And now for something completely pretentious…
The perfume of Earl Gray washed over me like a tsunami in the late evening fog. My fashionably metrosexual butler – Sven – lurched gracefully across the room with a delicate china mug balanced on a heavily engraved silver tray. Beside the streaming tea lay an plain envelope. White, with a return address stamped on it half-heartedly in an ink the colour of which put me in mind of dried blood.
“A missive, Madam,” he intoned whilst deftly setting down the tray and scooping the Corgies from my lap.
“McClelland and Stewart.” I picked it up and sighed wistfully. “Oh Sven – not another rejection slip! This is so very depressing… and yet so very odd – for I have not sent anything to M&S since my last attempt to submit my unpublished novel (Gripping and Vivid: A Completely Unauthorised Autobiography) back in 1998. Surely one rejection is sufficient.”
I slit the envelope open with a gold-laquered fingernail and pulled out a single sheet of paper. It glowed faintly - illuminated by my dim bulb.
“Are you rejected again, madam?” Sven inquired politely with just a hint of that Norse smugness his pillaging tribe is so renowned for. Viking bastards! I made a mental note to count the silver spoons again in the near future.
“I am not.” I fanned my myself thoughtfully with the radiant page – the faint scent of Eau de Rosedale yet lingered. “Darling Maggie’s just dashed off a little thank you note to me, you see.”
“Margaret Atwood, Sven. She’s such a thoughtful thing. Why I haven’t heard from her in…”
well, to be frank I’d never had a letter of any sort from Margaret Atwood before. I expect because we didn’t actually know each other.
I read the short message again. I marveled at her skillful use of dangling participles. I told myself the scrawled signature was not machine generated. No. Not this time. Bless her.
“Didn’t you find one of her lost bank accounts, Madam?”
I set down the letter carefully on the walnut table and picked up the mug of tea. I took a thoughtful sip and winced prettily. Sven had forgotten to add single malt scotch to my Earl Gray again. Bungling infidel!
“That will be all, Sven.” I waved my shapely manicured hand at him and basked in the aura of Margaret Atwood’s note. Sven lurched away, tray under arm, as I wracked my brain trying to think how to casually mention (in great detail) to my circle of stand-offish semi-acquaintances this momentous occurrence. However, fantasies of the Atwood letter “accidently” dropping out of my Elizabeth Arden purse during a Branksome ‘Let’s Shake Down the Alumuni” Luncheon seemed more than a little contrived… even for me.