Trees lined the small ceremony on the left and right. Guests sat on large logs placed one behind the other. Six in each row with a total of two rows split in the center by satin streamers. The ceremony itself was on a small wooden deck built over a small pond. The groom stood nervously stroking his tie. The pastor of the local church stood center of the wooden deck. He smiled as the bride stepped from the small house behind the trees. She walked slowly her white dress danced as she stepped forward. A quick nudge from the pastor alerted the groom and he saw her. It was like a romantic movie. The bride walked slowly, as if slowed in time. She smiled, light spread from the small edges of her lips. The light radiated outward covering her proud father and a few wedding guest that had yet sit down. Guest turned and saw the bride stepping carefully over the long red ribbon laid on the ground between the rows of seats. The light from such a beautiful smile spread to each and every one of the guest like the spiritual Good Word. By the time the bride reached the wooden platform everyone behind her smiled and glowed. The groom stepped forward and extended a gentle hand which she took and they both joined the pastor as everyone looked over the small pond.
The pastor spoke slowly as each and every moment seemed to take hours. The bride and groom stood hand and hand when the ceremony was near the end. The pastor happily introduced Mr. Kenneth and Mrs. Jean Addison and release them into the world as married.
The reception went off without a hitch. The couple’s marriage continued on as it had begun. It was a fairy tale within a world that barely contained its distaste for so much happiness. The honeymoon stood as an exception to any rule that the couple had established as a norm. The hotel lobby was empty when Mr. and Mrs Addison walked in. So was the front desk.
“Funny,” said Mr. Ken Addison as he bent over the desk in an attempt to see if anyone was around the corner. “I just talked to the hotel ten minutes ago and it sounded super busy.”
“Are you sure you called the right hotel,” Mrs. Jean Addison asked.
“Yes, I’m sure because the person on the phone said there was a bar here named Dionysus and its sitting right there.” Ken pointed right toward a large purple sign above two swinging doors that had Dionysus written out in neon next to a flashing bunch of grapes.
“You think they are on a tea break?” Ken said, only have joking.
Ken and Jean walked toward the bar. Within the bar they saw some movement but it was too dark to tell what is could be.
“Hey, can someone help us at the front desk?” Shouted Ken into the darkness of the bar. Something crashed and broke then two men pushed through the swinging doors. The first man was terrified his eyes were wide and his mouth clamped shut. Behind him a taller, muscular man walked within inches of him. Both of this man’s hands were hidden behind the first man’s back.
“I suggest you come back in the morning…” Growled the taller man then he added, “you know what just find a room and stay here free tonight. I’m sure Henry here won’t mind.” The taller man turned his head and looked at the man in front. Henry’s eyes got bigger and his nervousness was obvious.
“How about my wife and I just leave, “Ken offered,”Listen, we just got married and this is our first day in London. I just want to survive our first week of marriage.”
The taller man laughed, “Believe me mate, it isn’t worth it. I’ve been married twice before.” He then paused. “I think I just changed my mind.” The tall man pointed a pistol at Ken and shoved Henry into a wall. “I want all your American dollars… Now!” He then looked at Henry and threatened, “If you move I will kill you,” he warned.
Jean immediately threw her purse down at the man’s feet. Ken hesitated but then tossed over his wallet.
“Don’t move,” the man shouted as he bent down to gather up the items. The minute the man looked down, Ken pounced on him. Jean screamed, lost in disbelief that her husband would attempt something so brash. The taller man was larger then Ken but was caught by surprise. He fell backward into the swinging doors and both men disappeared into the bar. Henry stood from where he had fallen against the wall, ran over to Jean, in an effort to direct her somewhere safe, but fell after a bullet burst through his heart and chest. A second bullet struck Jean in the neck but didn’t kill her immediately. She fell upon her knees then her back. She attempted to slow the bleeding with her hand and wished her new husband was at her side.
Ken wrestled the gun from the taller man’s hands but not before two shots rang from the gun, just missing him. Once the gun was clear Ken grabbed a broken chair leg and slammed it hard upon the man’s head knocking him unconscious. He then grabbed the gun and stepped outside the bar. Jean lay barely conscious upon the tile floor of the hotel lobby. Blood covered the left side of her neck and shoulder.
“Oh, my God,” Ken leapt toward his wife and fell to his knees. His knees swam in her blood as he took off his sweater and pressed it against the wound. He looked around for some help and saw Henry only a foot away with a gunshot in his chest. To the right, suddenly, the front doors of the hotel burst open and several London police officers stepped in. A bead of hope blossomed within him till he realized that Jean had passed away. The need to stop the bleeding was gone but Ken continued as he watched the officers walk toward him. The next couple seconds turned into long minutes as a gun battle began. The taller man stepped out from the bar and began to fire from his pistol. The officers scattered and then returned fire. The room suddenly dimmed. It was as if someone had turned the lights down. Ken looked up to see the battle still happening but the noise had become muted. He looked over at the taller man and he was reloading his pistol while hiding behind the front desk. Ken looked down to see himself, his lifeless body, lying over his wife. A bullet had entered the back of his head and killed him.