Best man’s speech.
Eric can travel across time. It's something he's been able to do for a few years and one of the first worlds he stumbled upon left him trapped and enslaved for months. The men in the cell he shared became brothers to him and when he finally escaped, he took them with him and not just them, but the entire slave camp. He took them to a world still recovering from a great war that lasted into the 1950s, rebuilt a village with them and created a home for themselves.
Now Eric is best man at his sister's wedding and she's marrying one of those ex-slaves, but the people of the world they now live in don't know this or anything about other worlds.
* * *
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming.
We’re gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of my brother Quentin to my Sister Angela.”
There were a few shocked gasps from around the room. Eric held up his hands.
“Before any of you recoil in shock and horror there isn’t anything incestuous about the relationship, allow me to explain.
My first proper job when I was fourteen was peat cutting on the moors as part of a team of twenty men. Quentin was one of those men. Over time, our friendships grew beyond mere friendship and we began to see each other as brothers. We were never apart in those early days, it was almost as if we were chained together.
Quentin never knew his parents but the men in that team became his family and within a month of working with them, they became mine too. Brothers all.
Over the course of the next six months, we moved around performing many different jobs, ground clearance, demolition, road building, even coal mining and as we did this we met similar teams, even a few with specialisations and concocted a plan to build better lives for ourselves.
I left them for a month and with the help of some friends we located the perfect place to do this, not just build better lives, but build a village in which to live them. Kidsgrove was the one we found and we hit the jackpot.
Angela came down for a visit when we were setting up, clearing the ground and preparing for the arrival of the rest of the men we’d recruited and that is when Quentin and Angela first met. I found her chatting in his tent. Him with a smile on his face that was so wide I feared his head might fall off, but back then, they didn’t really understand each other.
Over the past couple of years, they’ve grown together and with it so has their love for each other and that is why we’re here today.
It was an honour to join his family and now it’s an even bigger honour to have him joining mine.
Ladies and gentlemen, please all stand and raise your glasses for Angela and Quentin, the bride and groom!”
Eric raised his glass, took a swig of his champaign and sat down.
He breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank god that’s over.”
“Eric! That was marvellous!” Angela grinned.
“Yeah, son. Bloody good job. When you said you’d mentioned chains you had me worried for a moment.”
“Just hope I don’t have to do that again.”
“I bet you will you know. Knowing them, the next one’ll be Lingwu. Then there’s still over nine hundred to go.”
“Oh god, dad. Stop it.”