A cold plate of gruesome gruel...
| "Wedding Day"-by Danny Wayne Evans
The young boy sat at the top of the stairs, listening as his grandma and aunt talked about his mom.
"It's a damn, dirty shame of what she's doing to this family, what with her husband being in the ground not even a year; yet already marrying again."
"There, there," his aunt Elizabeth cooed to her mother. "We all know it's only been just a year. Who knew she was gonna find a husband so soon, when she went to Casino with some of the insurance money. You know how impatient she is."
"It's just not right, what she's doing to her son. He's just turning eight; now he's got to get used to another man being "Daddy". Hmph! It's just so fishy the way Ralph died, but I guess stranger things have happened..."
The little boy, the epitome of patience, crept quietly closer to the edge.
"Yes.", Elizabeth sighed. She thought of how, when they were all younger, she wanted to bed Ralph down first; she only had to wait a year after he and her sister to marry, to accomplish just that. She remembered the first time he looked at her with those brilliant, crystal-clear blue eyes he had; of how she wanted to just melt to the floor, every time he looked her in the eyes.
The little boy, feeling he was intruding on some dark, adult topic; back away from the stairs, went quietly to his room, and went back to bed...
The young boy's eyes flew open into the darkness. He rubbed at them, trying to shake the sleep from them, then he realized in horror that he was outside; he was outside; at the graveyard, the graveyard where his father was buried.
"Joey, come to me."
His feet, of their own volition, began to stagger forward through what looked like a blue-grey lit fog; walking him ever closer, closer where he would never go; closer to his father's grave. He closed his eyes tightly, with his head down, as not to see where his feet were leading him; where he knew, inexorbiently, where they must go; to the tombstone of his father.
"Joey. Look at me, son."
"Don't want to, Daddy..."
The boy open his eyes just a peek, only to see that part of the blue-grey fog had assembled itself above him, just to reach down and lift his head. He sqiunced his eyes even more tighter, then; he felt if he look at that fog anymore, he would scream, and scream, and scream; until they found him the next morning, still screaming here in the clutches of the hands in the land of the dead.
"SON, I TOLD YOU TO LOOK AT ME!"
The boy's eyes then snapped open, and saw what was gonna make him scream so bad, but it was even more worse than he could imagine. His father was sitting on top of the tombstone, but he flickered in and out; as if he was a badly transmitted T.V. picture. One minute, he was there, seemingly, to float above the tombstone about six inches; the next, it was as if only half of him was being broadcast from whatever unknown he was being sent from; his feet were in the ground, it seemed like, up to his ankles. It not only hurt his eyes to see his father like this, it hurt his mind.
"Joey, I told you I would see you again." The apparition smiled, but it seemed more like a grimace; as if he was still feeling the pain of his fall that snapped his neck like a brittle twig. "There's gonna be some brutally, awful business tomorrow, and I don't want you to be a part of it. None whatsoever." His father shifted his hips, as if to get a better seat. "So that's why I'm here, to make sure you don't."
Like a flash, his father was before him. And as he reached down to touch his son's face, it felt as if the heat of the sun's surface gained ever closer, ever closer; yet with the touch of his hand, it was cold, oh, so cold, it was positively brittle. He looked into his father's eyes, which seem to grow, and to grow; until it filled the whole of the boy's universe. And as his father's frantic, insane laughter filled his ears, the young boy began to scream, and to scream, and to scream...
They found him the next day, curled in a fetal position on top of his father's grave, and still he screams.
The minister looked out over the congregation, proud of himself for insuring that this day had went so well with this wedding. He knew most were here not to witness a wedding, but to see, and to see, and to be seen. He thought this thought with a grimace, which he quickly replaced with a false smile; a smile that seem to hide all secrets; not only of his own, but of the whole world's sins. He had hoped there would be no trouble, this day; but beside the whicker whisper of the gossips here and there, he had steered his congregation clear of all such volitile subjects. Yet the most important of all questions still remained, and he felt a small terrible fear of trepidation; as if a rat was subtly eating away at the soft underside of his stomach. But what could he, as the leader of the church, do, except perform his solemn duty? Sometimes, being a leader of wayward sheep just seem to not be fair. And with that, he girded up his loins, pronounced the question, and sealed all their doom.
"If any among you now have any objection to these two being wedded, speak now, or forever hold your peace."
Aside for the birdwing flutter of the gossips sighs, gladly, thought the preacher, none had voices for their opposition.
"Then, by the power invested in me, I now pronounce..."
"I HAVE AN OBJECTION!"
And with that, the voyuer doors slammed open, and smashed into the walls adjacent with such force, the doors splintered into a thousand pieces; fell to the floor.
All heads turned to see who had spoken. All mouths screamed when they saw what shambled into view.
The creature lolled into the room, his head falling from side to side on his broken neck. "Inez." the thing spoke with the gravel of voices. "I told you I would see you again before the year was OUT!"
A drop of something wet dripped from it's mouth. When it hit the floor, it splashed and began the grave rot that speedily began to race in all directions.
The people, frantic now to just get away, get away, just to get away; found that they could not; for the rot had already spead to the floor underneath their feet, and was now climbing inexorbiently up their legs with such pain, the screams now turned into the cacaphony of damned souls in torment.
The thing now lurched down the aisle toward the waiting bride, griining through a corpse's face. The man she was going to marry had, alas!, just seemingly rotted away at her side; yet, strangely, she was untouched, she was white and light, and she was about to die.
The thing who was her husband that had died, and lo, had arisen again, shot out an arm that encircled her waist. "Honey, I told you I would always love you." And as he bent down to kiss his wife, gases and a spew of maggots shot into her mouth, and she wanted to scream, she had to scream, SHE MUST SCREAM!, but she could not; all she could get out was a strangled "OOOOOOOGH! OOOOOOOGH!"; as her mouth was filled with things that squirmed, much like his tongue that squirmed into her mouth; the kiss that now pronounced that they were, now once again, man and wife.
It was all quiet in the graveyard, except at where Ralph had been buried. Underneath the freshly turned ground, the moans of a woman in terror and little screams of intense pain seem to issue muffled by the dirt; the honeymoon of the damned. Presently, all became quiet, except the low murmer of the whispering wind through the trees; which sounded so much like dead souls muttering sobs of deep regret; yet the wind seem not to touch the blue-grey litten fog that issue forth and spill out in all directions across the ground.
Authr's note: Of couse, the whole of this NEVER reached the newspaper contest. This was one of those stories that just seem to keep hovering about my head, like one of those bothersome gnats you never seem to be able to just shoo away. I mean, once concieved, this story DEMANDED that it be written, yet I could never get it done the way I wanted to do it. This story kept growing in my mind, and what you now see is the complete, unexpurgiated item. I have to admit, in typing this one, I felt like some damned, evil rock organist, piping out a horror of a tune; onto a shocked and unprepared world. Oh well, once your eyes are opened, you can never close them again... Enjoy! AH-hahahahaha!-D.W.E.