“B is for Bride” – Chapter 12c – Panooksa

Idea by Tom Austin                                                    Written by Tom Austin

                                         Revised by Tom Austin

Milly sat on the couch studying every word in the pamphlet. Her brow was furrowed, then her eyes became very large. She shouts as she can then stuffs the pamphlet in her jeans pocket.


She needn’t have yelled. Brad was standing just a few feet away near the now empty bookcase.

“You bellowed my love?” said Brad

“Hope you paid last months VISA bill cause we’re going shopping!”

With a look of intense determination she activated the doorway and stepped through. Brad was hot on her heels.

“Hold on there Missy. Where’s the fire?” said Brad who was just a bit curious as to their final destination.

Milly was now speed walking like in the Olympics. “We’re going to Murphy’s Bridal Emporium. I just saw my dress on sale there for less than half price than in the city.”

“MILLY! will you please slow down” yelled Brad.

She finally came to a stop and looked at him.

Brad was panting, leaning over, trying to catch his breath.

“I am not a hamster on a wheel. Why are you walking like a demon?”

“We’ve got to get there before it closes.”

Panting like an old hound dog he asked an obvious question.

“Why don’t you teleport?”

Milly scrunched up her face and grabbed her hair.

“Jeez, Louise. I feel so dumb” She grabbed Brads hand, cleared her mind, and they slowly vanished.

When they re-materialized they were at the front of Murphy’s Bridal Emporium. A man wearing a three piece suit greeted them. He had greased back hair.

“May I help you with something. A wedding gown for the lovely lady, or maybe a tuxedo for sir?”

Milly took charge as this was her territory.

“We’re new in The Town, and your fine establishment was recommended to us.” Milly greased the mans ego.

“How kind of you to mention that. You wouldn’t be planning on getting married would you?”

“How interesting you should ask that. That’s exactly the reason we’re here.”

The man, whose name was Geoffrey G., pulled a pamphlet from his coat pocket. It was the same as the one Milly had stuffed in her pockets.

“This month we’re running a special on Murphy wedding packages. You pick the dress, you pick the shoes, you pick the tuxedo, and we do the rest. We supply the church, the garter, the hairdresser, and the photographer. We call it our Fifty/Fifty deal.”

Geoffrey G. led Milly over the dress wing. There were over six thousand dresses to choose from. The room was gigantic. It was bigger than the entire store.

“It’s bigger on the inside than on the outside.”

Geoffrey G looked the ground and muttered quietly.

“I do wish people would stop saying that.”

Meanwhile Milly’s jaw dropped and her eyes bulged. “I think I’ve died and gone to wedding dress heaven” she managed to say.

Milly wandered through the seemingly endless racks of dresses and gowns. The look on her face was one of pure joy. She was in a sea of happiness. Then after forty-five minutes she announced she had found her dress. “It’s just like the picture I showed to BB.”

At this point Geoffrey G. said “That’s simply wonderful. Now if you could be so kind as to walk towards me bringing the gown with you.” As soon as she left the wing it vanished, and the shoe wing appeared. Thousands of shoes for thousands of feet. The wing stretched out in front of Milly further than she could see.

“What shoe size do you take Miss?”.

“Size Five”

Geoffrey G reached into thin air got the right size shoes.

“What did you say your fiancés name was?”

She said with a bit of smirk “Bradley”.

“Thank you. Now Bradley, could you please turn around. We’re going to put the dress into a garment bag so no peeking”

Brad turned around and muttered quietly to himself.

“If he calls me Bradley just one more time I’m going to clock the little twerp.”

Milly and Geoffrey re-appeared with the dress properly secured in a garment bag. Milly held the shoes. The next item was the garter.

“We going to pick out the garter now Bradley. If you could be a good chap and turn around again.”

“Geoffrey, I’m a doctor. I’ve seen more garters than you ever will.”

“As my dear mother used to say “bully for you”. Now I’m going to count to five. If you haven’t turned around you’ll be escorted out of the store.”

Milly signaled to Brad to turn around.


Milly put her hands together like she was praying and silently said please.

A hand suddenly fell on Brads right shoulder.

“I know it’s damn silly, but turn around.”

Now a deeper was heard. It was Tyler.

Milly crawled into her fathers arms.

“Daddy, what are you doing here? How did you even know we’d be here.”

“Your mother. After Brad’s unannounced visit she figured it was only a matter of time before you two showed up here. Besides I was coming to town anyway to get some more tobacco”.

“Would the father of the bride care to see anything?”

Tyler had a short fuse when it came to Geoffrey.

“He most certainly would not. Now do the world a favour Geoffrey and go knit something. Now shoo!”

“Yes Dr. Shine”

But before he left he stuck his tongue out at Brad.

“That pathetic excuse for a person used to be a patient of mine. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.”

“But a tool just the same.” said Milly. “But what’s with the knitting?”

“The hospital taught him to knit whenever he felt stressed out. Personally I think the little twerp should be defusing grenades.”

“Daddy, I hope you never really said that to him”

“No. But there ever there was a reason for birth control it’s him! But enough about Super Twerp. Brad, I understand you need a Tux.”

Tyler then put his hand on Brads shoulder.

“Let’s find you a Tux son.”

Tyler led Milly and Brad into the tuxedo wing

Tyler winked at Brad, and the two conspired to put Milly into a mild panic. He held up a tux.

“What do you think about this one. You’ll certainly stand out in a crowd”

It was bright orange like a traffic cone.

All of a sudden Milly said “Don’t even think about it. My knees are in great shape.”

Brad burst out laughing. Tyler looked for something even more horrid.

”I afraid I must decline, but I did see a striped number that looked simply adorable. It had a sort of chain gang theme.”

“Bradley Rosebud Peters. Don’t you dare!”

Milly’s eyebrows went up, and her eyes grew to gigantic proportions. Her hands quickly covered her mouth. She had done the unbelievable and the unthinkable. She had done exactly what Brad asked, pleaded with her never to do. She was to never, ever, under any circumstances mention his middle name.

“What?” said a very surprised Tyler.

Tyler talked calmly and slowly. All his medical training now came into play.

“Explain this to me slowly son. Don’t leave out any details no matter how small. Take a deep breath and exhale. Relax and tell me all about it.”

With a certain amount of reluctance Brad told Tyler the whole sordid story.

“When I was born my father, who was rather drunk at the time, gave me the middle name of Rosebud. Those were the last words Charles Foster Kane said before he died in the film Citizen Kane. He adored that film.”

“Your sainted soon to-be mother-in-law used make me watch that damn fool movie every time its was on. I’ve seen eight times. Hated every minute of it.”

As they all walked into the Tuxedo Wing Brad made an unusual request.

“I know it’s not the norm Tyler but would it be alright if I chose a white tux. I’ve already cleared it with Milly”

Tyler looked a little queasy just thinking about the idea.

“You sure about this Brad?”

“More than ever. Milly knows why and I have her OK.”

“OK. Here you go. I hope you do know you’ll look like the vanilla frosting on a chocolate cake.”

“That’s alright with me” said Milly who was dying to take a bite out the cake.

Tyler handed it to Brad. Tyler looked like he was about to be ill.

“OK you two. Lets go to the cash.”

Suddenly, Milly exploded in anger and profanities took flight.

“Holy friggin’ Fuzzbucket. Damn and double damn. I knew we forgot something. Money!” she said. “I’m so angry right now I spit nails.” Milly pouted and frowned all at the same time.

Tyler put an arm around Brads neck and asked him a question.

“I seem to remember something about the father of the bride paying for the wedding. Did you ever hear anything like that?”

“I seem to remember hearing something about that too.” said Brad

Suddenly Milly expression went from a dark, dark frown to wide, wide smile.

Tyler whispered to Brad. “If I didn’t at least offer her mother would have my guts for garters.”

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2 thoughts on ““B is for Bride” – Chapter 12c – Panooksa

  1. My original draft of the chapter didn’t have that line. But after re-reading the chapter a couple of weeks later I couldn’t resist using that line. When I wrote the line I remember thinking “Meg will appreciate this”.So far you’re the only who commented on it


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