Chapter 1:

Pride Cometh Before the...Well, Not Pride, But What? Stupidity? Yeah, That's It. Stupidity Cometh...Eh, You Get The Rest.

I'm Engaged! ...To Death's Designated Thread Cutter

The world is a cruel place.  

A cliche.  An overblown statement written by an overblown wannabe writer on a scrap page littered with crayon streaks.  

Well.  So, what?  Cliches are cliches because of frequent use, frequent acknowledgement, because a certain part of our brain turns to those familiar statements.

Why?  Short answer: Truth.  Because we all return to truth.  When we fall.  When we scrape our knee and are embraced by sadness and tears we are drawn to a longing for relief and the sweet kiss of our mother upon our forehead.


"Trixie.  Trixie?"  A familiar female voice cuts off my thought process.  I turn to see my friend Samantha (though we call her Antha).  She is often the one to break me out of my drunken stupor-esque thought processes.  I have yet to figure out if I dislike her for that.

How did these thoughts fall upon me anyway?  

An old male voice booms:  "You may kiss the bride!"

Oh right.  I slightly wrinkle my nose.  In part, out of disgust for the current events and in part to stave off the irritation of the damp salty air as it flies up my nostrils.  What a location for a wedding.  The tippy-top of a cliff overlooking the vast ocean.  High enough that to fall off would be an inarguable sentence to instant death, and yet somehow not so high as to entirely nullify the intense sound of waves crashing across jagged rocks.  I'm just letting myself be annoyed though.  In reality the waves are only mildly disruptive, like someone's watching the start of a Toei movie on loop from the backrow.

By the way, this isn't my wedding.  It never is.  After all, that would make me appear to be quite the cynic.  Annoyingly so.  No, I am a bridesmaid.  Adorned in the tacky pink and frilly dress selected by the overlord...excuse me...bride, I stand amid my miniature legion of five similarly dressed maidens.  Together we stand as a single unit, seemingly identical and united guardians of something or other, but I am unique in one glaring and annoying way.  

I am unmarried.  No, wait.  Two ways!

I am also single.  No, three!

Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.  I'm also a virgin.  I think this thought while rolling my eyes as I consider it to be my greatest disgrace as a woman and as a human being.  My eyes roll so hard that I wonder briefly if I was noticed doing it, but I suddenly don't give a frick as the lips of my friend Della meet the lips of her husband.  I couldn't tell you his name if you gave me a million and two tries.

The kiss lingers, although it very well may have only lasted a split second and a half, to me it feels like an eternity.  My restrained frustration makes me squeeze the flowers in my hand just a tad tighter than normal.  The crunch of the stems might as well be my psyche slowly cracking as I watch the fateful first steps into a life that can never be mine.

"Beautiful isn't it?"  Samantha whispers to me again.  I wonder what prompts her to say this to me when I feel a bit of wetness dribble down my cheek. Yeah, sounds about right.  I prepare myself to respond.  Maybe with a casual 'yep, sure is.'  Just a short enough phrase that I can keep my voice from breaking in sorrow as I say it.  The first syllable does not even pass my lips when Samantha wraps her right arm around my waist and takes the hand she is using to hold her flowers and softly graps my two balled up fists that were (less subtly than I thought) squeezing my bouquet.  She strokes my hand and I can hear the faint sound of 'It's alright,' 'you're okay,' 'your day will come' as her head lies against my upper arm.  Bless her heart.  How short she is.  How sweet.  If only I were gay.  But I'm not, and I guess I don't really want to be.  I just want to be--

My friend, the bride, Della, returns again for another kiss.  They cannot get enough of each other.

--married.  No, in love.  No...


I wipe the tears from my eyes with my right hand, or right wrist rather, as the other one is currently preoccupied with Samantha's calming ritual (as I like to call it).  The first image to my unblurried eyes is of Della's back to me, as she flings the bouquet in her hand over her shoulder for the bridesmaids to catch.  

The cornucopia of flowers floats in the air, seemingly in slow motion.  I hear the varied screams of the other bridesmaids, likely all clamoring to get their claws on a superstition.  I look to both my left and right.  None are moving.  Oh, right.  I'm the only one that is not married.  There's no point in them trying to catch the bouquet.  A part of me wishes that they were not so gracious.  I guess because I want the catch of the bouquet to be somewhat earned.  Less like I'm being thrown a bone.  I instinctively reach for the bouquet when I feel a tug on my arm.  It is Samantha.  She is more tightly clinging to me.  She says something, no, yells something to me.  But others are yelling and I can't tell what she's saying.

I see.  Nobody wants me to be happy.  That's right.  There always has to be one black sheep among the wedding procession.  The scape goat.  The pitied.  The 'oh, bless Bellatrix Lupensia, she has yet to be married.'  Chuckle...chuckle...chuckle.

The bouquet is now directly above my head.  At its apex, it is ready to make its descent onto the ground, and return its superstition, its power, to the earth.  I can't let that happen.

I sneer at Samantha.  Her eyes grow wide in surprise and her grip loosens.  I pull my arms away from her furiously and feel a small scratch from her manicured nails.  Just one scratch from one nail, but enough to draw blood, enough to make me feel pain.  The bouquet is still going.  I jump.  I reach for it.  People scream.  I off the edge of the cliff.


The bouquet was in my hand.