The Contest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: All Star Story Writers

Chapter 45 (v.1) - THE WEDDING DAY

Submitted: October 11, 2018

Reads: 96

Comments: 2

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Submitted: October 11, 2018

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The great day arrived and, although chilly, it was a lovely crisp sunny day.

“You’re going to need a good breakfast inside you to set you up for the day,” Zilla advised, plonking down a tray laden with food on a table beside me.

“Thank you Zilla, I can always rely on you to look after me.”

“Eemay, it doesn’t seem a minute since you were just a little girl, and now …..”

Too overcome to continue, she stood snivelling, dabbing at the corner of her eyes with a tissue, just as Mum came in carrying my bouquet. A simple, but beautiful arrangement of red roses,

Mum gave Zilla one of her disapproving glares. “What’s with the tears Zilla, there’s nothing to cry about, it’s a celebration.”

“I’m OK, just got a bit emotional, you know how fond I am of Eemay.”

In an attempt to pacify Zilla, I chipped in. “Ignore Mum Zilla, you should have seen her when I tried on my wedding gown, she howled her eyes out.”

“Eemay, I am your mother.”

And Eemay is like the child I never had,” Zilla declared.

Despite her earlier bravado, it was now Mum who dissolved into tears and, like long lost lovers running towards each other, they embraced, united in their fond memories and heightened emotions.

“I thought this was supposed to be a celebration, seems more like a funeral to me. Besides, get real, I was an absolute brat!”

They began to laugh, blinking away their tears.

“Right,” I said. “No more crying, that’s an order.”

Pen arrived, breathless and in a panic. “Sorry I’m late, I overslept.”

“You’re actually the first one here, so calm down.”

“When is the hairdresser due,” she asked, nonchalantly flicking perfectly manicured fingers through her long blonde hair.

“She should be here by now, so you can go straight down if you like. After the disaster I had before the Ball, I’ve decided to do my own hair and makeup.”

“Why don’t I help you?” Pen offered.

“No Pen, if you don’t mind, I’d rather do it myself.”

While Pen left to get her hair done, I seated myself in front of the dressing table, ready to declare war on my own.

After blasting it with ‘frizz out’ spray, the very latest, scientifically developed, clinically proven, beautifully perfumed product that guarantees to ‘zap that frizz’, I then blow dried it, straightened it and wound it into springy ringlets, before finally adding ‘shine on’ finishing serum. I have to say I was delighted with the result, having successfully transformed my obstinate frizz into a mane of lustrous dark curls that danced around my shoulders. Then it was on to my makeup. After applying a generous layer of the latest foundation, guaranteed to cover zits and other imperfections that the camera would otherwise reveal in all their red and angry glory, my complexion looked flawless. With the addition of some subtle blusher, waterproof eye liner and mascara (just in case I might burst into tears at some point during the ceremony), and a coating of my favourite lip gloss, my makeover was complete.

Mum had left to get changed, just as Grace, Tash, Francesca, Lea and Katy arrived, giggling and buzzing with excitement, before descending on the poor hairdresser.

With the help of Zilla, I changed into my wedding gown. Standing in front of the full-length mirror, I barely recognised myself.

“You look absolutely beautiful,” Zilla gushed, handing me my veil and tiara, before, once again, bursting into tears.

“Zilla, I’m ready now, so its time you went to get changed.”

“Well, if you’re sure you don’t need me.”

“No, you’ve been marvellous, just go and get yourself ready.”

She hesitated for a moment, before reluctantly leaving me alone.

A short while later, before leaving for the Abbey, Mum and Granny came to see me. Mum, in her usual understated way, looked a vision of loveliness in a cream, straight, knee length fitted dress and matching coat. A cream fascinator in her immaculate short fair hair, emphasised her perfect elfin features. Granny, on the other hand, looked like a walking flower bed in full bloom, her chosen outfit, a riotous pattern of colourful flowers. Perched on top of her trademark blue rinsed frizz was a pill box hat that, to me, looked exactly like a flower pot!

They both stood there, staring at me. “Don’t even think about it. No more tears,” I ordered.

After swallowing hard, they each gave me a final hug.

Mum whispered in my ear. “I am so proud of you.”

Then it was Granny’s turn. “If that young man ever upsets you, he’ll have me to answer to,” she said, waving her knobbly fist menacingly in the air, her small dark eyes flashing under her frizzy fringe.

“Go on, it’s time you both left, I’ll see you later.” I watched them both leave, Mum dignified and graceful, Granny, eccentric and extravagant, but I loved them equally.

Just then, Pen burst through the door, her golden hair stunning in a sophisticated swept up ‘do’, quickly followed by the other girls, all having been suitably preened and lacquered.

“OMG, you look amazing,” Pen gasped, her hand covering her mouth.

“Hey everyone, have you seen Emm, she looks gorgeous.”

After a chorus of ooohs and arrrhs, they all changed into their long, straight, strapless black satin bridesmaid dresses. With bands of tiny red roses in their hair and carrying matching posies, they looked sensational.

I had insisted that Nettie be included in the bridal procession, referring to her as my little ‘dogmaid’. She meant so much to both of us, it would have been wrong to leave her out. So, with her shiny black coat, washed and trimmed for the occasion, and wearing a red collar embossed with tiny roses, she matched the bridesmaid’s outfits perfectly, and Tash had jumped at the opportunity to lead her down the aisle.

After tapping on the door and enquiring if everyone was ‘decent’, Pop came in, appearing visibly shocked and lost for words, turning quickly away in an attempt to hide the tears that welled in his eyes.

“Not you as well,” I said, laughing.

Pen reassured him. “It’s OK, she’s having that effect on all of us.”

Edward tapped on the door and entered. “The carriages are ready and waiting,” he said, with his usual respect (and aroma).

Horse drawn carriages, which for many years had been kept on show in the Cyberia Royal Museum, had been dusted down and brought out for the grand occasion

The bridesmaids and Nettie all left for the Abbey with Edward, taking with them their bubbling excitement and constant chatter, leaving an ominous silence in their wake.

With his hands resting on my shoulders and his dark eyes full of concern, Pop broke the silence. I know we have put you under enormous pressure to find your prince, but I’m telling you now Eemay, if you have any doubts at all, it’s not too late to call the whole thing off.”

I smiled up at him. “Don’t worry Pop, I’m marrying Scott because I want to. Surely even you must know by now, you could never, ever get me to do anything I didn’t want to do.”

“That’s my girl!”

We made our way down to the courtyard where our horse drawn carriage waited to take us to the Abbey. Calista and Sempron looked magnificent, their coats shining brilliantly in the bright sunshine as they stood proud and royal, their heads held high, as if they sensed the importance of the occasion and their pride at being part of it.

Looking dapper in top hat and tails, Pop took his seat beside me in the carriage, as we set off slowly and sedately on our journey to the Abbey.

Approaching the wide road leading directly up to the Abbey, I was both shocked and thrilled to see crowds lining the pavements on either side. I waved back at the throng of smiling faces, who responded with deafening cheers, surging forward to get a closer look. It took a wall of police officers to hold them back, so that we could proceed on our journey.

At the Abbey, the bridesmaids were waiting for our arrival in the bright, crisp sunshine, eager to help me out of the carriage.

Standing patiently at the entrance to the Abbey with Pop, ready to make our way down the aisle, it all seemed surreal. I noticed Nettie sitting quite still, looking round her, taking it all in. As I turned to give a final wave to the crowd gathered behind me, a loud cheer erupted in appreciation.

Arm in arm with my proud father, we stood poised and ready. Pen, as chief bridesmaid stood directly behind us, followed by the others and, of course, my little dogmaid. To music that filled the entire Abbey, we began our slow rhythmic walk down the aisle, with smiling guests straining their necks for a glimpse, as we passed by.

Scott turned round, and as our eyes locked, he took his place beside me.

“You look breath-taking,” he whispered.

I beamed up at him, noticing his tear filled eyes. Behind us, we heard Nettie give an eager little bark, making us both giggle.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hugh was sitting in a chair at his bedside in the Hospital Unit of Cyber Prison. His recovery was slow, he still needed assistance to walk, and felt very depressed at his physical state, particularly as he had always been so athletic and fit. He found it hard to sleep at night, and when he did, suffered strange and vivid nightmares, that left him permanently anxious and agitated. Consequently he always felt tired and listless.

“Would you like a cup of coffee Hugh,” the nurse asked, pushing her trolley through the ward.

“Hugh, did you hear me?”

He looked up at her through tired, red rimmed eyes. “If you like,” he said distractedly.

“You are down in the dumps today. Shall I turn the television on, it might help to lift your mood?” Without waiting for his reply, she grabbed the remote and began flicking through the channels. Unaware of Hugh’s previous involvement with the Princess, she suddenly gushed with excitement. “Oh, I forgot, it’s the royal wedding today. You can’t beat a good wedding to cheer you up,” she said, repositioning the television so that he could get a better view. “There you are, sit back and enjoy.”

As he looked up at the screen, intense jealousy sliced through him like a knife, causing him to shake violently. He felt physically sick at the sight of Eemay and Scott repeating their solemn marriage vows to each other. He desperately wanted to look away, but found his eyes riveted to the screen, watching in horror as they were pronounced man and wife.

He glared enviously at Eemay’s beautiful face, revealed from under her veil, and as Scott bent down to tenderly kiss his new bride, a blood-curdling howl filled the ward, terrifying the other patients and shocking the nurses.

From somewhere deep inside him, he gathered renewed strength and energy, heaving the television high above his head and throwing it towards the window with such force, the panes shattered, sending vicious shards of glass flying through the air, scattering everyone in the vicinity, who were now screaming in terror.

Hugh continued his tirade, trashing the ward, throwing anything he could lay his hands on. Jugs of water, false teeth, chocolates, baskets of fruit and an assortment of books and magazines went flying through the air. He began furiously kicking over chairs and overturning lockers, his face ugly and contorted with rage, when two strong prison officers calmly approached him and, grabbing an arm each, marched him unceremoniously from the ward, while nurses cowered in fright, and patients took refuge under their beds.

Hugh was locked in a cell until his fury had subsided.

Fortunately, there had been only one casualty. Vilelet, who was now serving a prison sentence for cymail hacking, had been struck by a shard of glass and was now lying prostrate and dazed on the floor, surrounded by prison wardens.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As we emerged from the Abbey as man and wife, the roar from the crowd was deafening.

“Kiss, kiss, kiss” the crowd insisted in a deafening chant. When we obliged, they went wild, cheering, shouting, whooping and clapping.

We climbed into the waiting open carriage for the ride back to the palace, with Nettie sitting proudly between us, her little domed head held high, obviously enjoying her moment of public adoration.

Just as we were being showered with confetti and rose petals, Scott suddenly asked for the carriage to be brought to a halt and, jumping out, released Calista from her harness

“Would my wife care to join me?” Scott asked, taking my hand and helping me down the carriage steps. Before I knew it, I was scooped up and sitting side-saddle on Calista’s back. With Nettie on my lap, he took the reins and proceeded to weave us through the crowds as we made our way back to the palace, pausing to shake hands and thank everyone for their kind wishes along the way. It was just magical and I did not want it to end. We were both completely overwhelmed by the support and affection shown to us, and it took hours before we finally got back to the palace, late for our own wedding reception, where the celebrations continued until the early hours of the morning.

The following day, the Cyber Chronicle included a commemorative feature of the “Royal Wedding”, including some amazing, and for once, very flattering photographs, hot off the press.

At mid-day, we emerged relaxed, happy and smiling for the waiting cameras, before being whisked away to the station to board the Cyberstar, to a surprise honeymoon destination.

To add to the celebrations, I had miraculously managed to get top grades in my final exams, and had been offered a place at Cyberia University to continue my education. Scott didn’t hesitate. “Emm, you have to accept, if you don’t, you could regret it for the rest of your life.”

“Scott, thanks for your support, but I’ve already made my mind up. I’m determined to work hard and succeed, and I don’t see why being married should stop me.”

“Couldn’t agree more. brains, beauty and determination, I’m one lucky man.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hugh remained locked in a cell at Cyber Prison. A functional enamel tray containing his breakfast was pushed through a hatch.

“Morning Hugh,” the Prison Warden said, through a small grille in the door, I hope you’ve calmed down. That was quite a scene you put on yesterday. Is there anything I can get you?”

Hugh did not reply, and soon heard the echo of the warden’s steps as he walked back along the empty corridor.

His breakfast remained untouched and, although he was still feeling greatly disturbed and anxious, he had absolutely no recollection of what had happened.

As he distractedly picked up the newspaper, his memory soon came flooding back. There on the front page were photographs of Scott and Eemay smiling back.at him.

He began to sob, deep racking uncontrollable sobs, as the consequence of his devious plot slowly dawned on him. Although he was still young, his future was bleak. Unless a miracle happened he knew that Cyber Prison would remain his home for the foreseeable future.

It’s strange, but I would do it all over again he thought, beginning to smile insanely, before breaking into wild deranged laughter, that grew louder and louder, echoing eerily around the stark corridors of the Prison.

The End


© Copyright 2020 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.

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