Stunning! You had me thinking all sorts as I read this, I was convinced right up to the end it was the groom who hadn’t showed. Introducing the broken watch at just the right time stopped me dead in my tracks (no pun intended). The pacing’s spot-on and the reveal is masterful.
A skillful twist. When you started off with Mansfield and Tom, I wondered if you were doing an Austen pastiche. Then I wondered if she’d been stood up — such a snob. Am I right in assuming that the appearance of a corpse bride caused the assembly to go awry and thus the broken cake, etc?
I’m actually a bit sick – Mansfield was a reference to Jayne Mansfield, who died in a car accident. The cake’s not broken except for the lurching couple on the top, and that was just to symbolise the fact the wedding never happened.
Man, I can’t stand Bridezillas so come the pay-off no sympathy from JC was forthcoming for her. If I was compelled to attend a wedding I’d be on the dance floor with uncle Noddy, the remains of sticky glazed doughnuts smudged around my face. Wonderful subversion of the dream-wedding myth sold to women the world over, Icy.
I’ve been engaged twice and plan for wedding #1 was Vegas, while plan for wedding #2 was simple registry office. Plan for #3 is yet to be finalised, mainly owing to the lack of a groom. So yeah, in your face, over the top weddings!
I didn’t see the ending coming at all – there was a real sense of bitterness about this would-be bride and how she was putting down her friend who did get married and yet wasn’t brave enough to take the plunge herself. Great descriptive writing, you created a real visual here for me.
I love how you can shift your voice as a writer. From last weeks to this I just find it amazing.
There was line though I took offense to: “trying to dance to something atrocious by Lady Gaga.” First of all, nobody tries to dance to the Lady, you just do. Second, she has the Midas touch of music. She could fart, it would be awesome, and I would dance to it…that is all 😛
Crikey, so many comments! I got the feeling that she would have taken ANY wedding, even her sister’s low-key and down-market version. If it’s Miss Havisham you like Icy,have you read any of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde?
I did pick up on the clues, though they were very subtly threaded, I guess it’s because I write the same sort of thing and you become attuned. However it didn’t even matter. The most difficult thing with these sort of endings is to make the reader take a sharp breath and even shock them if they have seen the signposts. You achieved this with great power by the use of powerful imagery and a sharp reversal in the last few lines.
I really enjoyed this and think your use of several twist devices made it much stronger than the usual last line reversal technique. I think it’s one of the best twist stories I’ve read in a while to be honest.
Looking forward to being chilled and shocked by more.
You end up feeling for her, even though she seems a little too narcissistic comparing herself to her sister’s wedding. At first I suspected she’d been stood up, but this leaves sadness for both her and the groom she left behind.
I had never heard about the watch thing. It was definately bad luck for her. I liked that her snobbiness wasn’t over the top, just the right amount to make you still care for her. Clever suspense leading up to a hint, and then another hint and then the shocker of what really happened. Poor girl!
Brilliant – just brilliant. I didnt realise anything awful had stopped the wedding until you mention the broken watch, but you had me pulled in right from the beginning with the competive edge against her sister – I’m similar with my sister. Great peice
Nice one, Icy — entertaining read, evocative details, and well-executed surprise ending (the little asides were suitably engaging but not a give away). Not necessarily the most likeable person in the world, so the ending just that bit more acceptable. Liked your use of something blue… ew.
[…] for a particularly dashing Cavalier known as Fowlis Westerby, but I’m not averse to writing corpse brides either. A few weeks ago I decided to resurrect the skeleton from the B-Movie Monster graveyard, […]