Saturday, December 5, 2015

Reavers Wobble: Bridelope (Part II)


It took a month or two...or fifteen, along with several free Round One therapy sessions, but Horace and Ulinthra were able to change their ways. They didn’t start saving lives right away, but they were able to move past their need to cause death, destruction, and mayhem.
The two of them moved to Howell, New Jersey. This put them in the center of the action. They were about an hour away from each of Camden, New Jersey; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Chester, Pennsylvania; and Wilmington, Delaware. These were four of the most dangerous cities in the country. They also lived about an hour from New York City which had its fair share of dangers. They developed and perfected a system of absorbing all news in the area during Round One. Once the day restarted, they were not able to take their notes back with them, and so they also had to learn memorization techniques. They became quite excellent at it. There were whispers of two vigilantes running around stopping murders and thwarting terrorist plots, but those subsided as they learned how to stay hidden and cover their tracks.
They came to be known as The Rewinders amongst other people who did not live through time properly. These other time travelers called themselves salmon, and they all had their own patterns and missions. There were even some other couples. Horace and Ulinthra tried to form a romantic bond, but this proved to be ill-advised. Their relationship was a distraction from their responsibilities, and the more years that passed, the more committed they grew to their pattern. Ulinthra fell in love with two people whose lives she had once saved. She ended up marrying into the family unofficially, but not before they joined the team. Now they were able to dole out assignments and increase their reach; be in many places at once.
As luck would have it, Horace ran into a woman from his home town of Topeka, Kansas. They had encountered each other once in a hospital, but were both very young, and nothing came of it. They considered it fate that they both chose to live in the same new city later on in their lives. Today was their wedding day.
“Are you nervous?” Ulinthra asked as she was adjusting his bowtie.
“Are you a cliché?” Horace asked back.
She playfully slapped him across the shoulder, “shut up. I’m serious.”
“Happiest day of my life.”
“It’s supposed to be her happiest day.”
“Can’t be mine too?”
She lowered her demeanor. “Not when you’ve already been through this day.”
“I didn’t get married when we first went through the day. You remember what we did instead?”
“Yes, we said we weren’t going to talk about it.”
“It was nostalgia,” Horace said, pulling away from her to dress himself on his own.
“We shouldn’t have done it. It’s sick.”
“We used to do it all the time.”
“Yeah, separately, and we were severely messed up for it. If my husbands and your fiancée ever found out—”
“Don’t even talk like that. They have no idea who we are—who we were. They would leave us. Actually, they would likely call the cops. Sure, they would never be able to prove we hurt people in an alternate reality, but they would tell them how we “think” we live through an alternate reality, and that would probably be enough.”
“But you see, that’s just it. It’s not who we were. It’s who we are. We proved it yesterday, when we killed our loved ones in some disgusting ritualistic celebration.”
“It’s out of our system. We won’t do it again, I promise.”
I promise never to do it again,” Ulinthra proclaimed, “but I don’t trust that you won’t. You were always much worse than me.”
Horace reached back, preparing to strike Ulinthra, but was able to stop himself in time. “It’s not a contest. I killed my fiancée, and you killed your husbands. It’s over. It never happened, and we don’t have to worry about it.”
“You killed us yesterday?” Allen revealed himself.
“Allen, no, you don’t understand.”
“Tell me what happened.”
Ulinthra tried to play it down. “It’s not a big deal, honey.”
“I’ll be the judge of that,” Allen raised his voice. “What exactly did you do?”
“It’s just this...form of catharsis. We would never hurt you during Round Two. Could we please just forget it?”
“I’m not going to forget it. I asked you what you did exactly, now I want details!”
“You don’t want details. It’ll just make matters worse.”
“What happened, Ulinthra!” Allen screamed.
“We slit your throats,” Horace interjected. “It’s our...preferred method. Well, it was. We don’t do that anymore.”
“Except for yesterday,” Allen spat.
“Except for yesterday, yes. It was a mistake, and we’re sorry.” Horace sounded pretty sincere, but he knew in his heart that he wasn’t. It felt good to go back to the way things were when he was younger. As rewarding as it was to save people, it was nothing compared to the sweet relief of taking a life, knowing that he could return it the next day for a full refund.
“And you two used to do this all the time?”
Ulinthra nodded with shame. “Him more than me, but yeah.”
“No need to throw me under the bus.”
Allen tried to work through the revelation, but was struggling. “I...I have to tell Richard. I’m not saying we’ll leave you, but he has a right to know who he’s sharing a bed with.”
“I understand,” Ulinthra said.
“I don’t,” Horace said as Allen was trying to walk away.
“What?”
“Horace,” Ulinthra pleaded. “We have to let this play out. He has to do what he thinks is right.”
“I will not let you destroy what we have,” Horace insisted. “I’m going to get married today; on our one day off in, like, forever. And then tomorrow, she is going to continue helping us save the world. Richard too. If you don’t want to be a part of it anymore, then say the word, but the others can never know what we did yesterday, or what we did when we were kids.”
Allen put his hands on his hips indignantly. “Well, I don’t think that’s for you to decide. Now I’m definitely telling Richard, and I’m telling your fiancée too.”
Horace moved forward and took Allen’s arm forcefully. “Don’t do this, Allen.”
“Let him go, Horace. Remember, this is Round Two.”
“Oh, and if it was Round One, you would just go ahead and stab me?” Allen asked.
Horace smashed his fist against the side of Allen’s head, knocking him to the floor. “If this was Round One, we wouldn’t have to do a goddamn thing.”
“Horace, stop!” Ulinthra pulled at him, but wasn’t strong enough.
“I’m not going to stab you. It’s too messy.” Horace stepped on Allen’s neck and killed him.
“What did you do?” Ulinthra asked, tearing up.
“Do you want to help me hide the body?” He turned his head, but kept his eyes on Allen’s body. “Or do you want next?”
After stuffing Allen into a closet, Ulinthra and Horace left the changing room and proceeded to the assembly hall. Richard was waiting for them at the altar. “Where’s Allen?”
Horace shook his head. “I’m sorry. He really wanted to be here, but he just couldn’t stop thinking about the party boat that goes missing an hour from now. He went off to look for it.”
Richard smiled. “He always says that trouble never takes a day off.”
Once the bride was finished walking down the aisle, the officiant began the ceremony. He had few words of his own since the couple had a long set of vows to say. He skipped the part where he asks if anyone objected, and moved on to the good bit. “Leona Delaney, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
“I do,” Leona said elatedly.
“And do you, Horace Reaver, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
“I do,” Horace repeated. Click here for the next installment...

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