Writing Prompt: Day 48

48.jpgDay 48 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about where a runaway bride goes after she runs.

Erin: “Where did you go,” my therapist asked.

“To the ocean,” I eluded.

“Why,” she pushed.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “I guess because the ocean doesn’t have an end. The water doesn’t have any boundaries. I wanted to be able to flow like the water. So, I thought I’d join in the dance.”

“How did you feel when you were in the water,” she asked.

“Like the waves were going to pull my wedding dress off,” I sighed. “And excited at that idea.”

Shannon: After I distracted my bridesmaids I snagged the keys and went running out the back door until I reached my vehicle. Under the belief that no stranger had to know what I was up to, I immediately ripped off all the decorations the wedding party had already added to the car. Then I hopped into the driver’s seat and locked the doors, running on pure adrenaline at that point.

With a twist of the key the engine roared and I knew I was almost in the clear, but as I turned around to back out of the parking spot I caught sight of my maid of honor in the back doorway. I pushed on the gas a little harder, but she was already running after me. “What are you doing?” She yelled loud enough for me to hear her muffled voice through my closed windows.

“I can’t do it. I’m sorry,” I couldn’t even look at her or take the time to roll down the window, so I didn’t know if she heard. Then I started driving again without a clue of where I was going. I couldn’t go to our home. They’d find me eventually, and ultimately he’d find me too. I couldn’t go to any family or friends, because they were all at the wedding waiting for me to walk down the isle. It wouldn’t be the first time I disappointed them. I couldn’t go anywhere too public. There’d be so many questions and confusion with me in my big white dress. I should have brought a change of clothes. Deep down I knew I couldn’t handle this.

That’s how I ended up at the bridal store where I had bought the dress, the one place where it was normal and maybe, just maybe, they could offer me some advice. They pounced on me with compliments the second I walked though the door. “Is there something wrong with your dress,” one questioned.

I shook my head, “I ran,” I revealed without a second thought.

“We got another runner Linda. Get the Champagne. Let’s get you to the back and see if we can fix this. We only take you there in case any prospective clients come in. Runners are not great for business, but you’re going to be just fine honey,” she rubbed my back and led the way.

Where does your character run to, where is her safe place?

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 48

  1. Kate:
    Sunlight filtered through the fragrant branches overhead, patterning the rows of simple alabaster chairs with spots. Dewdrops dripped from freshly planted rose bushes that grew to maturity overnight while vines strangled the ornate matrimonial archway. Though no one had arrived for the ceremony yet I could feel the buzz of feverish excitement in the air around the site; the hand fasting ceremony was mere hours away and everything was set.
    I stepped across the woven silk carpet to straighten a bouquet of cream roses, startling a small cluster of monarch butterflies that had been resting on a nearby bush. As they drifted away I smiled at their bright orange wings; they would have fit perfectly in the ceremony. For a while I simply admired the view of treetops and the sun lazily rising above the mountains. Breathing in the fresh air I turned to watch Savean sauntering down the aisle in her sweats, hair spilling out of a messy bun.
    She brushed a stray, twisting hair from her face as she joined me in watching the sunrise transition from garnet to gold. Without looking at me, she half-whispered, “Sun’s beautiful this morning, huh? Dell is going to be so happy.” There was electricity between us that was almost tangible but my mind was too preoccupied with making this day perfect for Delphine and Wren to even consider making a move.
    In awe of the location Dell picked for her special day, I barely noticed when Savean touched my shoulder to leave. By the time I finally turned to comment on the view she was gone and I was alone in the most romantic place in the world.

    An hour before the hand fasting ceremony we had Delphine almost ready; other than attempting to tie back the mass of golden-brown hair that had a mind all its own. After sticking an entire box of hair pins in it, the beast finally lay sprawled in perfect waves atop her head, with a striking string of pale sapphire, shining gold and deep cream feathers weaving its way through. Her dress was a peasant’s gown in light fawn with simple caramel embroidery that sparkled in the right light. About her neck and wrists were pale blue sigils of beauty, joy and longevity. Everything was so simply magnificent.
    Nola and Dahlia, Dell’s other bridesmaids, fussed over the wrinkles in the hem as I coaxed the rosebuds in the bouquet to bloom slowly. As they opened I murmured softly to keep the momentum and placed the whole thing on the tall dresser; golden lavender, pale beryl leaves and creamy roses moving sluggishly.
    When I peeked out the open window at the ceremony grounds I could just make out the groom chatting with his parents; his beige linen suit and pale blue tie stood out among the guests in scarlet and gold. Traditionally, the bride and groom wear considerably more neutral clothing than the wedding party and guests; Dell and Wren’s outfits were no exception. As he wandered through the brilliant red and gold dresses on the lady’s side of the party, Wren stood out like a flame in the dark.
    Turning back to the dressing room I took in the simple shades that brought out her splendour and clapped my hands energetically, “Ladies, this is it. Time to get going.” We packed up the last-minute makeup for emergency touch-ups, found the bouquet of cobalt and fawn rosebuds, and started down the hall. As Dell stepped through the doorway, her bare feet padding silently on the wooden floors one of the other girls scurried ahead to clear the way of relatives.
    Another, silly, tradition was that the bride could not see any member of the groom’s family until the groom himself spotted her otherwise they would incur the curse of the maiden; they would never be able to settle down. One the flip side, the groom needed to speak to every member of the bride’s family before the ceremony could commence otherwise the couple wouldn’t last the year.
    Dell’s family was pretty traditionalist so we made our way to the first floor without running into any relative of anyone. With her safely in the waiting room, the other bridesmaids were fawning over the details in her dress and hair something fierce, I ran out in search of the best man. Just across the hall Oliver leaned against an original roman pillar set into the deep wooden banister; he was the picture of calm in his golden tux.
    When I stood before him, watching his eyes take in my scarlet gown that showed off my knees, I rolled my eyes. He might be a jerk but he cared for Wren like a brother. Narrowing my eyes dangerously I sighed, “Wren ready?” Barely looking at me he nodded curtly. “Great,” I replied, “let’s get this party started.” I reached my arm out for him to take it and he hesitantly touched my skin; there was electricity running through him.
    “Sorry,” was all he said as we waved to the musicians and we started forward. As the cheerful Celtic tune rose and fell we stepped along the carpet to the arch, the other set of bridesmaid and groomsman in pursuit. When we broke apart Oliver stood stanchly still with his eyes plastered to a tiny tear in the carpet while the others took their places. Behind us Wren’s little brother, Victor, stumbled along with the cords on a deep blue pillow, followed shortly by Dell’s cousin Gloria throwing out rose petals like there was no tomorrow.
    After everyone was accounted for I waited with baited breath for the bride to come out and when she did the crowd rose in honor of her. With a sweeping motion her father, a famous Fauna, let fly a dozen white doves that cooed gently as they left. As he took her arm and led her deliberately down the aisle he whispered something that made her laugh, making her attractive face radiate joy.

    The ceremony progressed quickly with the high priest performing it with impeccable timing; the clasped right hands and he recited the meaning of each silk cord as it was tied expertly around their wrists, the places the material touched turning pale blue. When the third was done he moved on to Dell’s written vows and stepped aside for her to speak. There was a quiver in her voice as she struggled to keep it together; this was the best moment of her life. As she neared the end, her mascara running, I handed her the braided bracelet to tie around Wren’s left wrist.
    When it was Wren’s turn he stared deep into Dell’s eyes with an enviable amount of affection. His speech was short and sweet, ending with him tying the other bracelet around her left wrist.
    Just as the clock struck noon the ceremony changed and Nola, Dahlia and I jumped into action. Letting the loose knots fall away from their hands, Dell and Wren broke apart and she dashed away from the ceremony. As I chased after Dell, shouting directions to her, the crowd behind us was half in shock; the other half understood the tradition.
    The final and strangest custom in Briarwood was the Runaway Bride. While it began too long ago for anyone to recall its original reasoning, it was practised religiously by the founding families in particular. Just before the hand fasting was complete the bride would run off to an unknown location where she would wait for the groom to find her; it was meant to be a test of wills. Now-a-days, though, it was used as an excuse to get very drunk with no negative repercussions as the groom never began the search right after the deserting.
    When we were a safe distance from the procession, unable to hear the upbeat music being played, we all converged on an ancient tree marked with fairy rings. Delphine had a goofy grin on her face while Nola and Dahlia simply looked exhausted. After I’d caught my breath I leaned against the tree and turned to my friends with a sly grin.
    “Alright, ladies. We want to have as much time as possible before he finds us so, Dell, please call some deer or something to cover our tracks.” I felt like I was an army general giving instructions on how to stay alive. After a pause I continued, “Dahl, can you levitate them and yourself? That would be perfect.” With the plan made we began the long journey to our hideaway.

    An hour later we arrive, shoes lost and hair a mess, at a tiny lump in the middle of the forest. Calmly I stepped around it and knocked on a slight wooden panel, willing it to unlock. It popped open and I gestured for Delphine to head down into the warm cellar. When she glanced around I hopped down, taking the rungs two at a time in my excitement.
    After a few moments the others followed suit, carefully stepping down the ladder into the cavern. When we were all accounted for I pressed on a rouge fission of quartz that wound its way down the side and willed energy to flow through with electricity I stole from Oliver. Before us the cave opened up into an enormous, brightly-lit room that ended in a two-storey tall window overlooking the valley. This hideaway was built right into the rock face to give us the perfect location to stay for as long as we could.
    I stepped down onto the pure quartz floors and turned into a chef’s, fully-stocked kitchen to cook us some lunch. Lights lit up as I passed them and a giant wooden table came into light as the girls followed me. Across the room couches came into view and sultry music began to play from unseen speakers.
    Four doors stood around the room, each painted a colour from the wedding, that held bedrooms and a bathroom. This whole place was designed for hiding out in luxury for a short amount of time.
    I’d love to tell you what happened that night but I can’t; you had to be there.

    Just as we were finishing up lunch the following day a gently knocking came from the door; Wren had found his love.


  2. Created to Write:
    Heather stares at the mirror, smiling fondly. Her dress is white, slim, and simple. But it is perfect. Her soon-to-be husband hasn’t seen it yet, and she knows his jaw will hit the floor.
    ‘Husband,’ she muses. She flips her veil over her face, briefly wondering where her bridesmaids were. But, after looking at the clock, she can see it is time.
    She walks out of her room, then down the stairs. She then sees her dad at the doors. She smiles, hugging him. “Don’t ruin your makeup, dear,” he says. She nods, taking his arm. The music plays, and they walk in. She can’t see the groom’s face very well, but everyone else is there, the bridesmaids and groomsmen are lined up, watching her. Heather watches the rose petals, having a hard time believing it’s finally happening.
    “Look up, dear, he’s watching,” her father chuckles.
    Heather stops moving, watching the petals swish on their own. She remembers something. “I thought Steve was supposed to walk me down the aisle.”
    “Why?” her father asks. She looks at him. “I’m your father, not him.”
    Heather looks around, finding Steve in the crowd. He waves.
    “But…” Heather looks at her father, “you’re.”
    Then she realizes they are at the end of the aisle. She sees a hand extend to her. She looks up.
    Her eyes go wide. Everything is wrong.
    Steve should be walking her to the alter because her father died. Her siblings should be too old to be the ring bearer and flower girl. And… and.
    ‘That’s not August.’
    She starts to back away, but her ‘father’ grips her arm tighter. “You agreed to this, Heather,” he says.
    Heather shakes her head, tugging hard. But Bryce, in a full suit and tie, smiles from his side at the alter. Heather pulls harder. No one comes to help her. “Steve!” she shrieks. But everyone she cares about seems to have disappeared. She elbows the shadow now holding her arm and runs back down the aisle. The dress snags on the door at the end. She tears three layers of the sheer fabric off, leaving her in the last thin layer. She runs out of the building, discarding her shoes. She runs, but hears Bryce running after her.
    Heather wakes up, sweat on her face and arms. She looks around, seeing the dark room, the stars in the sky outside. The sheets were rumpled from her thrashing. She feels two arms around her middle and she panics.
    Heather sighs, relaxing completely; August.
    “Yeah,” she stutters.
    August pulls her closer, “I’ll chase them away.”
    Heather is silent for a second, then corrects him. “No. You don’t need to chase them away.” August is confused, but then Heather finishes, “Just be there when I run from them, and I’ll be okay.”


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