Emerald Bolts Deirdre Feehan
A Magazine for Flash Fiction

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At the Wedding

When we stood to kiss in San Bartolomeo, Merle tossed back her veil as if it had the weight of waves and I drew her, in her borrowed dress, to me with one arm, heard the crinkle of the satin bow about her waist as our lips met, no other sound reached me until she released me and then came the shaking of hands, back-slapping, and well-wishing, the ladies' hands gloved, the men's rough, all our guests: mothers, grandparents, cousins, nephews, nieces, fit into that small church hall that someone had decked with paper lanterns and chains, below which small cakes and sparkling wine served for the nuptial meal with ridiculous toasts and boasts made with glasses held high and voices a-tremble with gladness as a fiddler arrived, then a pianist joined him and dancing began until the electricity failed which stirred the altar boys to rush in with candles, and in that light I caught the force of Merle's smile, that puncture of her love for me, her open-heartedness toward all who'd come, her thankfulness for all who had survived the war, the occupation, the liberation, and that fear and taste of death that had dogged me since all that fighting in Bologna fell away; I breathed in a glorious scent of hope amid the crushed rose petals that decked the table as her arms went around my neck and I kissed that space behind her ear; and didn't she wrap one leg around mine and stretch to kiss me on my brow? Isn't that how it was?


- Deirdre Feehan  (USA)

Deirdre Feehan lives in Los Angeles. She is a writer, a photographer and a librarian. She attended Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood CA, where she studied literature and history. Her recent work includes a photographically illustrated children's book, ABC starring Teddy and his friends. Her short story appeared in Byzarium, her poems in Slow Trains and The Ampersand.

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 Copyright © Emerald Bolts Magazine, 2014
The front page image is copyright © by Tony Kitterick, 2012