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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Comedy · #2297294
A man is presented with a tempting choice. 3rd in Humorous Short Story Contest June 2023.
2023 Quill Nominee2023 Quill Finalist

Madame Michelle de la Lyonesse Dupont

Jean awoke with Madame Michelle de la Lyonesse Dupont’s arm thrown proprietarily across his chest. This was normal and had to do with a certain insecurity on the part of Madame. Jean had no objection to the practice, although it made it difficult to sneak out of bed without disturbing Madame’s beauty sleep. And he needed to do this now, as the natural demands of his body urged an immediate visit to the bathroom.

Gently, he eased himself from the restraints of Madame’s arm, allowing it to fall softly to the sheet. He stood up and fumbled in the dark to put on his bathrobe. Then, quietly opening the bedroom door, he stepped into the passage.

There was a figure standing at the far end, just a dark shadow in the dim extremity of the overhead light. Jean stood still a moment in surprise that anyone should be in his house at this time of night. But there was something familiar about the shape of this shadow and he took a few steps toward it. It was impossible, but it looked very much like Madame herself.

As he neared the person, Jean realised that he was looking at a younger version of his wife. But this could not be - he had just left her sleeping in their bed. It was a mystery that he needed to solve without delay.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“Ah, Jean, mon petit chou chou, do you not recognise me? I am Mademoiselle Michelle de la Lyonesse’s Ghost of Times Long Passed. Though you did not know me when I was twenty-one, I felt sure you would see the resemblance to Madame herself.”

Jean did not dispute her claim. “But why are you here now? Surely it must be better to be forever in the bright days of the long ago? This is a most unexpected foray into the present.”

“I think you know the answer to that, Jean Dupont,” replied the Ghost. “Your love for the Madame, your seventh wife, if I have counted aright, is so bright that I felt you deserved to know me as I was in the height of my beauty and attraction.”

“How can I do that?” asked Jean.

“Merely come with me and we will be transported back to the days you never knew, there to experience the true warmth of our unfailing love.”

“Never to return?” Though tempted, Jean expected there to be a catch somewhere.

“Well, no,” admitted the Ghost.

For a moment, Jean debated his decision. Then he spoke boldly, “But I must refuse, sweet Lady. It is true that I love my wife more than I ever knew love before. And it is her that I love, not some spectre of her in her youth. I will stay with her.”

“You have passed the test,” said the Ghost, before disappearing in a puff of smoke.

And that’s not all, thought Jean, as he stepped into the bathroom. Truth is, Mademoiselle scared me shitless.


Word count: 500
For The Humorous Short Story Contest, June 2023
No prompt.

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