Nightmare Bride

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 30, 2017

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Submitted: October 30, 2017

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Nightmare Bride

Ronan Campbell felt as though he was the luckiest man in the world. He stood waiting at the front of the church with his best friend, and Best Man, Andrew. Of course he felt nervous. What groom didn’t? But he had waited a long time for Kaitlin to say yes.

There was quite a crowd gathered to watch the exchange of vows, and no doubt to enjoy the reception party after. He and Kaitlin would be attending. They would not be leaving on their honeymoon until the weekend. It felt strange to be standing in front of so many eyes, just waiting for the moment of the bride’s arrival. He could see Andrew felt uncomfortable too, but at least he knew they both looked the part.

A hushed silence, then the music beginning, told him that Kaitlin had arrived. He kept facing forwards. Someone, he couldn’t remember who, had told him it was bad luck to turn back to glimpse the bride until she arrived by his side. Not really a superstitious man, but not wanting to tempt fate either, he did not look round.

He listened to the approaching rustle of silk and lace, the tap of her heels, only when she stood beside him did he take a glimpse towards her. They took their vows solemnly. Was it unusual for the bride not to lift her veil for this. Whatever, perhaps Kaitlin was shy about standing in front of such a large crowd, he didn’t mind.

And then the moment that everyone waited for with their ooohs and aaaahs. “I now pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride.”

Kaitlin reached down, flung back her veil and offered her lips for his kiss. Except there were no lips, not even any skin, just bone and the empty eye-sockets of a skeleton. He shouted, pulled away but found himself held hard against that grotesque mouth.

Why was everyone cheering? Andrew slapped him on the back, jokingly encouragingly, as Ronan felt his very life being sucked away by that.....thing.

* * * * *

Ronan sat up in bed. It was a dream. Nothing more than a stupid nightmare. He took in some deep breaths, filling his lungs, slowing down his racing heartbeat.

And there was Kaitlin asleep beside him, her long blonde hair flowing out on to his pillow. He allowed himself to breathe in her scent, but did not want to wake her. How could he ever confess to how scared he had just felt.

Instead he lay there and let himself remember. The wedding had gone smoothly, not one hiccup, or snag. The sun had shone for the photographs and the champagne had flowed at the reception. They had cut the cake together, keeping up the tradition and had danced and drunk the night away. No wonder he had such a nightmare. Too many mixed drinks and over-rich food always seemed to be a recipe for disaster so far as his mind went.

He turned slightly towards his new wife, stroked her hair gently, then let his hand drift down to her shoulders, her back. How thin she had become? There had been a lot of stress in her life lately but now things would be so much better.

She stirred gently beside him, so carefully he removed his hand and closed his eyes. He allowed himself to drift into that half asleep, half awake state, barely conscious of her turning over to face him.

“I love you, Ronan,” Kaitlin said.

“I love you, too, Kait!”

Ronan opened his eyes only to find himself staring into the eyes of a skeleton intent on sucking his very life away. He did not even get the chance to scream before her mouth firmly latched on to his.


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