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Borrowed Words - Austen Powers: The Guy Who Snagged Me

'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.'

For the hundredth time, Claire read the tagline on her blind date's profile and wondered if she was making a mistake. Was this guy flaunting his money hoping to win himself a trophy girl? She considered his name and wondered if there was more to it than that.


She looked up from her phone into eyes the colour of the Caribbean Sea.
“Darcy?” she asked, liking the way his dark brown hair fell boyishly over his brow.

“That's me. Well,” he flushed as he sat across from her in the café where they'd arranged to meet. “That's my screen handle. My name's Ben. Guess Darcy's kind of nerdy. I’m a 'Pride and Prejudice' buff.” He fiddled with the napkin in front of him.

“That explains your tagline.”

“Oh, that,” Ben laughed. “Disclaimer: I'm not heir to a grand fortune.”

“Are you at least pompous?” Claire teased.

“Nope.” Ben’s eyes twinkled and his slender shoulders relaxed. “But I've been accused of worse by the dates who haven't stood me up. Should change that dumb tag line.”

“Why?” Claire countered. “Anyone who appreciates the novel knows that those aren't Darcy's words. And, sure, he appears pompous at first, but his second letter to Elizabeth explains his attitude. It's the turning point in their relationship.”

When a waitress paused at their table, Ben ordered tea for himself and, when he noticed Claire was drinking the same, requested a pot. “Are you a fan of Jane Austen, then?” he asked.

“I am. Particularly her epistolary style. It's a very unique way to develop characters.”

“Isn't it?” Ben enthused. “I mean, imagine Elizabeth reading Darcy's first letter, full with criticism of her family. Who can blame her, and Austen's readers, for thinking the worst of him? Can you imagine how different the story would have turned out if Elizabeth hadn't read Darcy's second letter?”

“Not too different from people today,” Claire mused. “I mean, you said yourself that women have been quick to judge you on just a few words.” She nodded her thanks as the waitress returned and poured tea for the two of them.

Ben touched his cup to hers. “Lucky for me, you aren't one of them.”


(c) Kristy Kassie, 2017


Borrowed Words

Start with a line borrowed from a famous writer and write your own story.

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