Grapes – A to Z Challenge

G is grapes–of the sour variety!

This post is playing double duty: the A to Z Challenge and the Flash Fiction G-GrapesChallenge. Check it out! It’s fun, but on to the main event!

Sour Grapes
Thain in Vain

“Oh, I’ll propose a toast to the happy couple, all right,” said Nora Treme holding a wine glass up to her reflection. She downed the Chardonnay and refilled her glass.

Her mother knocked on the door. “Nora, Phoebe’s expectin’ you for photos.”

“Alright, mama. I’ll be down shortly.”

It was her sister’s wedding day. Nora looked at herself in her mirror of her antique Victorian vanity. She couldn’t deny that she was gorgeous in the cream silk shift dress. It clung in all the right places. She had to admit her sister had great taste. Her hair pinned up with a small bouquet of purple wild flowers; soft tendrils of blond hair fell around her face.

It was just three months ago that Rhett broke it off with Nora. Broke it off so he could marry her sister. It was so unpredicted that Nora fainted at the news. She had believed they were in love. They had made plans. Where they would like to travel. It was Rome for him and China for her. She wanted to kiss him on the Great Wall of China. They both knew kids would be part of their lives. Not right away. She wanted to get her design business established; he was building a powerful real estate portfolio. They had plans. And one of them was not marrying her sister.

She held a pink piece of stationary with her initials NT in the corner. On it, Nora had jotted notes for her toast to the couple. Her sister had asked, no pleaded, knowing how Nora hated public speaking. She folded the paper and tucked it into her bra.

***

Nora stood on the altar at the front of the church with four other bridesmaids. All eyes were on her sister strutting down the aisle in her designer wedding dress. Nora’s eyes were on Rhett. His eyes shifting like a metronome from Phoebe to Nora; to Nora to Phoebe. Nora swayed to the rhythm of his shifty eyes. It calmed her.

***

Nearly three hundred guests filled table in grand hall, a magical spectacle of of light and air. The head table glowed with love as Rhett and Phoebe stood and kissed again at the promoting of clinking glasses. When the hoots and hollers calmed, Rhett’s father called Nora to the mic to give the toast to the couple. The room was silent as Nora made her to the podium. Rhett’s father embraced her. She took the paper from her bra.

“Good evening. Most of you know me, but for those of you who don’t, I’m Nora, Phoebe’s older sister. Not that much older—just a mere four minutes! Anyway, I’m pleased to offer the toast to the couple. I’ve created a video message. She turned to the screen behind the head table as the video started to roll.

Images of Rhett and Nora bounced around the screen; on the beach; watching fireworks; a picnic near a stream; picking out rings at Tiffany’s; dinner in the Eiffel Tower; Rhett proposing. The images splashed across the screen like playing cards exploding from the deck.

Nora surveyed the room. Gaping mouths and wide eyes stared at her. She  knew right then it was certainly worth the money to hire a private detective to videotape her every move. Nora folded her pink paper, tucked it back in her bra, and walked out of the room.

 

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