Train Wreck (a Storypraxis)

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I recently joined the Storypraxis community. This was my first attempt at 10-minute story writing; the prompt was ‘train wreck’. I’ve slightly rewritten it since I posted it on the Storypraxis website – but only just.  

“Pull up a chair,” Anna yelled at Ed and Joe. “This one’s a classic.”

Joe grabbed a chair and joined Anna in front of the large computer screen. Sometimes he felt guilty that he actually got paid to watch people’s home videos—but not for long, because after all, a job is a job. His just happened to be with the company that made one of the nation’s most popular TV shows.

Funny! Funny! Funny! had been an instant hit when it first went on the air four years ago, and work for Joe, Ed and Anna was to sit through the hundreds of videos sent in by viewers, and decide which were worth sharing. A dream job for some; it had been for them when they started it, but the novelty of a skateboarding dog wears off after you’ve seen it two dozen times. Besides, there are only so many times you can watch someone fall over before it gets boring. So if Anna said a video was a classic, you knew you were getting some quality disaster – a train wreck, if you please…

The image on the screen was blurry at first, but gradually you started to make out a primary school auditorium coming into view. A miniature plastic married couple stood atop a ten-storey tower of Babel covered in yellowing icing, which took pride of place on the centre of a high table. As Joe, Ed and Anna watched, a man in a badly fitting beige suit muttered some words before handing his microphone over to another man in an even worse-fitting tuxedo.

The best man clearly hadn’t recovered from whatever it was that he, the groom and their mates had done for their stag night. His fly was open, part of his shirt sticking out of his trousers. He lurched, grabbed the mike… and kept going – all the way down to the floor. He got up, dusted himself and muttered “Is this thing on?” into the microphone.

“Ladies and er, er…” he began. “I flubbalubba, flubbbalubba… I mean… oh boy, I’m plastered! We’re all plastered! Man, what a night last night was! That stripper was off the hook!”

The look on the bride’s face was priceless. The look on her father’s face could have been classified as a weapon of mass destruction. Oblivious to either of them—or to his undone flies—the best man blabbered incoherently, his fist gripping the mike as if his life depended on it.

The groom was even more drunk than the best man, but even in that state he knew his marriage would be extremely short if any more details about their mad stag night became public. No amount of yelling would get the best man’s attention when he was in full alcohol-fuelled flow. He would have to get up, go over and shut the guy up himself. Unfortunately, in his haste to do so, the groom accidentally jerked on the tablecloth. Ed, Anna and Joe watched incredulously as the wedding cake tilted and descended – plastic toy married couple first – onto the best man’s head.

Anna jabbed the pause button on the remote control she was holding. “I think we’ve seen enough,” she choked, tears of laughter streaming down her face.

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