Troubles in the Ultra Modern


“I’m so sorry, it simply cannot be,” said Percy with a look of pure anguish, “you see, I found out from my consultant today… that..,” her lips quivered a little but then, with a stoic look, she continued, “I’m afraid I only have a few weeks to live.”

She looked away sadly and her eyes brimmed with tears.

“CUT! That’s a wrap.” yelled Orson, “Good work, Miss Lavelle, Mr Gable. Back here seven a.m Monday, bright eyed, bushy tailed etc, etc…”

“Oh Mills, what a day I’ve had!” complained Percy that evening, “I’m completely pooped.  You’ve no idea how much I need this little drinkie.”  Millicent’s mind cast about for some sympathy but found none: having spent the day looking after Liz’s children, cleaning the house, preparing meals and now, no doubt, facing an evening of bartending, it was all she could do to hide her irritation.

“We were sat around for simply hours between scenes.” Millicent rolled her eyes. “And then there was Clark’s breath! Oh my word, Mills, I swear it would stop a charging elephant in its tracks,” this latter snippet piqued Millicent’s interest: at least she’d be able to slip a little name-dropping and some tittle tattle into her next letter to her sister Connie.

“Never work with children and Americans, Millicent, that’s my advice to you,” Percy added gravely.

At that moment the door to the Peacock room opened and in burst the rest of the gang, full of merriment and chatter and all looking rather flushed. Millicent guessed, quite rightly, that they’d partaken of an early cocktail or two in a local bar.

“Percy you look fagged out, darling,” said Guy when he saw his sister with her feet up on the sofa. “Yes, that’s terminal illness for you!” quipped Antonio tastelessly, referring to Percy’s current acting role. ‘Oo, Greconville Life’!” he exclaimed, his attention suddenly caught by the magazine lying on the coffee table,  “What’s the latest from that den of iniquity I wonder?”

“Oh an old copy,” he said with disappointment since he loved nothing better than to catch up with the salacious gossip from Greconville. Sometimes he even wondered if they shouldn’t sell up and move there – there seemed to be so many more of their type there and they certainly held a lot more parties.

“‘Marianne von Veldon Society Wedding Special Edition’,” he read from the cover, “Ha! Well that was a sad day for us!” he declared, “I believe she’s become quite the little wifey now – no chance of any juicy bones of scandal from that quarter!” he said peevishly.

Later that evening, or very early the next morning to be more accurate, as Millicent went to check on the children in the nursery, she noted that Miss Lavelle had revived a little and was dancing on the coffee table. Though heaven knows where she gets the energy from, she thought with her tongue jammed firmly in her cheek. Given her incredibly arduous day job.



© 2017, Zoe. All rights reserved.

19 thoughts on “Troubles in the Ultra Modern

    1. The residents of parochial Grecondale are country bumpkins compared to the sophisticates of Greconville, the antics of whom they follow with vicarious pleasure!

  1. Now I wonder with whom Percy was expending her recovered energy??
    Great story Zoe, with a shocking beginning 😉
    And the GL magazine is a nice cosmogrecon touch.

    1. Thank you, Edel. I think [hope!] that Millicent is only referring to Percy dancing on the table in the living room! x

    2. I’ve amended the wording of the last paragraph a little, Edel, as I realised it could be read in different ways. Thank you! x

    1. Thank you, Cestina. I enjoy creating little things like the magazine and naughtily fritter away hours in doing so!

  2. Oh fabulous story I was startled by the first part, what a relief! Yes it must be SO hard being an actor, they mustn’t even have time to brush their teeth..

    1. Thank you, Jenny. I read somewhere that Clark Gable’s bad breath was notorious amongst leading ladies of the time!

  3. Good story, Zoe. But Percy should be warned about Millicent’s resentments. She might be pushed too far one day.

  4. Took a trip to Grecondale and found another story yippee – great story and clever photography – well done Zoe.

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