Gun in hand, she walks down the aisle, her gown bloodied of its former white. The rivers course generously down her pained cheeks as the congregation stands to behold the lone bride struggling to reach a petrified priest, who for some reason appears rooted to the ground of the holy altar, frowning deeply as she approaches. Whispers float from wind to whisperer. From lips to lisping lips of the gory picture she paints with her drama.

“Did she kill him?”

“Oh my God”

“She ‘s drenched in blood”

“Why is she drenched in blood?….”

The congregation is silenced suddenly as she reaches the Priest, falling loosely to his feet, weeping uncontrollably. Confused, he reaches down to grip her gently in fatherly hands, his gaze piercing her very soul with burning inquisition. She goes limp in his hands and he hides her face in his chest as she continues to weep. Like a ghost, a heavy set woman steps forward from the front pew toward the fallen bride girl. Her altered breathing can be heard throughout the church –rough in unstable exhalations. It seems as though she might have a heart attack as she manages a few words that form a question

“Whe…re i i is… ma ma ma my baby boy?

And then more violently

“Where is Magnus? Where is he?”

No answer. Only the sounds of lamentation from the broken girl might be the response. Unmoved by them, she jostles the girl from the Priest’s embrace, literally lifting her off the ground. This elicits gasps from the watching congregation who do nothing. But watch. But wait. But whisper. The Priest appears powerless. One altar boy runs into the sachristy. The wail of an infant breaks the new silence, accompanied by the fearsome questioning by Mrs Bessetti whose son was to be wedded this fateful morning. Her hands are strained a little so she sets the bride on her feet but retains her dangerous grip on her shoulders

“Where is Magnus? Answer me now girl! What did you do? What happened? Tell me what you have done before i do it to you myself!! Tell me now you ungrateful good for nothing! Speak!”

At this, the Priest acts by planting himself in between the two women, attempting to make any possible sense of everything and at the same time, calming Mrs Bessetti who will not have it.

“Ma Bes, we shouldn’t make any assumptions or draw conclusions. I’m sure there’s an explanation for this and…” before he can finish his speech, the bride slumps to the ground behind him. The look on Ma Bes’s face forces him to turn and kneel automatically beside the still body, now screaming at every one

“Don’t just stand and stare! There should be a doctor here somewhere. Can’t you see dhe needs help? Somebody help!” In the instant, everyone is gathered about the still body and the Priest, trying to be helpful. He is now warding them off for the sake of air for the bride.Ma Bess is transfixed by the still bride. Shaken and unmoved at the same time. She notices a note fall from the unhinged palm of the bride’s left hand and seizes it immediately, reading like her life depends on it. While the commotion to help the bride splayed on the floor in her red blood dress is in play, Ma Bes, after reading the note for the 45th time in a split second, like a zombie, walks to re take her seat in the front pew as though her heart and soul struggle beneath led and against thunderstorms. She breathes deep once and her head falls against her chest as her entire body wears new stillness. A little girl notices her slump and screams

“Ma Bess! Ma Bess! Somebody help Ma Bess!”

The dizzying sounds of ringing sirens fill the church house from the compound outside. The man in the driver’s seat of the brown truck on the street adjacent the church compound looks to his lover by his side, smiling.

“Its done. Let’s get outta here…”

Fade to black

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