Friday, February 20, 2015

To be or not to be

I wrote this short story for Sunday Scribblings 2 where our prompt is Artificial rose.

Jamie had spent ages googling romantic Shakespeare quotes in preparation for one of the most important days of his life. Suzy was a drama student.  They’d been dating since high school and they had become virtually inseparable. And so it was Jamie decided it was time to ask for Suzy’s hand in marriage. He did the honourable thing and sought permission from her father. He got his blessing. Everything was in place.

They were watching television at Suzy’s student digs.  Suddenly Jamie sunk onto one knee and stared up into Suzy’s eyes.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate, sonnet 18” said Jamie.

“Oh, thanks” said a somewhat bemused Suzy. She looked out of the window. “It’s raining; are you saying I’m wet?”

Jamie ignored her and carried on.

“I am your husband  if you will marry me. If not, I’ll die your friend. You may deny me, but I’ll be your servant whether you will or no, adapted from Tempest three one” said Jamie. Suzy’s eyes nearly popped out!

“Are you proposing to me?” asked Suzy.

“Well, yea. Actually I am”

“Erm, well, erm, I’m not sure” said a bewildered Suzy.

That was not the responce he'd expected. He put his hand in his pocket, partly pulled out a piece of paper, squinted at it and put it back.

“These words are razors to my wounded heart, Titus Andronimouse one one” said Jamie.

“Andronicus Jamie. Andronicus"

“Whatever. Anyway what do you say?” 


Jamie decided to keep going. It was time for him to sing a verse he’d practiced from Suzy’s favourite songs, The Rose.

If music be the food of love, play on, Tweflth Night one one” He cleared his throat.

Just then an advertising jingle for McDonalds blared from the TV. An exasperated expression spread across Jamie’s face. He grabbed the remote and pressed mute. But the moment had passed. 

Forget the song, time for his next move.

"Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty, Twelfth Night two three” he said, closing his eyes and puckering his lips.

“Excuse me!” shouted Suzy. “I’m nineteen not twenty!”

This was not going at all to plan. Next!

He reached round to the side of the sofa and scrabbled about with his hand until he found the red rose he’d concealed. He found it, clenched it in his teeth and looked into Suzy’s eyes. She burst into a fit of giggles. He went to say something but realised it was impossible with a mouth full or rose so  he removed it and handed it to Suzy. She took it and wiped the wet stem on a cushion. He grinned expectantly, surely this was the clincher.

Just as he was about to speak she sniffed it and pulled a face. “It stinks!” she said “It’s not real!”

“It's a very realistic Hybrid Tea rose actually” said Jamie.

“What’s in a name?" retorted Suzy "An artificial rose by any other name would still smell of plastic, Romeo and Juliet two two” said Suzy.

Jamie realised that things were not going the way he intended.

Time for another peak at the prompt sheet in his pocket. He ran through his closing quote in his mind. He went to stand but he’d been kneeling to long and he bent over with the pain from his knees. He composed himself and then turned to leave.

Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, Romeo and Juliet two two” he said with a dejected look on his furrowed brow. He waited a moment expecting Suzy to tell him to stay, but she said nothing. So he turned and walked towards the door.

“Stop” Suzy shouted. “Kiss me Jamie, we shall be married as soon as possible, adapted from Taming of the Shrew two seven”


  1. No body likes a smart arse..but Suzy has to be has to be worked a little hard for...if you can survive a torrent of knowledge you can survive loves ups and downs for sure..

  2. oh this was silly! Smiles!

  3. Silly Jamie, if he had been observant he would have known she was his all along. Let's hope it lasts but it looks as though she might be in the driving seat. Thoroughly enjoyed this Keith.

  4. His effort finally rewarded, do you think he'll ever quote Shakespeare again?

  5. His effort finally rewarded, do you think he'll ever quote Shakespeare again?



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