I cannot remember the collection, but I remember reading a short story once where all the Pride and Prejudice characters were in a green room of sorts waiting for their call to enter a new story. It was funny because they physically changed based on how the new author described them. (Poor Mr. Collins seemed to get the worst of that.) This got the wheels in my head spinning and I wrote this short ditty which has been lost in a file on my thumbdrive since 2013. Enjoy!
“Oh, this is just too much!”
Fitzwilliam Darcy looked up from his ledgers towards his wife as she sat in her favourite window seat. Her shoes lay on the floor and her feet were drawn up under her skirts. She had returned to her reading, while one hand twisted a stray curl that had escaped its pin. Darcy smiled at the sight of her as she let out a single laugh and turned the page. Feeling his eyes upon her, she glanced up from her book.
“You will not believe how I am portrayed in this one, Fitzwilliam.” She chuckled.
“I still do not understand why you continue to read that drivel.”
Replacing his pen, he stood and crossed to her. Elizabeth sat forwards so her husband could slip behind her. He drew her back against his chest and she turned the page back so he could read with her.
“I do not understand why they must continuously put you in such brutal situations,” he whispered as he held her close to him. He would not admit that some of the stories had infiltrated his dreams.
Elizabeth leaned back against him and reached up to caress his cheek. “But you are always there to rescue me or remind me I am loved.”
He pressed a kiss into her palm.
“Here they are.” Charles Bingley stepped into Darcy’s study and his wife, Jane, followed shortly after.
“Lizzy was indulging in her dirty little habit again.” Darcy laughed as his wife elbowed him playfully.
“Oh no, Lizzy, not more of those variation and continuation stories,” Jane huffed as she took a seat. “They always make me sound so goody-goody.”
“And I always sound like an idiot who cannot make a decision without Darcy’s assistance.” Bingley dropped onto the sofa beside his wife.
“Now, Charles, I have read a few recently that give you a backbone.” Darcy chuckled. “I believe in one you ordered me from your home when you learned I separated you from Jane.”
“Yes, but you are everyone’s ideal man and other than your initial rudeness and pride, never do anything wrong.”
Elizabeth traced a finger over her husband’s cheek. “Even his rudeness and pride are explained by shyness.”
“I feel sorry for Caroline, Lady Catherine, and Wickham.” Jane shook her head. “They are made far worse than imaginable.”
Elizabeth nodded. “I am surprised how many times George has been hung. You may think it would cause him to change his ways. Though I must admit I have found the stories where Caroline goes insane quite humorous. Or that the only way she can get Darcy is when he is in his cups.””
Darcy snorted. “I was most distressed by the number of times my cousin attempted to have his way with you.”
“Well, I for one will never forgive the author who wrote of my infidelity.” Bingley slipped an arm about his wife’s shoulders. “It caused my dear Jane to doubt me.”
“There are good ones also,” Elizabeth admitted. “I quite enjoy the stories that allow our sisters to grow and find love.”
Jane nodded as she giggled. “You can tell the authors that have been touched by Miss Austen’s muse.”
Elizabeth looked thoughtful. “I wonder if we would have felt this way when dear Jane wrote her story. Would we have critiqued her motives or her story line?”
“As she is our creator, we shall never know.” Darcy kissed her temple and slipped the book from her hands. “It is enough for now. Let us take a walk in the garden.”
Wouldn’t it be amusing to know what the characters or even Jane Austen herself would think of what has come from her darling children and how she has inspired so many?
Hope you are enjoying beautiful weather which allows for refreshing walks in the garden, and being safe and well!