[Sept. 3rd, 2031]
Larry adjusts his tie. He is nervous with the idea of standing in front of a crowd because he always hated crowds. The most amazing thing is that he is not nervous about getting married; this convinces him the bond is heaven sent. For some time, he imagined Tina’s body on the honeymoon. He had already viewed it, briefly, on occasion. He even touched her smooth pert stomach and felt the hardness of her hidden knobs. Soon, all will be mine! I do not care she claims to be a ‘born again virgin’. It makes him feel secure in bringing his own atypical love, knowing other guys wronged her.
He stands upon the matrimony stage and looks off into a crowd of family and friends. I wonder what she will look like in her wedding gown?
The crowd frightens him enough that individual faces become meaningless. Sally is in attendance, for some ulterior reason, and Larry never sees her. Instead, Larry’s mind focuses on a new beginning, a domesticity beyond having an entire house to his self, and benefits that far outweigh giving up a few elements of freedom. Tina is sweet, compassionate, and considerate, as well as slow to assume his character. She does not compare him to a collective, male archetype, and she knows she will be blessed by a love that is less a self-fulfilling prophecy and more a heartfelt adoration.
One of his buddies on the force stands as his best man. Both men look like a modern day Laurel and Hardy. Tina’s maid of honor looks like a poster child for facial reconstruction, although she still offers up a wonderful smile. A long paid for floor runner arrives—late. The flowers look presentable.
The ceremony runs flawless. Larry is reminded of the details later. Instead…his eyes lock in on his bride, in all her beautiful glory, and the radiant glow that sings love songs in her eyes. Warm thoughts wash over him. Larry feels it is the beginning of the end—but in a good way. There is no need for cheesy and manipulative dates that fit a societal pattern. There is no need for five-minute stands. There is no need for gender-based assumptions. It really seems like a rewarding world.
Like a trove of men before him, he offers her a rock he will be paying for—for a year, offered as an enduring symbol to signify their precious love. Tina is the first woman he has met to reveal thirty years in an extended forecast. When love proves right, including up slopes in the equation, he thinks it could possibly be as predictable as the weather.
With my first wife, I was fooled by want and need, not by all the elements which make up a natural barometer reflecting true love. I have looked my entire life to find someone remotely close to my mother. Once he found Tina, the unreachable goal fell on Larry’s head like a Gilligan’s Island random Coconut. And Larry knows any random search will be in vain, unless he secures booty in a like chest of gold.
Well-wishers blow bubbles at the departing couple. Larry Quintana opens the car door for his new bride, and he smiles; it is as if his best friend also becomes his life-mate. Aluminum soda and beer cans on strings make a ton of noise, as the two Newlyweds drive away from the Christian Church. Larry looks back, for whence they came, and he swears he sees Sally—partially disguised—in his rear-view mirror. A couple of minutes later, he wonders if it is not just all the strain of getting married.
Larry finds relaxation mentally rewarding. He considers things in enticing new ways. Some things once remote become crystal clear. An early September wedding in Vegas is not all that hard to imagine, although Larry never thought he would be married by 2031. Over the years, he became gun shy and incredibly slow in letting someone new into his heart. Then an angel came along to invite him to a fantastic ball, and everything seemed together like an implausible symbolic tapestry.
The cop glances at Omar Redding’s file, within the serenity of a great national park.
Hours later, after a walk with his beloved, something dawns on him. “Was I too close? Why didn’t I see it before?”
The cop still has his cell phone. He palms the gadget and dials his tail man.
“Everything all right?” The tail man asks.
“I need you to do something for me.”
Larry offers the man a strange request.
The man lets it slip. “What you been smokin’, dude?”
A paycheck dances in front of the tail’s eyes, and he reverses his words. “I’ll get on that—right away.”
The man belches, and adds, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”
Larry hangs up his cell phone. He thinks about the guy he helped to an early grave with mind-ripping Street Posse, and the name Omar doesn’t sound so British—at that moment. Where did that name come from—the Simpsons? Larry pops open a non-alcoholic beer, and he enjoys some peace and quiet beyond sirens, loud stereo booming cars, and annoying phone calls.
What happened Dr. Wayne, my friend? Larry lounges back next to his new bride. What did you know that did you in? He is startled awake by a camper wearing a baseball cap. He swears he has seen the face underneath the cap somewhere before, although he can’t quite place it.
“What is, dear?”
The groom reaches over and takes a hold of his bride’s hand. “Ah…It’s nothing important.”
The honeymooners find themselves locking lips, erasing all the man’s thoughts of a familiar face. Instead, desire fills Larry with fatuous awe.
Cledus sits watching the latest greedy game show, when the phone rings.
“Turn your TV to channel eight,” His drummer says.
“Just do it!”
Cledus feels like he has heard the narrator for an athletic shoe commercial. He plucks a remote and punches in zero eight. On the television, some energetic blonde describes the Lynch Mob and how it has just reached diamond status in sales.
“How much is tat?” Cledus asks his compadre.
“Ten million copies.”
Cledus sits down.
“You ok, Dude?”
“That’s too much spondulicks.”
“Sponde-who?... Anyways, I’m sure we’ll make Uncle Sam pretty happy.”
“I need a drink.”
“Don’t overdo it. We need you, man!”
If you only knew. Cledus hangs up the phone and stands in a psychological daze. I went from blowing air into a harmonica to helping sell ten million copies. He raises his mug. Margaret, this diamond is for you! He sits down with a Vodka on the rocks. How can I ever cap this climax? Cledus finds comfort in the feeling that what Georgia revealed to him is about to come to pass. He remembers she quoted something from the book of Revelations, something that now escapes him in a drunken stupor.
My end is near. The woman has promised. Cledus is not a religious sort, or he would lose faith. Jeremiah’s cherry foretold of a bleak future, one in which he may never return to his old world. In fact, the prophetess held faith the evil window would close itself—forever. He has faith Margaret waits, patiently for him, on the other side.
At home, in the quiet confines of her bedroom, Georgia hopes Bible Defender will help her conquer the rip. It is a burning fear of the unknown she had kept from Jeremiah’s Kin. She needs to be Cledus’s rock and lead him to personal salvation. She also needs to know what lay in wait—at the other side of the gate?
Her Tawny remembers grasping Bible Defender’s large gloved hand, at a benefit sponsored by her church. The touch seemed real enough to her, only because she needed a larger than life hero to replace her daddy. She often needs fantasy to give her hope for tomorrow. Bible Defender becomes a living, real element to pray to. Some kids really thirst for a modern messenger of biblical proportions, despite the fact he wears tights and is an aging actor looking for a paycheck.