Her veil was too long.
They walked up the cathedral steps in accidental unison. She was careful not to trip and held her free hand over her stomach, felt a fleeting flutter of maternal instinct, or maybe nerves. A push of the revolver head on her spine kept her moving. Her father wanted to show he was doing his job to the scary men standing by the car, umbrellas, and guns a-ready chewing on their cigars. It won’t rain. The clouds are too high; the wind shear is blowing them straight over the mountain tops. Just as the doors opened a fierce gust ripped through the streets and into the church. Pages of “today’s hymns” flew throughout the pews and high up, up, up to the ceiling. She looked down at her feet just in time to avoid a little grouse chick. It must’ve fallen out of a nest atop the spire. It’s little body contorted, a tiny cry from its beak.
She dropped her bouquet and scooped up the tiny bird. She knew it’s terror. Her soon to be mother-in-law smacked it out of her hands and grabbed her so tightly there would be bruises later. So unnecessary to use force. She had nowhere to go. Up the aisle so fast she lost her shoe. It dragged under the dress until she got to the end. He stood there, rigid, terrified, pimpled. How she ever climbed atop that. Black current shandy is the devil.