All Dressed In White

Short Story – Humor Fiction

Author’s Note: This is one of my contest winning short stories from the site. The contest prompt was to write a story about a missing bride from a wedding guest’s POV. I hope you enjoy this brief glimpse into Ed’s life.

He’s standing up there, looking for all the world like a crazy, love-sick fool. I hate cliches, but you know, when the shoe fits… aw, never mind. It’s getting crowded in here, and the guests are getting smellier. All crammed into this tiny church up on a hill. I knew this was a mistake, but he wouldn’t listen to me. Nobody ever does.

Look at the sweat running down his fat neck, staining that snow-white collar. Poor Ed. He actually looks half-way presentable in white. That was her idea, the missing bride, I mean. She went on and on about how she wanted them both to be “pure,” and “holy” for their wedding day.

Give me a break. The man is on his third marriage and his bride to be is about as pure and holy as that jackass trying to console him right now, with his Bible in one hand, and his little black book tucked in his jacket pocket.

I want to laugh. Do you think anyone would notice? Yeah, probably. They’re all turning their heads toward the door, with little furtive glances and pasted-on smiles. I can hear the whispers, all different versions of “shouldn’t she be here by now?”

That’s the problem with this wedding. Nobody thought it through. Here is a wealthy, middle-aged man with a bimbo for a bride-to-be, and the closest anyone got to the truth was to say behind his back at the last rehearsal dinner — “You don’t suppose she’s marrying him for his money, do you?” Naw, ya think?

I tried to tell him but did he listen? All he could do was gush about how wonderful she was, how pretty and sexy, and how he couldn’t believe she’d fallen in love with him. I wanted to vomit right then and there on that Berber carpet, but Miss “Oh-Ed-you-are-my-knight-in-shining-armour” ruined the moment when she spilled red wine all down her designer, plunging neckline blouse. I was too busy laughing — on the inside, of course.

Later that night, after the ditzy bimbo left, Ed confided in me some of his deep insecurities and fears over their relationship. I listened, of course, but when I tried to share my feelings, he laughed and tousled my hair, calling me a whiner. Yeah, thanks for that, Ed. I forgave him, although he was right. I was whining about her. She makes me want to puke. Did I mention that already?

She doesn’t like me. No, she can’t feel too comfortable having another female around, especially one introduced on their first date as “Cindi, my bodyguard, and one of the best friends I’ve ever had.” Angel gave one of those fake, falsetto laughs like she was trying to be sweet, and sexy and oh-so-much-more of a woman than you will ever be. I thought she sounded more like a crow, but Ed just loved it. Did you catch her name? Angel of death, maybe.

She extended her hand in greeting after telling me she intended to give me a run for my money in the ‘best friend’ department. I glared at her and strode away. Ed made up some excuse about my taking my job too seriously and needing to learn to trust people before I warmed up to them.

Seriously, Ed? Didn’t you just introduce me as your bodyguard? Why the hell would you bring me onto the payroll if you wanted me to make friends with every gold-digger in your life? For a self-made, multi-millionaire, the man has serious issues when it comes to sensing people’s true intentions.

Someone just dragged up a chair for Ed. His face is looking like a lobster poking out of a ceramic pot. I probably should go up and console him, poor beggar. Did I mention he’s on his third marriage? Don’t be judging him now. Wife Number One ran off with his vice-president, and Wife Two died in a tragic skiing accident.

That was not my fault. I repeat — not my fault. Just because I was there, and just because I knew she was having an affair with the ski-instructor does not mean I had anything to do with her demise. Call me a bitch, but she had it coming. That’s all I’m saying.

Geez, Ed, breathe, man. Maybe I better go up there. No, wait, everyone’s turning their heads. Oh, no. Here she comes. She doesn’t look happy. Crap, I’ve got to get up by Ed. Someone is going to need protecting if the flames glowing in her eyes are any indication.

Yes, I’m here, Ed. It’s okay, you’re safe. What’s that she’s saying? Wow, Angel, you’ve got everyone here wondering which kind of angel you are after all. Listen to those profanities. Ed’s eyes are growing wider by the minute. He’s never seen this side of you. You really should stop spitting when you talk, Angel, dear. It doesn’t become you.

Okay, so I’m lying. It actually suits you very well. Oh my, whatever happened to your snow-white gown, dearest Angel? What is that ugly brown and yellow stain? Are you really snarling at me? Right back at you, gorgeous.

Everyone is silent except for the screeching Angel. Ed looks like he’s seen a ghost. She is kind of ghoulish-looking with the twigs sticking out of her hair, and the mud streaks down her legs. Here it comes. The ultimatum. Angel is screaming, “It’s her or me!” Good boy, Ed. His trembling hand rests on my shoulder, and with trembling lips, he professes his undying devotion in one word — “Her.”

Angel tears at her hair. She’s leaving the church in a whirlwind of commotion; half the guests are following her through the door.

Ed, who appears to have regained some of his composure, squats down and gives me a hug. He’s relieved. I can sense it. It’s all I can do not to wiggle right into his arms. I settle for wagging my tail.

Too bad you can’t understand me, Ed. If you did, I could tell you my version of the truth. Seriously, Ed, I do not know how that tranquilizer ended up in her drink and as for her waking up to find herself half-buried in the back yard … all I can say in my defense is she looked so delectable all dressed in white — just like a bone.

Man’s Best Friend

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