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Written in response to: Write a story about a wedding photographer.... view prompt

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Adventure Crime Fantasy

She bent over to take a closer look at the teardrop shaped jewel that lie on the carpet to the left of her rather muddy rubber boots. This country, man, the mud just sticks to ya, stains your brightest, keeps its pulverized life fresh on your skin.

Upon closer inspection, she determined it was nothing more than a tiny shred of onion skin. Earlier, she peeled onions. The little paper of life must have wanted a journey.

She forgot all about the teapot on the stove. Booted and suited, she fumbled the knob to the creaky door back and forth, yanked and shoved, cursed and quieted, until she could fling out in to the light of a setting sun. Mother hasn’t once asked brother his status, yet she’s all sorts of up about mine.

Mattie enjoyed exactly one moment in the setting sun when the teapot throated its trill and caused her to pivot rubber boots from the West outside to the East within. She marched in to the kitchen. She put tea in a cup. The water sure sounds pissed about leaving the confines of the teapot.

Hot cup in hand, she marched back to the door and felt affronted by it all over again. A door should never be this difficult to open!

He comes barreling around the corner, determined to catch the dog so fast in front of him, so fast it barely registers to Mattie’s eyes initially. He’s so handsome. She pauses to flash her love at the beam of his back before it disappears down the trail between the sea-fed trees. It’s so good to be in love!

The lawn chair sat waiting for her, empty but bright in the light of the sun setting. No, not empty, there were a little pile of oak leaves boasting spotted wasp galls. She picked up a ball and was surprised to find it attached to the leaf. The ball felt hollow to her, not spongy like she’d expected from the similarly shaped and previously felt mushroom puffballs of her past. These balls were hollow, almost pink in their purple-skin shade and nearly light black on their freckled facade. She put the leaf on the ground next to the chair. She scooped up the rest of the leaves and put them on the ground, too. There, now my butt is dialed!

She sat heavily in the chair and sipped her tea. A kettle of nighthawks whistled their strange wing noises as they swooped down, over, wildly around the sky to presumably catch bugs. Mattie couldn’t see what they were actually doing. For all she knew, the nighthawks could eat nothing and just spend every evening diving down for the sheer joy of listening to their own whistling wings. I’m so glad you followed me home after the burn.

He appeared long enough to hand her the envelope and chicken kiss her face. She giggled and blew kisses at his back, for already he was heading off, away to another task. I have cold feet when I leave you, babe, and hot feet when I return.

She folded the little brads towards each other, lifted the flap, plucked the pictures from the envelope. She liked taking pictures of rehearsals. Angle, lighting, people reading…these were all bits of knowledge she preferred to have before shooting the “big day.” At the third photo, she paused. Dude in front must be the dad, maybe engaged in friendly chat with brother? What’s going on in the background there? Are they….are they fighting?

Mattie tucked her dirty blonde dreadlock behind her right ear and paused her chin on her hand, red nails tapping at her temple, elbow digging in to her knee. She felt an electric shock of anxiety zap at her little soft space between the cages of her ribs. She fanned all of the pictures out on the ground in front of her and made all her choices. I better go to bed. Could be a dramatic-more-than-usual kind of day tomorrow.

Scott was propped up on his elbow watching Pete chase his tail. Mattie peered over Scott’s shoulder, watching the crazy mini-pit expel some of his energy before being left alone in space for what will seem to his little doggy brain like days and days. Later he gives them both a forlorn look through the glass of the sliding door as they make moves to leave. Scott opens the door easily. Mattie gets halfway to the car before remembering the camera. She turns to go back. The raindrops clung to the grass. The sun shining on the drops made them shimmer like jewels. The more stuff water has to cling to, the slower life flows. She was careful not to shut the door until she was ready. No extra struggles today.

She paused mid-click, wondering if this was really the kind of moment anyone would ever want captured on their wedding day. The two ladies she had seen in the background of an otherwise delightful picture, the two ladies with twisted up faces that looked to be shouting to each other, the two ladies were apparently sisters…and they just made those faces at each other again… The minister had just asked the question. Mattie’s mouth was just as agape as everyone else. She looked over at Scott, he locked all his eyes with hers, they shared the incredible discomfort together. Is this really happening?

The bride was typically breathtaking. Her hair was a mass of pink and blue curls, her dress scales of iridescent jewels, her mermaid tail balancing her perfectly upon the wave. The groom looked ridiculously handsome. His massive beard and ‘stache floated around his face in a way that made the sea foam and clouds merge seamlessly to his face. The trident-holding minister was even haloed by a massive rainbow, whale spouts framing the halo, giant frigate birds swirling above the rising waves. Little frogs leapt luridly on the beach beneath feet previously unknown. A wedding of any Merperson’s dreams, to be sure. Then the black snake of her sister hisses it all in to a dark, hideous day.

Did you know cheating on your partner is like unintended ravishment? I mean, who knows what’s been hanging out in Allison’s koochie-clam, who’s been shredding that gnar, who has taken from him and given to you? How many squiddies are stuck in her suck sack?! And now you’re just gonna marry this dishonest doodle Jenny? After all I’ve swam for you!

Mattie squirmed in her extreme discomfort, evenly shed a layer of skin, and helped Scott to navigate around the whole pile of it as they rushed to leave. They knew there would never be an ocean big enough to swallow the shame of such a worded accusation. For perhaps the first time in her career, Mattie noped out.  

May 03, 2022 09:18

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