Hello, Wedding Parties and Guests!
Ah, weddings are a beautiful thing, aren’t they? All sorts of ceremonies or traditions, all the planning and prepping. But it’s not all sunshine and roses, is it? It’s time to see how hectic things can be, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
The Wild Bride
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
Weddings are a time of bliss, joy, and love. But there’s a lot that goes into a wedding; choosing the wedding party, the guests, who is the Best Man and the Maid of Honour, the decorations, the catering, the hall rental, music, favours, dresses, suits, and so much more.
But this prompt, like the wedding itself, is about the bride. And there’s all different ways to address such a prompt.
One way for a bride to be wild is if she goes into hysterics. Perhaps all the stress of a deadline fast approaching is getting to the bride. She’s getting impatient, and angry at little things, and has little crying fits at night when she’s alone and down a couple glasses of wine. She feels like she’s losing her mind in all the chaos, and it’s overwhelming. Or maybe she has a more solid reason for being hysterical… like catching the groom with one of her bridesmaids a few days before the wedding is supposed to take place. Or she has a meltdown right before having to walk down the aisle, her nerves getting the better of her. Maybe she even gets into a fight with her parents after her mother makes a comment about something.
Another way to address “wild” is that maybe she just gets really rowdy when she’s drunk, and has a little too much to drink at her bachelorette party, or even during the reception. Is she a happy drunk? Or perhaps she’s a gloomy drunk? She could even be an emotional swinging drunk, where she’s happy one minute, crying the next, and then happy again. Or perhaps she’s simply described as a wildflower by her groom, who just loves that crazy side of her.
“Wild” can be subjective, and can suit nearly any situation, good or bad. So get your quills out and show us your one-of-a-kind brides, whether she’s in sickness or in health.
Just don’t forget the bouquet.
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
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The Silent Wolf
Tamika inhaled through her nose and trapped the breath within her throat. She listened to her heart rabbit punch against her ribcage.
Nathaniel Drake stood across from her, his proud smile gentle, as he spoke his vows.
He was her anchor.
‘This is what I’ve worked towards. Fought for. I. Deserve. This.’
She exhaled slowly through her mouth before touching the red collar at her clavicle. After this, she’d be a different person.
Tamika met Nathaniel’s steadfast gaze. She returned his smile and vows tearfully.
Rings were exchanged.
They shared an exquisite kiss.
Cheers from Nathaniel’s side and empty pews from hers spurred their hurried pace up the aisle.
Tonight couldn’t arrive soon enough.
The full moon played hide and seek behind the clouds. Even so, Tamika could feel her dazzling strength.
Strong arms embraced her from behind. Warm flesh pressed into her back.
Nimble fingers unwound her curls, and she sighed deeply. Those same fingers traced around her collar to the front.
Nathaniel stood before Tamika, unashamed. He pulled her into a scorching kiss, leaving her breathless.
“Sing with me,” he coaxed.
A hollow thud sounded. The light snap of the collar registered. A long forgotten howl echoed through her mind, and a surge of power flowed into her.
Tamika’s eyes widened, and she touched timid fingers to her bared throat. It was sore and bruised. When she attempted to speak, words fled.
Years of bowing at her grandfather’s feet and kissing his boots. Her sister suffering the same subjugation. Her parents and brother doing nothing to stop it.
‘No more. Leave it behind.’
“Don’t allow your past to be all you ever are, my darling.”
He tipped his chin to the sky and howled jovially.
A coarse ripple rocked Tamika, and she howled in response. Her toes curled, and she laughed. Unrestrained, her wolf barreled to the surface.
The mighty beast shook out its black fur and stretched, awaiting its mate.
Nathaniel beamed, and his tan wolf emerged.
They nuzzled and sang to the air once more.
Tamika raced away, and Nathaniel gave chase.
The Wolf Bride of Edmark
“What do you know about Edmarkan weddings?” The best man Kallus asked his brother Tassius who just had this big dumb happy smile.
His brother couldn’t take his eyes away from his wife-to-be. Although there was a hint of embarrassment “Just that they act like any other human in Edmark or Orvaria.”
“You mean wild, untamed, and unsophisticated?” Kallus shook his head. “What could have possessed you to marry her?”
His bride, the white wolfkin named Kristine, stepped toward the buffet table with a pitcher of wine in one hand while tearing a piece of turkey leg with the other. The sight of the ludrin warrior dressed in her red-cloaked and white Edmarkan dress cursing up a storm and eating like a beast had the entire table silent.
“By the moon goddess…” she grumbled, “I thought there’d be some form of entertainment. Don’t you Idonian lots have your dragon shows or things like that? If not a fucking axe throwing contest?”
She looked to Tassius as she dipped her pitcher of wine on the waxed marble floor. “My dear husband, you fuck like a proper man and fight like a proper man. But your drinks taste like fruity piss and your food is dry like sand.”
The wolfkin threw her pitcher aside to the nearest waiter. “Give me a proper fucking drink!”
Her snout scrunched in agitation from the boredom she was experiencing. Her tail swished in frustration. Her groom was used to this back when he was stationed in Edmark. This bold and brash attitude was what made Tassius fall in love with. Nobody in the family could believe it.
Kristine’s family was not much different. Although they certainly were more reserved than Kristine. Her father and brother were recounting battle war stories among Tassius’ distraught family. Many speaking visceral details. Tassius’ father wished that this was all a dream.
After that wonderful display, Tassius finally turned to his brother with a smile. “During my time in Edmark, I found myself fascinated by those that cannot be tamed. Besides, she was the one who demanded I marry her.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve herd the birds chirping” Henrik thought. The rays of sun warmed his skin all the while reflecting off his pale white skin. He sat on the wooden steps of the church feeling the wind against his face. “Are you ready?” Hamish asked.
Henrick replied “as ready as ill ever be.” Hamish jumped the first step swinging his tattered suit up to avoid sitting on it. “You don’t have to go through with this. You know”.
Henrik answers with a smug look “you act like I have a choice in this endeavor”. Tears started to swell in Hamish’s eyes. “Yes, you do, come with me we will run away together, I can get you out of here.” His tears streaming down his face now. “Whether you are a leader or not she will kill you, every husband she’s had, has gone missing within the first few months”. Henrick angrily gets up and faces Hamish
“You don’t think I know that ever since the rupture are people have been butchered, abused and starving!!”. Henrick strikes a match on his boot and puts a cigarette to his mouth. The smoke danced through the air as he got his bearing back. “If this is what I have to do, to unite are people then so be it.”
Hamish collapsed to the ground on all fours, with tears staining the dirt beneath them. “Please we can’t lose you… I can’t lose you”. Henrick felt the stubble under his chin, bringing him up to meet his gaze. Almost getting lost in the jade of his eyes. He kissed his forehead and spoke.
“I know, I’ve always known, and whether in this life or the next. I hope you can forget about me”. A single tear drops from his face. He breaks his gaze with Hamish and walks steadfast and true into the unknown.
“I hope you can forgive me” he thought
The Fairest Of Them All
By Taja DaLeen (CW: domestic abuse)
I was wearing the most beautiful wedding dress I could have imagined. It was white, with embroidery and pearls. I was wearing even more pearls around my neck, in my hair.
I was the fairest of them all.
And I was to be wed to the most impressive man I’d ever known. He was handsome and kind, and oh so loving.
Everything was perfect.
Or so I thought.
I still remember, on the day of my wedding the sun was shining bright, just like the smiles on the faces of my family. They were happy for me. Just as I was.
The few friends of my soon-to-be husband were smiling too. Those were bright as well, but with an undertone.
I should have known.
The ceremony was also perfect, with flowers everywhere, white roses, my favorite, amazing food and dance. And my husband said the most beautiful vows I could have imagined.
But they were all lies.
It all flipped on the wedding night. In the beginning, I was just a little anxious, mainly curious. But as soon as we were alone, his mask fell.
To this day I still don’t know why he did it.
He choked me. Until I was close to losing consciousness. And the torture didn’t stop there. I tried to fight back, tears of hatred in my eyes. But to no avail.
My screaming stopped that same night.
And now all that hatred and anger and pain bind me to this world. But you know what? I don’t care anymore. I found enjoyment in haunting.
It is fun.
I watch you getting ready for your wedding. Twirling in that fancy white dress you wear. Singing with your bridesmaids. Laughing. Looking forward to being a wife.
But why should you get the chance, when I never did?
You’re not the fairest of them all. I am. Always will be.
Now you’re alone, waiting for your time to shine. Unaware. Just like I have been. Like they all have.
It always starts with the choking.
Then, wonderful screaming.
Another one of my pearls disappears.
Just One Day
I started reapplying my makeup for the third time today.
“I just have to get through it,” I said.
Looking at myself in the mirror, I had to compensate for the shaking as my leg bounced up and down. It’s a simple task, really. I just need to sit through the ceremony. I’d be behind a screen. Nobody would see me. The emperor will only visit my chambers once every couple of days and, otherwise, I just need to deal with the occasional lady in waiting.
Nothing to it, really.
A tuft of orange hair sprouted from the back of my left hand. I yelped and covered it with my right hand. Nobody else was in the room, but I couldn’t be too careful.
I whispered, “It’s just nerves. Everyone gets this on their wedding day. I’m sure my groom is sweating in his chambers.”
A lady in waiting called out, “Are you alright?”
“Y… yes, I’m fine. I saw a spider, is all. Don’t come in.”
Her clothes folded slightly as she wordlessly bowed. The other imperial ladies were rarely alone and did no work for themselves. I told myself that this would give me a special allure and an edge over them.
After I rubbed the back of my hand for a moment, the fur vanished.
What I would give to go running off into a wooded area or a quiet part of a garden and throw off this disguise. Is marriage worth the exhaustion? I took a deep breath and tried to ease the tension in my shoulders. Just a little bit longer.
I screamed in surprise as my tail pushed up against the back of my kimono. Footsteps rushed off away from my chambers.
Hide the tail and relax.
Three guards burst into the room, swords drawn, looking for a murderer.
I stared at them as they stared back at my long snout, pointed ears, and fluffy tail. Before they could recover, I dashed out of the room and left the palace. So much makeup gone to waste.
The Final Favor (The Depths Files)
Rainbunny McSufofluff the 7th, or Snuffles as he let his close ones call him, wanted to slouch in his seat and groan as loud as a snoring dragon. But, given the circumstances, all he could do was droop his shoulders slightly. His eyes sharpened over his cordial smile as the disguised fool threw him a grin through his veil. All this for a dagger… He cursed his siblings again under his breath.
“Ancatui?” Trip’s overly feminine voice purred with so much sappy romance that Snuffles had to bite his cheek to keep from gagging.
“Yes, my treasured one?” The serpentine demon smiled coyly back at Trip.
“Ya would do anything to prove yer love for me, right?”
“Your curious accent is still amusing,” Ancatui hissed a chuckle. “It’s quite unlike that of your brother.”
“Finishin’ school in a very far away and remote place.” Trip waved his hand dismissively while his other slid over his groom’s thigh. “But I need to know before we commit our lives to be together forever… what will ya do to prove yer love to me?”
As the demon waxed on poetically to his false bride, Trip slipped the dagger out of its shieth and passed it subtly to Snuffles by his tails. After taking it and priming the dagger’s magic below the table, Snuffles shot Trip a warning look as he continued to flirt. Ancatui had started to reach for Trip’s veil when Snuffles suddenly stood up and thrust the dagger into the air.
“Fear the wrath of McSufofluff Covenant, Melikanu House!” Snuffles yelled, and black fire exploded around the head of every one of his enemies at the table. Using the commotion as cover, he grabbed Trip and raced towards the exit.
“We should do this more often!” Trip laughed.
“Doing my sibling’s dirty work?” Snuffles grunted as he gave a deadly headbutt to a guard.
“Nah!” Trip exclaimed and kicked the other guard’s groin. “Wear fancy dresses!”
When the pair returned to Snuffle’s family home, he grabbed his third brother by the throat and growled, “Last. Time.”
Nothing Left But Her (Nyx’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis
Nyx woke up to a sharp pain in her left foot. Her pained groan joined the rustling of the woods surrounding her camp. She closed her eyes, bowed her head, and waited for the pain to fade…
…now just a dull ache below her knee.
She looked up again to find the bright pink face of Louise looking back at her with a small, comforting smile, and a bowl of warm soup.
“Breakfast time my dear!”
The morning passed in a blur, until a gentle pat on the arm brought her back to reality.
“I’ll need to change your bandages now. Is that okay?”
Nyx grimaced, but nodded.
Louise was gentle, and she redressed her right leg with only mild pain. But with her left, she had to adjust it, and when she did-
-the sharp, stabbing pain in her foot began again, surging up her leg and bringing tears to her eyes. She felt like screaming.
“Oh, sorry dear…”
“Why?” Bitter words escaped Nyx’s mouth. “Why is my foot still hurting?”
“You know I can’t-”
Nyx lifted up the offending leg, staring at it in despair. “It’s not even THERE anymore!”
The stump of her leg fell back into the sheets, defeated.
Nyx crumbled into ugly crying, and Louise held her. And once Nyx’s body stopped shaking, Louise kissed her forehead and left, promising to be back soon.
And when she did…she was holding something behind her back?
“You found something?”
“Made something, actually.” She took the item from behind her back, and transferred it gently into Nyx’s arms.
A construct of wood and bone, bound together with thick resin and twine. And it looked an awful lot like-
“It’s your leg!” Louise blurted out helpfully. “It’s nearly finished.”
“I made it from your old leg…though I had to boil the flesh off and reinforce it. But it should serve you well, my dear!”
Nyx’s eyes widened. An astonished laugh left her lips. “Gods…you really have, haven’t you…”
And in that moment, Nyx realised that she wanted Louise to be part of her life forever.
The Wild Bride
By Matthew R. Wright
As the newly-licenced Las Vegas Minister Conor O’Connor re-read the cue-cards handed to him by the strange Yorkshireman, he considered if this was the profession for him.
The pair stood before the chapel’s alter and O’Connor gestured to what the Yorkshireman was holding. It was oval, covered by a yellowed bridal veil. Something stirred inside it.
“Read t’cards,” said the Yorkshireman. “Start w’(1).”
O’Connor shuffled through the cards, finding (1) and paused. He was dressed in his ceremonial golden 3-piece suit, the Yorkshire man had donned a tweed cap, chequered sweater, and corduroy trousers and a pipe. “I understand this is Vegas, but there’s a limit.”
The Yorkshireman stared O’Connor down, chewed hard on his pipe and adjusted his cap. “I’ve come ere, t’Vegas, t’renew our vows, what’s t’problem?” The Yorkshireman’s accent was thick. O’Connor struggled to follow, but that wasn’t the main issue.
“But a bird?”
“Aye, this ere bird”. The Yorkshireman pulled away the veil, revealing the Lyrebird in the cage: brown like a pheasant, wings curved, rufous in colour and the bill, legs and feet were black.
“Sir, with respect…” O’Connor began, “I don’t think –”
“Yer’ve got yer money, do this, please.” O’Connor looked at the Lyrebird with curiosity and sympathy. He shared the bird’s sense of being trapped.
“This ere bird, copies any noise it ‘ears. Trained it t’copy wife’s voice. Spent fifty-years recording ‘er with camera, spent last three training Vanessa. Vanessa, t’real wife, died, four year ago. Promised ‘er one day, we’d renew our vows in Vegas. Cancer took ‘er before we had chance.”
The Yorkshireman’s eyes started to well up, the pain still raw. “Respect our marriage, please. I just want t’pretend that’s she still ere with me, to renew ‘er vows with me, please.”
There was a pause as O’Connor attempted to take in all that he had just heard. “Okay.”
“Now, those cards I handed t’yer, it’ll answer if yer read out t’cards as I wrote them, yer understand?”. The Yorkshireman brought the Lyrebird to eye-level.
“Hello Vanessa” he said with old love in his eyes.
“HeLlO wALtEr.” Replied Vanessa.
The Shaman and Xir Wife
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)(Repost from Private)
Tai lounged next to xir wife, fingers caressing her thigh. Her name was Arape, and she wore her hair in that matting style which Tai found most seductive.
“Every war starts in the heart,” Tai murmured, lips brushing earlobe.
“You want to go to war?”
“Over one dead girl? No. I want to stay here with you and guide our people.”
“You’d go to war if I were murdered that way.”
“Yes,” Tai admitted. “That’s what troubles me.”
But Arape was not dead and that made a difference. The murderer was long gone when they found the crime. Tai would need to get horses to catch up. Horses were not cheap and stealing them would cause a war.
“You are a person of balance, Tai, my love. You stand between us and the Unknown. It is your nature to seek peace in the face of violence.”
Tai nodded, face in Arape’s neck.
Arape laid a hand on xir breast and gently pushed xir back. “War can bring balance too.”
“I know you tried to give Mappe’s soul rest. I know it was gone already. This isn’t a man who wanted her for her body or an animal who wanted her blood. This is something else. A spirit.”
Tai said nothing. It was better that way.
“Go get the horses. Find the murderer and protect us like a shaman should. Banish or seal this spirit.”
Tai smiled sadly. “And leave you, my savage wife?”
“What if It returns while I’m away? What if this murderous spirit comes for you?”
“Then I will be with you, starting that war in your heart.” Arape kissed xir, and muttered, “I will see you again, my love. Go, remind the spirits what we learned from the gods of war. And if it is men, bury them alive. Burn their cities above them. Let no one ever come for us and ours again.”
Tai stood and looked at the old horseman’s armor xir grandfather had used. It would fit. Hope howled in xir mind; the rage of a lamed protector, of stymied responsibilities.
We Run (also in private)
The air practically crackled with ice, as if a hidden web of frost hung in the air surrounding us. It was not just cold, it was an intimate cold that seeped into the marrow of your being and lingered beyond any warming fire. It was winter incarnate, the heralding of the Hunt.
It was an old tradition to have maidens run for the hunt, stemming from some long forgotten era of our past, though few ran out of true faith as our village did. Some say this used to be a spring festival, back when the earth’s warmth would wax and wane with the seasons, but now it welcomed our coldest hour and served as a prayer to spare our families from the bitter frost.
Each year we ran, dressed in pale shifts and sandals to expose us to the cold, and each year someone was taken by the snow. Some of the surrounding villages, the faithless, would find bodies but ours never did. One maiden each year simply vanished with no trail to follow, and always just one. This year would be no different.
The ram’s horn blew and we bolted. Some delicately leapt over the snow like spindle-deer while others pushed through as if wading through water. I always felt like a hunting cat in my run, as if the Hunt were my prey rather than I its. The cold fueled my run, spearing through my veins like a river beneath an icey shell, spurring me further into the surrounding woodlands.
I did not hear or suspect anything amiss when a sudden surge propelled my nearly numb feet forward in an almost frenzied dash. I do not know how I knew, but I was being hunted. I dashed between copses and leapt over fallen branches without losing momentum, yet never lost the sense of unease that followed me. I was not gaining ground.
Without a sound, no cracking twig or crunch of snow, I was lifted into the air with an arm tightly gripping my waist. A voice, hushed, almost sonorous, spoke next to my ear.
Persephone Home (It’s Always Sunny In Olympus)
by Alexsander Edwards
“Zeus, what in my name is this?” said the deepest voice of all Olympians, belonging to the Lord of the Underworld and Ruler of the Depths – known as Hades among friends.
“I brought you a gift, bro!” the smell of cheap deodorant somehow overpowered the candles, incense and rot within the House of Hades, a smell strong enough to send Cerberus into a frenzy, looking for a corner – any corner – that hadn’t yet been tainted by it.
With some finagling, Persephone managed to get rid of Zeus’s grasp. “Excuse me?”
Ignoring his daughter’s protests, Zeus continued. “Y’know, you don’t get out much, and you keep working in this… drab place. So… instead of you going out to pick up chicks, I picked one up for you! How ‘bout that?”
Both Hades and his newfound wife simply raised an eyebrow, in sync with one another and entirely unamused by the God of Thunder’s finger-guns.
“Shut up,” the combined voices of Hades and Persephone echoed one another.
With a pause, the couple exchanged a look, acknowledging their behavior.
“I may like her still,” the Lord of the Underworld thought.
“He seems bearable enough,” the Goddess of Nature mused.
“I see the two lovebirds are already getting along well!” Zeus interrupted, firmly holding the couple by their shoulders.
“Fuck off!” the two responded in an instant, slapping the Thunder God’s arms away.
The Master of Olympus took a few steps back before his brother continued. “So, Lady of Vegetation, huh?”
“By my mother’s side, yes.”
“You wouldn’t happen to be interested in some very… let’s say, fertile land, would you?”
“… Do you have gardens?”
“See?” Zeus interrupted. “You were made for each other!”
“Say,” Hades continued, “does anyone know you’re here?”
“Other than that doofus of a father? Not really.”
“Nope, not even her.”
The two grinned, before embracing as they went on for a walk through Hades’s domains.
“Have fun with Demeter, ‘bro’!” the Lord of Death yelled.
Zeus continued smiling until the realization hit him, leaving only one word in his mouth: “Shit…”
Faith and Hope
By Adrian Solorio
Faith watched her son across the table and smiled as he picked at his plate. It had been a long time since he had gone, more than ten years, but he was back now, and she gushed over him. “Here,” she said. “Take another coffee.”
John held his fork halfway to his mouth and muttered, “I’m fine. Hope got’s me down to a cup a day–”
“Well, what’s-her-face isn’t your mother and she isn’t here now–is she?” Faith held her son’s gaze until he coughed and looked away. The cafe was half-full, and the sound of chatter mixed with the smell of bacon and pancakes. “You want another cup, I can tell. Just like your father. You don’t know what you want till I tell you.” John mumbled a weak protest but was ignored.
While a passing waitress took the order, Faith bragged to her about her son–her Johnny. Told about him leaving town, making himself into a man; joked that after all his years away he had finally come back to be with his old mother. Before Faith could continue, the waitress apologized and left the table.
“I told you I was fine–”
“Relax,” said Faith, “your little girlfriend isn’t here–relax.”
John’s voice was taut. “Her name’s Hope, and she’s not my girlfriend anymore.”
Faith brightened. Her eyes danced, and her mouth corners curled into a smirk that she had to battle down to a frown. She struggled to mask her excited words with grim sadness when she asked, what had happened?
“We’re getting married.”
Her face darkened. “She’s not like us,” Faith hissed. “I don’t want grandkids with her skin or her kinky hair.”
They glared at each other.
John had never been so angry. And for the first time in his life, he wasn’t the first to break. “Hope wanted me to make this work, even though I knew it wouldn’t,” he said. “You haven’t changed, but the times have. It’s my life.” She tried to argue, to belittle, but he ignored her. He laid bills on the table and left. Left his mother there alone.
A Green Wedding
By MasaCur (Reposted from Private Group)
Ryan took a deep breath, raised his head to face his parents who were sitting on the sofa opposite him. He opened his mouth to speak, then shut it again.
“Ryan, what is it, honey?” his mother said.
Ryan sighed. “Okay, might as well get this over with. Erykah and I are getting married.”
His mother and father looked at each other with concern, then turned back to Ryan.
His father was the first to speak. “Ryan, we’re, umm, happy for you, but…”
“But, we’re just worried that you’re not thinking things through,” his mother added.
“What’s there to think through?” Ryan asked. “I love Erykah, and she loves me. I have never felt this way about another woman.”
“Son, we’re just concerned that maybe Erykah isn’t… that she isn’t right for you.” His father tried to look sympathetic, but Ryan felt he was being patronized.
Ryan rolled his eyes.
“If this is so important, then where is she?” his father asked.
“She’s nervous. It’s shit like this that makes her afraid to be here!” Ryan snapped.
His parents recoiled slightly at Ryan’s anger.
His mother broke the silence. “We just think, maybe you should find someone that…”
“That’s human?” Ryan asked.
Both his parents looked away, embarrassed.
“Yes, she’s an Orc,” Ryan growled. “I like her because she’s an Orc. It’s probably one of the reasons why things have worked out between the two of us, and haven’t with other women.”
His father stood up and approached Ryan. “We’re not racist. We just…this is all new to us. We weren’t prepared for there to be all these, um… people about. The idea that, I mean…” He glanced back at his wife.
“Ryan, can you and Erykah even have children?” his mother asked.
“Yeah.” Ryan nodded. “They’ll, uh, well, our kids will be Orcs as well. But, yeah, Erykah says Orcs and humans can have children.”
His parents looked at each other once more.
“I don’t suppose you’ll be dropping this, will you?” his father asked.
Ryan shook his head. “No, I will not.”
With a sigh, his mother nodded.
Petrichor (A Cauldron Adjacent Tale)
Her packmates associated the rite with the sweet smell of honey and the sting of pain in their left hands. To Cleo, however, it was honey and petrichor. Rain blessed that night, when she was bride and officiant, when she first performed the rite, alone.
The rhythmic sounds in the cabin were an aid. The rain and wind enveloped all other noises into something orderly and transformative, allowing her mind to focus and her heart to keep itself open. Her work on pestle and mortar gave cadence to her deeds, and that cadence flowed in her.
“Old”, Cleo recited, while pouring the dried leaves into the mortar. The dusty aroma of concentrated time rose, compounding the sensations of that special night. “New”, she said, when the freshly cut herbs were added into the mix. Those were still wet from the rain, as was Cleo. Strands of familiarity and similitude were woven through rite, as was proper for a wedding ritual.
Wedding and sacrifice, she reminded herself. Thinking of sacrifice, she poured Kadath’s blood in the mush she had been working on with the mortar. “Borrowed” was the chant that flowed from her, all the while asking why its donor was so adamant on being elsewhere on such an important night.
Blue orchid was added to the recipe, its color joining the words whose chain formed that strange nuptial prayer. When the texture of the mixture was right, Cleo took it and went outside, into the rain. There, the cauldron with honey, the special tinctures and the silver coin waited.
The mixture joined the cauldron’s content, and Cleo cut her palm before diving her hand in search of the coin. The long ceremony was almost to an end, with only the rain and the moon as witnesses. Her blood joined the mixture, and the mixture joined her blood, while honey and petrichor incensed the night around her.
In time, others would also wed the Cauldron, and be part of Cleo’s pack. She would see to all their initiation rituals. Rain, though… rain came only to her wedding.
Bride to be
The birds were chirping,sun was shining and all was wonderful on this glorious day.Then again how could it not be,for this wasn’t just a regular day no today had to perfect.
It had to be ,nothing could go wrong,this day was everything that you dreamed of.Nice weather ,everyone was in the most fantastic of moods,why even your lovable fur babies seem to be on their best behavior.
A couple of hours have passed ,the moment has finally arrived. Everyone was waiting to see you, your dress was the same one you dreamed of as a little girl,the cake was your favorite flavor of all time.A simple white chocolate,with salted caramel dessert.Two flavors rolled into one a perfect match if you will.
The rhythm of the clock and the beating of your heart made for a perfect symphony.As each step took you closer to the love of your life. There he was ,you could feel his smile and of course tears of joy began to form. Everything was going according to plan.
The mixture of joy and slight anxiety plagued your mind,this was the moment that everyone was waiting for watching these two love birds say the infamous words of I do.
These simple words you practice over and over again,everything had to be perfect down to the smallest detail.For this man was everything to you. He was your best friend,the guy who made you laugh,cuddling during the rainy season,eating new exotic foods. Dreaming of a new life.
Finally you made it as you see his adorable smile enhance and become even brighter.You take a deep breath and already the tears begin to fall. The day has finally begun as you hear the priest start talking
It was a good day indeed
A Good Listener
Why do I waste my time writing to you when this is for me? You don’t say or do anything back, only retain information unwillingly. But that’s not why I’m here now.
I’m supposed to get married today. But it’s not really my marriage. It’s my father’s company selling me to another’s son.
It sounded flattering at first that I would hold the fate of two companies, until I noticed how I was treated. My father, who used to play with me and my dolls, fitted me with cosmetic surgeries. I no longer looked like myself. My friends no longer recognized me, and dissociated from me. My mother couldn’t look at me, knowing what was happening, but did nothing and drank her guilt away. And the son, whom I was to marry, looked at me salaciously.
I didn’t want to be with him. Not if he was like this. I told my father, but he berated me. “This is saving the company, and the company is our life. Do you want to end up eating cheap noodles and microwave macaroni for the rest of your life? Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the sake of our survival. Now stop being selfish and do your DAMN part!”
This depressed me. For one, how can anyone hate ramen and mac & cheese? Two, I wanted my life back. I wanted my parents to step in and save me. I wanted a man who wouldn’t lick me with his eyes. I wanted to be with my friends again. But no one would recognize my true identity as friend, daughter, or wife.
Their blindness helped my depression, and my depression helped my silence. I didn’t feel like a person, I felt like a sample platter.
I guess that’s why I talk to you, Diary. You may not hold me, or talk to me, but you were always a good listener. Thank you.
They’re asking for me. I gotta go. But don’t worry, I won’t let them get me. I have a gun.
In Her House in Providence My Wife Lies Sleeping
By: The Missing Link
It was a dark and stormy night all those years ago, or mild and moonlit last week… one or the other. Anyway, I found a strange squid like corpse washed up on the beach, and like any reasonable person, I poked it with a stick.
What? Don’t look at me like that. I took it home afterwards of course, but what I found when I opened the door was more wonderful than I could even imagine, a woman of literally indescribable beauty, the woman who became my wife. Her name is really hard to pronounce, so I just call her Lulu
She says such wonderful things as I stare into the vast universe of her eyes, “The simple arrogance of humanity, blissfully unaware of how little the universe cares.”
She always smiled at the simple pleasure of staring at the stars, “The vastness of space will swallow you all in time.”
The strange, hooded people chanting outside our house seem disturbing at times, but Lulu doesn’t seem so bothered by it. Must be a fan club or something, like that paparazzi thing all the celebrities complain about. “The wails of the damned are the price of humans truly knowing anything at all.”
Every day was a blessing because she was there, always ready to just sit on the couch together, though the chanting of Lulu’s fans only got louder and more annoying. Should I call the cops about the nuisance, or would that make her sad? “The end shall come for all when I at last ascend to my throne.”
“I made jalapeno poppers!”
“You shall live.”
Man vs Bride
By Lantis Armstrong
I’m Theodore Herman Nestingway, and my crew and I are on safari in the wild and untamed Outback of Australia where today we’re hunting the deadly beast known as the Wild Bride, or Agrius Uxor Hippocampus.
Mistake these lovely ladies for the common house bride at your own peril! Their jaws are strong enough to rip a man’s arms off if he comes between her and the wedding cake. They can range from 108 pounds to an indeterminate weight which I’ve been threatened with a knife should I ever reveal.
My hunting compatriots and I are using old recording equipment to document this expedition in my new enclosed cab jeep; I’m using my brother’s binoculars to scan the horizon for wild brides while I drink from my large blue flask. That’s right, I have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
This isn’t a trophy hunting expedition, so our rifles are for self-defense only! That’s because the current lunar cycle is the waxing gibbous, and you would traditionally only have a bride mounted during the honeymoon.
“What are you doing, Theodore? We can’t park this close to the watering hole,” Mike said.
Curse my judgment, I didn’t listen.
“Nonsense my boy,” I told him, “they can’t smell us from here!”
But the moment Mike rolled down the window, a flash of pure white cloth could be seen in the rearview far too late to save him!
During a vicious attack on our safari jeep, my very best man was attacked and groomed!
“No, Mike!” I cried, but the poor sod had already gotten himself hitched.
“I have to leave this hunting trip early,” Mike said sadly, “we have rehearsal dinners planned all day I have to attend.”
The rest of us watched in shock as Mike got out of the car and ventured off across the rolling red hills of the Outback, arms locked with the wild bride which had stolen his life away from us. It’s the danger we all knew we’d face, but it doesn’t make his loss any easier.
Wedding Of Black
This is the groom’s happiest day, marry to the woman he loves the most. The most beautiful and kind woman he ever met is now said yes to the prospect of dedicating her life to make a family with him. This day could not be any better.
After the ceremony and the after party, the love birds proceeded to drive home for their honey moon. The drive was quiet, but the atmosphere is filled with love, the pair keeps lock eye to another, love is truly in the air.
After the ride, the pair head into their luxurious home. Doors shut, preparing for a lovely night. The groom turns to his wife, to be greeted with a black crystallized tendril piercing his throat, all he sees in his last moment before his head being ripped to the ground his the faint blue glow of the bride’s eyes, it’s not supposed to be that color.
After light going out for the groom, the bride begins to tear at her own throat, pulling out what seems to be a neck mounted speaker from under her skin, exposing the porcelain like skin underneath. A figure begins to crawl out from the ceiling tiles, it lands down behind the bride, she turns to look at a feminine figure in what seems to be a tight stealth suit.
” Sometimes I wonder if I should be amazed or scared of how convincing your disguises are, sir.” The operative leans over to look at the decapitated groom
“Least you didn’t go feral midway through, get the bride out, she’s in the the closet there, I’ll handle the arson”
A Love, A Gift
I stand at the precipice’s ledge and while staring into the verdant blur, contemplate my leap. Not a leap to an early death, but into the arms of my wild bride, my wood nymph. With a lack of hesitation seldom seen in life, I leap without fear.
I found her that day sitting in the fragrant shade of a blooming Wisteria tree. Legs stretched out with bare feet crossed, she leaned back against the trunk as tiny arrows of sun found their way through the lush canopy and set afire the subtly auburn shade of her dark hair. The leaves and tall grasses swayed sensually around her in the gentle afternoon breeze. Treetops danced rhythmically above to a music heard only by those sensitive to the wiles of nature. She was gazing contentedly into the arboreal distance; a vague smile curved the corners of her lips.
Her breath formed the warm spring air which gave birth to the forest and its creatures within. Newly hatched birds chirped excitedly as mother returned to the nest. Recently born butterflies triumphantly took to the skies as they embarked on a new life with colorful iridescent wings that caught and refracted the light. Flowers awoke with a burst and stretched for the deep azure sky. A rich, soft carpet of greenery blanketed the earth below. Somewhere nearby a stream bubbled to life as the spring rains twisted and flowed along its meandering path. She spoke the language of the forest.
And there she sat beautiful, amazing, at the epicenter of it all.
I spent my life exploring those woods, but they were transformed in their brilliance the day I first saw her. A common little forest with few distinctions suddenly alive and vibrant and perfect. The revered Gardens of Babylon paled in comparison to the beauty I beheld.
Our romance was swift and reckless and all-encompassing. My bride she is to be today. Where else to unite as one, but in the wild where we first met.
Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time (Chronicles of The Dragon)
Jonathan Rose stood in a park, under a tall tree, looking up into the branches. “Are you having fun up there?”
An enthusiastic “Yes!” came down to him. “I saw a squirrel, and a bird nest, and I can see clear across the park!”
“Are you going to come back down any time soon?”
“Nope!” followed by a giggle. “You should come up!”
Jonathan sighed and rolled his eyes, but took his coat off and climbed up.
Almost at the top, and further out on a branch than even someone as slim as she should be, was a girl with paper-white skin and rainbow hair. Scribe smiled at him. “You actually came.”
He stood on one branch and leaned against another. “Well, I figured it was better to come see what you’re looking at than to wait down there twiddling my thumbs.”
Scribe grinned and pointed at a not-too-distant hill. “There’s a wedding.”
“So there is.”
“Her dress is so pretty… Do you think I’ll ever get married?”
Jonathan straightened. “Well, you’ve never shown any interest in romance, and I doubt you could find anyone who could put up with you for long. So no.”
Scribe stuck her tongue out at him. “You put up with me just fine. Maybe I’ll marry you.”
Jon laughed. “I think that’d upset Berri.”
Scribe shrugged. “Then I’ll marry her too.”
Jon thought about that for a moment. “Ya know, if I was part of the deal she might actually agree to that.”
“It’s settled then. Now we just need a date.” And Scribe turned back to the wedding.
“Hey, I didn’t agree to anything.”
“Berri will, if I tell her if she marries me you’ll marry her.” She snickered. “Marry merry Berri.”
“Oh, so you’re playing dirty.”
She smirked and stuck out the tip of her tongue at him.
“Seriously though. Why the interest in marriage?”
She shrugged. “It’d be funny to point at the TV and say, ‘That’s my husband,’ the next time you blow up a city block.” Then added “And it’d be nice to have an official family.”
by Lee Strangely
“So, what’s your opinion?” Ben asked.
“As far as I’m aware,” Mica said as she packed her case, “she seems fine. Though I think a botanist would be more useful here than a physician.”
As Ben smiled in relief, a series of noises made their way from the other room.
It was like someone was hitting the floor with two broom handles.
It was a slow entrance, but she eventually got there. The woman was fairly short, and rather spindly. She had wide, innocent green eyes that constantly jumped about, soaking in everything that crossed them. Her skin was soft, pale wood, and her hair was a sort of thin feather grass with a light green tone. On her was a muted yellow sundress.
Noticing her, Ben sprang up to assist. She desperately grasped at the tables and now the doorway around her as her legs wobbled and slipped on the tile floor. There were no feet, only two thin stilts that barely did their job.
“Was it before or after that she, um…” Mica politely tried to ask, alluding to her legs.
“She was like that when she wandered here.”
With Ben’s help the wooden woman maintained some balance, but as the two got part-way through the living room she started to slip. It was like Ben was having a mini heart attack as he quickly tried to compensate. When he attempted to move, he unfortunately shifted his own balance, causing him to lose stability as well. She tried to help him but it just put both of them back into the same situation as they started. Mica couldn’t help but giggle at their clumsy dance.
The blunderful movement ended when the two finally fell onto the couch. Ben tried to calm himself down. The woman smiled at him. He couldn’t help but smile back, along with a little chuckle.
“Whatever she is, I wonder what drew her here…” Mica pondered as she left.
“Who knows,” he muttered while his eyes gravitated to that of the wooden woman.
Shotgun and Doves
By Tamela Redfin
I stared at Salvador, “What do you mean am I dating your son? Of course I am and I love Mica very much.” I patted my swollen stomach, “Almost a little too much.”
“Then why are you two still single?” He asked.
“Because…. I don’t know if I’m ready to give up my childhood yet.”
Salvador sighed, “Sapphira, I hear you’re having twins. Whether you want to or not, you’re doing just that. I just pray my son is more responsible than I was.”
I called Mica into the room. “I think your father is off his meds. He says we should get married.”
Mica smiled sweetly, “Slagphira, that’s a great idea. Then we can be together for the end of time.”
I felt my face get hotter. It was bad enough I was pregnant at sixteen, but also being married at sixteen to hide someone’s shame?
He held my hand, “I don’t want to do this because of my father, but because of you, Saph. I always wanted to marry a cute girl like you.”
“Oh Mica, I love you too.” I kissed and hugged him. Could this work?
“It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s something to be proud of, dear.” Mica smiled.
A few months later I stood there in a blue dress, walking with Cece. I couldn’t embarrass myself by wearing white. Mica brushed back the veil I was wearing.
I looked around to see Cece, Cameron, and Salvador. I noticed Salvador wiping his eyes. Other members of Grey Rose were talking until the parson silenced them.
My heart pounded as all eyes were on me. Mica however seemed unnaturally calm. “Sapph.” He whispered, “Just look into my eyes, this will be the best of your life.”
I nodded as the parson rambled on. Humans had such weird traditions. A sapphire ring was slipped onto my finger.
“You may now kiss the bride.” Mica didn’t hesitate at the idea. Yes, this was the man I wanted to spend my life with. Salvador had a good idea after all.
The Promise by Skeleton
They say a dragon’s pride and greed make wedding planners a fortune, and for as long as Mobius had been alive, the saying hadn’t been proved wrong. When he heard the cautionary sounds of glass shattering and aggressive shouting, he began to pray to whatever god gave good grace for this to be last wedding and not the third.
Mobius opened the door quickly to find his cousin and grand master magus, Remianna, restraining his sister, Zaila, with the very stone foundation of the church. It looked as if Zaila was caught mid-charge at Remianna, who did not look amused at all. At least both of them avoided ruining the dress. “I’ve got this,” Mobius intervened with a sigh and a shake of his head.
Remianna manipulated the stone back to being a flat surface and quickly escaped from Zaila’s death glare. “She’s as stubborn as he was…” the magus breathed as she bumped shoulders with her cousin.
Mobius closed the door for some privacy as Zaila moved to the window and put her claws on its frame, leaning forwards to alleviate the weight from her legs. “I’m not doing this,” she announced, her breath wavering with the threat of tears. “He’s not here yet.”
The concerned brother pressed his back against the wall next to the window, giving him the perfect view of Zaila’s tense jaw as she bit her lip. He hesitated before speaking: “I think maybe you should think about how Sage will take hearing that again.”
Hot tears began to stream down Zaila’s cheeks. “It’s not fair…” she whimpered. “He said he’d be here to walk me down the aisle. He promised!”
Mobius gave a sad laugh. “He really did keep like keeping his promises, didn’t he?”
“I just want him to put his hand on my head again and tell me that he’s proud of me!” she began to sob.
Mobius hesitated again before placing his claw between her horns gently. “He is, and always will be proud of you, Zaila. We all are.”
“Do you think this tux looks good on me?” While everyone was tux shopping, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone; I had to find the perfect gifts for everyone who came to the wedding.
“What? huh ?”
“DO YOU LIKE MY TUX?”
“Oh, yeah yeah, sure.”
“Are you alright, man? You look like shit.”
“Haha, ah, I feel like it, dude.”
“I spent all night trying to coordinate with the wedding officiator, my friends, and planning the engagement party. I’ve been stressing out hardcore.”
“Ya know, I could help out.”
“Thanks, bud. But I want everything to be perfect for Gwyn.”
“Makes sense. If you ever need a bro, you can always count on good ol’ Jud.”
I nodded my thanks and continued finding the wedding gifts. Ah, shoot! I forgot about the decorations!
The night of the engagement party arrived faster than I could put it together. I wanted so badly to sit down, but I couldn’t. It was too close to being perfect.
“Eric!” Gwyn called in that sing-song tone of hers. “The first guest has arrived!”
“Awesome!” I only turned to face her for a few seconds, then returned to the streamers and balloons.
“You sound very worn.”
“Yeah,” I murmured sadly. “What do you think of the decorations? Are they awesome or what?”
“I think you need a break. I’ve been on the verge of a mental breakdown all week, but you look like a fresh return to an asylum.”
“Haha. Very funny.”
“Seriously! Let the guys handle the rest and look at the sunset. You tend to nitpick anyway.”
I followed her out onto the patio. She put up a wood foldout table with some tea cakes and two shots of whiskey, my favorite. It even looked out onto the ocean.
“What do you think? We haven’t had much time together, and I think this could be a good-”
She smiled. I smiled. It made me realize just how much I’ve missed her this week.
By GC Tsala
Finally! Tomorrow was the big day!
Everything was completely ready for Olivia’s wedding and all she had to do is wait until tomorrow and stop eating her damn nails.
“This time tomorrow, I will officially be Jessica’s wife!” She said. You could tell how excited she was by the way her eyes were glowing even though she was just staring at a brown wall.
“Taa Daa!” Jessica jumped into the room out of nowhere!
“How do you like my wedding dress? I know you are not supposed to see it until the wedding, but it is so cute I couldn’t hold myself!” She told Olivia, overflowing with happiness.
“Wait! WHAT!? Jessicaaa… you are supposed to be the groom! What are you doing!?”
“Me? The groom? You have to be kidding me, we agreed that the groom would be YOU!”
“We agreed that the most masculine of the two would be the groom, remember?”
“Yes, which is you!”
“ME!? HOW!? We even agreed that you were the one that looked better with the mustache and the monocle!”
“I thought it was a Sherlock Holmes cosplay..”
“It was our wedding cosplay!”
“Okay, Olivia, listen to me, I have a bride (bright) idea! What if we are BOTH brides?”
“Alright alright, it might not be as big of a deal, after all, we can both wear a wedding dress. But only if you keep the mustache”
“You bet I will! It goes perfectly with the color of the carriage I will arrive in!”
“I WAS SUPPOSED TO ARRIVE BY CARRIAGE”
“I don’t think this is a good idea.”
Meshan shook his head. “I didn’t expect her to marry him so quickly. But, the deed is done. Well, somewhat.”
“But, at least they’ll stop attacking us for now,” Sheota replied.
Vedyfa, Queen of the Tufil, demanded that Chieftain Kosan of the Asfys Tribe sire a child with her. It would ensure that come an army of Yhadith, the two tribes would be united, their bitterness set aside. And yet, up until then, Vedyfa never married. She believed that her lover was war and nothing else.
Sheota and Meshan stood vigilant outside of their house, and the sound of the couple’s private business was difficult to ignore.
“I see no reason for this. Isn’t the Vadyf willing to aid us?” asked Sheota.
“They are. But they aren’t enough, not against the Yhadith kings and their blasphemous inventions.” Meshan visibly cringed at the thought of their armies, the cowards.
The sounds from inside the house began as how they should, passionate and clearly satisfied. Then, there were pants of confusion from Kosan. Vedyfa seemed to assure him of what she was doing, and he decided to play along. As their lovemaking resumed, it was abruptly cut to a still silence. No voices heard, only the cool breeze of the night keeping the guards company.
Sheota creeped onto the stoop, spear in hand. “My Queen? Are you alright?” As she reached to poke her head inside, Meshan pulled her back with a firm grip.
“Leave them be,” he exhaled. She begrudgingly returned to her post, although her ears were finely tuned to any other abnormal sound.
Silence still remained for a few minutes. Meshan stretched his legs for a moment, saying, “Now we need to fi-”
The curtain of the chieftain’s home flew open as if a gust of wind blasted through it. There the Queen stood, only draped in a fur blanket around her neck. Its edges were dripping with blood, and in her hand was Kosan’s head, cleaved from his torso. Her face was fury incarnate, knuckles white around her axe.
With Her Own Gifts (Cordelia’s Journey)
C. M. Weller
Having been declared dead had its disadvantages. Such as her family reclaiming her dowry and hanging onto it. Pending their OWN investigation into exaggerated rumours of her demise. Which meant that she was currently impoverished.
Earl Kormwind Nine, now an impatient groom-in-waiting, announced to his court, “I love this woman beyond reason. Further, I have been waiting far too long to marry her. I would take her as bride with rags for a dress and sacking for her train-o’-coin.”
Cordelia’s family were perfectly willing to take him at his word.
Whitekeep had not had a double wedding in centuries. Her fellow bride, the Lady Rowan DeVarinal, was clad in white samite, silks and satin. Cordelia was not in rags, but a simple shift and slippers.
“Such a pity,” said the Lady Rowan sympathetically. “Married to an Earl in that.”
“Not just this,” said Cordelia, and opened herself to her gifts. The window, open to the fresh spring air, also allowed in birds, butterflies, and a scattering of petals. Rare blossoms unfurled all over her shift, feathers added accents and the butterflies posed like living jewelry. Her train became a glistening array of the gifts of nature. “These are gifts that nobody can take away.”
Lady Rowan had an amusing face when she boggled. “I see. Whitekeep falls under the reign of the strange, unusual, and unexpected. No wonder your groom’s forces won the battle to rescue me.”
“I fought by his side, remember? We are capable, we are dangerous, and we are taking those lying, venal, slaver shitheels DOWN.”
Lady Rowan bowed in respect. “Then I pity the forces siding with the Olikent Financiers. The two of you alone are enough to wipe them off the map.”
“Thank you,” smiled Cordelia.
“My future husband and I will be assisting in that effort. I do believe it will be safer.”
“You are correct in that estimate,” said Cordelia.
In The Eye of a Hurricane, There is Quiet
“Look Tinkerbell, Matt can probably take on a third familiar.”
“He’s supposed to be MINE! And mine alone! And don’t call me Tinkerbell, demon filth!”
“Lynette, Matt really doesn’t like it when she’s called filth. I don’t think-“
“No one CARES what a fallen angel like you thinks!”
“Hey! You don’t get to talk to her like that!”
“Oh please, you’ve known her for all of five minutes.”
“Damn right! And YOU don’t get to talk to her like that!”
“Mara, you’re not helping…”
Matt sighed as he tuned out the arguing going on in the far room. Without using his connection to Mara and Laila, it was now just a bunch of high pitched, loud murmurings in the distance.
Matt smiled to Teriana as she appeared next to him. “Hello, my goddess.”
Teriana’s eyes widened for a moment, as a subtle blush colored her cheeks. “I… really like it when you call me that…”
“That’s why I do it.” Matt smirked, before his amusement fell when he looked at the far room with all the loud arguing.
“May I ask you a personal question?”
“Having a familiar is such an intimate thing. Bonding your soul to another being like that. How are you able to have two, much less consider having a third?”
Matt smiled again, looking at the room. “Honestly? Mara might be sadistic, crazy and more than a little antagonistic but… she’s also loyal and caring. It felt natural before I even knew what a familiar was…”
“I’ve known her most my life. I don’t even care that she’s been lying about being an angel, because she did it to protect me. She’s always been there for me. It just… felt right… Everyone keeps saying I shouldn’t have more than one familiar, but it doesn’t feel like that to me…”
Matt’s eyebrows furrowed. “I don’t know yet. I want to give her a chance, but she isn’t making it easy…”
Matt chuckled and took Teriana’s hand. “I don’t know… Why don’t you tell me about yourself, my goddess?”
First Impressions by Thunder
I left my parents to bicker with the elven court. I didn’t have anywhere in particular to go, just wandering through the palace, trusting the guards would stop me before I entered a restricted area. Or just kill me, which while unfortunate would at least free me from my duties.
Eventually I wandered from the main palace and into a breathtakingly beautiful garden. I rapidly lost track of time and where I was in the maze of plant life, surrounded by endless varieties of ever more fragrant trees and flowers.
I turned one corner, only to be met with a gasp and a splattering of warm red liquid. My hand dropped to my bladeless waist even as I wiped some of the offending liquid- which smelled and tasted of fruit from my face.
I found two elven women standing in a clearing, one dressed in light leather armor and carrying a short blade, the other in servant’s livery manning a small catapult loaded with another fruit. The remnants of several more dotted the grass or redecorated the armed elf’s armor and hair.
“Who are you?” she demanded, raising her blade.
I raised my hands before retrieving a white handkerchief to clean my face, absently noting that the tunic was ruined. “Prince Roren, heir of Vidora.” I gave a shallow bow. “And you are?”
Her face went pale, mortification warring with vindication as she covered her mouth. The servant answered in a haughty tone. “You stand before Princess Lynnara, human.”
Years of etiquette classes failed me. “Oh. Hello?” I responded lamely.
My bride-to-be didn’t answer, instead studying my face while tucking a loose strand of sticky hair behind her ear. She turned to her servant, spouting off a bit of Elvish which sounded like “Could be worse.”
She turned back to me with a forced smile. “Welcome to my home and sparring yard. If you’ll excuse me, I need to get cleaned up.” She bent over, picking up one of the destroyed fruits before stepping past me. “Good meeting you?”
“That went well,” I muttered as she stepped out of sight.
A Day outside the Dreams (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)
“When was he supposed to get here?” Valerie asked.
They sat on the marble steps of some important building, waiting.
“An hour ago,” Wagner checked his watch and sighed. “He’s late.”
“It’s a very delicate operation, give him some time.”
“He was invited to a wedding.”
“It’s Max. He isn’t used to it.”
Wagner blew a loose strand out of his orange eyes. Valerie watched him and tried to suppress a giggle. She like his hair. It was uncannily soft. Not something she expected from a shuck, given that his fur was always so coarse in his bestial form.
“I know you’re watching me,” Wagner said, turning to her.
“Am I?” Valerie grinned.
“Just like every morning. Especially after a particularly wild night.”
She giggled, feeling herself blush.
“You want wild? Next time, I’ll take my blindfold out,” she scooted towards Wagner. “Ever been at it, while the laws of physics become wax in your girlfriend’s hands.”
“I’ve hardly been at it at all,” he said. “You were my first time.”
“Oh, really?” that genuinely surprised her, but she hid it well behind a smile. “Hunky shuck like you? You’re like… werewolf meets cambion.”
“You’ve seen too many movies.”
Wagner’s dark gaze fell on his stomach. Valerie’s smile fell. She knew what he was thinking. Contrary to what most media wanted her to believe, Wagner did not carry a mighty six pack with muscle fibre that could support a small suspension bridge. Under his t-shirt, Valerie could see his gut quite clearly.
“Hey,” she put a hand on his arm. “I’m sorry about the comment. You know that I don’t care either way, right.”
Wagner looked at her.
“I know. Sorry, I’m… not the most secure…”
“I still like you,” Valerie smiled. “Your skin feels warm.”
“The shuck in me…”
Any follow-up was cut short by the arrival of Max. Valerie looked up to greet him, but instead took note of his messier than usual hair, fresh scratches and ripped trousers.
“What the Exile happened to you?”
“The wife was a succubus.”
Both Valerie and Wagner decided not to ask.