Friday, April 25, 2008

Left at the Altar

Prompt from The Writer's Block by Jason Rekulak:
Write about a wedding during which a bride or groom changes their mind.

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"Where is Lori?"

Damia looked at their mother and rolled her eyes. Lori had tried to tell mother last night she didn't want this dynastic handfasting but when Carol Raven doesn't wish to hear bad news... Well, ignorance is bliss.

"You know as well as I do mother, she didn't want this. She told you and told you. But you wouldn't let her out of it."

"She ran?"

"Wouldn't you?"

Carol looked her up and down. "You wouldn't have."

"But I wasn't given the option. Was I?"

Damia glanced toward the altar where Trevor Falcon paced. Periodically, he glanced over at his mother who was actually biting her spectacular claws. Anyone who went to the expense of having her nails manicured really should chew on something else when they were nervous...like the furniture.

With a sigh, Damia settled into one of the chairs near the beautifully ornamented altar. For some reason the Falcons were adamant that one of their own must commit to a Raven. Today. She didn't know what the issue was, but if the scowl on Trev's face was any indication, it was big. The Goddess knew she would have accepted Trev in an instant but he'd taken one look at Lori and decided she was the one. Men were such idiots.

"You know where she is. I'm sure of it."

She jumped,looking from her clenched hands to Trev's angry amber eyes. "I don't."

"She's your sister. You must have some idea."

"Why aren't you grilling my mother?"

"Because she wouldn't know a clue if it walked up and introduced itself."

"Well really!" Carol hissed. "And you would? She's been your fiancee for three months. Surely you've had at least one conversation. Didn't you realize she was unhappy?"

Trev tightened his jaw so hard, Damia expected to hear his teeth grind. Why on heaven or earth he wanted to marry into their clan she had no idea, but she was glad his attention moved away from her.

"No, Carol. I did not." He turned to look at his mother, raising his eyebrows. She shrugged, nodded her head in Damia's direction. He sighed, then reluctantly nodded. He turned to Damia. "You'll have to do."

"Do what?"

"I need a mate and you're it. If we can't find your sister, it's your duty to fulfill this contract."

"Now wait just a minute buster..."

He grabbed her hand, dragging her to the altar and the High Priest standing there. "We're ready."

The High Priest frowned at Trev then turned gravely to Damia. "Are you willing to complete this handfasting ceremony in your sister's absence?"

"As her proxy, you mean?"

"No, as the bride."

Damia's jaw dropped, turning to look up at Trev. "You're joking right?"

"I'm not joking, Damia."

Damia laughed.

"This is no laughing matter."

"I'm well aware of that, Trev. Why me? Just wait for Lori to come back and make up with her."

"I need a Raven bride before sundown and you're the only marriagable Raven woman here so I'll marry you."

"This is insane."

"The contract specifies a Raven bride. It doesn't name Lori."

"But you picked Lori."

"Now, I'm picking you."

"Trev, you are such a jerk."

"I know. We only need to stay handfasted for a year and a day."

"I can stay here?"

"No, we must live together. It's...required."

"Why?"

"It just is." He finally met her gaze, running his large hand through his thick black hair. "Look, I'm sorry. But I have to do this."

"Live together? Is that all?"

He looked away. "If that's all you want."

"It is. I'm not going to be your substitute for Lori." She laughed bitterly. "Goddess knows I bear no resemblance to her."

Lori was tall, willowy and blond. Gorgeous. The worst part was that not only was her sister a beauty on the outside, but on the inside too. Sensitive. Sweet. Damia had never been able to compete on any level.

"No, you don't look like her and I'm not asking you to be her."

Damia met his gaze again. She had to be the stupidest woman on the planet, but at least the Ravens and the Falcons lived in different cities. Different states. She could do this. She should. She'd just gotten "downsized" at work and she hadn't told her mother yet. Now she wouldn't have to.

"All right. For a year and a day. No more. And we have separate bedrooms."

"Agreed."

Damia's lips twisted. Yeah, he was probably thrilled about that particular condition. But no way was she going to be a duty screw. She turned to face the High Priest and held out her hand.

"Okay, tie us up and get this thing done."

2 comments:

  1. Just had to comment that I noticed you were using a prompt from the Writer's Block. It's one of my favorite writing books -- totally fabulous for stretching my writing skills.

    Chloe

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  2. Hi Chloe,
    Yes, I just discovered The Writer's Block when I went shopping after my IRN meeting in April. It is a real jump starter! Thanks for posting!

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