‘It was Wang Lung’s wedding day.’
After reading the first lines from The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, I was inspired to write a short story. Perhaps Pearl’s words can be a writing prompt for you, as well. The following is the fictional tale her words brought forth.
“Take a deep breath, Annie,” the woman says as she looks at her reflection in the mirror. Her blue eyes are bright and anxious as she runs her hands across the braid in her light brown hair. Feeling the veil slip slightly, she reaches for a few more bobby pins to secure it in place. When finished, she steps back from the full length mirror to survey her appearance. Except for the flushed cheeks and anxious eyes, everything is perfect. “Just what a bride is supposed to look like,” she tells herself aloud.
“Very much so,” a man’s soft voice acknowledges.
“Daddy.” His hug calms her as they stand holding one another.
“I wish your Mother were here, Annie,” he releases her slowly.
The young woman places her slender hand on the material above his chest. “She is.” Standing for several minutes in meditative silence, they enjoy each other’s gazes. Several minutes later, she tenderly runs her hands along the lapels of the tuxedo jacket and fiddles with the pearl tack in the middle of the light gray material of the ascot. She takes a moment to trace her fingers along the purple design, glances down at her silk pumps and then smiles up at him.
“They’re almost ready,” he whispers.
“Okay,” acknowledging him with a small intake of breath.
He takes her hand gently in his and leads her to the hallway just outside a set of closed double doors. The bridesmaids and groomsmen are gathered in pairs, waiting. All is silent for a moment on the other side and then the music starts. The doors open. The crowd stands as one and turns to watch the procession. When Annie appears at the doorway, a soft murmur of admiration rises among the people.
She stands with her father in the doorway, looking at her friends and family gathered all around her. Memories of them flash in her head, along with memories of a man walking with her to high school and then again on the college campus. Years of friendship and then dating fill her thoughts as she looks down the aisle at the same man eagerly waiting for her to again stand by his side.
“Josh is a good man,” her father remarks with a smile. “It’s been a long time coming.”
“Well worth the wait,” she whispers. She looks at her groom to see the same feelings reflecting back. Taking her first steps, it is all she can do to keep herself from running to him. She smiles broadly, blushes and glances down to hide her excitement. She looks back up, meets his eyes and sees him take a step toward her, but the best man grabs his arm.
“You stay here,” the best man whispers loudly. A titter ripples through the crowd.
The walk seems long and slow as Annie and her father make their way through the middle of the crowd. Several people nod as they pass. Others wipe their eyes. Finally, they reach the end of the aisle and stop in front of her groom, who brushes his dark hair from his forehead. She does not hear the words that are spoken, but feels her hand being accepted by her future husband. She turns toward her father and kisses him gently on the mouth. She watches a single tear trickle down his cheek and reaches up to wipe it away. He nods, adjusts the veil over her face, steps back and takes a seat in the front row.
She turns toward the groom to see him searching her eyes and whispers, “Josh.” She smiles and then turns to face the preacher standing on the step and tries to listen to his words. Glancing toward the man standing to her right, she instinctively reaches up to brush his hair from his forehead, only to have it fall right back down. She giggles and then hears the preacher clear his throat. With a blush, she turns to pay attention as he addresses the entire congregation.
As in rehearsal, she repeats the words she has been assigned and feels a ring being placed upon her finger. She looks into the man’s brown eyes as she says, “I do”.
Josh raises her hand to his lips to kiss the ring.
“Not just yet,” the preacher chastises and then asks the man the same question.
“I do!” the man bellows for all to hear.
Laughter erupts from the congregation. A delightful smile appears on her lips as the preacher announces, “I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride.”
She watches her husband’s rapid movements as he sweeps the veil away and gasps with excitement as he claims his kiss. She feels herself being spun in a circle and then being held tightly against him. Several minutes later, he places her again on her feet and hears their names as they are presented to the crowd.
“Are you ready to start our life?” he asks with eagerness.
She bites her lip and nods as he takes her hand in his, pulling her down the aisle at a run.
- The Good Earth Book Review (tracyconstantinereader.wordpress.com)
- Writing Prompts (tracyconstantine.wordpress.com)
- Hoppily Ever After: Walking Down the Aisle (weddingbee.com)
- red lipstick, love, and laughter (alwayscoffee.wordpress.com)
- Writing Prompt #1 (tracyconstantine.wordpress.com)
- Parched of ideas… (mandyevebarnett.com)
- With Recent Photography Trends, Wedding.com Advises Couples to Prep Wedding Photographers ahead of Time (prweb.com)
- Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #303 (creativecopychallenge.wordpress.com)
- Free Write Friday #17: Quote Prompt (catnipoflife.wordpress.com)
- incognito: daily writer’s prompt (moonwyndstudio.com)