. spilledinkguy - March 25, 2013

*dun dun dun* You’ve drawn me in, Nancy!
(And I usually don’t say that about parties!)

nrhatch - March 25, 2013

The best kind of party, eh? Almost no guests! 😆

17. Barbara Backer-Gray - March 25, 2013

Ha! I’ve been catching up, so I just read all three installments of this story backward. Extra intriguing!

nrhatch - March 25, 2013

Oh . . . a backwards told tale. That reminds me of a movie about memory and amnesia that was told backwards. I forget the title.

Barbara Backer-Gray - March 26, 2013

It’s a Ryan Nolan movie (of Inception fame), called Memento.

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

Yes! Memento. Thank you, Barbara.

18. viviankirkfield - March 27, 2013

I’ve missed reading for the last few days…so I’ve backtracked to Part 1…hmmm…I feel slightly dizzy…perhaps I’ve imbibed that phantom drink as well.:)

nrhatch - March 27, 2013

I’m beginning to wonder the same thing. “There must be some kind of way out of here.”

19. nrhatch - March 30, 2013

Several readers requested that I post A Peculiar Party Under The Palms as a single page.

Just click HERE and you’ll be whisked through cyber space to join the party. Wheeee . . .

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