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Showcase: The Wedding + Meeting Place

Edited by Hannah Rooney

Welcome to the fourth and final Showcase of April. I hope you’ve enjoyed the pieces I’ve shared with you across this month. Editing the April Showcases has been a fantastic experience. As we continue with the Write On! theme of ‘Overcoming’, I’d like to share some more brilliant pieces with you this week.

Throughout these Showcases, overcoming has been explored in a wide range of ways. It’s a concept that can be very personal and cannot be singularly defined. Overcoming is in many ways about learning about yourself. It isn’t always instantaneous. Rather, it’s often a process that is gradual, but nonetheless highly important. I hope the pieces I’m sharing this week reflect some of these ideas. Both today’s pieces use powerful descriptions and have a strong effect on the reader.

The first story I’m sharing reminds me of the idea that looking for love is a part of human nature. It follows a woman who starts thinking about the men from her past, alongside the man she is marrying. It made me think about the importance of examining our thoughts and not dismissing our hesitations, reminding me of the age-old question: should we listen to our head or our heart? I particularly loved the writing style of this piece.

The Wedding

She was standing just outside the church, on the arm of her grown-up son. Her shoes were too tight, her fur wrap would not fasten properly, and the feather which stood up vertically from her blue hat was too tall. But apart from that, everything was wonderful. Her family were already inside, waiting and expectant, all nine of her grandchildren and her three lovely daughters in their best winter dresses next to their respective and seriously-dressed spouses. Friends and acquaintances filled most of the remaining pews.

Taking a surreptitious glance through the open doorway, it suddenly occurred to her, the whole of her life was in that church. Everything and everybody she cared about. In fact, the one person she was not really so sure about, was the one already standing at the altar. Yes, she was getting married for the third time, and she would go through with it. It would be such a waste of everybody’s time and money if she didn’t. The choir and organist were in place, the venue was booked for the wedding breakfast and, most of all, she wanted to hear her second oldest daughter sing her solo.

Suddenly, the whole process was set in motion. Someone had flicked the switch without her making any definite decision. Slowly and sedately, her son led her into the church. The organ started to play and she found herself dreamily floating down the aisle in time with the magnificent music.

She was about halfway down the aisle when she noticed there was not just one man waiting for her at the altar, but three. She shook her head to clear her vision. She must have put her contact lenses in wrong that morning. But no, they were still there, all three of them waiting patiently and expectantly. And even from behind she could recognise them. How could she not know the tall, gangly shape of her sea-going second husband, to whom she’d been married to for nearly 25 years, resplendent in his gold-braided naval officer’s uniform? The shorter, rather stouter shape was definitely Hans, her German husband, whom she’d married almost half a century before. Both of them should be dead by now, she thought. She’d loved them, buried them and mourned them, before picking up the threads of her life once more. She remembered it all distinctly. Yet here they were. Was she going mad? No, surely it had to be some sort of trick of the light;  just a delusion, most probably brought on by the large glass of sherry she’d tipped down her throat an hour before, to calm her jangling nerves.

It was strange the vicar did not demur about the irregularities of having three bridegrooms at one wedding. And, surprisingly enough, no one in the congregation raised any objections either. So not wanting to give anyone a mistaken impression about her sanity, she decided not to say anything. Frank turned round and gave her a mock naval salute: long way up, short way down, then gave her a kiss which smudged her lipstick. Hans adjusted his rimless glasses and examined her from top to toe with his blue eyes, then gave her his funny half-smile and said, “Willkommen Liebling. I am happy you have come.’” And Peter, no more aware of the others than the congregation or the vicar, merely adjusted his corsage and informed her she was late and had kept everyone waiting… Whoops! In fact, not one of that threesome was aware of the presence of the other two. ‘This is going to be very awkward,’ she thought.

Surprisingly enough, the ceremony seemed to progress smoothly, although there were more than a few tricky moments for the bride. To whom exactly was she promising to love, honour and obey, for example. And then there was a matter of the ring. Hans fumbled in the breast pocket of his smart grey suit. “Ich kann den Ring nicht finden,” he repeated frantically and his face turned pale. Then he found it in another pocket and sighed with relief. “Gott sei dank!”

Peter had no such problems, as his son dutifully handed his ring to him at the required moment. Frank’s ring was beautiful. It glimmered and glittered in a most deliciously inappropriate way, and it fitted her finger perfectly. In fact, they all fitted perfectly. Her finger was shining with happiness. Another potential difficulty arose at the end of the ceremony, when the grooms were told they could now kiss the bride. But it turned out to be absolutely no problem at all. They all kissed her at once, and it was magically lovely.

That was the last she saw of Hans and Frank. They’d made no move to depart from the altar, and when, on Peter’s arm, she turned to see if they were still there, they’d disappeared. Only the vicar was still standing in front of the altar and he just smiled and gave her an encouraging little wave.

Four years later, she and Peter were divorced. He might have ticked all the boxes on the outside, but there was simply not enough on the inside. Such is life.

© Jospehine Renton, 2022


I’d like to close this Showcase with a piece that provides some important hope for overcoming hardships. This poem uses incredibly strong imagery, exploring the importance of a supportive environment in helping people to overcome their alcoholism. I hope the piece acts as a reminder that overcoming is possible.

Meeting Place

Came to believe in an old Church Hall
High dusty rafters, cobwebs and all
Paint all patchy peeling from the walls
Pieces of string where they hung Christmas balls

Cups of tea made by a caring hand
Meaningless pamphlets on a blue wire stand
Posters on the walls all faded and worn
And a A.A. poster badly torn

Those smiling faces members hid behind
Now I know it was all in my mind
Words of freedom of being alcohol free
Those words at first meant nothing to me

It took some time for me to find that key
To nudge open that door towards sobriety
Honest sharing made me feel there was hope
But how the hell did they expect ME to cope

Without my crutch my silent bottled friend
Alcohol was out to drag me to the very end
In that hall I found a power greater than me
Who I call on daily but may never see

Now I ask that power each morning an at night
For the help to stay sober with eyes clear and bright
And thank my Higher Power for each sober day
That was given to me freely by my friends in A.A.

© Lucy Brown, 2024


I’d like to give an enormous thanks to Write On! for providing me with the opportunity to edit these April Showcases. I’ve had a great time. It’s incredibly comforting to know that all writers, no matter their level of experience, have a space where they can both share their writing and read the work of others.


If you’d like to see your writing appear in the Write On! Showcase, please submit your short stories, poetry or novel extracts to:

Read Issue 20 online here or find it in libraries and other outlets. You can see previous editions of our magazines here

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