Smiling glances traded by the aged couple sitting on the front row as cherished memories dance through their minds, whispered antidotes of childhood pranks and mishaps, and one fidgety dance of impatience all come to a halt when the gilded doors at the back of the room opened. Tony knew the wait was worth it, the extra few minutes time well spent, when his bride came through the doors and he watched his future walk toward him, one beautiful step at a time.
The bride was beautiful; the wedding every bit as solemn and religious as she had planned and the long reception line as dignified as an audience with the queen.
Nobody had noticed the little ring bearer slip away until he poked his head out from underneath the bride’s billowing gown to a chorus of gasps and guffaws.
The Jewish wedding and someone faints.
No one calls out “is anyone a doctor?”
The lone bride gazed down on her tear-soaked white gown, knowing her fiance would not return to the chapel. Sighing in acceptance and defeat, she began the long walk home.
May the Lord strike me deaf if I’m not telling the truth.
It started the night of the Gleason wedding: Missy Gleason and Joe McGregor’s eldest boy, Thomas, had decided to tie their knot at the Town Hall instead of at Missy’s folks’ place, which infuriated Mother Gleason enough to kill her cactus, Ralph, by nudging it out the window (Ralph’s home had been that windowsill since before Mother Gleason could remember); and Missy’s sisters had had their wedding and reception and, later, a funeral, at the old Gleason homestead, so why couldn’t Missy? The instant Mother Gleason found out that Missy was going to be a girl she began looking forward to the day her youngest, and final child, would walk down the aisle… so, naturally, the Town Hall seemed not only an impersonal choice but also an aberrant drift from the long-held Gleason family tradition, of which Missy would have no part, stating, “Because it’s not at the house, that’s why,” further infuriating her mother, who, incidentally, insisted on naming her daughter Mildred Ester Gleason, but had changed her mind when her husband threatened to leave and never return, saying, “…if you demonize that child with that name, I’ll…” So, Missy it was.
Her whole life had been leading up to this day, this moment, at the front of the church. With all eyes on her, she looked perfect in her dress, her shoes and her coffin.
The crowd all at once gasped in shock as little chubby-cheeked Blue-eyes suddenly ran past the bride and groom and flung the ring into the lake, pillow and all. “Nice work, chubby-cheeks,” I muttered to the tree I was peering around the edge of, watching intently as the wedding reception turned to chaos, not once taking my eyes off the beautiful bride as I flipped open my wallet and took out the promised ten dollar reward.
She loved me once, but now she’s marrying someone else. No matter – people are filing into the church, and my revenge shall be sweet.