Twinkle Twinkle, Little Pup, This Time You’ve Really Messed It Up #writephoto #flashfiction

‘Did you read this, Banter?’

‘That’s your private correspondence, Sir.’

‘I know that. Did you read it?’

‘As Sir knows, I only read Sir’s mail if it involves someone seeking money or is from an Aunt. This was neither of those, Sir.’

‘But dash it, Banter. How do you know that if you don’t read it?’

‘Perusal of the words and reading the text are two entirely different things, Sir. Though one is aware of the gist.’

‘And didn’t the gist scare the living daylights from one?’

‘It was not from either your Aunt Dahlia or Great Aunt Isadore so one concluded it was no cause for immediate concern…’

‘NO CAUSE… Banter, it… will you stop ironing the newspaper and listen?’


‘And please don’t look like a puppy that’s just been told what the trip to the Veterinary Jonny was really for. I can’t deal with guilt so soon after tiffin.’

‘No Sir. Of course, Sir. Does Sir prefer this expression?’

‘Too dental.’

‘What about this, Sir?’

‘God no. Far too about to meet my maker-ish. Just look your normal disappointed but resigned self. There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?’

‘If Sir says so.’

‘Sir, does. In spades. Thing is Banter. A chap feels rather like he’s on a sticky wicket and the ball just won’t fall at his feet.’

‘Risking LBW, Sir?’


‘I was just trying to untangle Sir’s metaphor. If one is on sticky wicket and the ball is not dropping at one’s feet, the spectator is left to conclude one’s defence might be breached at any time thus rendering oneself liable to an LBW verdict. Lady Belinda’s Wishes.’

‘Sometimes Banter I do believe we come from a different tribe.’

‘Sir’s anthropological insights are always perspicacious.’

‘Are they? Who knew? Point is, what’s to be done?’

‘Sir might consider presenting a paper on his conclusions to his club. I’m sure it would engage the members in a stimulating debate.’

‘They’d sign me up for some spinach clinic if I started dithering on about logical antlers or whatever it was. No, what about Belli and the wotsit?’

‘Proposal, Sir?’

‘Can you not use that word, Banter? It’ll bring on a bout of the gastric knipchens and I need my wits about me.’

‘Perhaps Sir might explain about the ‘diamonds’ to which her Ladyship alludes?’

‘You did read it! I knew it!’

‘I may have picked up the occasional word, Sir. And?’

‘Last weekend, at Lord Allbottom’s Hare and Tortoise ball, Belli and I were hares…’

‘Was that wise, Sir?’

‘… and she decided we needed to seek higher ground to keep an eye on the Turtles…’

‘Did Sir not suspect some kind of subterfuge?’

‘Is that a cocktail? She brought a flask with something devilishly potent in it. Maybe it was some sort of Sub-Utterage. Banter, please let me finish? She dragged me up onto that blasted hillock, making me bring a blanket. Must have sat there an hour quaffing away waiting for signs of those damned tortutles. It was darker than Aunt Gloria’s mood after I set fire to her novelty spittoon last Michaelmas. And there were these twinkly things…’

‘Stars, Sir?’

‘That’s what I said but she said diamonds and I said lovely and she said was she and then things get a little blurry.’

‘And her ladyship suggests you may have inadvertently proposed?’

‘Exactly.. that’s what she says. She…’

‘Did Sir read the whole letter?’

‘Of course I…’

‘Including the part on the other side?’

‘Other side?’

‘The part after the PTO?’


‘Perhaps Sir may care to consider what her ladyship says.’

‘By Jove, Banter. She’s rejecting me.’

‘So it would seem, Sir.’

‘… if you think I could wed an addlepated exoskeletal… what’s that.’

‘I suspect she is suggesting you might be somewhat too spineless for her tastes, Sir.’

‘Really? Jolly Perspex of her.’

‘Perspicacious, Sir.’

‘That too. This is a bit if a let off, don’tca know. Calls for a glass of something.’

‘Might I suggest the Chateau Gerbille ‘39, Sir? I believe it has both a restorative nose and a celebratory tingling on one’s embrochure.’

‘You know, Banter, I must say I’m mightily relieved though I’m still a bit hazy about one thing.’

‘You think something else may have transpired while you and Lady Belinda were haring about the hillocks, Sir?’

‘Good heavens, no Banter. We were hares, not rabbits.’

‘If you say so, Sir. Your glass, Sir.’

‘Chin chin, Banter. No, thing is you could only have known what Belli would write if you’d read the old letter, what? Methinks, I’ve caught you out you, crafty gentleman’s gentleman, you.’

‘That is one explanation, Sir. ‘

‘There is another?’

‘When her ladyship’s maid explained what had transpired – her ladyship was somewhat of a fluster – I rather took the liberty of suggesting this wasn’t the first proposal of the sort…’

‘You did?’

‘And I suggested that, to avoid any embarrassment on her ladyship’s part, to whit that she may have, equally rashly accepted, it would be best for her to take the lead in untangling any confusion.’

‘Gosh. I mean…’

‘I thought it prudent, Sir, to lend a hand composing the missive.’

‘You wrote this?’

‘That is why I had no need of a detailed perusal, Sir.’

‘Genius, Banter. Pure genius.’

‘Most kind of you to say. While you be dining at your club, Sir? I’ve taken the liberty of laying out the McGormless tweed.’

‘One thing, though. Addlepated?’

‘I thought a certain liberal verisimilitude appropriate, Sir. Shall I starch your spats, Sir? They were looking somewhat careworn, yesterday.’

‘Am I really not that much of a catch, Banter?’

‘More an acquired taste for a particularly refined palate, Sir? Shall we dress, Sir?’

This is written in response to Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt 


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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22 Responses to Twinkle Twinkle, Little Pup, This Time You’ve Really Messed It Up #writephoto #flashfiction

  1. Ritu says:

    Poor man! But good old Banter, eh!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very Jeeves and Wooster here! Fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mick Canning says:

    I think we need a novel, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. barbtaub says:

    I need a Banter. Where does one get them?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well of course you’d see a sunset and think up this story. Makes perfect sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ditto what Chelsea said. Only you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A man after my tagless dialog heart. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. willowdot21 says:

    Ballyhell Banter!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sue Vincent says:

    Perfect persiflage, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. JT Twissel says:

    I assume Chateau Gerbille is a full-bodied red . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: Glimmer #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  12. I can’t think of a suitably descriptive adjective, Geoff, so I’ll have to settle for jolly good.

    Liked by 1 person

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