The Wedding: Part One (48)

Elaine Gardner awoke that Friday morning refreshed with a vigor for life. She had found the man she had always dreamed of, and now she was going to marry him. Laura walked in, already dressed to the nines with her hair and makeup done, looking efficient as ever.

“Elaine, honey, time to wake up! It’s the big day today and we have a lot to do before we get to the church!” said Laura, characteristically cheerful.

Glancing at the clock, she sighed. It was only 6:00. Rising from the bed, she began the journey that would become known as the rest of her life.

After eating a light breakfast, Laura announced that Annette and Stella had arrived to help with the morning’s preparations, along with Teddy’s mother Florence. As you might imagine, the household was no longer quiet and peaceful, but rather in an excited uproar.

“Oh Elaine! You look beautiful!” said Florence Burke, admiring her future daughter-in-law. The bride-to-be turned and saw herself in the mirror between Laura and her mother-in-law. She looked so much like her mother. Her brown hair fell neatly to her shoulders and her eyes were never more blue.

Laura, after rushing around to make sure of the food, the music, the decorations, and everything else in between were taken care of, helped Annette into her bridesmaid’s dress, then ushered the bridal party into the limousine in front of the house. It was time for a wedding.

***

Elaine had never felt prouder than when her father walked her down the aisle. As they drew nearer to the altar, she looked around and saw tears in her mother’s eyes. Friends smiled and marveled at how beautiful she looked. She caught sight of Teddy, smiling broadly as ever, waiting for her alongside his brother and Redmond. The priest began the ceremony. However, not everyone could focus completely.

———-

Redmond Gardner, though truly happy for his sister, could not shake his own troubles. He kept thinking of how Annette would not– could not even look at him. His thoughts wandered to the threats of Samantha Flint. What could she possibly want? He looked up to choir loft, unable to concentrate. A wedding, at this point in his life, made him absolutely sick. Glancing around, his heart suddenly sank. Doing a double-take, he saw a mop of bright, bleached-blonde hair among the singers. Beneath it was the face of none other than Samantha. Her smile was fixed in a devilish, fiendish grin on Annette as she sacrilegiously sang the holiest of songs for his sister. He rushed from the altar, determined to subdue whatever devious plan she was carrying out.

———-

Samantha Flint glued her eyes to Annette as she began to open a small, brown package. None of the old biddies seemed to notice or care what she was doing. Slowly tearing away the brown paper, she revealed a gun, and held it reverently in her lap. Like a hawk, she pinpointed Annette. “If he won’t have me, honey, he won’t have anyone,” she thought to herself. She shifted her gaze to Elaine and Teddy. “What a tramp,” she said under her breath. She caressed the gun, feeling the trigger. The steel was cold and hard, like the black hole she called her heart. Her mind was made up. She looked back at Annette Gardner, and grinned. “I don’t care who you think you are, Mrs. Gardner…He’s mine.”

Time seemed to move in slow motion for a moment. Slowly, she raised the gun, laughing, and took aim at the defenseless woman. The church ladies squealed in terror, as Redmond Gardner came bursting through the door.

BANG.

A shot rang out as he tackled her to the ground. The gun had been fired. It was too late.

END

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