The Gregarious Gatsby
“Any more, for any more!” echoed across the lawn, high pitched, forced and uneasy. This party was unravelling out of his hands.
It had not always been like this, of course, not here. His grandmother’s tales of the old days would have you believe the grandest of affairs taking place. Late-Victorian mobsters, the Archbishop of Canterbury and a least one disgraced Minister of State all rubbing shoulders, if she were to be believed.
The old girl, when still compos mentis, so this is going back years before her death, would tell one particular story that he would ask for again and again. It concerned a Major Stumble, who claimed to be the first white man to travel the length of the Amazon, a claim that not one person believed, but all went along with. In fact it was true, but that could not matter less to the society set, for whom imagine was all, and appearing to be something one was not was rather more satisfying than being somewhat impressive in who you actually were.
The story did not really amount to much, in fact. In essence the Major, rather the worse for wear, deep in the hazy depths of a party and imagining himself back in the Amazon had mistaken a maid for a crocodile. No one, of course, minded the odd blunderbuss going off, it was a bit of a hoot. The maid was wise enough to go along with it all, and played dead on the banks of the lake. No, the problems arose when she could not resist taking a bite at his ankles.
Today I wrote between 23:35 and 23:45. I was prompted by an idea here.
If you enjoyed this short writing, a whole load more are available in paperback, and kindle editions in your local Amazon site