Mystery and Crime Fiction posted November 21, 2021 Chapters:  ...25 26 -27- 28 


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The Wedding

A chapter in the book Running Blind

Running Blind~Chapter 27

by Sally Law


Previously, in Chapter Twenty-six~

The news of Tony Alfanzi's escape was unsettling to all of us, especially the bride. As hoped, she set aside her fears, and took it all in stride.

"This is my life now," Suzy assured. "I may not be a cop, but I might as well be. I can't think of anything I'd rather do than marry Miles. After this demanding year, nothing is going to stop us, not even Tony Alfanzi!"

I set aside my fears too, realizing the extraordinary gift I had been given: Suzy and Miles were getting married, and I had lived to be a part.

{Chapter Twenty-seven}

The wedding day of Miles Jean-Baptiste and Suzy Fleming started in a whirlwind of activity and to-do lists aplenty. The venue had been elegantly decorated by the talented bride, in amber shades of late fall.

I took a few minutes to reflect on my own wedding day, and how blessed I was to have had eyesight. It was much simpler back then, and my $500 budget included the gown I had bought off the sale rack during my lunch break. We couldn't afford a sit down dinner, so we had the reception in the casual atmosphere of the church basement. Thankfully, I found a closet full of treasures down there that had been long forgotten, and silver serve-ware which saved me a bundle.

I bought the cakes from the local grocery store--a traditional vanilla four-layer cake, and a 15x20" chocolate groom's cake. The mixed nuts were from a can; and the punch was a concoction of chilled Tahitian Treat, 7-Up, and a blob of vanilla ice cream floating in the middle.

Yet, the memory of Jackson waiting for me at the altar, his eyes beaming with love, has stayed with me all these years. I wouldn't trade our wedding day for anything.

Today, I could only imagine the looks between Suzy and Miles, and had already admired their sweet devotion.

Suzy had taken the time to make the day as sensory as possible for me, and had ordered boughs of fragrant flowers and hired a string quartet. She had found a disc jockey for the reception, and it just so happened to be our visiting trial witness, Big D, Dwayne Cooper. Yes, we were going to line dance with our favorite Texan.

For the life of me, I couldn't imagine Miles line dancing. My brain rejected the very thought. The Frenchman was the epitome of formality, always addressing me as "Madam Detective." Line dancing? Well, the day was young....

Suzy and Olivia arrived at my hospital room, and whisked me down the street to a beauty shop. Only in Louisiana can you find a full service beauty shop on one side, and a chainsaw repair on the other. 'Bobbi Jo's Salon and Chainsaw Repair' defined our lovely state to a T.

I treated everyone to the deluxe wedding package: wash, cut, style, blow out, and heat styling. Mani-pedis were next, then some much needed time with the makeup artist.

I felt like some kind of frosted confection with my thick mane of white hair piled high on my head and long wispy bangs that annoyed me instantly. I eventually pinned them back with ornate bobby-pins I'd fished from the bottom of my tote bag. I was unable to wear the three-inch heels Suzy suggested for fear of catastrophe, and at 5 foot 10, I didn't require the added height. The new boots from Big D were offered as a welcome substitute.

Around noon, we had a light lunch delivered, and took turns going pee in the world's smallest bathroom. Suzy read jokes from the bathroom humor book, one so old I knew all the punchlines.

At one point, I thought I heard a chainsaw revving, and a few of our groomsmen whooping and hollering.

Suzy climbed on top of a rickety magazine table to peer out the bathroom window while Olivia steadied her. "Yep, it's them alright," the bride reported. "Those boys better stay clean and free of injury!"

Our handsome escort picked us up in style and we headed to the church. Olivia Henry scooted beside me in the limo and thanked me one more time for taking an interest in her disappearance so long ago. "This is so surreal, Sally. I never dreamed to find family again. I thought that door had slammed shut forever. Miles is everything a brother should be."

"He is all that," I agreed. "I'm so glad you're here. Miles's happiness is now complete."

Jackson and Mike Lembowsky led us inside the church, up the stairs and into the prayer room. "It won't be much longer, ladies," announced my husband, suddenly turned wedding coordinator. "The first guests are being seated."

Jackson left me with a kiss and squeeze. "My love, we were here, not long ago...."

"I was thinking about that," I said, "and the ghastly looking red punch!"

"I wasn't looking at the punch, Sal, only you."

{And they married in the sacred place, where two souls become as one, surrounded by the ones who loved them.}

"Miles, will you take Suzanne to be your wife, to live together in holy marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?"

"I do."

"Suzanne, will you take Miles to be your husband, to live together in holy marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor, and keep him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?"

"I do."

"I understand we have canine ring bearers. You both may seal your vows with the tokens of your devotion."

"Suzy, with this ring, I thee wed."

"And I, you," voiced the bride. "With this ring, I thee wed."

They blotted each others tears, and kissed before another word was spoken.

"A mystery, and picture of Christ and His church," said the minister in closing. "What God has joined together, let no man separate."

To be continued....

**********

{Main Characters}

Detective Sally Law, that's me, also known as The Blind Girl, Lead Detective for Lafayette Township Police Department: Cold Case Division. I'm also heiress to the Andre Dupree Art Collection and fortune.

Detective Jackson Law: my husband, and a consultant to the force.

King: my guide dog, Super dog, and ace crime-solver.

Detective Lieutenant Mike Lembowsky, Homicide, Lafayette Township Police Department. He also lives next door to us on Main Street in Lafayette Township. Buddy is his German Shepherd pup.

Detective Lieutenant Janelle Harris and her German Shepherd, Vanta.

Suzy Fleming: My personal assistant.

Detective Lieutenant Miles Jean-Baptiste, Lafayette Township Police Department: Cold Case Division; his bloodhound, Samson. He's also the brother to missing person, Camille Jean-Baptiste.

Sergeant Dina Ray: Lafayette Township Police Department.

Sheriff Greyson Holt: Sheriff of Frontier Country.

Agent Fred Samuels: Louisiana FBI, deceased.

Agent Ken Washburn: Louisiana FBI.

Dr. Marie MacLavish: Doctor M is the Tri-County Medical Examiner, and a Forensic Anthropologist; married to Alan.

Roy Fitzgerald Owens: Louisiana State Prosecutor.

Mr. Duran Gibbons: Former curator and owner of The Duran Gibbons Gallery of Fine Art. Mr. Gibbons's body has been autopsied.

Lonnie Hastings: Lafayette Township senior citizen found dead, submerged in his car, along with Duran Gibbons. Mr. Hastings has been autopsied.

Floyd and Boyd Clarkston: Local criminals for hire, now seeking a better life.

Criminal mastermind, Tony Alfanzi, AKA Anthony Fabio, and street name: Tony the Tiger. Likes to work alone unless it suits him to do otherwise. He has recently set his sights on The Blind Girl and her fortune.

Captain Will Moran: New Orleans Police Department.

Analiese Irving: Curator of The Fountain Gallery in New Orleans; key witness for the state against her ex-husband, Anthony J. Alfanzi.

Spencer Whitehead: Buyer of 'Calla Lillies' for three million dollars.

Dwayne Cooper: "Big D" the Texas Truck driver.

Eugene Izard: Arranges contract killings. DNA has him linked to the assault of Camille Jean-Baptiste, AKA, Olivia Henry. He is recently deceased.

Doctor Edmund Ziegler: Not who he appears to be.

{Louisiana of 1990 and now}

Olivia Smith Henry: Amnesiac and missing person, Camille Jean-Baptiste.

Pastor Lyle Henry: Formerly the Pastor of River Ridge Mission Church and the community hostel. He is currently the Sheriff of River Ridge. He lives with his wife Olivia; and their daughter, Danielle.

Albert Lee Reynolds: Owner and proprietor of Al's Barbecue and Such; his wife, Shirley.

Cameo appearance by Russ DeWoody from my book, 'Double Blind.'



Book of the Month contest entry

Recognized


So many of my readers have asked me what parts of my novellas are true. The part about my wedding to Jackson described here is completely accurate. We married during his winter break from college in 1975; with a shoestring budget of $500. Not bad considering 550 were in attendance. Many knew we had no money for our honeymoon, and were pressing money in our hands during the reception.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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