Rachel peered out the window to gaze upon the orange and green balloons marking the entrance to the Gloaming Gap Fire Department parking lot. In neon orange letters, “Rachel and Frank’s wedding” were scrawled across the plywood sign in spray paint.
“Well, at least some things look decent,” Rachel thought to herself, as she spun to watch her sister, Lisa, stuff yet another donut into her face, the crumbs falling onto Lisa’s bright orange bridesmaid grown. Rachel rolled her eyes as she smoothed down her gown and turned back to the mirror to finish her make up. The big day was on her and she wasn’t going to let her grotesque sister ruin her perfect day. “Besides,” she smirked as she thought to herself, “I’ll look like frickin’ Cinderella standing next to her at the altar.”
A loud crash in the main area of the fire hall snapped Rachel back to reality. “What the hell was that!? No one better be getting into the cake!!”
Lisa looked up from her nail polish. “Not sure… want me to check?”
Rachel huffed, closing her mascara. “No, I’ll do it! You can’t ruin your nails!”
Rachel picked up the skirts of her gown before running off to the main hall. At first, everything looked like it was in order until she spotted something strange on the far side of the hall. She squinted, stepping a little closer to realize there was a grey arm reaching through the window. “Ugh! Really?? What kind of idiot breaks into a fire hall!?”
“What’s that, Rachel?” Father Joe meandered into the room before pausing. “Oh my, you look lovely!”
Rachel rolled her eyes. “Of course I do! But look!” She said, pointing. “Some idiot is trying to break in!” Father Joe and Rachel crept closer to the window with the strange grey arm to find it attached to it a man in ragged clothing, his eyes white and groaning. “Shit! SHIT!! He’s a frickin’ zombie! This is NOT happening! Not on MY DAY!!!!!!!” Rachel stomped her foot before running out of the fire hall towards the back rooms. “FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK!!! GET OUT HERE!!!!”
Frank fell through his dressing room door, his pants half way up his lanky thighs, “Coming, sugar plum. Oh, Rachel… you look wonderful! Wait! I’m not supposed to see you like this! This is bad luck!!” Again, Frank tripped over his shoelaces as he attempted to hide back in his dressing room.
“Frank! There’s no time for this! There’s a damn zombie trying to break into the fire hall.” Frank’s wide eyes darted up and towards the fire hall before stumbling up from the floor and out of the dressing room, clumsily attempting to pull his pants up in the process. As he reached the hall, he found Father Joe standing there, jaw gaping at the zombie trying to pull himself through the window. Behind him, another zombie pulled on his leg to crawl through the fire hall window.
“Damn it!” Frank cursed, before jumping towards one of the reception tables. He swept his arm across the table, pushing the china and fine silverware to the floor. At that moment, Lisa and Brandon ran into the room in their ceremony attire, gasping at the scrawny Frank lifting the table to push up against the window. The ambitious zombie pushed back against the table as Frank fought decisively to block the zombie entrance. “A little help, please??”
Brandon, startled back into action, sprung towards the window, grabbing the cake knife as he ran. As he reached the window, he hacked at the zombie’s arm, swiping it clean off. The table fell firmly against the window as Frank’s chest heaved, his back holding the table in place. A whimper and soft cry muffled through the cheap plywood table as the zombie arm twitched from the floor.
“Aww, that poor thing!” Lisa pouted.
“Get a clue, Lisa,” Rachel glared. “He was trying to break into the wedding. That is so not happening on my day!” The group spun around as another window crashed to the floor. “Damn it!! Not another one!!!”
Father Joe jerked towards the next table to hoist against the window. “Coming, Father!!,” Brandon darted close behind, grabbing the duct tape from the floor that the DJ had dropped off with his equipment. Still wielding the frilly cake knife, he hacked towards the zombie, frightening off the aloof zombie enough to allow Father Joe to push the table back up against the window. Brandon ripped a piece of duct tape off with his teeth and began sealing the table against the window. Father Joe slid to the ground, grabbing his inhaler out of his pocket and began breathing deeply, pushing his glasses up his nose.
From against the room, Frank turned to his bride, “We need to close up all the windows, Rachel. And the doors….”
“What!? How is my mom going to get in here? Or the other guests??” Rachel moped.
“Be serious, Rachel. No one is going to be coming out today, not with so many zombies on the loose, again. It’s going to be hours before Detective Dell can get this all under control.” Rachel looked up to watch as Brandon hustled to throw more dishes to the floor and seal off the remaining windows on the far side. Lisa tore off pieces of tape, watching Brandon’s butt from below as he reached to seal the table completely from atop a chair. Rachel huffed and turned back to her disheveled groom.
“Fine… I’ll go make sure the front door is locked….” Rachel sulked off, finding the door sufficiently locked before returning to the main area. In her absence, Lisa had gone around to light the candles.
Rachel smiled at her sister. “What?” Lisa shrugged. “There’s no reason we can’t make this as romantic as possible under these circumstances. And well, the fire could come in handy if they try to break in again.”
Rachel glided across the room to her groom, his crooked smile underlying his nervousness. As she took his hand, Father Joe began the ceremony, “Dearly beloved, and those recently departed, we are gathered here today to join this man to this woman….”
“Father?,” Frank interrupted over the thumping against the wooden tables “Uhm, maybe we should skip to the vows?”
“Oh, right. Right you are, Frank. Why don’t you begin?”
Frank turned back to his beautiful bride, her hair still perfectly in place over her bare shoulders, “I Frank, take you Rachel, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in times of peace and in times of zombie attacks….”
Rachel beamed back at her groom as Brandon and Lisa stood watch, him with the cake knife in hand and she with her duct tape and lighter. Brandon leaned over to Lisa to whisper, “Well, look at it this way. At least we don’t have to share the cake.”