The Benthonic Bride

It was a couple’s wedding day. They planned a beautiful wedding with all the bells and whistles. The ceremony was held outside on the property of the couple’s new estate. It was a wedding gift from the bride’s wealthy family.  On the happiest day of her life, the bride addressed her new husband over and over, “My love! My darling! My King! Together forever!”

But the groom had other plans. He orchestrated the murder of his wife on their wedding night. They were on a cruise in the ocean. For the amount of money it took to buy his tuxedo, the groom hired his best man as an assassin to kill his wife. The assassin tied her up and threw her overboard into the deep, dark, unforgiving ocean.

The next morning, the groom reported his wife missing. The killer did the deed quite well. The authorities tried to find her on the ship, but there was no trace of her. No trace of him. No sign of struggle, or kidnapping, or murder.

Days went by, then weeks, then months. Although the groom was initially considered a person of interest, there was no evidence connecting him to the disappearance and so he was dismissed. The case was classified a cold case. The family held the funeral a year later. The groom inherited all the bride’s wealth.

On the day of the burial, the groom felt no grief, or remorse, or sorrow. He felt free. Free as the birds that flew overhead. He impatiently watched his wife’s empty casket descend into the ground and then left without saying a word to anyone.

Late into the night, while the tide was high, and the flower girls from the wedding stirred in their sleep, the bride emerged from the water hundreds of miles away from where she drowned. She stood up. She was mostly bone, but still wearing her cocktail dress that clung to her corpse.

She was holding her wedding ring that was now too big for her bony finger. She began to limp through the shallow water and then onto the mainland towards the estate 12 miles away.

Listening to the pitter-patter of rain on the window sill that night, the groom laid in bed smirking to himself about what he would buy with the blood money. Another mansion, a vintage car, a yacht, a jet plane... But his thoughts of grandeur were interrupted by a faint voice off in the distance. It was hard to make out at first, but then it became a bit louder and clearer, “My darling! My love! My King! Together forever!” The groom froze. Did he just hear his wife’s voice? LUB DUB! LUB DUB! went his beating heart. Surely his mind was playing tricks on him. It was just the rain. Water from the gutter. The bride was dead. He was sure of it. Her true grave was the deep, dark ocean floor with the predators and sunken pirate ships. The groom rested assured and fell asleep. He dreamed of the finest things money could buy.

The bride was coming for her groom.  It didn’t matter that she was dead. It didn’t matter that their love story was a star-crossed one. Together forever meant together forever. Not even death could do them part. She reached the mansion estate by sheer will. She dragged herself across the grounds that held her wedding reception a year ago. Even though she was dead, she could still hear the clinking of champagne glasses, and the smell of her strawberry mousse wedding cake.

When she got to the stone wall of the mansion, she climbed up on all four limbs. That was a talent that came with being dead. She didn’t care for it. She had a mission. She reached the top master bedroom and opened the window. In one giant leap, she landed on the bed. The groom jumped up. Was this a nightmare? But the black hollow eyes staring back at him were real… LUB-DUB! The shape of the face he’d seen before. LUB-DUB! The bride leaned in closer, reeking of salt water and seaweed…LUB… The groom’s heart stopped at the vision of his dead, decomposed wife in the moonlight. It refused to beat again. Death caught him with his eyes wide open, and mouth ajar. The bride then laid down beside her love, her darling, her King, and kissed him goodnight.

 

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