Her mom’s voice was full of emotion when she said, “You look beautiful, dear.”
“Thanks mom,” Sarrah replied quietly. She stared at herself in the full length mirror hanging on the door, took in the sight of herself in the antique bridal gown. Her silky blonde hair was up in pins, some tendrils escaping the hold of the hairspray.
Jennifer, a small town cop and a single mother of two, was staying late at the shop tonight. Both of her kids, twins, were at a sleepover of one of their friends’. Jennifer figured it was as good a time as any to get in her required nighttime hours.
David’s groomsmen joked about how his life would be over in just a few hours, while his dad helped him out with his tie. David felt like he was choking with the tie on, trapped. A sign of his fear of being married and held back? No. David was just as nervous as Sarrah was, just as ready to begin a new chapter in their life.
The telephone broke the silence. A small town like Riverton doesn’t give much in the way of action for cops like Jennifer.
“Hello?” she answered. A few minutes later, she said, “Okay, I’ll be right over.”
Now that Sarrah had her dress on and her hair up, it was time for the make-up. This was something she could do on her own, unlike the hair. She started with the foundation…
David, now dressed, paced throughout the church, making sure everything was in order and all the guests- a small group of family and friends- were being seated accordingly. Finally, his best man came in to let him know it was time. “Let’s get this show on the road, man.”
Jennifer turned the police cruiser’s light’s off in front of the old, decrepit house. Just a few months earlier, after the previous owner had died at age 92, this house had been deemed unfit for living due to several gaping holes covering the hardwood flooring.
She took out the flashlight from the glove department and made her way warily up to the doorstep.
David took his place at the altar, facing away from the doorway. His palms wear sweaty with anxiety. The senile priest- the only priest in this town- was smiling at him with reassurance.
Sarrah frantically swiped at her dress, hoping to God there was no dirt or dust lingering in any crevasse. She took her place, waiting for the ushers- her fiancé’s younger cousins- to open the doors.
The music began. Here comes the bride, all dressed in white, dum dum dum dum dum dum…
Jennifer couldn’t find a single light switch inside the house. Relying solely on the dim, flickering light of the flashlight, she walked up the creaking staircase, careful to avoid any of the missing boards.
David turned around and took in the sight of the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on.
Sarrah made her way down the aisle, her eyes not leaving David’s for even a minute, though she knew everyone else was staring at her. Just her…
She reached the altar and David grabbed her hand. The music stopped and their guests were dismissed to sit down.
Jennifer reached the top landing, pausing to listen to any unusual sounds. Hearing nothing, she moved forward…
“In sickness and in health…”
“For better or worse…”
“I now pronounce you man and wife. David, you may kiss your bride,” the priest announced.
David leaned in and kissed Sarrah with more love than he ever had before.
Jennifer entered the master bedroom and gasped in shock. Not surprisingly, all the furniture had been taken out by the family of the deceased, presumably to be kept in the family and not left to rot in this place.
What shocked her though, was what the beam of her flashlight had shined upon.
Hanging by a rope was a blonde haired woman, in her early 20’s Jennifer guessed. Her hair was up in pins, and she was wearing a wedding gown. Her high heels were suspended two feet above the ground.
Jennifer reached for her cell phone to call for back up. She dialed the office’s number, but all that could be heard was static.
Behind her was a loud crash. She spun around to face a young man tearing through the floorboards.
He was in a ripped up tuxedo, his tie undone.
Through an autopsy, it was determined that Sarrah had hung herself just a few weeks ago.
Jennifer had multiple lacerations on her neck and her body was drained of blood. Her death was ruled as an animal attack.
There was no record that David even existed.