The Ladies of Horror
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Ever the Bridesmaid
by Terrie Leigh Relf
It had been yet another beautiful wedding and reception. Maura was happy for Daphne and Todd, the last of her friends to get married. Of course Maura caught the bouquet. Even when she didn’t reach out for them, each bride’s bouquets always appeared in her hands. A few of her friends joked that she was a witch . . . Well, if she were such a being, wouldn’t she be able to create a spell so that she, too, would find love?
Instead, death followed them all. Within the year following each wedding, they would gather again for someone’s wake. And then within the next year, there would be another wedding. So this time, rather than taking Daphne’s bouquet home to join the others, Maura left it on the church steps.
Once home, Maura started a fire to stave off the cold. While stoking the fire, she heard the whisper of a voice: Give the flowers to the flame. She sensed this would be a good idea and gathered the dried bouquets together, resting each one carefully on the dancing flames.
Afterwards, she poured a glass of wine and pulled a woolen throw around her shoulders. It was somehow cathartic to listen to the crackling fire, to watch the bouquets go up in flames, to inhale the fragrant smoke . . . until Maura saw the bouquet she’d left on the church steps resting on her coffee table. How did it get here? Even though it was fresh, she tossed it into the fire.
“There, that’s the last of them,” she whispered out loud, vowing never to attend another wedding, never to attend another wake.
The next morning, sirens woke the neighbors. Or perhaps it was the smoke and flames engulfing Maura’s house.
Fiction © Copyright Terrie Leigh Relf
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Terrie Leigh Relf:
For thousands of Earth years, the Transgalactic Consortium has had a quiet interest in this planet and its inhabitants, the Haurans. While the Sisterhood of the Blood Moon works together with the Consortium and Haurans to maintain balance in the universe, the Blood Moon is fast approaching. The power of this moon reveals untold secrets . . . including a sacred covenant with the Mora Spiders. There is an ancient pact that needs to be honored—but at what cost and for whose purpose? The world may come to an end. But will there be a chance for a new beginning?