A Nightmare of a Dream

Posted: April 8, 2011 in #fridayflash, Short stories

It had started out as just a wish. How was she supposed to know he would overhear it and make it into a nightmarish reality?

“What do you mean you’ve booked it all?” she said worriedly.
“Its booked!” he exclaimed, a smile on his face and an excited look in his eyes.
“But, well I thought. I’m not sure what I thought,” she said trying her hardest to not ruin his happiness.
“I overheard you talking to Ellie on the phone. You said you wanted the big white wedding. A church; a princess dress; a limousine or even a horse and cart. The day of your dreams you said. So, I’ve made it happen, now there’s not many blokes that would do that!” he beamed.
“Have you put down deposits? How much have you spent? Where did all this come from? Lloyd we can’t afford this.” The panic in her face was now beginning to tell and she could no longer hide the fear in her quivering voice.
“I’ve done it for you, to make you happy. We are meant to be together, I keep telling you that. I’ve had money stored away and the rest went on my credit cards. I owe some people some favours and cash at a later date, but that’s not for you to worry about.”

These words, this conversation would be the hope of many women’s greatest wish. An attractive and loving guy, giving his girlfriend the wedding of her dreams and not asking for a penny. It was her dream. But he wasn’t the groom.

“Lloyd, you’ve not even proposed. We’ve not discussed dates, locations and who we are inviting?”
“I’ve done it,” now he was beginning to look like a proud school child, showing their teacher their first ever multiple fraction workings out. “Its at your favourite church. Yours friends have been sent invitations this morning. I’ve talked to your parents, who by the way are over the moon. I’ve got you a ring. Here,” He pulled a small mauve box out of his trouser pocket and popped open the lid. The white gold ring with embedded crystals and pink gems, twinkled in the light, almost like an enticing wink from an admirer. She was speechless.

He’d left the engagement ring on the side that morning, before bounding off like an uncoiled spring to sort out the wedding reception. Kristie looked hopelessly at it. A ring so beautiful and elegant, fit for a princess in a fairytale. But when she looked at it, all she could see was a huge black cloud, shadowing over her whole life.

She could see it now, the wedding she’d dreamed about as a child growing up; the wedding she’d discussed with her teenage girls friends at sleepovers; the ‘happy ever after’ scenario she’d played over and over in head the past few weeks before falling to sleep next to Lloyd each evening. Now it would be real. No longer a fair ground prize of an inflatable hammer that squeaked when you bashed it, but a huge half tonne mallet smacking her in the face.

“He heard our conversation!” Kristie explained

“Which one?” laughed Ellie

“Us. Discussing my ideal wedding,” Ellie gasped. “Oh no!”

“I know.” Kristie could only manage the two simple words before bursting into tears. She huddled under the duvet, feeling the comfort of her bed the only safe place to be.

“Don’t cry, please don’t cry,” Ellie comforted as she head the tears of despair echo down the receiver. “Kristie. Kristie talk to me. It’ll be ok.” she soothed.

“It wont though will is Ellie? That dream wedding, those future plans, everything he overheard. He wasn’t meant to hear.” she sobbed, like a child lost in a crowd.

Short hollow breaths and panic stricken gasps.

“I know,” Ellie soothed.

“How can I tell him; our friends; my family? It was going to be hard enough to tell them as it was, now he’s made it ten times worse” Kristie took a deep breath and wiped her hot, clammy cheek and sniffed. She reached for the tissue beside her bed, “Ellie, that dream wedding was for us. You’re the one for me!”

Lloyd stood in the doorway, motionless, yet slowly crumbling into small pieces of debris.

  1. adampb says:

    Nice set up and pay off. And a very apt title.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  2. FARfetched says:

    Adam said it all. I wasn’t expecting *that* one…

  3. sonia says:

    Oh, wow, wonderful. I sooo wasn’t expecting that ending.

  4. Al Bruno III says:

    Great dialouge. Well done.

  5. Karen says:

    The proofer in me has a few corrections, but the reader loved the twist – good build up to it too.

  6. Reading this one out loud would catch the bulk of the corrections needed here. But that ending…priceless. Thanks.

  7. Suzanne says:

    Yes! That ending was a complete surprise.

  8. Icy Sedgwick says:

    Wow, I really didn’t expect that ending! Wonderfully done!

  9. Helen says:

    I read think she was going to call it all off, but I really didn’t expect the ending. Nice twist!

  10. Helen says:

    forgot to press the notify bottom oops

  11. ztburian says:

    Kept me guessing the whole time, but I didn’t guess that. Brilliant twist!

  12. ganymeder says:

    Wow. Mallet in the face alright. Brilliant twist!

  13. John Wiswell says:

    Glad to see you got those comments you wanted! You asked for feedback as well, so I’ve tried to put a little together.

    After writing this draft I’d recommend giving it a break for a bit, then looking over it one more time to make certain everything is in order. For instance, the tenth-from-last and ninth-from-last paragraphs are missing periods, and the ninth-from-last and eighth-from-last could be consolidated since they are the words of the same speaker. I’d also question how many dialogue tags you need. “Kristie explained” and “Ellie soothed” are good placeholders for real description, but read highly stilted. I realize you use them to concisely mark who is present in a scene, but more substantial action is called for in this story. These are not the sorts of things you need to concern yourself with on the initial writing, just feedback for secondary passes.

  14. laradunning says:

    I like the twist at the end. Looks like Kristie will have a hard day ahead of her. Noticed a typo in “will is Ellie?” I think is, is supposed to be it. Liked the strong emotions running through the characters in the piece.

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