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The Shape Of Things To Come
by Avis Hickman-Gibb

Early one morning a bride-to-be was standing by her bedroom window, drinking a stiff vodka and tonic - to steady her nerves. Glancing up, she saw a sky that was a clear blue; the few clouds left from overnight were burning off, rapidly. It was set to be another hot day in July. The wedding would take place at 11.30am, at Richmond registry office. Close family attending only; the wedding breakfast to be held later at Jasper’s Bun in the Oven, Kew Green. Then tomorrow, a honeymoon in Venice via the Orient Express.

Ten minutes before setting off, the phone rings shrilly into the morning’s heat. She picks up the receiver, and the conversation proceeds:

“Hi, good morning sweetheart, are you up?”

“Yes. Anything wrong? We’re just about to set off. What do you want?”

“Nothing really... just... you know those clothes I brought round yesterday, to be packed for the honeymoon?”


“Well I need my black shoes for today, and I brought them round too, by mistake... So, could you just bring them along to...”

“They’re in the case.”

“Ok, could you fish them out and..,”

“They’re in the case, in the car.”

“Well – could you go to the car and...”

“They’re in the case, in the car, outside.”

“... WELL, can you go outside...”

“They’re in the case, in the car, parked outside your house. Now. I drove it ‘round yesterday afternoon, remember?”

“Oh... where are the keys?”

“In my bag, here.”


“Well... on your way to the registry office, could you just swing by and open the boot?”

Another pause.

“No, I can’t! I’ve got my family here, the traffic will be a pig, and it’s bad luck to see each other before we get there!”

“Oh. But they’re the only black shoes I’ve got; the ones I wear with the navy pin-stripe. I thought you wanted me to wear that one.”

“Wear another suit, then. Or buy some more black ones. I can’t get there.”

Yet another pause.

“... And don’t wear sneakers.”

Another Voddy sounded a good idea.