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Something Borrowed

by Warren Benedetto

 
“Under no circumstances are you to discuss what happened here today with anyone but people in the immediate family,” my mother said. She used the collar of her gown to dab the blood oozing from her busted lip. “This stays between us, understand?” The assembled wedding party nodded solemnly. Aunt Gracie picked another shard of a shattered champagne flute from my mom’s scalp. My mom winced in pain. “Careful, Gracie!” she hissed. “Christ.”
“Sorry,” Aunt Gracie said. “Almost done.” She flicked a tiny, blood-flecked shard of crystal from the pad of her thumb. It made a clicking sound as it hit the mirrored wall and disappeared into the thick-pile carpet.
My sister, Kaitlyn, snapped the rest of her already-broken heel from her right shoe. Her left shoe was missing. The back of her wedding dress was streaked with grass stains. A false eyelash dangled from her eyelid like a dead spider. “Are the police gone?” Her mouth made an elongated “O” as she peeled off the errant eyelash.
Aunt Simone peeked through the heavy velvet curtains. “Not yet.”
Outside, a man in a torn tuxedo was being escorted into a police car in handcuffs. Another three men, also in tuxedos in various states of disrepair, were sitting on the curb, their wrists bound with zip ties. A priest lay on a gurney, holding a bag of ice to his head as two paramedics lifted him into an ambulance. A tow truck was hauling a wrecked limousine with a “JUST MARRIED” sign from a ditch next to the church parking lot.
“I can’t believe he didn’t just rent a limousine,” Aunt Gracie said.
“Quiet, Gracie,” my mother warned.
“I’m just saying. Maybe things would have gone differently.”
“He didn’t think anybody would miss it,” Kaitlyn explained. “It was just for a few hours.”
Aunt Simone sipped her scotch. “Well, I hope he enjoys his honeymoon in jail.”
“It’ll be fine. His Daddy knows the judge.”
Aunt Gracie cut a square of gauze and taped it over the gash in my mother’s scalp. “Who did it belong to? The limo?”
“His Uncle Robbie,” Kaitlyn replied.
The guests exchanged knowing glances. My brother Harold whistled The Godfather theme song until my mother cut him off with a sharp glare.
“Roberto Antonucci?” Aunt Simone asked. “Well, that explains a lot.” She drained the rest of her scotch. “No wonder they came in swinging like that.”
Harold pulled a bloody wad of toilet paper from his nose. He dropped it in a trash can. “That’s what happens when you steal—”
“Borrow!” Kaitlyn snapped.
“—borrow someone’s limousine without asking.”
“Enough!” my mother announced in a stern voice. “We’re not going to let what happened today ruin a perfectly good wedding.”
“The ceremony was beautiful,” Aunt Gracie acknowledged. The other guests nodded in agreement. Aunt Gracie bent down and tweaked my cheek. “What did you think about it, little lady?”
I shrugged shyly. “I punched a man in the nuts.”
The room erupted in laughter. Kaitlyn gave me a high five.
“Best flower girl ever.”
 



Warren Benedetto writes dark fiction about horrible people, horrible places, and horrible things. He is an award-winning author who has published over 100 stories, appearing in publications such as Dark Matter Magazine, Fantasy Magazine, and The Dread Machine; on podcasts such as The NoSleep Podcast, Tales to Terrify, and Chilling Tales For Dark Nights; and in anthologies from Apex Magazine, Tenebrous Press, Scare Street, and many more. He also works in the video game industry, where he holds 35+ patents for various types of gaming technology. For more information, visit warrenbenedetto.com and follow @warrenbenedetto on Twitter and Instagram.


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