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Scenes From a Cracker Barrel Restaurant -- FWG Flash Fiction for 2/12/2022

I was in Colorado Springs at the Superstars Writing Seminar 2022 last week, and the timezones screwed me up. Well, the bourbon had something to do with it, too. As a result, I missed last week even though I wrote a piece on my phone. Not sure what happened to it. Anyway, I'm back this week with a pretty dark tale inspired by:

Image taken and edited by Becky Strike, Oak Alley Plantation, LA.

Scenes From a Cracker Barrel Restaurant

The venue was perfect. She imagined the brick paved walkway strewn with rose blossoms, garlands of orchids hung from the pergola, and her maids of honor leading the procession. Like all brides, she pictured them wearing the ugliest dresses possible. No way would any of them be outshining her on the biggest day of her life.

Joey would be there, too, of course. Can't have a wedding without a groom--at least not in her backwater Southern Baptist town. But really, Joey was just a prop for Suzie to hang her arm on. A necessary evil. Little did she know.

The wedding went off without a hitch. The marriage not so much. Joey had a different view of their vows. Suzie didn't think much of his insistence on the "love, honor, and obey" clause, but he took it literally.

The first beating came the day they got back from their honeymoon on the Gulf. The dispute was a little thing--to her. Not so to him. God had blessed their union and they had sworn before Him. Nothing could countermand that.

What she had approached as a lark, an excuse to throw a big party, became a living hell. Within a month, her thoughts turned to divorce, and when she got pregnant, to suicide--or murder. She decided on the latter.

It went smoothly. Her pain meds in his whiskey, a pillow over his face. Her uncle, the only mortician in town and the titular coroner, called it cut and dried. It wasn't the first alcohol poisoning he had signed off on, and if they didn't change the wedding vows, it wouldn't be the last.

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