Ariah had tried. Ariah was determined to be an ideal bride, and an ideal daughter-in-law.
A clamor of church bells. Sunday morning!
In a strange bed, in a strange city, and lost.
A female voice chiding in her ear, and a smell of Mother Erskines talcumy bosom. If youve never drunk anything stronger than sweet cider, Ariah, do you think its wise to have a second glass of champagneso soon after the first?
Possibly it hadnt been Gilberts mother but Ariahs own mother. Or possibly it had been both mothers at separate times.
A giggly-shivery bride. In satin and Chantilly lace, fussy little mother-of-pearl buttons, a gossamer veil and lace gloves to the elbow that, peeled off after the luncheon, left small diamond-shaped indentations in her sensitive skin like an exotic rash. At the luncheon, held in the Littrells big, gloomy brick residence adjacent to the church, the bride was observed nervously lifting her champagne glass to her lips numerous times. She ate little, and her hand so trembled she dropped a forkful of wedding cake. Her rather small, almond-shaped pebbly-green eyes were continually misting over, as with an allergy.
From The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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