He had promised her he’d come. So he would just grin and bear it. His suit for the ceremony was in the plastic hanger bag behind him. On the counter in front of him she’d left out a razor, shaving cream and some aftershave.
“Good try,” he chuckled to himself, as he pulled his long beard together in a tight braid. He actually did shave around the edges, so he could claim some effort. Without thinking, he splashed his face with a little aftershave.
Oh good lord, it was Old Spice. Shit. There was no washing it off.
He arrived at the church in his construction man’s pickup. It was the kind of whirling dervish that made people pray for his safety every time he got into it. Stepping out in the perfectly tailored dark green suit with a fresh flower in the lapel, even he had to admit he looked pretty good.
There she was on the stoop. She greeted him with a smile and a strong hug.
“You smell like grandpa,” she teased quietly in his ear.
“Yes,” he whispered back, “and revenge will be mine! Let’s get your daughter married, now, shall we?”
He stood in the center as the groom nervously watched him and the back door of the church. He wondered what generational stories the boy had been told about the esoteric druid uncle from the woods. He winked at the boy, which didn’t exactly have the calming effect that was intended.
His niece arrived in the back door, wearing his Mother’s wedding dress. She strolled forward with quiet confidence. Beginning his opening words, he found his cadence and cast his spell over the crowd.