Excerpt: Silence in the Chapel-Chapter 6 Interlude (from what was), Ripples

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“No one is actually dead
Until the ripples they
Cause in the world die away.” — T. Pratchett, The Reaper Man

The rooftop is decorated in white Christmas lights and the air’s just that shade of cold that only happens once or twice a year in L.A. The chairs for the reception have been pushed back almost to the edge so there’s plenty of room to dance and I’m wrapped in the arms of my husband.

There’s a live band—a live band!— which is a hell of a nice change from the canned music that’s pretty much the standby of any party in the city. Every once in a while we hear a car honking repeatedly. My idiot friends hung a banner off the side of the roof: “Just married. Honk if you love wedding nights!” Yeah. They are those kind of people.

The band was a nice surprise. It certainly wasn’t in any of the planning notes. A Kasey touch, if I’ve ever seen one. Likely someone he knows through work. They change it up to a swing tune: Don’t Mean a Thing, Duke Ellis. The lyrics: “It don’t mean a thing, if you ain’t got that swing.” Kasey stares meaningfully at my crotch and, with heavy exaggeration, stroked an imaginary beard. The crowd laughs and I resist the urge to punch him in the shoulder.

One of the more serious dancing couples has taken the floor and we gracefully retreat to the side to let them swing out to the ‘Demon Dance’. I go grab a couple of drinks and find Kasey standing by the edge, leaning on a railing and looking out at the city.

I’m in a teasing mood. “Careful. I don’t want to lose you that soon!”

He looks back and me and smiles. “I’ll always be there for you.”

“Always is a long-ass time.”

“True. But I figure your scrawny ass is going to need me long after I’ve shuffled off this mortal coil.”

“Which,” I have to add, “will be a long time from now. And why so morbid on our wedding day? Aren’t you supposed to be all a flutter or something?”

He turned away from the city and then put his back against the rail, settling down on his elbows. “I’m just thinking. It took some major planning. And saving. More planning. And now the day’s almost done. Seems like a lot of effort.”

I settle next to him. “Memories are priceless.”


“I’m just enjoying myself.”

“Me too. But it just feels weird. Being ‘official’. Having this time. And… then what next?”

“The wedding night.” I can’t help the grin on my face. Kasey elbows me.

“You know what I mean. Success, stability, maybe even kids.”

“Only if we adopt a few,” I joke back. “I’d want to keep the whole set together.”

“Working things out until the end.”

“When we both die simultaneously and peacefully in a freakish sex-related accident?”

Kasey looks down. “I like this suit.”

I give him the once over. “Sure. I like it too. What does this have to do with the freak sex accident?”

“I think I only want to wear it twice.” He straightens out his jacket. “Once now, and once…” There’s that smile, a little sad.

“Who’s my romantic?” I just pull his gaze to me.

“Is this because I like Gothic novels?”

“I’m sure we’ll find a foggy moor for you to ride in on.”

“In California?”

“Probably up in Monterey.”

“Sorry if I’m being morbid.”

“You simply think too much.” I straighten his lapels. “And if this is the suit you’re going to be buried in?” I grin. “Then maybe we need to get you out of it.”

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