Mrs Lawson-Byers – Margaret A. Young

2700 words Humour / General

Has Mr. Withway, an antiques dealer, gone too far when he urges Mrs. Lawson-Byers, who collects old pewter, to “Drop everything!  Come at once!  National Treasure!  Bring cash!”?

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London A Georgian traveling chamber-pot, “frequently used by a former Lord Mayor of Leeds in his mayoral coach,” has been sold at Sotheby’s auction house for $2,520. It is of silver, is dated 1818, and bears the arms of a High Sheriff of York, and of Mary Anne, daughter of the first Earl of Harewood. Sotheby’s catalogue, remarking that the lid fits tightly and that the base is exceptionally broad for stability, added, “The suggestion…that the piece is merely a soup tureen does not entirely hold water.” It was sent for sale by one of the Lord Mayor’s descendants.

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Reflections in a Three Way Mirror – Margaret A. Young

3400 words Literary Fiction

In the American south in 1940, why couldn’t the child, aged seven, visit the new neighbors next door?  What was so wrong with Mrs. Martin?  Didn’t the child’s mother recognize BEAUTY when she saw it?

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Look at the time! I chewed my sandwich faster. Mrs. Martin would be getting dressed by now. “Don’t swalla’ it whole, you hear?” Annie crossed strong, black arms over her blue flowered apron. “Why you in such a hurry? I made you some red Jell-O.” I couldn’t stay. I couldn’t talk. My glass of milk tilted up. Gulping, I looked at Annie in a pleading way over the rim. If Annie got mad and quit, I’d be in a pickle. Here was one of mama’s bragging points: Annie was our maid and her husband drove a Cadillac! (Daddy drove a Chevrolet.)

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Roses for Rosemary – Margaret A Young

3200 words General Fiction

When Daphne, in a home full of roses, sees the piano, her anniversary gift from Edward, she does not smell flowers.  She smells trouble.  Why an instrument, she wonders, as she does not play.  Is he having an affair with someone musical?  Who is she?  Another one to get rid of?  Oh, dear.

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The piano, Edward’s sixteenth anniversary present to Daphne, was delivered from London at teatime. George was there to help place it in front of the French doors before Daphne saw it. She waited upstairs. Now Edward’s excited voice called out, “Daff, you can come down now!” At the door to the living room, Edwards’s cheeks were rosy with expectation. He covered her eyes. “Mustn’t peek yet.” He led her in. “Happy Anniversary, Darling. Now you can look!” And then he and George stepped aside to reveal the piano’s monstrous girth. “Surprise, surprise!” But the surprise was terrible. The minute Daphne saw it, she knew Edward was having an affair with someone musical.

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Trapeze – Margaret A. Young

4600 words Humour

Martha Murkle, a devoted fan of Burt Lancaster, must now explain to her son, BS Murkle, how he was conceived. Is it possible that Martha Murkle watched too many movies? Is that why her son is confused? Is his real father Edgar Allen Murkle? Or Burt Lancaster? Science aside, why do Martha’s children resemble movie stars?

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