Writing, YeahWrite

Meet My Fiancée…

This evening was much like any other. I sat yawning at the dining table as Mother and my perfect little sister, Libby, discussed the wedding. I stress that this is definitely the wedding, and not just a wedding.

Oh no, Mother has gone out of her way to ensure that this is the social occasion of the year, the best day of her daughter’s life. Sixteen whole sides of freshly-smoked, Scottish salmon have been ordered for the wedding breakfast and the Vicar has been ordered not to trip over his words during the service at the expense of her family’s reputation – despite his years of experience.

In front of us sat a work of art, a common topic of conversation – the seating plan. I’ve heard six times this evening alone how Lady Bunty Larinstoff, the highly regarded President of the Lawn Tennis Association can not (NOT) possibly sit within two tables of Melissa Mcorkadale, or quite frankly, the whole day will be a total disaster. I sat dazed, until a shrill voice awoke me.

“And what about you, Sissy?” Libby, my perfect-in-every-way little sister asked smugly. “Have we got a name for your plus-one yet?” she smirked, pointing to the only blank space on the table plan, next to my name. “Who’s the lucky guy?”

What happened next, shouldn’t have happened, but it did. I don’t even know how it happened.

“I HAVE A FIANCÉE!” my mouth blared with the force of an opera singer. This revelation was met with two blank faces, who stared at each other for a moment. The room deathly quiet, my cheeks red with utter shock at what I had just said.

“YOU?” Libby exclaimed. “ENGAGED?”

Hysterical laughter followed from both my mother and my sister for what seemed like forever. Knee-slapping, snorting. Tears ran from Mother’s eyes.

“No, no, of course, Sissy!” Libby backtracked, fanning herself with her hand in an attempt to regain composure. “So when will we meet the lucky guy?”

“AT THE WEDDING!” I did it again. Why won’t I stop talking?

“Really?” both women asked in unison, still clearly baffled.

“YES. YES. YOU’LL SEE. BECAUSE I AM A CATCH” I attempted to string a sentence together as I swaggered towards the door, leaving the room and slamming the door behind me like a child.

Laughter continued.

It was the day of Libby’s wedding, and I was still a notorious singleton in my mid-thirties. I had approximately three hours and twenty eight minutes to find an utterly gorgeous man who I must convince to not only accompany me to a wedding full of people he has never met, but also to propose to me on the spot. What could possibly go wrong?


Photo by Jose Martinez on Unsplash

It was time for the wedding reception, time for my family to meet my mystery man. I had bluffed my way through the service itself by pretending that my gorgeous Prince Charming had popped off to the the bathroom – what horrific timing! But I couldn’t avoid the truth for much longer.

As the party walked towards the marquee I spotted a young, awkward-looking man amongst the sea of people. Pale, red-haired, not at all muscular. Not my usual type, but needs must. I ran towards him, abandoning my heels in the process.

I grabbed him by the shoulder and smiled. “ME, YOUR GIRLFR-FIANCEE. WE’RE IN LOVE. CANTEXPLAINANYMOREIMSORRY” He stared back at me with an expression of confusion, shock, and also fear.

Predominantly fear.

As my sister approached me and my new-found beau (if only he knew), I glued a fake smile onto my face and clasped my arms around his body. He let out a small squeak.

“Here he is!” she squealed with excitement, an action I copied without really knowing why. “Lovely to meet you…” she trailed off, waiting for my future husband to reveal his identity as she shook his hand warmly.

“GEOFF…ERY” I screamed, before the poor man beside me had chance to reveal the truth. Libby staggered backwards at the volume of my introduction.

“Actually, my name’s M-Matthew” the red-haired stranger next to me stuttered. I froze in shock as he spoke “And I have no idea who this woman is. She’s unhinged!” He began to bawl his eyes out, clearly traumatised by this whirlwind romance.

He retreated, slowly.

“THAT’S IT, WALK AWAY. A REAL MAN WOULD RUN!” I rolled my eyes, met with a blank gaze by my sister, who was clearly trying to process what the hell had just happened.

Writing, YeahWrite

Mirror, Mirror

Kenneth James was an ordinary man with an extraordinary ego. He had achieved many things in his seventy-two years of life. As he stood in the master bedroom of his estate, fire roaring and silk curtains blowing with the assistance of the violent wind, he recalled some of his life’s greatest moments.

He began with his takeover as the head of his father’s hedge fund management company after spending so many years as a party boy, finally to be taken seriously. He recalled the many family holidays abroad with his children aboard a private yacht. And how could he forget, three no-expense-spared weddings?

It was for his third marriage to Lady Eleanor (a small lady with undistinguished features and the voice of a mouse) that guests gathered outside in his ample garden this evening. It was their 30th wedding anniversary and the social event of the season. Notorious busybody Petunia Porter could be heard admiring Lady Eleanor’s singing begonias from the open window perhaps too enthusiastically whilst her husband started on the buffet. A selection comprising of homemade mini quiche and vol-au-vent’s, he gathered them into his gullet without hesitation.

Lord James was not the handsome bachelor he once was to the outside world, but he felt as youthful as ever. He wished more than anything to be the man he once was. After pouring himself a wee dram of whiskey, he sauntered over to the full length mirror in the corner of the room.

He stood before it.

Bringing up an aging hand up to his face, he examined his furrowed brow and facial wrinkles with his withered fingertips. Reflected in the now glowing mirror was an image of the past, a young Lord James – skin smooth and youthful. Muscular and athletic.

“Like what you see?” a deep, sonorous voice rang out across the room. His Lordship could do nothing but admire his new-found youth, nodding his head rapidly, his eyes wide in amazement.

“All you have to do is give me your body” the voice boomed once more. Oblivious to the events taking place in the master bedroom, the guests of the garden party began to dance to the tune of a brass band as they drank generous servings of rum punch.

Light poured out of the bedroom window, engulfing Lord James in the process. “Yes!” he affirmed “I want to be young again, I want to be beautiful!”.

“Your wish is my command!” the mysterious voice echoed out through the estate, instantaneously dragging Lord James towards the mirror. Within seconds His Lordship was no more, his body passing through the mirror, leaving nothing but a pile of tailored clothes and a smashed tumbler of whiskey on the floor before it. The fine crystal glass sat in smithereens on the floor, happily reflecting the light from the fire.

Maria Fernanda, the family’s maid for many a year passed the bedroom and spotted the glass on the floor. Tutting, she entered the room and swept up the glass with a dustpan and brush. She folded the clothes on the wooden floor and placed them neatly on the chair next to His Lordship’s bed.

“Maria!” a soft voice attempting to assert power beckoned her from outside. She left the room at once and returned to the garden party, serving Lady Eleanor’s guests until well past midnight.

Writing, YeahWrite

The Gift of Life

It all started with the clicking of dirty-red stilettos as their unique diction cut through the whistling of the violent wind. Dustbins fell to the floor with a clatter. Vehicles came to a standstill with a scream as green became red. The owner and indeed inhabitant of the stilettos maintained her swagger in the gale, hips swinging with each stride, dark hair swishing with purpose. Her pale, milky skin camouflaged into the gray-brick buildings of the street. Her deep-set eyes, dark but with a glint, focused intently on a building at the end of the sidewalk.

‘Not far now’ she thought, once again stretching out her slender left leg for another stride, but this time her figure and the ground did not make contact as before.

A rough hand grabbed her from behind.

A stumble followed. Confusion.

Her eyes stay fixed on the destination until her vision became submerged in the darkness of an alleyway where she had been forcefully dragged.

‘QUIET!’ her attacker ordered with conviction, pressing her open-backed dress on the cool brick walls, like ice on her bare skin. His gruff voice confirmed his male identity, although she was already confident from the crushing grip of his hand on her shoulder.

‘Well this is an inconvenience’ she spat, the corners of her bold lips turning upwards, the glint in her eye still very much present. This witticism was clearly unappreciated by her assailant, as a blade was brought up to her neck.

A creature screamed in the distance – the meow of a feisty feline stray which sat atop a dumpster. A witness to the crime, it watched curiously as the events unfolded before its eyes, like emerald beacons in the darkness.

‘Okay, Okay. Let me explain’ she tried to reason with the holder of the now unsteady knife. ‘I’m -‘

‘I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!’ he growled with as much ferocity as his previous order to her. ‘You are lucky that you’re still alive’ he continued, this time with a more sombre tone. ‘Usually they don’t get a chance to speak’ he informed, avoiding her gaze, tightening his grip on the knife.

‘Wait’ she protested, struggling to force a single word from her now restricted airway. For the first time she began to panic, her eyes widening, breath accelerating. The tip of the blade cut into her neck, slowly revealing a river of red. One slash. One shank of the knife, one more slit of her throat and she’d be dead, she was sure of it. The world was closing in, the damp walls of the alley collapsing inwards.

Time passed. Pressure released. Something hit the ground with a sonorous arrival.

‘I can’t’ her once shouty assailant, whimpered. ‘This isn’t me anymore’. He turned his back and repeatedly launched his head into the opposite wall before beginning to cry rather audibly. With this, clearly unimpressed, the witnessing feline fled to seek entertainment elsewhere.

‘Thank you’ she uttered, her voice now hoarse and weak. These were words that rarely left her mouth. She staggered slowly to a patch of sunlight at the far side of the alley to inspect her battle scars. ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ve had worse’ she directed her words towards the broken man who had now concluded his head-banging. Smearing the blood from her slim neck with her fingertips she walked back towards him.

‘The gift of life’ she turned his head towards her once more ‘is the most magnanimous gesture known to man’. She brushed his forehead with her bloody thumb, leaving a trail of quick-drying blood on his grubby skin. ‘You’re a kind-hearted person’ she continued before the male figure felt a sharp blow to his stomach and took a sharp intake of breath. He collapsed to his knees, before she revealed her action and removed the full length of the blade. ‘Me? Well, I have no heart’ she smirked before heading back towards the street from which she herself was snatched, her dirty-red stilettos clicking back into the light…