by Helen Chambers
Grey day; warm for the season. ‘If anyone knows any reason…’ intones the priest, hearing the palpable intake of breath. A breeze flutters the feathers, salmon-pink, of the bride’s mother’s hat. Her sneezes ricochet off the ancient church stones. A cough, an embarrassed giggle, a ripple stirs through the congregation. The bride’s father compresses his elastic face into a deeper frown. Fecund and sullen, the swelling bride clasps her groom’s sweaty hand, his ratty moustache too small for his upper lip. The bride’s mother cries harder into her hankie. Silence stretches to snapping point. The priest smiles.
Helen Chambers is a flash and short fiction writer who likes taking long walks seeking inspiration by the river where she lives in Essex, UK. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Essex, and is the 2018 Fish Short Story winner. She blogs at HelenChambersWriter.wordpress.com