Monday, September 27, 2010

White Pickups, Episode 54

Thursday, November 24, 2011

“I’ll have to say, this is one of the more unique weddings I’ve ever performed,” said Patterson, standing on the steps above the pool. The two couples — Sondra and Cody, Tim and Sara — stood at the bottom, flanking the preacher. The wedding party consisted of Ashley and Lily as flower girls, Max and Cleve as best men, and Tina and Jennifer as bridesmaids. The brides wore white, or at least cream-colored, dresses they found in Laurel; Tim and Cody looked decidedly uncomfortable in their found suits, but the layers did keep the late November chill at bay. The rest of the community spread across the area between the stairs and the pool. “But it gives me hope as well. After all that has happened in a few short months, there are people ready to commit themselves on this Thanksgiving Day not only to each other, but to the defiance of doom. By joining themselves in holy matrimony, they signify to us — and to the world — that the human race isn’t finished yet. Not by a long shot.

“But all the same, this is still not a step to be taken lightly. These couples have committed themselves to each other as best they could, when there was no clergy, but today they make it official — not only in the eyes of the community here, but in the eyes of God. And so, without shame or reproach, if any of you is uncertain in any way about joining yourselves in holy matrimony, speak now.” Nobody spoke. “If there exists among those of you present, any reason these couples should not be joined, speak now or forever hold your peace.” Again, silence, except for a sigh from Caitlin (or perhaps Kelly).

The ceremony went on as ceremonies have forever, even with rings — Tina knew of a jewelry store near the mall; it had been looted but Cody and Tim found plenty of modest wedding rings. Finally, as the grooms continued to kiss their brides, Patterson grinned and said, “As our couples have agreed to join their surnames as well as themselves, I present to you: Tim and Sara Karsten-Petro, and Cody and Sondra Lucado-Sifko!” The others cheered.

“Reception’s inside!” Johnny bellowed; everyone cheered again and followed the wedding party up the stairs.

As people started filling their plates, and Sheldon and Ben debated the best way to filch a beer or two without getting caught, Delphinia floated through the crowd with that eerie grace. She walked to the big window overlooking the pool and removed her Braves cap; again that shimmering blonde hair flowed down to her shoulders as she spread her arms, silhouetted against the window. Few saw that, but when she began to sing, everyone stopped and turned:

Love and joy, life and light
Witness to God’s power and might!

Sorrow, gloom, turn away
Celebrate this glorious day:
Lift your heart, feel the joy
Man and woman, girl and boy

Empty house, empty halls
All be filled by children’s calls,
As we make the world new
With the help of God so true —

Love and joy, life and light
Witness to God’s power and might!

Winter comes, cold it be,
Then spring — rebirth — glory be!
Summer, fall, moon and sun
Seasons in their courses run.

As we learn what is real,
Earth shall in her slumber heal
Love and peace unto you
Until all is made anew!

Love and joy, life and light
Witness to God’s power and might!

So rejoice, children true
Love endures, and is your due!
On the day you must part
Hold this joy close to your heart —

Though your heart wants to break
Healing pours from heaven’s lake.
For all will be made new
In heaven we will find you!


For a long moment, no one spoke, no one moved. Some said later that they’d heard harmonies, as if she sang in multiple voices. Ben and Sheldon gaped, their attempt at minor delinquency forgotten. Delphinia herself broke the silence: “Let the feast begin!” and the brides and grooms resumed filling their plates.

“Excuse me,” a small voice reached Delphinia, smiling upon the party. She looked down; Sheldon and Ben looked wide-eyed back up at her, wringing their hands. “Is there anything we can do for you? Would you like a plate?”

She gave them a blissful smile. “Why, thank you. That would be very kind.” They scurried away to join the line.

Patterson sidled up to Delphinia. “Were they bothering you? Is everything okay?”

“On this day,” she said, turning the Braves cap in her hands and watching the line, “all is love. All is light. All is laughter. Those boys will grow to be fine young men, and loving husbands to their wives. We shall mold them.”

“We?”

“Of course.” She donned her cap but left her hair and hood down, and turned to watch the sun break through the clouds and dazzle the puddles on the pool cover. Patterson watched her watch the water for a moment, then left to congratulate the newlyweds and greet the others.

“Um,” one of the boys said a little later, “we brought you your plate.” Each of them offered her a plate, heaped with food.

“Wonderful!” she said. “Let’s find a table, and ask the good reverend to join us. I believe you brought enough for us all!” She led them to an empty table, and waved Patterson over as he turned to look a question at her.

continued…

2 comments:

  1. A double wedding! Cool! But I suspect that we haven't heard the last from Kelly.

    The word mold has a distinctly negative ring to it.

    Well done, Far!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Indeed, Boran, we haven't!

    As for molding, Monday (and Tuesday, yup, another double-up episode) will show us some of the effect that Delphinia's had on the boys…

    ReplyDelete

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