She Walked Slowly Up The Long Winding Driveway…

Salt & Carmel Writing Workshop — Feb Prompt

She walked slowly up the long, winding driveway, her dress trailing in the mud.

A pair of ripped and muddy stockings were flung over one shoulder and in her right hand a pair of Manolo Blahnik white satin pumps dangled. They were also dotted with mud.

Her head was tilted back and her voice, along with the voices of the 5 mud splattered women walking with her, was raised in song.

“Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married. You know I really love you and we’re gonna get married, going to the chapel of love.”

Just as they finished the end of the stanza, they turned the last corner and the country manor house came into view. A group of well shodded, behatted and party frocked men and women were milling around in front of the staircase that led to the front door of the house. Leaning against the left banister, hat in hand, morning dress impeccable, was a man looking at a pocket watch. As he heard the singing he looked up and the woman in the white dress could just read his lips. “Finally!”

He came down the stairs and towards the group of women, shaking his head and smiling widely. “What on earth happened and why didn’t you ring?”

“Hello my darling,” The woman responded and lifted her head for a quick kiss, “Did you think I’d run off?” She grinned at him.

“More like were in an accident.” He replied against her lips.

“Well, what happened was our carefully chosen for perfect pictures antique limousine got itself stuck in the mud at the end of the drive. The driver did his best but there was just no way it was going any further. So we decided to walk,after all, it’s only about half a mile from the gate to the house. What we didn’t count on was the mud.” She turned to an ashen faced woman standing just behind her groom. “Did you not realize that last bit of hard rain had washed out the drive?”

“No…um…you can’t possibly get married to my son looking like that!”

“No?” She turned away from her mother in law to be and continued her story. “And, we haven’t a phone between us. Remember, Mother?” She looked to a woman standing behind the groom’s other shoulder, “Brides and bridesmaids have no need for mobiles or evening pouches or anything. So you have them all.” She turned back to the groom. “And the driver’s phone? Flat battery. He was waiting to see if he could flag someone down rather than join us in our treck. Once we realized we were stuck and had no way to communicate, we all climbed out of the car, sans shoes. I immediately realized that stockings were not going to cut it as my foot slipped and I fell on my bum. In a puddle. See?” She turned around to show her filthy and soaked train and bottom.

“And then,” one of the other women chimed in, “Susan went to help her and managed to trip over Charlotte’s feet and land face first.” She snorted.

“It’s not funny!” The almost entirely mud covered woman who just had to be Susan exclaimed.

“Oh yes it is,” all of the other women chorused.

“Anyway,” Charlotte, the bride, continued, “We hauled her up and started up the drive, stockings and shoes off. At that point, Michelle managed to put her foot into the one deep puddle in the middle of the drive.” Michelle waved at the open mouthed people behind the bride and groom. “Hence her leg.” Charlotte waved at Michelle’s leg. “The rest have, as you see, managed to remain more or less pristine.” She grinned again, laughter bubbling up. “You do realize this could only happen to me?”

“And the Vicar of Dibley!” Shouted the other women in a chorus, which they had obviously pointed out before.

“Yes. And the Vicar of Dibley.” She grinned at her groom again.

“Perhaps we should adjust the wedding vows.” The groom replied, as he placed his hat on his head and held out his arm for his bride. “In sickness, in health, in mud and in water?”

“Indeed.”