The Bride

This sto­ry was writ­ten for the Dark Fairy Queen Writer­ly Bridal Show­er, in hon­or of Anna Meade and Michael Loy’s upcom­ing nup­tials. To the joy­ous cou­ple: May you have an ecsta­t­ic life togeth­er, full of shared sun­sets and fairy dust. And Anna: watch out for Krak­ens!

The bride stepped gin­ger­ly into her wed­ding dress, and two maids care­ful­ly laced the gown up her back. The gown sparkled like the star­ry night above her, aglow with thou­sands of dia­monds sewn into the white thread. She wait­ed patient­ly as the maids attend­ed the dress, lac­ing, smooth­ing, gath­er­ing the long train around her feet. The maids then addressed the glo­ri­ous mane of her hair, tam­ing her wild dark curls. They ran exot­ic oils through her tress­es, till her ringlets shone and shim­mered. With dia­mond-encrust­ed ivory combs they cap­tured her hair atop her head, while way­ward curls framed her alabaster face and spilled down her back. With sweet berry juices they del­i­cate­ly col­ored her full lips, her creamy cheeks.

The wind swirled around her and she looked up to the night sky. A dis­tant howl echoed, and she shiv­ered.

The queen emerged from the shad­ows, and her eyes widened as she regard­ed the bride.

You look glo­ri­ous, my child,” an approv­ing smile curved her blood-red lips.

The bride cast her eyes down­ward, blush­ing.

The queen came towards her, then cir­cled around her, light­ly fuss­ing with her gown, run­ning her taloned fin­gers through her curls. As the queen came round and faced the bride, she gen­tly caressed the bride’s cheek, attempt­ing a com­fort­ing smile.

Are you ner­vous about the wed­ding night?” she purred.

The bride said noth­ing, but trem­bled, her blush deep­en­ing.

The queen leaned in, her lips against the brides ear. The bride could feel her warm, cloy­ing breath as she whis­pered, “There is noth­ing to fear. It will be over before you know it.”

Tears sprung to the bride’s eyes.

You must yield to him,” the queen mur­mured, cap­tur­ing a sin­gle tear on the bride’s cheek with her long, thin fin­ger, “Your body must be whol­ly his. Your skin…” she ran her fin­ger down her cheek, her neck, trac­ing the soft, swelling flesh of her decoutage, “…must be warm. You body must open to him.”

The queen stepped back, leav­ing the bride’s heart pound­ing, her exposed white skin shiv­er­ing.

It is time,” the queen growled to the maids, avert­ing her eyes from the bride.

The maids gen­tly led the bride across the sand, to the cliff that over­looked  the churn­ing ocean. The wind whipped her curls, the salty spray of the sea sting­ing her eyes. Blink­ing the mist from her dark lash­es, she looked up at the night sky, try­ing to swal­low the tears and bile that rose up in her throat.

Paul_Gustave_Dore_AndromedaThe maids pressed the bride’s body rev­er­ent­ly against the rock face, cap­tured her del­i­cate wrists in heavy chains. The ocean waves height­ened, swelled, and her gown was soon soaked by sea water.

The queen came to her once more, her large eyes wet with tears. Cap­tur­ing her face in her hands, the queen plant­ed one last kiss upon the bride’s cheek. The queen closed her eyes, breath­ing in the sweet and salty scent of the bride’s curls, then turned away.

The bride sobbed as the queen dis­ap­peared into the dark­ness.

A deep howl swept across the ocean, echo­ing above the ocean waves which rose high­er and high­er, now lap­ping at her feet. In the dark water, the bride could see an even dark­er shad­ow beneath its sur­face, impos­si­bly huge, trav­el­ling with hor­ri­fy­ing speed towards the cliff.

The bride breathed one last des­per­ate sob, then, at the queen’s behest, relaxed her chained arms, soft­ened her shoul­ders, weak­ened her knees. She yield­ed to her groom, who, with a tri­umphant and deaf­en­ing wail, rose to meet and con­sume her.

Title: The Bride
Author: Christi­na Ramey
eBook: Yes


(Pho­to Cred­it: s0ulsurfing via Comp­fight cc)