A short wedding themed story for Anna & Michael ahead of their own wedding – as part of the Dark Fairy Queen Writerly Bridal Shower and the planned ebook collection. You can check out the other entries by following the hashtag #DFQWBS on Twitter.
Keith B Walters
Michael wiped at his forehead and adjusted his tie once again – a sudden habit he’d grown to hate in recent hours. Just nerves, he told himself, just those damned pre-wedding nerves, everyone got them. Well, not like these ones they didn’t – his were unique, a rare, one of a kind set of nerves, the kind of nerves stretched to their thinnest possible strands, the thinnest they’d ever get before they snapped. And, if that happened, well then it would all be over, the happiest day of his life and well…the rest he just didn’t want to contemplate.
Anna was late, all brides were supposed to be, he knew that, but as he looked around the church full of their family and friends he couldn’t help but worry – she was on her own. Just her and the driver. Everyone who had ever protected her was inside, with him, waiting and, he suspected, worrying along with him.
Michael looked up at the large stained glass window behind the altar , convinced for a moment that he’d seen a shadow pass quickly behind it. He shook his head to dismiss the thought. Precautions had been taken, everything that could be done to preserve their day had been done. He should have been calm in that knowledge but, until he heard the doors open behind him, the organ start up and sensed the first footsteps of his soon to be bride coming towards him down the aisle, he knew he would remain on edge.
As a gentle hush spread from the rear of the hall to the front, Michael tapped at the handgun hidden in his jacket under his arm, his mouth going dry at the same time. Something wasn’t right.
“We are on, husband to be !” Anna’s voice cried out from behind him, every head in the church hall turning to see her marching towards him, her wedding dress balled up and held high above her sturdy black boots by one hand, her other hand wielding a long sword already slick with a dark stain.
Michael smiled as he watched her approach, his hand slowly pulling his gun from his jacket and raising the weapon in her direction.
“Anna.” He said. “My Anna – who dared ever say we were not made for each other?”
Michael’s finger tightened around the trigger as he took aim and fired.
The bullet sped over his bride’s shoulder and struck the first and nearest of the dark winged creatures that had followed her into the church, the first member of the uninvited procession was down, its body hitting the stone floor and twitching there, a horrific shriek rising up from its followers in reaction.
There looked to be about thirty of them and they were coming forward fast, a mass of dark and clearly not-god-fearing creatures, some winged and others dragging themselves forward, huge claws raking the ground as they approached.
Michael let a second bullet fly as Anna joined him by his side, her sword flashing in the sunlight which spilled through from the stained glass window, the blood of the creatures she struck flying forward into the congregation.
“Come on ! “ She shouted to the assembled party who, although standing, were motionless, stunned and watching the betrothed couple in action. “This is your day too, people ! Enjoy !”
And that was enough. If the bride to be was okay with it, then the congregation were determined to do anything they could to make her day special.
Anna and Michael stepped up beside the altar, beside the shell-shocked looking priest, and watched as, one by one, their guests drew their own weapons. Guns, blades, a crossbow, an axe all appeared, drawn from under their clothing or from underneath their pews.
It was a brutal but fast conclusion to the battle, the aisle left with the spoils of the dark and evil beings that had tried to spoil their day, but both Anna and Michael knew that nothing ever dared even try.
As the last foe fell, the priest looked at them both questioningly.
“Hell, yeah! We’re ready!” Anna said.
Congrats to you both – have a great day and all best for the future.