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rebcake in still_grrr

153 Fic: Moist and Delicious

Title Moist and Delicious
Author Rebcake
Rating PG
Word Count 680
Prompt 153 - Classic Lit (A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift)
Character Darla
Summary When she so chooses, Darla has no problem winning friends and influencing people.

England, 1726

Years later, when Darla was feeling impish, she prefaced her story with, “A Scotsman, an Irishman, a hunchback, and a genius walk into a bar.” It hadn’t been a bar, of course, and she had been the one to walk in, but it captured the tone of the meeting regardless.

Finding herself seated next to a Dr. Arbuthnot at a dinner one evening, she realized at once she had found something special. He seemed to be of a similar mind about her, and he was refreshingly more interested in hearing of her travels than admiring her dewy cheek. Perhaps it was the relative novelty of having an American as a dinner partner, but she suspected it was the even greater novelty of an intelligent man open to the idea of a pretty woman of intellect. She’d found such men before, though rarely. Far more common was the well-meaning man whose good intentions got all tangled in his appetites.

The good doctor did not appeal as a long-term companion, and had too many powerful friends who would miss him, besides. However, he might well be a charming friend over the next few years, should she keep up her present charade. She managed to make enough of an impression that she snared an invitation to a visiting party at the estate of his good friend, Mr. Pope.

She arrived rather late, as was her custom, and found that all the ladies had retired for the night. Though the housekeeper fussed about and insisted that she must be tired, Darla declared herself quite ready to meet her host. She was ushered into a pleasant, firelit library, where Dr. Arbuthnot was in convivial conversation with three other men. He leapt to his feet as soon as he saw her.

“Ah, Lady Graves. I am afraid you have stumbled into an impromptu meeting of the Martinus Scriblerus Club, and no one is safe.”

“Lively waters are indeed the most dangerous, Doctor. I often find myself wading into them, even so. I find it refreshing.”

He made introductions all around. Mr. Pope took pains to make sure she was comfortable, and she let him. The conversation resumed, with much disdain for the widespread misunderstanding of the Irish Problem, as outlined by Mr. Swift. She began to enjoy herself. Mr. Gay, Mr. Swift, Mr. Pope, and Dr. Arbuthnot had a quickness of mind and a willingness to find the dark humor in any situation that was sadly lacking in the stultifying circles of the well-born that she had lately cultivated.

The fire crackled, the level of the brandy in the decanter slowly lowered, and the laughter came often. Finally, she confided her solution to Mr. Swift. He was delighted, and declared her to be, by far, the most advanced thinker he had ever met.

“I would be drawn and quartered for making such a jest,” he declared. “But the temptation to do so is fearsome. You’ll be the death of me, my lady, but how I will enjoy it.”

She soon retired, and spent a most diverting visit with them all, even though her health wouldn’t allow her to walk out of doors in the autumn sunshine. She wasn’t the death of Mr. Swift, who was too much fun to kill and much too old to keep.

Mr. Swift traveled to England only seldom thereafter. She kept up her acquaintance with all the members of the Scriblerus Club. A few years later, the town was all astonishment at the pamphlet from Dublin, and she met with her friends and laughed at the scandal.

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

She thought she might eventually try Ireland, if such men were to be found there. And she hadn’t been kidding about the succulence of yearling children, either.

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Wow, this is fabulous! :) Clever and immensely satisfying. Very well done indeed.
Heh. I'm glad you liked it! I fiddled with the punchline, so I'd be interested to know which you think is better.
That was deliciously witty! Well done.
All wit courtesy of Mr. Swift! I'm pleased you liked it, though. Thanks for commenting!

Edited at 2010-01-22 05:22 am (UTC)
nice work...slightly creepy at the end lol but well done.
Darla was on good behavior this round, but she personifies creepy most of the time. I was re-reading the essay, and thought, "Who could be this cold-blooded American to whom Swift refers?" There is really only one possibility! Thanks for commenting.
Bwhahaha! How clever! Would that I could remember that sort of thing...
What do we need memories for? We've got the internet! I re-read the essay, thinking I might be able to work Mayor Wilkins in somewhere, but when I got to the line about the "very knowing American" what could I do? All the other stuff about Swift's buddies in the Scriblerus Club was a la Google. It's a brave new world, alright.

I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for commenting! Don't worry about that--what d'ya call it?--oh yeah: memory thingie.
Brilliant idea! Darla as the "young American" makes all sorts of sense. I love the last paragraph particularly, foreshadowing her meeting with Angel.
Tee! Glad you liked it. I couldn't very well have her meet one charming Irishman without thinking of another that would loom large in her unlife. (I had thought this might be from an early Angelus perspective, but A Modest Proposal predates his turning by decades.)
This is absolutely amazing! Funny, creepy, twisted in so many ways. A thouroughly Jossian piece.
Ooh! "Twisted!" You sure know how to flatter a girl. ;-} (Of course, "Jossian" is praise too high to really comprehend.)

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Is "A Modest Proposal" common in the curriculum in Russia? It seems like the kind of thing that might be, but you never know.

Thanks for commenting!
Wonderful stuff!
Thanks, sweetie! I guess the Darla ficathon greased the wheels, a bit.
Such a great Darla POV and wonderfully creepy.
Thanks, darlin'! I took liberties, but then Darla is used to that, I suppose.
Clever! Love Darla in her early years. This was great fun. :)
I credit shapinglight for re-igniting interest in Darla's early years. Centuries of playground for us!

I'm glad you had fun with it! Thanks for commenting.
<Lady Graves?! :)
Believe it or not, I actually did research to come up with that! I wanted a name that was plausibly American, but not too Puritan. "Graves" was at the top of the list of early European/Americans, and didn't require Darla to be especially imaginative. ;-}
Oh Darla, influencing people and discussing the finer aspects of eating babies. Such a classy demon.

I really enjoyed this, this has great Darla voice. Not to mention, I'm now inspired to google 'A Modest Proposal' and re-read it.

¡Yay! I'm so happy you enjoyed it. A Modest Proposal is definitely worth a repeat look. It's so wrong!
delightful, clever, and so very darla. a great quick read.
Tee! Love your "enthused" icon! I'm happy you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting!
So neat! Your punchline is outstanding, but the whole idea of Darla in interesting society and having fun, however temporarily, is a pleasurable one.

who was too much fun to kill and much too old to keep. The perfect company for a vampire on the lookout for something other than dinner. Bravo, Mr Swift and friends, even if you didn't realise it!
Yep, the Scriblerus Club got off easy, though they'll never know it. I did think a bit about how black humor and a vampire's everyday thoughts might be easily confused. Which is disturbing to me, being a fan of dark humor. I don't think of Darla as being particularly funny, or even witty (though she's smart), but she could say things straight out in that company, and they'd think she was quite the satirist. Brrrr.

Hee! I'm glad you liked the line about kill/keep. I was proud of that one! And I'm so happy that you liked the punchline, as I waffled a bit about it.
Okay, this? This was perfect. Of course the American would be Darla! What fun it sounds like she had. I really do like your Darla very much - impish, indeed.
Check it out! Matching icons! (Must be a 9/25 thing.)

*blushes* You flatter me, sweetie. Perfection is pretty elusive, but we all try. (I say this looking at the glittery and sequined "PERFECTION" diorama hanging above my monitor. True fact.)

Darla is much too terrible to really be impish, but I suspect she likes to think she can pull it off. And perhaps she can, for a while. ;-}

Thanks for commenting!
Ah, it's perfect!!
You are too kind. I'm glad you liked it!
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Cordy Grrr

January 2017



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