Fighting Pirates at a Wedding

Who wanted to get married? It seemed to make her mother happy, so Hannah went along with it, a little bemusedly. “You’re so beautiful,” her mother sobbed. “My poor baby!”

“Mooooooom,” said Hannah.

There was a swell of music, then a long aisle that seemed to go on forever and a man standing at the end. The sun was right behind him, so she couldn’t see his face. “Hi,” he said.

Hannah coughed.

“Dearly beloved,” said the priest. “We are gathered together today to witness the joining in the bonds of holy matrimony Hannah Carmichael and… and…” His voice sighed away like a balloon when you let go of the end. He folded gently against the dias.

“He’s dead!”

“He’s been shot!”

“Who’d shoot a priest?”

“Get down get down get down!”

Everything was pandemonium, blade-rattle and sun-dazzle. In the confusion a swarthy pirate swooped down from the balcony on a long rope and snatched Hannah up. She hit the pirate and yelled, “Put me down!”

“Oh, no, my pretty,” laughed the pirate, and shook long hair black out of her face, “for it’s my own true love that you are, and destined for adventure. Say goodbye to all your familiar things!” More pirates were waiting on the opposite balcony, arms open in welcome, all her missing sisters.