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Horror Coming of Age Drama

         This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives.

         Janet and Bill planned and dreamed about this day for quite

some time.

         They both grew up in this small, cotton farming community.

They knew each other in the same grammar school, and later dated

each other during the freshman year at their town’s only high

school.

         Both fell in love during this freshman year.

         “Say, Janet, the junior prom is just three weeks away,” Bill said.

May I have the honor of escorting you to the prom?”

         “Let me think about it for a minute,” Janet replied.

         The hurt on Bill’s face was apparent immediately.

         Five seconds passed.

         “Absolutely!” Janet spurted. “I’ve been hoping that you would

ask me. I already have my dress picked out!”

         It was the same routine for the senior prom the following

year.

         “I’ve already got my tux picked out!” Bill had quipped.

         They both laughed.

         The autumn air was vibrant and exhilarating.      

         They held hands as they walked down the road to approach

the scheduled hayride.

         During the hayride, a young man played his guitar.

         Bill had arranged for the guitar player to sing, “Get Me to the

Church on Time.”

         As the song began, Bill reached into his pocket to pull out a

small silver flask. He opened the lid and offered it to Janet with the

front of the flask facing her.

         She reached up, held it, and took a sip.

         The apple whiskey tasted great and warmed off the evening

chill.

         She passed the flask back to Bill.

         As Bill received it in his hand, he turned the flask around. He

took a sip himself, and then held the flask by the very top.

         The attached note on the flask, now facing Janet, contained a

short question.

         “Will you marry me?”

         Bill acted as if the note wasn’t there.

         Suddenly, Janet calmly spoke, although her heart was

pounding.

         “I’ll need a minute to think about it.”

         The apprehension on Bill’s face was apparent!

         Five seconds passed.

         “Absolutely! I’ve been hoping for a long time that you would

pop the question!” she exclaimed.

         Their fellow hay-riders sensed that something very important

just occurred.

         The date was discussed. They felt that it be best to wait until

September, when the West Texas heat would begin to cool down.

         The date was decided.

         Now, the planning.

         They decided on the wedding party.

         Janet’s younger brother, Aaron, would be the ringbearer.

         Bill’s younger sister would be the flower girl.

         The minister agreed to the selected date.

         Graduation was a celebrated event that went well. No

thunderstorms, no casualties.

         Each of the forty high school graduates had plans of one sort

or another. Some would attend college, a few would join the

military, and some would work on the family cotton farms and later

inherit it as a reward for their efforts.

         Bill was his parent’s only son.

         Bill would work on his family’s cotton farm.

         Bill had three older sisters, and one younger sister.

         All three older sisters lived in different parts of the country.

         Bill had numerous nieces and nephews.

         Janet was the second youngest child of her family. She had

five siblings, four of which now lived in various parts of the

country. Her younger brother, Aaron, was now ten years old. She

loved him dearly. Janet and Bill would have plenty of vacation

destinations at their fingertips.

         The dog days of summer were now behind them, and the

wedding day was rapidly approaching.

         Many of the invited wedding guests would be flying into town

for the festive occasion. A block of twenty rooms had been

reserved at the local motel.

         Janet and Bill decided to have an early get-together at a local

bar and grill on Thursday night for those guests that were local

citizenry.

         On Friday night, an outdoor dinner would be held at Janet’s

parents house, and Bill’s parents would arrange for the caterers.

         Perfect!

         Most folks drove pick-up trucks in this community.

         Bill did not. Bill’s friend, Paul, also did not.

         Bill and Paul would be the relays for to and from the airport.

         Bill drove a large sedan, and Paul drove an old, but sporty,

BMW, with a snapped-off antenna.

         Strangely enough, Paul’s radio somehow still picked up

signals.

         Paul loved his BMW just as most West Texans loved their

pick-up trucks.

         The wedding weekend finally arrived.

         Weather forecasts predicted consistent highs of 107 degrees!

         Thursday night was delightful. Local guests met at the pub

downtown and a great time was had by all!

         Most long-distance guests arrived on Friday. Bill and Paul

made a number of trips to the airport.

         The outdoor dinner went well. The yard was well lit with

colorful lights. The caterers performed in style and delivered a

fabulous barbeque dinner.

         Most of the guests were wrapped up with catching up with

the activities of each over the last decade. Aunts and uncles met

nieces and nephews for the first time.

         “Where is Aaron?’ one guest asked.

         “I don’t know,” Janet replied. “The last time I saw him he was

up in his favorite tree watching for new guest arrivals.”

         “He’ll grow up to be a captain of a cruise ship!” the guest

remarked.

         Five seconds passed.

         The shriek was blood curdling!

         The late arriving guest arrived by taxi.

         She spotted the grizzly site.

         Aaron was impaled on the broken antenna of the old BMW!

He must have lost his footing while up in the tree.

         A doctor was one of the attending guests.

         He was summoned to come quickly.

         Janet collapsed, sobbing and wailing.

         The doctor shook his head to indicate ‘No.’

         “He’s been dead for at least an hour,” the doc said. “It looks

like the antenna pierced his heart. Death would have been almost

instant.”

         The county coroner was called. He arranged for the body to

be picked up by the local funeral home.

         Janet’s mother had to be sedated.

         Many guests were in tears.

         The smiles, laughter and pleasant talk suddenly came to a

screeching halt.

         The evening came to a rapid close.

         Later, Janet’s parents sat together on the couch in a stupor.

         Bill walked on eggshells.

         No one talked.

         Occasionally, someone would start to cry. This would trigger

others to cry, or sob.

         The power of suggestion.

         “What should we do?” Bill asked. “Should we postpone the

wedding?”

         Bill said that he would comply with any wish that would be

suggested.

         “I suggest we go forward as planned,” Janet said. “We have

many guests. You and I want to be married tomorrow. Everything

has been paid for. Many guests have come to celebrate our day at

great expense. We will postpone a honeymoon trip, of course.”

         No comment.

         Silence.

         It was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. Instead,

the day would haunt them for the rest of their lives. Each wedding

anniversary would taunt them.

         “We will proceed as planned,” Bill agreed.

Because by then, it was too late!

November 21, 2020 00:12

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