Throwing Rice

In the wake of celebrity weddings like George Clooney's ostentatious hootenanny

E. A. Cook presents an alternative to the bodacious brouhaha.

Throwing Rice by E.A. Cook

Troy didn't like to be rushed. Didn’t like that the paparazzi was all over the place on this one. But he was a free-lancer, so it came with the territory. He preferred close-up work, but his employer wanted a distance shot at a celebrity wedding. So he waited from his balcony.

He’d been enjoying the purrs and moans of a raven-haired, well-endowed beauty when the call came in at his Manhattan apartment. They needed the shoot done today. In Malibu. He had three hours to catch a flight, the ticket would be waiting for him. Everything he needed would be waiting for him at the Hilton, across the street from the church where the wedding was taking place.

When he arrived and checked-in, the hotel manager welcomed him to California, and handed him the promised equipment bag. When Troy got to his room, jet lagged and grumpy, he checked to make sure the bag contained the right lens for the job. He took everything to the balcony, found a cushioned wicker chair , and started assembling the tripod. Nothing to do but wait now, and watch below as hundreds of guests crowded around the church, cameras flashing all around them. It was two in the afternoon and Troy couldn't help but wonder why people were using flashes at all. Amateurs. Looking through his lens, setting the focus on the doors of the chapel, he grumbled inwardly again at the distance.

The groom was the celebrity, the bride a studio executive who’d finally netted her meal ticket. Troy had a chance to catch up on the event with a People Magazine on the flight over. He didn’t watch T.V., and had never heard of the actor getting married. He was thinking that the bride’s name rang a bell, something from his past, when the doors of the church opened.

It was Mandy on the groom’s arm. Troy had heard she’d been married and had taken a new last name years ago after she had left him. Mandy was his Red Cross nurse in Kosovo when he’d been shot in the leg doing merc’ work. They had a two week affair, but in the end she left him saying they had no future because of the way he lived. Troy had never heard from her again.

Setting his cross-hairs on the grooms head, he squeezed off the shot. Blood and gore covered Mandy’s beautiful white dress as she screamed and collapsed unconscious on the church steps.

Packing his equipment, Troy wondered why she was wearing white. Wasn’t there some rule about wearing white if you had been married before?

E. A. Cook has lived a life that rivals the lives of the characters that he writes about. As a young man he spent years traveling around the country hitchhiking, riding freight trains and as a carny. He has worked as a face painter on the streets of New Orleans, a hot dog vendor, an Account Executive for advertising and has owned a private investigations company. E.A. Cook lives in Colorado and has just released his first novel-Spanish Moss.