by Hannah Brown, Age 16, UK
Artwork by Katie King
This story won the special fiction writing contest for the Junior Authors Writers Conference in the UK in May, 2014. The challenge was to write a short story set at the Manor House Hotel, the conference venue.
Without a Hitch
I tripped down the aisle. Can you believe it? My wedding day, the day I had been looking forward to since forever, and I tripped.
At least people laughed, and there wasn’t an awkward silence. My father, who was frail anyway, struggled to catch me whilst I flailed about wildly, trying desperately to find a hand hold. I ended up sprawled, undignified, on the floor, flowers squashed in my bosom. Humiliating.
After that, however, the wedding went without a hitch. Vows were said, rings exchanged, tears mopped up. Even the photographs were fine—it didn’t rain, as it was said to on the news. Still, accurately forecasting the weather has never really been their thing.
The venue was exquisite. A quaint hotel, surrounded by red and orange trees. They swayed in the breeze, and I had got leaves stuck in my hair whilst we held our outdoor ceremony. I guess what had really appealed to me about the Manor House, though, was the prospect of a spa once all this was over.
I was glad I had let Chris, my husband, choose the cake. My idea had been “something thrown together,” probably with the out-of-date cans at the back of the cupboard—we always said we would clean it out and never did. But ours was a three-tiered masterpiece, covered with chocolate sprinkles and two pretty marzipan figures which looked vaguely like us perched on the top.
Chris and I cut the cake, and the moment I had been waiting for came. I took out a slice, and was just about to feed it to him, when I pushed it into his face, spreading it over his cheekbones. He spluttered, and blinked at me, astonished, as if asking, “What was that for, Helena?”
Staring at me sternly, he muttered, “I’ll have to get you back for that.” I just laughed; it was hard to take him seriously when he had icing in his eyebrows.
Our first dance as a married couple. It should be romantic, right? “Should” being the operative word. But with my devil cousin, it was hard to be romantic at all. Which is why I nearly strangled him there and then when I found out that he had messed with the CDs.
Originally, our song had been a slow-dance. As the DJ pressed “play,” however, heavy metal boomed out from the speakers, practically deafening my ancient aunt, who I thought was about to have a heart attack. “Declan!” I hissed, glaring at him angrily.
“S-Sorry!” he stammered. “I thought it would be funny.”
“Oh, yeah,” I said, “hilarious. Very witty. Go and change it!” Meekly, he trotted off, and the track was swapped quickly.
Chris raised his eyebrows as he took me to the floor. He rested his hands, calloused from the metal work he did, onto my waist. “Well,” he said, “that could have gone a lot worse.”
I scoffed. “It could have gone a lot better!”
“We’re married,” he pointed out. “That part didn’t go wrong.”
I rested my head on his shoulder and kissed his cheek. “Don’t make me regret it,” I charmed him, smiling.
Hannah Brown is a 16 year old writer from England who aspires to be a professional author. She is aiming to get her first novella published by September, but mainly writes because she enjoys it.