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White Wedding

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White Wedding As I hurried towards the church I realised, with that cold, sinking feeling one often gets at such occasions, that I was even more late than I had previously thought. There were rows of cars lining the streets around the church and no more guests were arriving. They all must be inside. I quickened my pace across the dewy grass and then began to jog, but I quickly slowed back down again to a brisk walk as my skirt began to ride up and my hair escaped from my bun. Having been unaccustomed to the amount of traffic in British streets, I had taken liberty with my time and had set off at eleven o'clock. For most of the morning I had sat slumped in my green Rover in a blockade of automobiles, horns blaring, people yelling and the velocity approximately ten inches per minute. I had underestimated the impediments of Monday morning traffic. Now, as I trotted through the graveyard, I made a mental note to leave, in future, at least two hours earlier than I usually would have done in Mongolia. I checked my watch. Twelve thirty. I was fifteen minutes late. I quickly approached the church and paused to gaze at it for a moment. English architecture was so different from Mongolian. The church was majestic and stately, but at the same time very pretty. The huge walls were built of heavy, sand-coloured stone slabs and a single turret spiralled up from the front of the building, roofed with red-brown slate. ...read more.


The guests instantly began muttering. One voice from the back cried, "Look at that man!" Somebody shrieked with gleeful horror. The man's face was now positively peony. He had an slightly insane gleam in his eyes. "Gillian," he cried. "I love you." He hiccuped loudly. * The best man escorted him from the church for a lie down. The ceremony was on hold. Everywhere there was anxious muttering and ill-disguised excitement. It turned out the man was the bride's brother-in-law. A woman sitting in front of me turned and knowingly informed me there was a nutter in every family. Two in her own. The bride looked shaken. The groom was consolingly patting her on her hip; he couldn't reach her shoulder. The organ player started up again, a melancholy tune which I later learned was called 'Spring is Here'. The guests were pacified. After a long delay, the best man returned, without the brother-in-law, and the ceremony began once more. The vicar glared at everyone, as if daring another interruption. Thankfully, there was none, and the vows were made. The bride's mother was sobbing uncontrollably into a pink hankie. Everyone rose for a hymn. Unfamiliar with the tune and the words I stood silently, feeling foolish, while the woman in front of me boomed out the verses with gusto, deafening those around her. I hummed a bit. After the ceremony, we all congregated in the Royal Crescent Hotel for dinner, followed by a disco. ...read more.


"I remember you. Would you care to dance?" Somebody dived at him from behind with a primal roar, knocking him forward. It was the vicar. They both crashed headfirst into a table of sweetmeats. Food splattered those nearby. The candle toppled off the table and instantly set ablaze to the curtains. Several people screamed. One man whipped off his jacket and started hitting at the flames with it. It was not long before the jacket was ablaze. Uproar followed. There was a mad rush for the doors. The bride's mother, screeching like a banshee, tripped over a chair and was trampled by a hoard of screaming women. The best man was doing a mad dance, batting at his tie which was wreathed in flames. His wife yanked madly at it, shrieking insanely, while he choked and spluttered as it got steadily tightly and tighter. Eventually somebody emptied a pitcher of orange squash over his head, and he stood dripping and bedraggled but no longer on fire. Somebody was shoving me towards the exit. I felt maybe I shouldn't have had so many drinks. I was just in time to see a portrait of Queen Victoria burst in flames before I toppled out of the door onto the wet grass. The heavy metal could still be heard booming from inside. I was lying face down on the ground. I breathed deeply, inhaling the scent of damp peat and grass. I watched with interest as a ladybird scuttled past my eye. I'd never seen one in such close proximity. There was the whining siren of a fire engine approaching. I wondered vaguely if all English weddings were this much fun. ...read more.

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