Good Breeding

Good_Breeding_400x600Adopted as a baby, Giles Frobisher has grown up with every privilege. Encouraged by his best friend—and secret crush—Oz to seek out his birth mother, he’s appalled to discover she’s loud, lower-class, and insists on calling him Wayne!

Giles’ snobbier-than-thou, none-too-faithful boyfriend Hugh is equally horrified, and Oz, who’s always been secretive about his own family, starts acting very strangely.

It seems Giles is about to learn that good breeding has nothing to do with who your parents are!

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The bouquet of pink carnations in Giles’s hand was suffering slow strangulation as his nerves overtook him. He stood in the doorway of the pub he’d ducked into for a bit of Dutch courage, staring at the house opposite.

This was, quite possibly, the biggest day of his entire life. “I can’t do it!” he hissed.

His friend Oz clapped him bracingly on the shoulder. “Yes, you can,” he said firmly. “Come on. What’s the worst that can happen?”

“Easy for you to say,” Giles muttered, trying not to think of all the ways this could go disastrously, horribly, humiliatingly wrong. “Are you quite sure this is the right address?”

“Well, you’ve only checked it about seventeen times — of course I’m sure! Angela Mills, 47 Red Lion Street, Putney.”

“But what if it’s the wrong Angela Mills?”

“It’s not. We checked, remember? Angela Mills, née Shepney. How many of those can there be?” Oz gave Giles a last friendly — if somewhat impatient — hug then pushed him firmly in the direction of the most terrifying front door Giles had ever seen. “Now cross that bloody road and go give your old mum a kiss.”

* * * *

The door was opened by a bleached blonde in leggings and a saggy boob tube that showed an unhealthy amount of orange flesh. A cigarette dangled from her mouth, held loosely between yellowed teeth. Still, Giles supposed charitably, living in Putney his mother probably couldn’t afford anyone more respectable as a cleaner.

“Oh, er, hello?” he said politely. “I’m looking for Angela Mills. I’m Giles Frobisher.” He was just about to add, “Is your employer in?” when the cigarette fell to the doormat, unheeded, and claggily mascara’d eyes widened in surprise.

“OhmiGAWD it’s little Wayne!” a raucous voiced croaked, harpy-like.


Note: This story was previously published in the Tea & Crumpet anthology.