Wednesday, 17 April 2013

In The Sight of God - A Short Story

  • Title: In The Sight of God
  • Author: Cory John Eadson
  • eBook: Yes

It was as if the world wasn't ending.

The Church hall glistened in the sunlight, golden rays beaming proudly through the grand arch windows. Assorted guests chattered excitedly in the polished pews, the only clue to recent catastrophes expressed by the slightly torn and tattered state of their clothes.

Hurst stood at the front of the hall before the Reverend and his stand, his head held high and proud as he gazed out at the clear blue sky. Reverend Bradshaw admired the man's courage, his bravery, and his presentation. Apart from a tiny bruise above his left eye, and a hint of stubble, Hurst looked immaculate. His black suit had neither a tear or a scuff on it, and the silver ring sitting in the palm of his right hand was as smooth and pure as the love that it embodied.

And, perhaps, the loss.

It was tradition for the best man to hold the ring, but Jake hadn't made it. In the comforting warmth of the Church Hall, Hurst thought about his late friend. Despite everything, Jake had made sure Hurst had got the ring on time, sacrificed everything for the sake of his friends' happiness. His final act of friendship would never be forgotten.

It was the absence of Jake, and the distant, constant moans and screams from outside that reminded everybody in the Church of what was happening out there in the world. But everything else was perfect. As stupid as it seemed, Hurst was almost grateful.

His wandering thoughts died away with the chatter of the guests, as the great wooden doors creaked open from behind them.

Hursts' mouth dropped open at the sight of his bride-to-be as she ended the grand hall. Her dress was as white as snow, undamaged and pure, and in hiding her feet, it gave the impression that she was gliding down the aisle. Her blonde hair shone like it was magic, and her beaming smile defied the faraway sounds of chaos from the world beyond.

As Elena floated down the aisle, Hurst noted the bouquet of vivid red roses clutched tightly to her chest. How hard they must have been to find, with the country as it was. Impossible, and beautiful. His stomach was a knot of nerves and excitement, and as Elena reached his side, he noticed her giggling. He realised it was because he was drooling, and he awkwardly wiped his mouth on his sleeve, turning a shade redder than the roses she held in her dainty hands.

Reverend Bradshaw cleared his throat, ready to begin the service. It had been agreed by everyone that the vows and ceremony would be shortened, so that everybody could move on as swiftly as possible. As he began, a wave of relief and genuine happiness washed over Hurst.

“We are gathered here today, in the sight of God, and in the face of family and friends, to join together Elena and Hurst in holy matrimony.”

Hurst took a moment to gaze around at the assembled masses who had managed to make it. Family and friends, determined to support he and Elena and maintain the traditional British stiff-upper lip, even if the world outside had gone to Hell. They'd all been through so much, lost so much, yet here they were...A tear blossomed in the corner of his eye, and he turned back to Elena.

The Reverend continued.

“Do you, Elena, take Hurst to be your lawful, wedded husband?”
“I do,” she replied, her emerald eyes flashing with love.

“And do you, Hurst, take Elena to be your lawful, wedded wife?”

There was a sudden creaking crash as the heavy church doors burst open again, tearing up the calm atmosphere. The guests screamed in their pews at the ungodly sight in the doorway, at the shuffling beast that had found its' way into the building. The creatures' dead, pupil-less eyes surveyed the scene around it, two grey arms outstretched as a rasping groan gurgled out from between a pair of rotting lips.

In a heartbeat, Hurst whipped out a handgun from the inside pocket of his suit, and blasted the creature right between the eyes. It fell dead to the ground, and a pair of men who had been standing by the doors hurriedly tossed the corpse outside.

After the ringing blast of the gunshot faded away, the guests broke out into a round of applause and cheers. Hurst smiled, and stared right back into the eyes of his beloved.

He stuffed the gun back into his pocket, and slipped the silver ring onto one of Elena's soft, beautiful fingers.

“I do,” he said, the tears in her eyes matching his own, as they embraced.

***

WEDDING TOAST: For Anna and Michael, may you have a magical wedding and a happy, exciting future together! All the best, Cory John Eadson (aka @Evermore_Evil)


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15 comments:

  1. I like it, the juxtaposition of the calm inside and the madness of the outside, it almost had a Dark Tower vibe to it, which always makes me happy.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Steven! I only had a few days to write it, due to the deadline, so your words are much appreciated!

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  3. You talk about a deadline, but you completely triumphed over it. I absolutely loved it! Such a different pace from the others, and very powerful.

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Marissa! Such kind words!

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  4. 1st time reader of your work, you did lure us in with the romance and the peacefulness within the church, albeit, something sinister stirring outside the walls. I loved the bride gliding down the aisle . You managed the deadline well and refreshing to see a male's perspective. - thank you.

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    1. Thank you Rambly! I had a blast writing it!

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  5. I was gripped, and just waiting to see what was going to happen. Perfection! Loved it.

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  6. Oh yeah!! Brilliant stuff - very, very vivid. Could sense the urgency as they tried to peacefully marry amidst the carnage of the world outside... and I loved Hurst's calm elimination of the uninvited guest :)

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  7. Beautifully paced, I could feel the tension, nerves and shimmering excitement! It smouldered of passion in an uncertain world...loved it!

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  8. Poor Jake! Such a fluent, tense yet romantic piece. How you have combined the two is brilliant. xx

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