The Manners Of Mabel And Melody


Here is a little flash fiction mixed with real events, in response to the prompt from Teresa, aka The Haunted Wordsmith . She provided the genre as “Fantasy of Manners”, which, in all honesty, I had never heard of. So I have no idea if I am on track with this one, or have made a hash of it?


I saw that first.” sneered Mabel Forster, the betrothed of the affable, but simple-minded dandy Seymour Gable, son of General Montgomery Gable and Lady Camilla.

I was rather vexed when Mabel stood on my toe and elbowed me in the ribs just so that she could snatch the last vegetarian hor d’oeuvre on the buffet table that I had been reaching over for.

Why darling, I thought you were watching your weight before the wedding. I wouldn’t have thought avocado whip and pickled beetroot en-croute would help your womble down the aisle next month!

Mabel scowled at me and then decided to remark on how last season my dress was. “You do vintage so well Melody. I am sure you you must camp out in the clearance boutiques and market bizarres. Where did those shoes come from? Portabello Road? Ha!

Don’t snort Mabel-soon-to-be-Gable. You have olive tapenade in your teeth sweetie. At least I can afford to buy my own clothes, instead of relying on pocket money from Daddy.”

Always were a tad envious weren’t you Melody. I suppose you can’t help your working class family background. I can’t help that I have been born into wealth.” Mable and I had been at school together. I was there because I won a scholarship and Mabel was there because her family could afford the fees. She had always flaunted her family’s wealth, much to my annoyance.

Wealth from hedge funds and pyramid schemes and other rather fishy enterprises. There you go Mabel…smoked salmon and chive cream cheese – I wondered what that noxious odour was. I am sure that would suit you better than the avocado whip.

Melody Finch, you are such a…

Without giving Mabel the chance to insult me, I turned to the gregarious gentleman I had been watching out of the corner of my eye, as I wanted to avoid being the recipient of his roving hands, “Lord Appleton, how delightful. You know my dear friend Mabel, daughter of Sir Adrian Forster, but soon to become the wife of Seymour Gable.

After a jovial greeting, Lord Appleton turned on all his charms in making the acquaintance of Mabel, “My dear, Seymour is a frequent visitor to our Berkshire house. We have had many jolly times with old Seemy. He is a great shot and not too bad at backgammon. You must come down in the autumn…after you have had chance to settle down after the honeymoon.” Lord Appleton’s right hand gave Mabel’s derriere a firm squeeze, causing her to almost choke on her salmon en croute.

Meanwhile, I had managed to slip away and locate another buffet table with some more vegetarian hor d’oeuvres and was filling up my plate with them. I only go to these events for the food you know. I can’t stand the company!

Then I meandered my way around the room, champagne flute in my hand, until I saw him. The only man who made these events bearable, Jack Barnes, who had been watching me all night. After taking a gulp of bubbly, I made my way towards him, with a saunter I knew would make him nervous. A couple of metres away from him, I turned to my right and exclaimed “Felicia! How are you darling? You look wonderful. It’s ages since I played tennis with you and Nicholas!

I knew Jack was watching me. But I was not ready to talk to him until he had offered some kind of apology. I wonder if he has any idea how much I love him still.


In case you are wondering…the flash fiction part is Mabel…the real part is Jack.