Comes the Bridegroom

I remember looking into her eyes as I slid the ring onto her finger. God, she was so beautiful; so happy. The very idea of spending the rest of my life with her brought an exhilarating rush of tumbling—sometimes conflicting—emotions, the most powerful being joy that threatened to burst my heart.

I remember hearing the words “kiss the bride” and bending to find her lips with my own. I remember how she smelled in that moment, before our first kiss as man and wife.

I remember pain and light and heat and noise and darkness. Darkness that was more than just the absence of light; darkness that shrouded not just my body, but my heart and my soul. Darkness that should have been eternal.

I remember killing them, the men who released me from that darkness. I reached out into the searing light and the deafening sound and my hand found metal and wood and I pulled. Thrust back into a world of pain, I lashed out, swinging the shovel without purpose and feeling the shock of metal against flesh, biting deep and finding bone beneath.

I remember their cries of pain and fear, and when they were silenced I found that I could see again. Two men—there may have been three; it was hard to tell—lay dead around the open pit that had once been my grave, their bodies twisted and ruined. The weight of the shovel felt right in my hand, so I didn’t let go.

I remember standing there for what may have been days or years or only a few seconds before the need stirred within me; the need to find her, where ever she may be; the need to be with her again and to destroy everything that stands between us.

I remember her eyes.

I remember her scent.

I don’t remember her name.