Kiss the Bride

Normally I wouldn’t hide something after the break, and most people will probably consider this fairly tame. However, for the people who don’t want to stumble into something that they find gross or offensive, this is your warning to skip this story. It will be a deliberate attempt to be disturbing. It’s based off of this prompt. So be forewarned, story after the break.

Benji had been standing up at the altar, next to the fat and sweating priest. He’d sent his best man James to find out what the hold up was after the third time the pianist had made it through the opening of Pachebel’s Canon, Lindsey’s bridal march. It had been about ten minutes at least since James had been gone. That’s when the church doors creaked open. Not a dramatic bursting like you might expect given the circumstances. Just a slow, sad squeal of hinges protesting what they were being forced to bear unto the congregation such as it were.

James stumbled through the half open portal. I don’t think anyone really realized what was wrong initially. I mean, the people closest to the doors may have, but there was so much blood covering his tuxedo that the white shirt practically blended into the already red cummerbund. The next thing I think people actually noticed was that his hands were bound behind his back, rather tightly, with twine. The blood had completely soaked into the twine as well, and his hands were turning purple or blue from the lack of blood flow.

I think it was after they took in the fact that James was covered in blood and that his hands were completely useless, that’s when they noticed his new face. The bride’s old face. Nobody will ever really know how it was possible for someone to remove the skin from her face in between the time her bridesmaids left her. The stitches that attached Lindsey’s face on top of James were hardly surgical quality. The black wire zig-zagged erratically around the ragged flaps of flesh that had once been attached to a beautiful young woman. Little beads of blood were trailing down the jagged edges like a macabre sweat for the June wedding.

Everyone had to have been in shock. Benji most of all. By the time James had made it halfway down the aisle a funerary hush had come over everyone. Not even gossiping Aunt Janet dared to whisper a word “Lindsey” née James made his flagging procession. In fact, the only real reaction was from the bride’s mother. She stood up, pointed, and fainted right on the spot without so much as uttering a gasp. Once “Lindsey” was three-quarters of the way down the aisle, Benji finally broke free of whatever stupor was keeping him rooted at the altar. He stepped forward and rushed toward “Lindsey” grabbing him by the bloody lapels.

It was about this point, with Benji and “Lindsey” staring each other in the face, that the sepulchral silence of the church was broken. “Lindsey” spoke with a voice that sounded more like a man dying slowly of thirst than the hale and hearty young man that had left the sanctuary not ten minutes ago. “She wanted…she wanted me to ask you…Don’t you love me? Don’t you think I’m pretty.” And then “Lindsey” promptly collapsed. Finally someone came to their sense and called 911.

When the cops arrived they found the remains of the bride and her father in the staging area. Her father had each of his fingers removed and they had been crammed into his mouth and as far down his throat as they could get without being entirely swallowed. His face had puffed up like a giant purple grape. The bride had mercifully been poisoned. Something fast acting, I’m almost certain she was dead before her face was removed and stitched onto James. If it hadn’t been for the fact that her skin had been peeled away from her forehead to her neck  then she may have almost looked peaceful, although not at rest with her brown eyes staring open into eternity.

Nobody knows exactly who was responsible for the murders. All anyone really knows is that the culprit didn’t stop there. Sometime after all the questioning of the police had died down the murderer found Benji also. They cut off his face too. Judging from the gouges in the linoleum of the kitchen his body was found in, she didn’t wait for him to die to start. How do I know it was a she? Because that’s what the bartender told us. A young lady came into his bar just before closing with a young man’s face stitched on top of her own in a shaky tilted manner. She confessed to everything that I’ve just told you; then she got up and left.

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