A few of you regulars might remember a certain fabulous Dream Wedding writing contest we helped sponsor last month in conjunction with author, Jillian Dodd, and the Readiacs. Our entries were overwhelming! I was honestly awed by what you, our wonderful readers, came up with. Seriously: I write this blog almost every day yet could never come up with a readable piece of fiction about a wedding. My entry would have looked a little something like this, “Me like weddings. Me girl. Err–me already married and have fleeting recollection of wedding.” etc, etc. You get the drift. God awful is putting it mildly.
Well, we had readers-turned-writers out there who were actually inspired to write some incredible pieces. This is one of my top 5 favorites though Ellen (luckily) convinced me that zombies have no place in a dream wedding (or do they? Is it a Dream Wedding or a wedding that’s a dream. Oooh, heavy!). Clearly she’s the sensible one among us but I couldn’t let this awesome entry never see the light of day. So here you have it! Oh and if you want to contact the author, Gemma Bennett, her blog link is at the end.
But first, here’s a preview to whet your whistle mainly cause I just wanted to use these funny pictures. Enjoy.
It’s this (minus the misshapen bare feet on the guy below, geesh):
vs this (words simply aren’t necessary, are they):
This was not how I’d imagined my wedding.
I was wearing ripped jeans and a paint flecked shirt, my unruly curls in a tangled mess. My bouquet was a bundle of plastic flowers I’d found in the restroom. And I had no guests – no Cindy behind me straightening my train, no Matty rolling his eyes in the front pew, no Mom telling everyone that I was wearing her dress, and no Dad to give me away. But at least I was in a church. And Josh was standing across from me at the altar, beaming in his grungy khakis and flannel shirt.
Josh was all that had kept me from falling apart. That morning, in the back of the sanctuary, I’d finally admitted what I’d been thinking for days.
“He’s not coming back.”
Josh had furrowed his brow. “You don’t know that, Lil. There’s time.”
“No, there’s not. Face facts. If Matty was alive, he’d be here by now.” I dropped my head to my knees. “We’re all gonna die on Hilton Head.”
“We could make a run for it.”
“No. We’ve already cheated death. We’re just delaying the inevitable.”
“Hey.” Josh lifted my chin with a gentle finger. “Look on the bright side. At least-”
I snapped. He was always so freaking optimistic. “Bright side? My entire family is dead, and when the bombs drop at seven, we’ll be dead too. What exactly is the bright side to this?”
He went silent. “I was gonna say that at least we’re together.”
“Oh.” I immediately regretted yelling. Josh’s family was safe, evacuated a week ago by helicopter. But he had run off to find me. And now we were both stuck. “I’m sorry. I just can’t stop thinking about Matty.”
I leaned close to Josh and listened to his heartbeat – steady and comforting in the chaos around us. “You should have left the island with your family.”
“I’m exactly where I should be. I love you, Lily.”
He’d said it before, but a year into our relationship, I still had trouble believing it. How had popular, gorgeous, Josh Harrington fallen for plain old me?
“You still don’t get it, do you?”
I refused to meet his eyes. “I get it.”
“No you don’t.” He grabbed my hands. “Remember when I lost my bookbag at that gas station?”
“Of course. You almost got killed over that stupid bag.”
“I didn’t care about the bag. There was a ring in the side pocket.”
My jaw dropped. “A what?”
“I’d been carrying it around for a while. I was gonna propose to you at the end of the summer.”
My mouth hung open, silently.
Josh quickly added, “I mean, I didn’t think we’d get married right away or anything, but you were going away to Stanford, and I wanted you to know that I was serious. About us.”
I finally got control of my mouth. “I would’ve said yes.”
Josh kissed me, and for a flash, I forgot about the carnage outside. There was only me and Josh, happy together. Then a zombie banged against the door, reminding us that this evening, and our lives, were going to end soon.
I laced my fingers through Josh’s. “You know…we could do it.”
“We could get married. Right now. Let’s ask Pastor Mike.”
“Ahem.” Pastor Mike’s voice pulled me back to the present. “Do you, Lily, take Joshua to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
“Oh! Yeah. Yes! I do!”
“And do you, Josh, take Lily to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
Josh beamed. “I-.”
Before Josh could finish, a window near the roof exploded in a shower of glass. A dark figure dropped though and landed in a crouch. Josh stepped in front of me, but I moved around him. Something about the way it stood was familiar.
That wasn’t a zombie – it was Matty, drenched from the rain and covered in mud.
I reached for him, but he swatted me away. “Matty! Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Hotwired an SUV. Pedal to the metal, we might make it off this
rock before they blow the bridge.”
“Um, give us a minute.”
Matty took in the scene and his eyes widened. “What do you two think you’re doing?”
He rolled his eyes. “No, you’re not. You’re seventeen.”
I interrupted. “Matty, I love you, but I’m not your baby sister anymore. I watched our parents die. And Josh has killed people that used to be his friends. We made it here on our own, and we’re making this decision without asking your permission.”
Matty gave a resigned sigh. “Whatever. Hurry up.”
I gestured for him to stand next to me. “Be my maid of honor.”
He stepped forward and pointed a finger at Josh. “If you hurt her, I will make you wish the zombies had gotten to you first.”
Pastor Mike cleared his throat. ““So, Josh-”
“Then I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
I glanced in Matty’s direction and gave Josh a tiny peck. “There’s more where that came from later.”
Matty groaned. “Please stop. You’re making me wish I hadn’t survived to see this.” He started toward the door. “Pastor Mike? You coming?”
He shook his head. “I’m going to stay here and pray. I have a feeling you’re not the last group to need sanctuary this evening.”
I hesitated at the door.
Josh grabbed my hand. “We don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”
Matty raised an eyebrow. “What? Of course she does.”
Josh ignored him. “If you want to stay, I’ll stay with you.”
I still dreaded the horrors outside, but somehow, my future looked brighter now. Maybe we wouldn’t survive, but I wanted to try. “No. If we don’t make it, there’s always the bright side.”
Josh smiled and gripped my hand tighter. “You ready, Mrs. Harrington?”
I nodded. “Let’s go.”
And we did.
Now do you get it? Girlfriend can write like it’s nobody’s business! If you want to learn more about Gemma Bennett and her writing, check out her blog Gemma Writes Nights.
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