Story Excerpt From “Second Helpings” ~~ Holiday Wedding by Lazarus Barnhill

Second Helpings
An Anthology of Holiday Recipes and
Short Stories
From Authors of
Second Wind Publishing

Second Helpings

A perfect gift for short story lovers and food connoisseurs!

From sweet childhood remembrances to fanciful solutions of family dramas to romantic relationships that begin–or end–during the holidays, Second Helpings is an anthology of stories and memories, but most especially of recipes. Our end-of-year celebrations are occasions that bring reunions with unforgettable feasts and that one special, treasured dish. At the end of each story, vignette, reminiscence, you’ll find a recipe or collection of recipes that will make your next holiday memorable as well.


Holiday Wedding
Lazarus Barnhill

It seemed to Richmond that, for a joyful occasion, the parson was too serious. Despite the pinched and put-upon expression he wore, however, the preacher was at least doing the job right.

“. . . and do you, Mary Ester Blank, take Jeremiah Freeman to be your husband, to have and hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health . . .”

In the midst of the minister’s droning, it occurred to Richmond that he could’ve cleaned out a bank twice in the time it took to get married once. He made certain, however, that his countenance bore no expression but a happy smile. At the length the religious prescriptions seemed to be coming to an end.

“. . . I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Those whom God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

The parson closed the little black book in this hand, the slightest bit of relief in his expression, and gazed at the lovely young couple before him, who returned his look with delighted anticipation. Richmond leaned close to the preacher’s ear and uttered a single word.

“Oh, my, of course,” the parson said. “How could I forget that? You may kiss the bride.”

As Jeremiah leaned forward to embrace his new wife, the two dozen people in Louisa Booe’s living room erupted with shouts and laughter. An irresistible smile on his face, Richmond stood for a time in silence watching the celebration: children and adults embracing one another, tears flowing, laughter rolling through them in waves.

The preacher drew close to him and said something. Richmond had to lean down to hear what he was saying.

“Are you through with me, then?”

“Sure, Parson. Let’s go out on the front porch.”

Outside in the descending twilight, it was much quieter.

“Well, Brother Meade, I’m pleased you changed your mind and agreed to delay your own Thanksgiving supper so you could come out to my mother’s and do this wedding.”

The minister glanced anxiously at the pistol Richmond had not taken off his hip—even for the ceremony. “To be completely honest, Mr. Booe, in a shotgun wedding it usually not the preacher who’s got a gun pointed at him.”


Second Helpings is available in print and all ebook formats from Second Wind Publishing.