The church was white, and so was my dress.
A bridesmaid in a satin tube of mint green fabric handed me my fourth Champaign in two hours, and giggled when I plunked a straw in it with a splash. I was careful to hold the glass with both hands. I kept the glass at arm’s length while I slurped down the whole thing.
The dress was a like cold magic woven around my body with hand-stitched silk. It was easy to feel invincible in a dress like that.
I flicked my hair back and sniffed.
“Hey girl,” I said, “I’m a lush, not an idiot.” I waggled my eyebrows at her.
She covered her mouth and laughed behind it. She had lovely eyes that crinkled a little at the corners. I handed back the glass. Like me, she was in her early twenties. Unlike me, she was mostly still sober.
“I’m supposed to be keeping you away from the drinks, you know,” she said. She bit her lip and looked over her shoulder.
Yes, I thought, I know.
I bit back a sharp reply, and shrugged.
“My future husband might be able to assign his chaperones to my wedding party—no offense,” I said, smirking at the young, pretty woman, whose name I forgot twenty minutes ago—“but he can’t actually force me to do things. I’m a grown woman! Anyway, I can do this—”
I curled my tongue into a wet ripple and touched the tip of my nose. A rhythmic wave flowed up and down my tongue like the flow of wax in a lava lamp.
Thanks to this ability, I have never paid for a drink in my life.
Ladies, here’s a tip: if a man scoffs at a drink request, show him the dirtiest shit you know. I guarantee he’ll pay up with a smile. You won’t even have to do anything! It’s amazing what men will do for the attention of a woman who can pick up an ice cube with her tongue.
The woman stared at me with her mouth open. Her tiny pink tongue shrank back as she tried something similar.
“Holy shit, no wonder my cousin is marrying you,” she said. Then, realizing what she’d implied, she gasped and dropped the tray with the glass on it, backing away.
The empty glass shattered on the floor and spread little snowflakes of glass at my feet. In the yellow shimmer of candles, it was like standing on fire.
“I’m sorry!” she shrieked, dropped to her knees. Amazingly, she scooped at the glass with her bare hands.
“Ouch, Ouch, Ow,” she muttered, as she tried to get it all.
I bent down and pulled her up off the floor.
“Relax,” I said. “Let someone else worry about that. And as for my tongue, well. I’m an easygoing girl. I didn’t grow up in a…in a castle like my soon-to-be husband John Forthright II. I don’t need to pretend sex doesn’t exist.” I sniffed indignantly, but I slurred the word “Forthright” a little more than I wanted to.
She smiled and touched her on the cheek.
She’d be genuinely sexy if she grew some balls, I thought.
I gave her a sly little look.
“Now,” I said, “get me another glass?”
She nodded, red-faced, and grabbed one from a nearby cabinet. She poured another glass of sticky gold Champaign while I kicked the glass under a rug. The complexity of kicking in a wedding dress nearly sent me tumbling out a window, but she didn’t seem to notice.
She put the straw in for me, held it eagerly.
Good girl, I thought. I should probably forgive the darling little thing.
I suspected, of course, that John had his way with her when they were kids—a pretty cousin with no sense and a strong desire to please? Of course he had—but still. That was a long time ago. And the shy little woman was awfully sweet.
I blew bubbles in the glass with the straw, and when she yanked it away, choking with laughter, I used the straw to spit about a teaspoon of the Champaign right in her face.
It wasn’t as fun as I’d hoped.
It was hard not to imagine John doing the same thing, as a teenager, with his-
Like I said.
That was a long time ago.
He was mine now.
Still, I enjoyed the look of panic on her face as she slapped at her dress, searching it for wet spots. She was just so awkward.
I covered my sadism with a smile.
“Honey, please,” I said, handing her the straw. “The only woman leaving this church with stains all over her is me. And that’s not until after the wedding.”
It wasn’t exactly funny, but we both snickered with uncontrollable laughter, and she hugged me so she wouldn’t fall to the floor.
“God, you’re so much fun,” she said, taking a drink from my glass and leaving a waxy kissmark on the rim. “I can’t believe you’re already getting married. But I guess John is…” she looked wistful. “Well, he’s John, isn’t he?” She sighed and smiled at me.
You lucky bitch, her smile said. She smoothed her stomach, rear, and arms as she remembered my fiancé.
I forced myself to smile back.
John definitely had her. Probably every summer until he left home.
I wonder if she just slept in his bed when her family visited?
I’d heard stories that he’d done far worse. The things he’d done with the neighbor’s twins-
My jaw tightened.
Still, like she said: He was John.
I am me.
I decided to slap him at the altar. And then happily, desperately marry him.
I smirked. “/////
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