Friday, 5 October 2012

Cocktails and Canapes

This challenge is to celebrate the birthdays of our hosts Donna and Denise. 
Happy birthday to you two lovely ladies.  Librans are the best (I am also one but September).

 400 words of prose/prosetry and the prompt is:
Have you ever been to a birthday party that was so extravagant it actually made you jealous?  Create a story or poem in which a character goes to a birthday party that is completely out of his/her league.  This especially includes the present that you got this person which was totally inadequate.


Harriet heard the soft thud as the mail dropped through the letter box on to the door mat. It was mainly buff coloured envelopes, mostly bills but one stood out from the rest.
An ivory coloured envelope, thick paper, embossed with monogrammed initials on the front and back flap. She opened the tissue lined envelope and withdrew a delicately perfumed gilt edge card with beautiful calligraphy printed on the inside.
Harriet read the words on the card with her heart sinking.
Cocktails and Canapés
Who do they think they are?  Lord and Lady of the Manor?  They bought the Mill House, renovated it from its derelict state and turned it into a show home. So this would be a glitz and glamour, all show and no substance party.
Her sister was always bragging, not in words but in material ways, good clothes, hair always perfectly groomed and acrylic nails that she always tapped on a table whenever they went out for lunch or she deigned to visit the ordinary three bedroom semi detached house that Harriet and George owned outright.
It was a nice balmy summer’s night, Harriet and George arrived promptly at The Mill House at eight o’clock.   There wasn’t another car in sight so they knew they were unfashionably ‘on time.’
A butler type gentleman answered the ring of the door and gently ushered them through to the large ground floor space.  In one corner of the room a mini orchestra was tuning up. 
Groups of helium balloons were dotted around the oak coloured parquet flooring, gold and silver coloured with hearts and butterflies printed on them in arch formations containing flower arrangements in the middle.  Such a beautiful effect they made with the matching tablecloths and tableware.
A waitress hovered by their elbows offering a tray of drinks and canapés.  Half of the items on the tray they had no idea what might be inside them.
Her sister, Florence, sashayed towards them in a drift of expensive perfume as her chiffon dress swished along the floor.  The women air kissed each other on either cheek and then Florence kissed George on the cheek as he quickly moved his lips away from the ruby red, Botox lips.  He thrust their wrapped gift at her.
‘Oh, thank you so much.  What a lovely book on cleaning.  It will be so helpful in our Merry Maids business.’


  1. Hi Sally
    What a hilarious ending! I started laughing. I happen to know those folks don't make much, but maybe if you own enough locations in the Maid Service Industry, or your clients are well to do.

    This is well written. I didn't find any obvious flaws. Two thumbs up.

  2. You're opening sentences are always so great!

  3. Enjoyed this Sally. Well written and a good laugh at the end. I like the names too. Will throw my hat in the ring on some of these once the book is completed.

  4. Very funny! I really enjoyed this. :)

  5. Wonderful details. The pretense is so amusing. Why must people think they need to be so showy just to impress others?

    I'm all for introducing a new space to friends and family, but this ... LOL.

    Thanks for the laugh Sally.

  6. This was a fun read and love your details too.
    Snobs can be so fun to write... (:

  7. I know people like this! Funny story! I know your hosts are enjoying all the contributions (certainly more than a book on cleaning!).

  8. Hi Sally,
    Isn't it great to see what underscores the murk beneath all the grandeur? A book on cleaning...perfect!

  9. "Half of the items on the tray they had no idea what might be inside them."

    I could never go to such an affair and eat. Unless spitting it out into a napkin becomes good etiquette. Funny stuff, loved the gift!

    This is my favorite!

  10. Hi Sally, loved how you took this from posh snobbery to hilarious. Such a fantastic gift :)

  11. Snobs are just asking for it aren't they? Nice description and a laugh to round it all off.

  12. Sally, as always, you had me from the start. Great descriptions. I didn't see the ending coming. Very wry humour here. Perhaps a touch of real life in there. I think a lot of us have had an experience somewhat like this...

  13. This was an interesting read Sally. Didn't see that hilarious ending coming. Nicely done!

  14. Oooh, this could be longer. I want to know what happens to give Florence her comeuppance! And how Harriet and George got ready for that party, if they stayed later and interacted with those who were fashionably late. And if the sisters ever forgave each other -- for surely there's a big rift there that's more than snobbery, yes? A lovely read!

  15. Dear Sally,
    I'm so late with my rounds! I agree with many of the earlier commenters; this is such a funny story, and so well-written.
    Best wishes,
    RFW No. 46 - 'Birthday Madness'

  16. Well, that was an interesting twist to the party theme! Loved the disparity of attitudes between the sisters and the descriptions were well done. I think my nose turned up a bit at the outrageous decorations :)