Finalist in the 'Write As Rain 2014' competition

It’s a funny thing, marriage. Going before a crowd of people to ‘I do’ your life away. Going through with it, you’re a naïve fool. Ending it, whether before or after, you become a pariah. Go figure. I guess I’m an idiot, then. Not that I can back out of this. Not that I want to.
The wind caresses through my neatly braided hair, carrying with it the sweet scent of roses and blossoms, and the tangy one of the sea. A pleasant mixture, if I do say so myself. It’s nice change from the usual blood, sweat and smoke. No tears, though. We’re stronger than that.
The slow walk down the aisle gives one a lot of time to think about their life. Admittedly, it hasn’t been all that great. It would get better.
It has to get better.
The crowd wasn’t as big as you’d think. A dozen or so people, maybe more, with their faces shadowed, turned away. The few that were watching us were solemn. Some were crying. Only a few were happy, but it wasn’t the good kind. It was the kind of happiness fuelled by bloodlust. Bah, killjoys. Can’t they just be truly happy for us?
Still, as I approach my groom, I can’t help but dwell on my regrets. So many people have died by my hands, both directly and indirectly. Those people back there were crying out for vengeance, to see my own blood spilt. To their eyes, I am nothing but a monster. If I’m to be honest, I prefer the term firebug.
Ha, their opinions don’t matter to me. They’re wishes will be granted in due time.
I ascended the short flight of stairs by the side of my altar. A few people were already there, as solemn as the crowd.
He looks so smart in that suit. He’s a good man, Dell, too good for me, at least. Maybe he could’ve influenced me to become a better person. I’m sad to say it was the other way round.
I shouldn’t have dragged him into this. One crusade too many, and it all comes crashing down. He’s going to die, and it’s all my fault.
Altar? No. Gallows was the word I was looking for there.
“I’m sorry,” I admit quietly, shrugging as if I was really saying ‘well, what can we do?’ “We did have some good times, though, didn’t we?”
I did mention that marriage is ‘I do-ing’ your life away, right?
I wasn’t kidding.
It was his idea to do this. So, at least, we get at least a moment together as a traditional couple. It was a nice idea. Macabre, yes, but nice.
“Yeah,” he finally replied, with a small smile. “We did.”
I ignored them looping the rope around my slender neck, a smile blooming across my lips. I ignored the slight tightening.
At the eve of this terrible life, I finally had a good dream.
“I do.” Together, we announced those last words.
And together, we fell.

FOLLOW US was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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