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The Finale

May 27, 2010

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…”

The minister’s voice faded into the background as Tom’s mind drifted back, reflecting on the events that had led them to this moment.  Memories flashed through his mind like snap shots in an album.

Crystal blue eyes meeting his across the room.  A smile.  An awkward ‘hello.’  First date. Her tiny hand in his.  A rose.  A nervous ‘good night.’  First kiss. Warm lips pressed together.  Hearts racing.  A hungry embrace.  First love. Voice shaking.  A whispered ‘yes’ that changed his life.

So many firsts had brought them down this road to this very moment when two would become one.  Countless hours and untallied receipts had filled the church with flowers and candles and music and bridesmaids.  Family and friends gathered together to witness the joining of two souls.

Hands trembling.  Heart pounding.  He gazed into the eyes of his bride.

“I do.”

Crystal blue eyes stared back, cold as an arctic wind.  A shiver ran through him as he felt the words a moment before they were spoken.

“I’m sorry.  I can’t.”

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2010 9:10 PM

    That third is so warm, and it’s recaptured in the fifth and the run to the ending. Very good work with so few words.

  2. May 28, 2010 12:34 AM

    Two can never become one, 1 & 1/2 at best. That is the grand illusion of mankind and you nailed it in what 180 words? I tip my hat to you.

    Ooh me, throw me the bouquet. Throw it over here!

    marc nash

  3. May 28, 2010 12:51 AM

    Seems this is not a good week for marriages. (^v^)

  4. May 28, 2010 6:25 AM

    LOL, pwned!!!

  5. May 28, 2010 6:34 AM

    Euuuuuuuuuuuhh! No! Think of this stuff BEFORE you get to the altar, you jerk!

    Ah well. Another first for Tom? 🙂

  6. dbreynolds permalink
    May 28, 2010 11:09 AM

    Gee, she couldn’t have let someone know before this?

    Another great flash fiction, Danni!

  7. May 28, 2010 1:46 PM

    Well, you can only be sure until you’re not. Great, tight little piece, and the last line is a punch. Very well done.

  8. May 28, 2010 3:38 PM

    great story. I’d be crushed if that had happened. I’ve often wondered who foots the bill in that case. If my parents had just paid for a wedding and suddenly she backs out. Ouch. Food for thought and perhaps next weeks story

  9. May 29, 2010 3:22 AM

    On re-reading it, I was struck by the possibility that it was Tom who said “I can’t”. Very well done, and especially in so few words.

  10. May 29, 2010 11:53 AM

    Doh! Tough day, there. That would be horrible, for both parties concerned.

    My wife says her father told her she could always back out, as they were walking down the aisle. And he liked me. I’m glad she said, I do.

    I’m like Tony. I think there is a possibility that he’s the one who backed out here, but her icy stare seems to indicate it was the woman who bailed. Either way, tough day for these two.
    ~jon

  11. May 29, 2010 11:59 AM

    Ouch!
    Very well captured! Great description!

  12. May 29, 2010 12:11 PM

    Firsts aren’t always where you want to find them I guess. Vividly captured, and I liked that he knew what the words were going to be before she said them. I think you captured that part perfectly.

  13. May 30, 2010 7:14 AM

    I’m impressed a how much we get of Tom with so few words. Then again, I’m just impressed at flash fiction. 😀 Good stuff yet again.

  14. May 30, 2010 8:39 AM

    As others have said, yeah, maybe that should have been worked out before they were standing at the alter in front of everyone. Poor guy. Good story.

  15. May 30, 2010 9:20 AM

    Who said, “I can’t.” Was it him or her? Maybe just a couple extra words would make the ending clearer.

    Quite a shock at the end though! I feel sorry for the jilted lover. Nicely written.

  16. May 30, 2010 9:28 AM

    Damn. Your story-telling shines in 13 short lines. Bravo.

  17. May 30, 2010 9:43 AM

    For those interested to know, in my mind, it was the bride who backed out. I always find it interesting when readers find a different twist or motive in my stories. It adds new perspective. Thank you all for commenting. I really appreciate it.

  18. Rocio permalink
    May 30, 2010 12:20 PM

    Wow. I wasn’t expecting that but then again that’s what good writing is all about..great stuff. I want more.

  19. Michelle permalink
    June 2, 2010 9:33 AM

    One word. Ouch!

  20. Deanna Schrayer permalink
    June 2, 2010 11:24 AM

    Fantastic Full story in so few words Danielle. Well done!

  21. Pat permalink
    June 4, 2010 3:47 AM

    I did not expect that ending! Wow! That was such a blow! Great work as usual. Love this flash fiction. You have a gift of capturing a whole story in a few lines…amazing!

  22. Jeremy Connelly permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:46 AM

    Very well written, good ending. Didn’t see her saying no. Great job Chica.

  23. January 9, 2012 8:53 AM

    Beautiful story Danni.. There is real and enviable elegance in your writing, and the ambiguity of the last line is wonderful..
    Loved it.

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