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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Autumn/Fall (08/27/09)

TITLE: Mushroom or Pea Soup for the Wedding
By Anita van der Elst


Ruby fastened the last bobby pin in her upswept hair, admiring the result in the three-way mirror. “Lookin’ good, if I say so myself,” she murmured as she applied a layer of hair spray. “It would never do to be more beautiful than the bride but I think she’ll have a maid-of-honor she can be proud of.”

Her low-heeled sandals waited next to the bed. Slipping into them, she glanced out the window of her hotel room.

“Oh, no!”

Fog, like a curtain, blocked her view. She couldn’t even see her car parked only a few yards away.

The doorman smiled approvingly as Ruby swept through the foyer in the long, full-skirted red and gold sundress the bride had chosen for her.

“You’ve brightened my day, ma’am!” he said. He nodded at the wooly outdoors pressing against the wall-to-wall windows. “It’s thick as cream of mushroom soup out there. Some’d say it’s thick as pea soup, but I’ve never seen the sense of that, beings it’s not green.”

He chuckled as he opened the door for her.

“Thank you, sir. Is fog unusual for this time of year?”

“Not unusual a’tall. We can have a fogbank roll in any time of the year but it’s ‘specially bad in the fall.”

“Do you think it’ll last all day?” Ruby’s voice betrayed her anxiousness.

In answer to the man’s upraised eyebrows she replied, “It’s my sister’s wedding day. The ceremony will be outdoors. We were so hoping the day would turn out sunny and nice. Do you ever get sunny days in October?”

“Well, sure, we do, ma’am! Can’t promise an Indian summer today though. This one’s pretty thick and looks to stay awhile.”

She shivered and squinted into the murk looking for her car as she moved down the sidewalk. Ah, there it is.

“Drive careful, ma’am.”

She turned to wave but could no longer make out the doorman’s figure.

She started the engine. Maybe a nice burst of sunshine will burn away this mist in time for Amber’s wedding.

Her hopes fell as her eyes strained to find the way. Amber had written out the directions for her but what good were they when she couldn’t see the street signs or landmarks around her.

Another worry surfaced. What if someone comes up behind me driving faster than me and doesn’t see me until too late. She clenched her hands tighter on the steering wheel as if that would give her and any trailing traffic better visibility.

Mushroom or pea soup, fog was not what we ordered on the menu for this wedding. Why couldn’t Amber and Hunter have the ceremony inside a church building? I know they’re the outdoorsy type but they’ll get plenty of that on their backpacking honeymoon!

But then Amber and Hunter are so much in love they probably won’t mind having to grope through the fog to find each other.

The road curved and climbed and dipped and climbed again. Ruby became aware that her ears were plugging up.

“I didn’t realize Silver Lake was located at a higher elevation,” she said to her reflection in the rearview mirror, and yawned to unclog her ears.

I’ve been driving for over an hour. Shouldn’t be more than a couple of miles now.

Visibility was still zero but up ahead an eerie glow permeated the mist.

Cresting another hill, Ruby gasped. In the side-view mirror she saw the slate-gray fogbank drop behind as she drove upwards through glorious sunlight. The hills floated above the seas of rolling fog like ships at anchor. Every leaf and blade of grass sparkled. Laughter bubbled as she sped the last mile.

Wow! This reminds me how foggy my thinking gets sometimes. I’ve crawled along, unable to see the signposts God puts in place, all the while fearful of what bad thing might overtake me. Thank You, Lord, for always shining. You’ve brought me through this autumn fog—and my own. It doesn’t even matter if I don’t know what kind of soupy mess I’m in.

She turned in at the welcome sign and parked.

Ruby caught sight of the arched arbor built by Hunter, crowning the top of the emerald lakeside knoll. The meadow, surrounded by groves of trees dressed like her in red and gold hues, sloped gently to the shore. It couldn’t have been a more perfect spot for Amber to become Mrs. Greene.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke09/03/09
I like how the message of trusting in God was woven into the scenes you so vividly describe.

"The hills floated above the seas of rolling fog like ships at anchor." what a beautiful line!

Was it just coincidence that you chose colorful names such as Ruby, Amber, Hunter and Green(e)? Knowing you, I don't think so. funny girl!
Allen Stark09/04/09
Nice analogy. Do you think the fog in this 67-year-old brain will lift and it will return to bright sun shiny days?
Seema Bagai 09/04/09
I liked the title and the fog analogy. Hunter Greene? I can see you have a good sense of humor.
Gregory Kane09/06/09
What a great title for a story about Autumn. This was a fun romp through the fog while an unforced but satisfying ending. Well done.
Lisa Johnson09/07/09
Thanks for the reminder that God's light can shine through the thickest fog. Very well done.