Friday, May 17, 2019

Microstory 1105: Wayne Crawford

Long before Wayne Crawford was born, the wedding industry was a dying one. It wasn’t that people weren’t getting married, but it had transformed. First of all, same-sex marriage eventually, and finally, became ubiquitous worldwide. What few people who had a problem with it were expected to keep their mouths shut. Group marriages also became common, but they were built on equality, and love, rather than child rape, indoctrination, and coercion, like a certain religion known for polygamy. The biggest change, however, was in the world’s attitude towards the institution itself, and its beginning. Weddings were still performed, though they were lower key than before. They mostly involved partying and dancing, with little emphasis on decorations and traditions. Some even opted to have no wedding at all, and there was much less stigma attached to this decision than in prior decades. Couples and grouples started realizing that the point of a wedding is to get married, and the point of getting married is to be married. Marriage is a dynamic; not an event. Once the majority of people recognized that, ceremony lost its value. Still, the planet had not suffered from mass amnesia. Some liked to do things the old fashioned way, just for their historical and artistic value. A big wedding was no longer obligatory, nor a burden, but something some people did for fun. Since money wasn’t a thing anymore, it didn’t put a strain on resources either. Wayne Crawford, and his husband-to-be, Raphael Neville were two of those people. They decided they wanted to have a real wedding ceremony, with a full audience, an authorized officiant, and all the little frills and arbitrary features. Some aspects of the traditional wedding were removed. Nobody was giving anybody away, like property, and nobody was wearing virginal white. Unfortunately, it would seem that their special day would be ruined regardless of how they chose to handle it. On May 19, 2161, the rogue planet of Durus made an uncomfortably close pass by Earth. This caused a number of earthquakes, fires, and other disasters, the likes of which the planet hadn’t seen since safety and redundancy took a front seat in the car of life. It also had the unfortunate side effect of plucking people off the surface of both worlds, and pulling them up to the other one. People with temporal abilities and patterns, such as choosing ones and salmon, were at particularly high risk of this, but the majority of refugees were standard humans. Which ones were taken, and which ones were left alone, seemed to be largely unpredictable. You would only possibly be safe indoors, though not even that was a guarantee. Raphael was sadly chosen to be thrown up to Durus, but Wayne did not accept that. The idea was, after the end of the ceremony, they would ride off the cliff together on a two person jet platform to start their new lives, so it was all ready to go for them. Wayne didn’t understand what was happening when Raphael started essentially falling up in the air, but he wasn’t going to waste time studying the phenomenon. He jumped onto the platform, and zoomed up to save the love of his life. He was moving at a pretty good clip, but Raphael was moving much faster. Luckily, aircraft were at fairly high risk of being caught up in what would later be called the Deathspring, so just by sending himself so high up in the air, Wayne ended up being taken to Durus as well, whereas he wouldn’t have, had he stayed put. It would take over twenty years, but Wayne finally did manage to rescue Raphael, and return them both to Earth, and they did so...with a daughter.

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