It was a shame about Lily’s wedding,
it really was.
Everything was just perfect,
like out of a magazine.
The ceremony was in the rose garden
of the old MacMillan mansion,
and the guests were surrounded
by pastel blooms of pink, yellow, white, peach,
and the air was heavily perfumed
with their aroma.
There was only one stray puffy white cloud
in the bright blue sky.
A slight breeze tickled the backs of the guests’ necks
as a string quartet started to play,
and the children,
adorably dressed in their Sunday finest,
were quiet as the bridal march began.
Tom, the groom, waited expectantly at the altar
as groomsmen ushered blushing bridesmaids
in lilac gowns down the aisle.
The maid of honor was next,
confident she would be the next bride
in a year or two.
Guests oohed at the toddling ring bearer
and flower girl,
who briefly paused in their journey
to take everything in
but were ushered along by anxious mothers.
the moment everyone had waited for.
Everyone turned in their seats and craned their necks
to catch a glimpse of the radiant bride,
holding her weeping father’s tuxedoed arm.
The groom beamed,
and the violins swelled,
as the first fiery meteor fell from the sky
and crashed into the gazebo just behind the altar.
The hushed silence was shattered
by panicked screams.
The white gazebo reduced now
to flaming, smoking ruins.
But more meteors were crashing to the ground,
as though they had been thrown
like confetti from a malicious god.
“Run!” a man shouted, “Run into the house!”
He pointed at the Old MacMillan mansion,
where the reception was to be held.
Screaming people covered their heads,
picked up their small children,
and ran to shelter.
The mansion’s roof had already
taken a minor hit,
but it remained a sturdy refuge
for all those present.
“See, they don’t build things like they used to,”
Uncle Anthony remarked
in a moment of silence.
no one at the wedding
apart from the cello player,
who had fallen and twisted his ankle
and Tom’s twelve-year-old cousin, Joshua,
who had an asthma attack.
The bombardment of the city ended
maybe fifteen minutes later,
but by then, Lily’s wedding
had long been forgotten,
and the guests stumbled home in shock
to see what damage had been wreaked
randomly upon their homes.
In the chaos,
Lily and Tom actually did not
They did so two weeks later
at the courthouse,
with just a few family members present.
And Lily always said that
it was just as nice
as the original wedding,
but, of course, that was complete nonsense.
“Just wait til the honeymoon!”
her father joked.
so he repeated it
at least once a year
for the rest of his life.