The following was received in the Paul and Storm inbox, and is published below in its entirety…
(…or as a viewable/downloadable Google Doc/pdf.)
Hello Storm –
You might not remember me, but I’m Emily, the girl from your neighborhood who sent my manuscript to share with the world. Well, I’m all grown up, but I haven’t stopped writing. In fact I’m much better at it now, and when I read “Emily and the Really Sexy Vampyre” now its a little embarrassing.
But I was just a girl then, and I’m completely a woman now. And I want to afford you the opportunity to publish my latest work, my first as truly an adult in this world. I do not expect any remuneration or other monetary gains, but if anyone is interested in making a movie or internet show based on this, I would very much appreciate it if you could help me out in that regard.
Unlike my Vampyre story, this one is truly “A fan fic,” which I understand is a totally normal and legal thing to do, these days. It was inspired by the most delicious teas I have ever had, which as it turns out were themselves inspired by “Downton Abbey,” which is an internet show from England. You’re an American guy and, no offense, a nerd, so you probably haven’t heard of it. But its enough to know that the award-winning TV series, Downton Abbey® has entranced millions of viewers and become a modern media sensation. Every episode is an explosion of drama, relationships and intrigue. Downton Abbey is home to the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. The first two seasons follow their lives from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 through the First World War while the later seasons follow them into the early 1920s. From the pen of Academy Award® winner Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey is the most watched drama ever on PBS!
Without further pomp or adieu, please enjoy “Tea Time at Downton Abbey, by Emily Smith.” And I hope the world is as inspired by this show and these teas like I have been, truly.
TEA TIME AT DOWNTON ABBEY
by Emily Smith (a pen nom de plume)
It was pretty much an average day at Downton Abbey, in between when some very momentous things had happened, or were going to happen. The two living Grantham sisters sat in the super-fancy and very-historic Downton Abbey parlor. Which might seem crazy if you live in a boring house like most people, but to them it was no big deal. In the morning.
“What should we do to-day?” said Lady Edith, the younger and frumpier of the pair, but certainly of noble Grantham blood, for certain.
“I have an appointment this afternoon with a man,” said Lady Mary, who was the very picture of British pale-elegance. She wore a nice but not crazy-fancy day-gown, which was probably just the first thing she had grabbed for her from the closet, because everything she has to wear is beautiful, even when it was for just whatever.
“Well, aren’t you ever so popular?” said Lady Edith, twisting her lips up like two rubber bands. “Where’s our tea?”
“It’s on the way,” said Lady Mary, one elegant eyebrow lifting in anticipation of delicious tea. “But I’m not meeting the man as a social call. I think he can help us save Downton Abbey, our ancient and traditional home, which is totally worthy of being kept around.”
“Of course,” said Lady Edith. “But the man is a handsome and mysterious Prince, is he not?”
“Not a Prince, silly,” said Lady Mary. “He is Sir Wentworth Namesley, the Viscount of London and Baron-Earl of Westershire. But his titles are not important, nor his mystery or looks. It’s his money earned from the tea trade that concerns me.”
Before Lady Edith could retort, the very pretty and humble Anna entered the room, bearing a spotless silver tray, which itself bore a teapot, which bore two cups, next to it.
“Your tea, m’lady,” said Anna with a little smile. She poured the tea, and the two Grantham Ladys whiffed at the air, with elegance, which made them look even more regal.
“Thank you, Anna,” said Lady Mary. “It is our very favorite, is it not?”
“It’s English Rose!” chirped Lady Edith.
“It is indeed English Rose tea,” said Anna, with a dear little nod. “It is no wonder that you love it so, as it is so like yourselves! This vibrant, ruby-red infusion of rose, raspberry and hibiscus has fruity, floral notes and a touch of sweetness. Inspired by traditional British desserts, this caffeine-free, luscious tea is perfect as an afternoon treat. Enjoy hot or cooled over a tall glass of ice.”
Anna left them to their English Rose tea and important talking. Which they did for a while, in elegance.
“Oh, dear Mary,” said Lady Edith, who was allowed to call her by her first name because they were sisters. “I’m sorry if I was cross or jealous with you earlier. And I’m sorry you have to play these silly nobility games to help save our revered and solemn estate.”
“It’s okay, dear Edith,” said Lady Mary. “Ever was the price of being so very English.”
Back downstairs, Mr. Bates beamed as his beloved Anna returned to him. Only moments before he had been brooding over some secret, a very dangerous one, probably.
“I’ve brought you biscuits and sandwiches, my love,” said the plainly-adorned but very pretty Anna.
“You know me so well,” said Mr. Bates. “For you’ve also brought my favorite Brambleberry tea.”
“Yes! I know how you love Brambleberries, even if you would never confess it to anyone else,” said Anna.
“It is true, I am honorable but rugged,” said Mr. Bates. “But this tea reminds me of my carefree simple youth, when I would play amidst the Brambleberry patches near my humble home.”
“Yes,” said Anna. “It is a bold yet smooth premium black tea is perfectly coupled with a handful of summer fruit – blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. A touch of sweetness to this cup will bring out the full, ripe flavor.”
“Your sweetness always brings out my full, ripe flavor!” said Mr. Bates, eyes gleaming.
“Mr. Bates!” said Anna, teasingly. “Not here in Downton Abbey! We do not want cause a scandal!”
“I don’t care what anyone thinks, because that’s how much I love you,” said Mr. Bates. “I would punch anyone in the world for you.”
“Oh, Mr. Bates!”
Later in the afternoon, the Downton staff was having a jolly good time, even though they did not have the advantages of their betters. Everyone except for Mr. and Mrs. Bates was crowded around the sturdy oaken wood kitchen table. On one end were Mrs. Patmore and Daisey, of the kitchen staff. On the other, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, being in charge of all the stuff.
“Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea!” shouted Daisey. “Everyone loves it the best, so we should serve it with my cucumber sandwiches!”
“That is quite ENOUGH, Daisey!” scolded Mrs. Hughes. “We appreciate that you are loyal to Mrs. Patmore, but the Butler’s Pantry Blend will be expected.”
“To poppycock with expectations!” said Daisey. “Mrs. Patmore’s dessert tea has the homemade flavors of vanilla sponge cake drizzled with rich caramel sauce. The full-bodied base of premium black tea lends itself well to a splash of milk, making it a perfect afternoon tea to partner with puddings, scones and shortbread!”
“Well, I never!” huffed Mr. Carson, his face turning beat red. “I am in charge of this household! The Butler’s Pantry Blend has A base of robust black tea creates a standard that is softened with the essence of honey! This tea embodies both the strong, no-nonsense character of Mr. Carson and the sympathetic sweetness of Mrs. Hughes! Together, they create the harmonious balance needed to keep the manor in order!””
“Yes! Yes! Butler’s Pantry Blend!” shouted half of the servants around the table.
“No! No! Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea!” shouted the other.
“Now, now,” said Mrs. Hughes. “We are fortunate to have so many delicious and distinguished teas to serve! We also have the Estate Blend, Earl Grey black tea has become one of the most enjoyed flavored teas in the world. This classic traditional British tea with bergamot orange oil has been paired with exotic vanilla for an intriguing finish. Enjoy this robust tea with or without milk and sugar or even over ice. Perfect for high tea or any time of day.”
“It’s true,” said Mrs. Patmore. “And don’t forget Organic Grantham Breakfast Blend.
Full-bodied, malty, organic Assam black tea is infused with the spicy flavor of organic ginger root. Try with a splash of warm milk and sweetener for a flavor reminiscent of sticky ginger pudding. This energizing tea is perfect for an early morning foxhunt or preparing for the dramas of the day.”
“ENOUGH,” thundered Mr. Carson. The room fell stupid-quiet. Everyone thought that everyone was going to get fired. Even Mrs. Hughes looked worried. “There is only one thing to do for it. Mrs. Patmore?”
“Y-yes?” said Mrs. Patmore, meekly.
“Prepare ALL the teas, lest Downton’s guests think we’re stingy,” said Mr. Carson.
“Hooray!” shouted everyone in the room, but a quick glare from Mr. Carson piped them down but quick.
Outside the kitchen right after, Mrs. Hughes patted Mr. Carson on the arm. “Don’t worry—everyone respects our Butler’s Pantry Blend Tea. And it’s wonderful that you’re not always such a grumbling fuddy-duddy.”
“Frussen muss-fuss!” said Mr. Carson.
Later that evening, after the day’s adieu and excitement, Earl and Cora Grantham were getting ready for bed. Cora leaned against her Tea Sampler Pillow, which is A perfect way to sample our Downton Abbey® Teas for yourself or a friend, each pillow contains a selection of our Citizens’ Favorite Downton Abbey® Teas.
Some servant or other came in with tea, and set it down. Cora thoughtfully admired the Flora and Fauna Teapot, A 12.5 oz Wedgwood teapot featuring sweet cuckoos and feminine blossoms for the most elegant afternoon tea setting. Inspired by pattern books from the early nineteenth century, this teapot is crafted from fine bone China and features burnished gold edge lines. Pairs with Flora and Fauna Tea Cup and Saucer. Infuser not included.
“Earl?” said Cora.
“Yes, my love?” said Earl, sipping from an English Rose Mug, in sophisticated style with this 16 oz quaint English Rose Mug. Pair with our Downton Abbey® English Rose tea for a delightful afternoon cuppa.
“Do you still like my tea?” asked Cora.
“Oh, my sweet!” said Earl. “I adore Lady Cora’s Evening Tea! This caffeine-free blend of chamomile and lemon balm will calm the mind and body. Relaxing botanicals create a cup of tranquility that helps ease the nerves. Nice before bedtime when a soothing cup is a welcome friend.”
“A friend?” said Cora.
“Well, yes,” said Earl. “My mother, the Dowager Countess, may not have approved of my love for you, but I assure you it is complete and enduring.”
“And mine yours, too, as such,” said Cora, eyes aglow. “And that wrinkled prune mother of yours has always been sour because she never had a tea named for her.”
“As usual, you’re probably right.”
And thus did night fall on Downton Abbey, and the teas of Downton Abbey.