Image of cupcakes on a tier wth white creme topping used as a prompt for a flash fiction story
Photo by Stephanie McCabe

Proposal, ring, dress, venue, invitations, flowers, hair and makeup, photographer, seating arrangements, navigating family politics- a never-ending to-do list along the well-trodden path espoused by wedding planners, magazines, her girlfriends who’d gone before her, and of course, her mother.

Looking through the tiered treats at the smiling faces, giddy from champagne and sugar, she wondered whether this milestone, her bridal shower, was going to be the one, the last hurdle before she has the guts to call the whole thing off and throw herself off the trajectory she’d been riding on autopilot.

The call was getting harder with growing expectations and mounting debt; sighing, she took another cupcake, after all, there was another fitting to accommodate fluctuations between now and then.


Written in response to Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week 20. It’s a fun challenge- Sonya has a knack for selecting beautiful photos that inspire so many different stories. Half the fun is reading what others come up with – join in if you have time!

18 thoughts on “Expectations

    1. Thanks Sonya! Great prompt as always! I hope she does too, because it is never too late. And hey, if she gets married, even then it is not too late, although just a little more complicated…


  1. Waiting until the last minute is a bad idea. (I know this is fiction and I’m making this all about me but) I don’t know how people do that – join together while ignoring the huge elephant in the room that is waving a red flag. Normally, an acute case of bulimia is the red flag. The body is trying to store fat (in response to stress hormones) for future flight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I did think of the instinct of eating under stress while writing that. You can make it about anything you’d like SB, I love catching up with you in comments. Yes, likely a survival instinct, and on an emotional level, suppressing and deferring the real work of being true to oneself, which can sometimes get messy for others. Yes, I think that wait is terrible but I can relate, though not in the same context- feeling pressure to follow through and getting deeper and deeper to the point where it is hard to dig yourself out of it, or you wait long enough and relinquish any choice (well, really the choice is made in that case). I don’t do it these days though…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Pressure is tough. In my case, Dr Jeckyll thought I was not going anywhere after the customised rock was couriered in from an atelier in Dublin. Mr Hyde came out for tea. I’ve learned my lesson after the self inflicted damage to my digestive system and lengthy reset: Press the “eject” button when the delusions of grandeur start.

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      2. I’m so glad for you that you are out the other end of that. I don’t know about you, but for me, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, the traps don’t seem as big and scary and I ask myself what took me so long. I guess you just have to go through the journey at whatever pace it takes you. Eject and play elsewhere πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The traps were apparent but I now know it’s the small things that destroy us. I simply decided to ignore or adjust and that was wrong. Here’s to continued strength. πŸ‹ πŸ‹

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can see it would be easy to be swept away by these kinds of preparations, almost fool yourself you’re just planning for a party, rather than a huge legal and emotional commitment. Trouble building for sure. She should enjoy that cake while she can πŸ™‚
    Great story and you’re right – part of the joy Sonya’s prompts is reading what other people have come up with

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lynn. The tales we tell ourselves to justify actions…really even the expevtstions of others in thia case is just an excuse. Much better to invest that energy in healthier pursuits, like following a dream 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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