'Will and Ted' - A "Shakespearean" Fictional Short Story

William Shakespeare

Out of Copyright
Out of Copyright | Source

Deep down inside, I knew that I needed Will and Ted back in my life.

Let me explain.

* * * * * * * *

Many moons ago, during my Grammar School days, something really wonderful happened. A student teacher was assigned to our English group.

He was tall and slim, with a mop of auburn curls and marvellously expressive green eyes. And his enthusiasm for Shakespeare was infectious.

We girls were all quite keen on literature, but, if truth be told, we were even more keen on Mr Grant ~ or 'Ted', as he asked us to call him. (Not that we ever did, of course ~ well, not to his face, anyway.)


He suggested that we might put on 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', under his tutelage ~ and we agreed enthusiastically. The play was a great success, the rehearsals with 'Ted' were fantastic, and our love of all things Shakespeare increased exponentially.

I adored everything about it. And when I say everything, I must, of course, include the teacher!

Shakespeare and his Home

Shakespeare - out of copyright Birthplace - Copyright Tricia Mason
Shakespeare - out of copyright Birthplace - Copyright Tricia Mason

Shakespeare-Inspired Fiction

So I was really saddened, when ‘Ted’ eventually had to go back to University ~ I felt that reading Shakespeare could never be the same again.


At the end of term, we broke up for the summer ~ armed with several books to read ~ and, in the September, we returned to our studies.


I remember it so well. We had English first lesson, and our new teacher was ~ yes, you’ve guessed it; Mr Grant! I could hardly believe my eyes. He had passed his exams and returned to us, as a fully-fledged English teacher!


I noticed some of the other girls looking at me. They were smiling, nudging each other, and giving what might be termed 'knowing looks'.


At first, I was puzzled, but it suddenly dawned on me that, while everyone liked Shakespeare and Mr Grant, probably no-one was quite so enthralled by both of them as I was.


I blushed. Unfortunately, I blushed just as he looked at me ~ and I couldn't speak. Goodness knows what he must have thought.


Perhaps he then guessed that I had a crush on him. I still don't really know. Luckily, I managed to calm down.

Shakespeare Re-Told

Front Covers ~ Books available from Amazon
Front Covers ~ Books available from Amazon

I continued to find both Ted Grant and Will Shakespeare amazing, I worked hard, I passed my end-of year exams and, once again, it was time for the long summer holiday.

I took my books home and I read during the long lazy days of summer.

But the long lazy days were about to come to an abrupt end. Mum discovered that she was pregnant with twins.

As the eldest, I had often helped around the house and kept an eye on my younger brother and sister, but now Mum needed a huge amount of help.

Then another bombshell was dropped. Dad became ill and couldn't work. With a family of five and two more on the way, financial concerns became a huge worry for us all.

The obvious didn't strike me at first, but the truth struck home when, one evening, my parents said that they needed to speak to me about something important.

It was obvious that this was going to be a very serious conversation.

Dad looked at Mum; she looked at him; and then they both looked straight at me. I could tell that they felt terrible about something, and were finding it difficult to speak.

I wondered what else could be wrong.

Finally it was my Dad who blurted it out.

"You do realise that you won't be able to go back to school, don't you, Kate?" He looked as if he were in physical pain, and I could see that Mum was close to tears.

"We are so sorry, darling." Her voice was strained. "We know how much you love it there. And we are so proud of you, but ...

“But needs must, Love,” added Dad. "Education is a luxury we simply cannot afford and we really need you to go to work and earn some money."

And that was how my hopes and dreams of studying Shakespeare at university came to an abrupt end.

Front Covers ~ Books available from Amazon
Front Covers ~ Books available from Amazon

On Shakespeare


I found myself a full-time job at Woolworths, lost touch with my friends, married early, had children early, became a grandmother early, and was widowed early.

Then, one day, not so long ago, my granddaughter asked if I could help her with her English. She was studying Shakespeare.

I was rusty, but it soon came back to me, and I was immersed, once more, in the love of my life. I knew, there and then, that I could not let this get away from me again.


*


With the obvious, and painful, exception of early widowhood, life had been good to me.

My husband had been a kind man and I had felt content with him, even though we had shared very few interests.

He had been happy in his work at the factory, but the academic world had held little interest for him.

However, we had shared a love of our dear children and grandchildren.

Old Royal Shakespeare Theatre Stratford - On The River Avon

1. Gerd Thiele, October 2003 + 2. Original uploader ~ Snowmanradio - - Licensed under the Creative Commons. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stratford_RST.jpg + http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_shakesp
1. Gerd Thiele, October 2003 + 2. Original uploader ~ Snowmanradio - - Licensed under the Creative Commons. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stratford_RST.jpg + http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_shakesp | Source

Stratford Upon Avon

“Grandma, you’re still really good at this ~ why don’t you do a GCSE? You could enrol for one now.”

Really? Now? Could I?

Was my granddaughter right? Might I still study Shakespeare?

I looked into adult education courses and I signed up for English Literature GCSE. I was so excited! No-one could possibly have understood how much this meant to me.

That was when I decided to take another plunge.

I decided that it was time to see a production of one of the bard’s plays and, if I was going to see Shakespeare live on stage, for the first time ever, then I was going to do it properly ~ I was going to Stratford-Upon-Avon!

Early Editions of Shakespeare

Out Of Copyright
Out Of Copyright

Romeo and Juliet


I went alone! I don’t know where my sudden bravery and assertiveness came from, but I felt inspired and filled with an enthusiasm that I thought had died many years before.

I travelled up to Stratford in the September, while the weather was still warm and sunny, and I had a wonderful time.

I visited Shakespeare’s birthplace and enjoyed a tour on an open-top bus, before returning to my hotel to change, ready to walk down to the theatre for the play ~ ‘Romeo and Juliet’ ~ the one that I would be studying for GSCE.

While I was waiting for the doors to open, I became aware of a familiar male voice nearby. At first I was a little bewildered. Who might be there, whom I could possibly know? The man was just in front of me. Someone had asked him a question and, as he finished answering, he turned and looked straight at me.

Recognition dawned in his eyes as it must have in mine. It was Ted Grant! His wavy hair was more grey now than auburn, but his green eyes still burned with enthusiasm, as they looked into my own.

Ted, too, was travelling alone, and he was in the seat next to mine. It was fate! It must have been!

Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Shottery (Stratford)

Copyright Tricia Mason
Copyright Tricia Mason

That was my first experience of a Shakespeare play, but by no means my last. It was, however, the last time I attended one alone. Thereafter, Ted and I went together. (And, of course, I could call him Ted now ~ no more ‘Mr Grant!’)

I finished my course, took my exams and waited impatiently for the results.

Ted was with me when the envelope arrived.

A*!!!

He knew just how much this meant to me. He held his arms out to me and he was beaming;

“I knew that you would do it!” Pride was in his voice. “I always knew. Always! Congratulations Kate.”

I hugged him happily. I was grinning with exultation.

Finally, everything had come together.

“All’s well that ends well” I whispered.

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford Upon Avon ~  Copyright Tricia Mason
Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford Upon Avon ~ Copyright Tricia Mason
Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford Upon Avon ~  Copyright Tricia Mason
Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford Upon Avon ~ Copyright Tricia Mason
Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford Upon Avon ~  Copyright Tricia Mason
Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford Upon Avon ~ Copyright Tricia Mason

'Will and Ted' - A Foray into Fiction

A foray into fiction ~ inspired by my enjoyment of the works of Tudor / Stuart playwright, William Shakespeare, and my great liking for the beautiful historic town of Stratford Upon Avon, in Warwickshire.

Feedback welcomed : )

Copyright Tricia Mason ~ All rights reserved.

Comments 18 comments

Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Webguyonline :)

Thank you.

Glad you enjoyed it :)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

How to patiently seduce your English Lit teacher by Trish. Strange hub, Trish. Not fleshed-out enough to be a short story, it was more like an outline. It left me feeling curious as to whether there was any bones of truth within. It does show what an accomplished writer you are. Bob


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Diogenes

Ok, a short short story, then :)

(It began longer, but I edited out the unnecessary stuff)

Why 'strange'???

Bones of truth?

I went to a girls' Grammar school, where I discovered Shakespeare.

I visit Stratford a lot.

But no young male English teachers, I'm afraid. :)

Thanks for the feedback ~ much appreciated.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

All in all, a very good experience of Shakespeare! :) I loved this story.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Genna :)

Well, thank you very much!

Very kind of you ~ and most encouraging! :) :)


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Trish_M - The nice thing about writing a story is that it can be fact and still be a story, or it can be all story and still be fact. Nice work here, Ms Trish.

Gus :-)))


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Thank you very much, Gus. :)

This one is, basically, all story ~ but informed by the education that I experienced :)

However, like 'Kate', I didn't go to see a Shakespeare play, until much later than I should have. I saw 'The Tempest' with my Mum, my daughter and some friends; 'Love's Labour's Lost' with my Mum and some friends, and 'Hamlet' (starring David Tennant) with my husband. That one was brilliant! (All in Stratford!)

But I did go, with my school, to see Franco Zeffirelli's wonderful film of 'Romeo and Juliet' ~ the play I studied for O' Level.

I'm not a grandma ~ though a number of my friends are ~ and my husband has had a similar education to my own. So no similarities there :)


arthurchappell profile image

arthurchappell 5 years ago from Manchester, England

beautiful story - The Bard would be proud of you


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Well, thank you very much, Arthur. That's very kind :)


arthurchappell profile image

arthurchappell 5 years ago from Manchester, England

you're very welcome


John MacNab 5 years ago

I liked it Trish.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Thank you, John, for that kind response :)

Much appreciated!


stessily 5 years ago

Trish_M: I love this story. It has such a real feel to it and is so-o-o romantic!

The photos are lovely, and I especially appreciate the ones taken by you. Very nice!

I was transfixed by "Stratford upon Avon in snow." Beautiful snow sculpture of a swan. The fluffy whiteness seems to be just the correct amount to meet Camelot standards of beauty --- not endless bother as I grew up with in the American midwest.

Voted up+funny+beautiful

Kind regards, Stessily


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Stessily :)

I just responded to you and my post disappeared! ~ So, if two comments appear, then you will know why :)

Thank you for your kind words! I am glad that you enjoyed reading this ~ I enjoyed writing it, too.

Stratford in the snow can be beautiful ~ especially around the church, I think.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Loved your story and all the pictures from Stratford-upon-Avon!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Suzettenaples :)

Thank you very much!

Stratford Upon Avon is a lovely town ~ very picturesque, with lots of old buildings. I really like it there :)


DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

DrBill-WmL-Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

What fun! Thanks for sharing. I have actually been to Stratford-upon-Avon. My wife is related to the Shakespeare family, a long way back, of course. Can't help reading about them! ;-)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Bill, :)

Thank you for reading and commenting.

I love genealogy so I understand your interest in Stratford and Shakespeare. I was in Stratford today, all beautifully decorated for Christmas. Beautiful!

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