Wow, 31 followers. This is tuning in to quite a prodigious hole... Oh, my.
If you follow my main blog, you might have heard that I've (*gasp*) quitted National Novel Writing Month. It was just too much at the wrong time for me. I'll be sure to try it again next year...
But... It's got be hyped to get back to writing on my 'original' novel, Adventures in Cherokeland. I've been consistently skipping this part, a wedding scene, because it was hard to get into the right mood for it: somber but happy. In then end it ran away and turned into an unconventional riot, thanks to one of my characters, King Antuk. But I really do love how it turned out. Here ya go:
I was rapidly progressing in school. October flew by, along with Kala’s nineteenth birthday. Soon it was May again and I had been living here for a year. My Cherokean studies had gone well and I was now an average swordswoman and archer in their standards. Hara and I both finished school together, and spent our free time practicing our weaponry skills.
Asca, Shimziah and King Antuk decided that Kala and I were ready to get married. Over the past year we had grown into close friends, and the king wanted Kala and I to assume our royal position soon. He decided that we would be crowned the day of our marriage, and afterward assume the role of prince and princess, living in the palace with Antuk and Starcaria. They set the date of our wedding on July 18.
I was, of course, both nervous and excited. I was already somewhat well-known among the people because of my status as a foreigner, but this new position of princess would bring with it both popularity and mistrust. I knew Starcaria already hated Kala and me because Antuk had chosen us as the next heirs to the throne, and I was sure, that if Antuk died before Starcaria, she would legally, and forcefully rule, and also be able to change who was the heir to the throne.
I had voiced my concerns to Kala some time before and he had nodded gravely, telling me there was nothing we could really do about it, except hope that Starcaria died before Antuk. If that happened our role as the next king and queen would be assured. If not, then Starcaria would be the sole ruler of Cherokeland. And that would be trouble. Really bad trouble.
Dang, I wished this island was a republic. But because that none of the islanders had ever heard of any of the other forms of government besides monarchy that probably wouldn't be happening. And people would find it unnerving if I, as queen someday, undermine my own potion by speaking of governmental reform.
Issues of government aside, I was nervous for my wedding and crowning too. It wasn’t stage fright I was anticipating, for I had always been good with people. No, it was the idea, the concept, of me, getting married, and being crowned a princess on this foreign island. Somehow both thoughts filled me with joy and sadness. I had always hoped to get married with all my family around me. My family. But who was my family? The Anwips or my biological parents and brother back home? I didn’t want to think about it. It was all too sad and confusing. I was getting married, here, on this island, to Kala Anwip, crown prince of Cherokeland. Heck that sounded strange.
“Don't move a muscle!” Chrarya Leigh Reynanna, Cherokeland's best dressmaker said through a mouthful of pins. It was late May and the preparations for the wedding were moving smoothly along. Antuk, Asca and Kala had never been fans of pomp and ceremony, but they decided to try to top everything that anybody had ever been seen on this island with our wedding. I was now in the final fitting session for my dress: a masterpiece of silk and lace glistening with diamonds. It was strapless with a lace up back and had a full twenty-foot long train. With it came a huge veil and sparkling tiara.
I tried carefully to stay balanced under its toppling weight on a pair of stiletto heels as Chrarya made the last measurements. Shimziah and the girls sat on the bed, watching my grimacing face with many giggles. Finally the tortuous feat of balance was over and I was able to wriggle out of the lacy mound and into a more comfortable everyday dress.
“Whoof!” I said. “I don't know if I'm going to be able to waltz around all day with that thing, pulling me down. Can I at least ditch the heels? They're hard enough to walk around in on their own, let alone under a monster dress with a tripping skirt. Gosh, you'd think that was a booby trap instead of a wedding ensemble.”
The girls laughed and Shimziah assured me that the heels were optional. I sighed a sigh of relief as Chrarya scooped up the tortuous mound in her arms and toted it away for the finial adjustments and the finishing touches, including a few pounds more in diamonds.
The aspects of a Cherokean wedding are mostly identical to the aspects of an American one. There was a wedding party consisting of bridesmaids and groomsmen, just like back home. Kala and I decided on ten friends that would compose ours: Hara, Enabeth, Eija, Tiranya Partryen, Hanyascia Partryen, Treyton Lester, Tayjat Javich, Landon Kikanya, Isavich Kyrenka, and Rya Scjardyen, who was Kala’s good friend and archery teacher. For my flower girl I picked Ariea Lester and the ring-bearer was going to be Imcas Kikanya.
The bridesmaids dresses were all dark green and sleeveless. The top part looked like it was wrapped around the body. Everywhere little ruffles and diamond accents added to the sparkle. The skirts on the dresses were long, and each girl had a matching miniature tiara.
We were to be married on the front steps of the place, which were going to be enlarged with a special stage. In Cherokeland there was no processional with the wedding party. They just assembled on the stage and then the bride walked down the aisle with her father. Asca was going to walk me down the “aisle”, which was in reality Main Street, and Antuk would perform the marriage ceremonies, since in Cherokeland these were done by a family relative of importance instead of by a pastor or priest.
Somehow, in all the preparations, I was surprised when the day finally came. The wedding was to be at one o’clock, and the whole town was sure to turn out to watch. Main Street had been blocked off, and all the shops and houses lining it had been decorated with green and silver streamers. A long white carpet had been rolled out, reaching almost the whole length of the street. A loose rope railing was constructed around the carpeted area to keep the people nicely back a ways.
Asca and I were going to walk down the street, and then we would come to the place, which had been arrayed in all get out. The stage had been constructed over the entryway stairs and was properly decked out in silver and green. At the tops of nearby buildings, men were waiting to shower glitter and flower petals over the whole scene when Kala and I were officially married and pronounced prince and princess.
Soon crowds of people gathered along the street, and when the city bells tolled for one o’clock, they all fell silent. At one end of the street Asca and I stood waiting. Far at the other end I could see Kala, Antuk and the rest of the wedding part waiting too. Then the music started: at every street corner a small band was playing, and amazingly they were keeping in sync with each other, filing the whole street synonymously with music.
Asca and I began to walk down the length of carped, preceded by Ariea Lester, who was sprinkling flower petals, glitter and small glass cut like diamonds over the carpet way. My bare foot stepped upon one of the small glass gems and I almost squealed in pain.
“You aright?” Asca whispered.
“Yeah, I just stepped on one of those glass gems with my bare foot.” I replied.
“Oh.” He said. Then, after observing his surroundings, “I’m glad you picked green and silver as your wedding colors, they’re my favorites.” I laughed, and remembered back to the day I had first met him. He was, like always, dressed in green and sliver. Some days I had wondered if he ever wore any other colors. He later proved that he occasionally did, but mostly he wore green and silver, green and silver and green and silver.
As I marched along, trying not to step on any more glass jewels, I thought about my family back home. Both my father and mother had been fans of the color green. Our couches and curtains were green, the dish set was green, the counters were green, and everything possible was green. I’m sure that back home I would’ve picked green for my wedding color too, even though I did prefer blue a bit better.
The music was mounting as Asca and I drew near to the main stage area. Even thought this was supposed to be a day of happiness, thoughts of my family back home were beginning to could my mind. Doubts nagged at me. I had stayed her so far, but this marriage would permanently bind me here. These were my last moments to turn back. To return to everything I one held dear.
As I thought these thought over, I must’ve stopped for a second. Asca turned and looked at me, asking what was up. I shrugged and started forward again. Seeing the tears and faraway look in my eyes, he seemed to understand. I went back to my thoughts.
The music swelled to a grand crescendo. The tune was one closest to the song I had wanted to get married to back home. And both songs gradually built up to a grand point. Here it came, just as we reached the stage. All thoughts were wiped away in the deafeningly beautiful crescendo. Before I knew it I was out the top, of the stage steps. My mind was far away, wrapped up in thoughts of regret and thoughts of my family. I stopped before I should have, my thoughts in a faraway place. A tear fell from my face and landed on a flower petal below.
But then Kala took my hand and smiled down at me, wiping away my sad thoughts and brining me forward. I shook my head free of the memories that had been clouding it, and I watched as Antuk jovially cleared his throat and prepared to address the crowd.
“Laaadiiies and geeentleeemen!” He bellowed. “Welcome!”
This jovial outburst was greeted with cheers and laughter from the crowd. He continued:
“As you know this is a very special day. It will go down in the history of this island forever! It will be remembered… Oh, never mind that speech, it’s much too bleh. I’ll paraphrase it for you. It says:
“Today is a marriage celebration. A.k.a. this individual,” he put his hand on Kala’s shoulder, “and this individual,” he put his hand on my shoulder, “are going to tie a knot.”
There was scattered cheering from the crowd.
“Ahem, for those of you who don’t know what that obscure idiom is, I’ll restate that last sentence of you. Ahem, this boy is going to marry this girl!”
There were more cheers and laughter from the crowd. Antuk’s face fell.
“C’mon people. Don’t you know how to use your vocal chords to the limit?” He asked.
There was a deafening scream from the crowd. Kala and I grinned at each other.
“Ahem, thanks, that was better.” Antuk said. “Now if you’d pleas shut it so I can continue blabbing. Now, for the ceremonies, do-te-do-te-do, mwahaha. Ahem, never mind. Ahem, blah. Ahem, hello. Ahem, goodbye. Wow, ahem, I’m really nervous today.” Antuk let out a giggle.
“Okay.” Antuk stiffened. “Let’s get going. Ahem, my dear nephew Kala, would you repeat after me? I, Kala Anwip, son of Asca Anwip, son of Ki Anwip, nephew and suggested crown prince and heir to the throne of our good and gracious King Antuk.”
“I, Kala Anwip, with a long heritage and a rigmarole of titles who is nicely related to our good and gracious King Antuk.” Kala said. I stifled a laugh.
“You’re supposed to repeat me sonny,” Antuk said in mock anger.
“I’m just paraphrasing it for the poor ears of our good people. You didn’t read the speech earlier in all its entirety!”
“Oh, boy. Whatever never mind? Ahem, continuing: I Kala, take you, Ellie to be my wife…”
“I Kala, take you, Ellie, to be wife…”
“To have and to hold from this day forward…”
“To have and to hold from this day forward…”
“For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health…”
“For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health…”
“See, you’re getting the hang of this, sonny!” Antuk grinned. “Uh, where was I, yes: to love and to cherish from this day forward till death do us part.”
“To love and to cherish from this day forward till death do us part.” Kala was smiling tenderly at me. I was about to burst into hysterical laughing at the observance of the wedding proceedings. Behind me Asca and Shimziah were both giggling, yet crying with tears of joy and sadness.
“Okay, now it’s your turn.” Antuk said to me. “Repeat after me: I, Ellie Moore, the weird foreigner with no titles insofar as concern this miniscule island and it’s good a gracious king…”
“I, Ellie Moore…” I said, laughing.
“No paraphrasing!” Antuk said.
“Well, you’re paraphrasing it from the original!” I retorted.
“Gosheesh, if you know the original so well then, just say it yourself!” Antuk slammed the book shut and gave me an expectant smile.
“Okay, fine.” I replied with a grin. “I, Ellie Moore, take you, Kala Anwip, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
Antuk clapped and grinned. “An a-plus on that one, as you would say.” He was practically beaming. “Now for the decorative gold band thingies.” Imcas Kikanya came forward with a silver plate holing the two rings. I passed my bouquet to Hara, not daring to glance at her for fear of busting up laughing.
“So here’s the deal, kids. You’re supposed to say something that I had written down in the book, which got lost when I slammed it shut so never mind that. Just stick the rings on the other person’s finger and get on with the program!” Kala and I did as instructed. Antuk looked at me quizzically. “Is there anything else to add? I can’t find the page with the order of it all in this big, confusticated book!” He ruffled around in the pages for a second. “Oh, here it is. La-ti-da-ti-da… Where were we? Hmm… Oh, hello, there we are. Exchange of rings then… Tada!”
Kala and I exchanged bemused glances.
“Ahem, by the authority invested in me by the island of Cherokeland…” Antuk read. “Well, that’s a no brainer cuz I’m their king! Ahem, excuse me but I’m going to paraphrase. Orchestra dude!” He gestured at a nearby musician.
“Yes your majesty?”
“Do a cymbals clash at the end of this upcoming announcement, please.” The man nodded knowingly.
“Okay, I’m digressing. Where was I? Dammit, why do I always lose my place in here? Ah!”
There was a lengthy pause then Antuk cleared his throat prodigiously.
“By the power invested in me, the good and gracious king of the beautiful little island of Cherokeland, I know pronounce you,” He pointed at Kala, “and you,” he pointed at me, “man and wife!” There was a proper cymbals clash from the waiting musician. Antuk grinned and slammed shut ‘the bedanred and confusticated book’ again. He had a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
“You may now kiss the bride.” He said to Kala.
The instruction was quickly carried out to much cheering from the surrounding crowd.
“Now then, folks. It’s time to partaaay!” Antuk grinned and the musicians started up a lively tune.