Flash Feature July 2022

blessed are the drunk, and other beatitudes

– Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams

I love weddings, even at this time of year. The air is the kind of wet cold you’d only find in English
springtime—a towel you’ve just grabbed out of the wash, heavy and draped around tentative skin. I wish I had a pashmina or something. The warmth of the pizza truck’s heat lamps isn’t enough.

Matthew looks at me tentatively while I lean forward in the too-big Adirondack chair, miming anxiety with my hands. The reception undulates like quiet waves behind us, rowdy laughter and singing dulled to a steady murmur.

He towers over me, even sitting down. The veins in his hands flex as he feigns relaxation behind
russet eyes, hungry from intellectual famine. I wonder how we always end up getting into these

I’m a fox cornered behind a rubbish bin in twilight—nowhere to run once the world wakes. Matthew
is training to be a priest.
Or pastor.
Do I call him Father? I’m never sure. It would probably be weird, as we’ve only met four or five

I fill the quietude with dogma and political commentary about the state of religious institutions in America. We both sigh at the mention of Westboro Baptist. He agrees that religion has been
radicalized there.

In a moment of poor judgment, or maybe faith, I tell him I’ve taken Christ’s body in my mouth and
tasted sawdust.

Shot out Hail Mary’s like bullets, my knees buckling against lacquered pine.
Offered tithings from birthday money in envelopes donned with cartoon sun.
Given consciousness to the Vatican, offering sweat to cheap vinyl floor while my chin balances on
porcelain in St. Anne’s.

“I just think that at the end of the day, all you can do is be a good person,” I say, picking a golden
cube of pineapple off my pizza slice. I examine it between my thumb and index finger. It’s always
been my favorite topping. I still don’t understand the vendetta against Hawaiian pies.

His eyes are fixed at a point long beyond my head. “I will happily agree to disagree.”

The bride, Katie, walks by in a faux-fur shawl, her train leaving a dewy path of sparkles behind, like a garden slug, or a chemtrail, or something else you might find in the depths of the rainforest or ocean floor. She glows in the dim light, a Corona with lime in her married hand.


Amanda Williams is a neurodivergent American writer, editor, and poet based in the UK. Her work appears in Streetcake Magazine, Brave Voices, Neuro Logical, Ayaskala, Spellbinder Magazine, Moss Puppy Magazine, and elsewhere. 

She edits poetry and prose for Levatio Magazine and is currently working on her debut chapbook. You can follow her on Twitter at @amandainengland. 

Follow this link to support her work: http://buymeacoffee.com/amandainengland

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

Previous Flash Features:

Mathew McGuirk – The Maple Stand (November 2021)