Jumping the Broom' *'

Springtime was in full swing and Jim seemed even more jocund than usual. There had been rumors around Kadic about him getting married soon to Ms. Hertz. Luckily the weather would be agreeable enough for them to enjoy an outdoor wedding. The wind would be cool but not too brisk; perfect weather for any number of activities.

"So, you and Ms. Hertz are getting married over the weekend ?", Jean-Pierre asked his old-time friend, Jim.

"Yeah ! Everyone's invited if they wish to come. It's a formal event, but no worries, it isn't going to be stuffy and boring. Susanne hired a magnificent DJ. You'd be amazed at the type of music she enjoys listening and dancing to. Oh, how she can dance !", Jim said. Then, he suddenly realized he was prattling.

"Congratulations, Jim. I wish you two all the health and happiness in the world.", Jean-Pierre said. He had thanked him after congratulating him for the upward trend in student's grades and was pleased with the addition of a self-defense class for students. It was a boon to the troubled students that came from broken homes. This way, they would avoid such temptations as illegal drugs, the wrong crowd and other illicit activities.

The weekend came quickly, and Jim found himself humming happily and preparing for his upcoming wedding. He was eager to see how Susanne would look in her bridal gown. He had no idea how gorgeous she was going to look once she came down the aisle.

As Mendelssohn's wedding march began to play, the congregation stood and was awed at the beautiful young bride who came in. Jim almost didn't recognize his beautiful wife-to-be. Her face was beatific, and her gown was ethereal. His eyes began to well with tears seeing her as the princess he always knew she was.

As Susanne slinked down the aisle, her dress swooshed and swished with each movement. It was a pleasing sound, and the closer she came, the bigger Jim's smile became.

She reached out a silken pearlescent glove to Jim and he took her hand tenderly.

"You're so ravishing, please don't tell me you're going back to heaven !", he said, chuckling lightly. She blushed darkly, averting her hazel eyes a bit. She had seen Jim in different attire before, but the last time she had seen Jim in a tux was during the spring dance. She had nearly forgotten how dapper he was.

The reverend stood at the podium and she used a white ribbon to "bind" their hands. This was an old tradition dating to the Celts signifying the two were now one, bound together in matrimony, and nothing could break that bond. After they had said their vows, the two kissed passionately and gazed deeply into each others eyes until Pachabelli's Canon played and they practically ran down the aisle to be sped away to the reception hall by limousine.

The reception party was exceptional. All the students and faculty at Kadic had come, looking their best and having a blast. There were sweet treats abounding and plenty of food.

No one was going to be returning home hungry.

When the bouquet was tossed, all the ladies scrambled to grab it, but Aelita had been the fortunate recipient. She didn't know what to think at first, but accepted it with a polite bow and a bit of a flush to her cheeks. The other ladies thought it was too cute and giggled at her response. Then came the garter throw. As with the single ladies, the men lined up and were even more competitive to dive and tussle for it when it went hither, thither and yon until it landed atop Jeramie's head.

"Ah, hahahah ! That's a great look for you !", Odd chortled, unable to remain serious.

"Very innovative catch though…I wish I thought of it !", Herve said, with a bit of a grin upon his usually stoic face. The two recipients of the bouquet and garter stood together to have their photos taken, thinking simultaneously:

"One day it'll be the two of us who are man and wife…But let's just enjoy our time partaking in this fantastic world one day at a time."

There then came a time after all the dancing when the new couple had to make a small speech. Susanne was more comfortable with speaking in front of people so she spoke for Jim.

"Of all these years at Kadic, I found a best friend and a romantic partner in James. He's the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can foresee many happy years with him in the future and find myself loving him more every moment. He's my guiding star and my closest ally.", Susanne said, pecking him on the cheek. Jim blushed, and then took the microphone spontaneously.

"I'm the luckiest man alive !", he added, and everyone cheered. His parents spoke, and then Susanne's parents spoke. There were compliments all around. No one had a cross word or ill look to cast upon the newlyweds.

Though it had been a seemingly run-of-the-mill day and Susanne and Jim had snuggled closely together after making love together, but Jim couldn't sleep for some strange reason. He had continued hearing something that was otherworldly. Not wanting to wake his newlywed wife from her slumber, he went outside to see where the noise was coming from.

From the woods, he could see ghostly figures around a fire, probably partaking in a ritual of long ago. He didn't feel threatened by it though, seeing that it wasn't XANA produced. Thinking others would want proof of this spooky activity, he snapped a few photos and returned to bed with an expression of wonder. Though the encounter with the supernatural had been somewhat chilling, it was extraordinary. He knew Susanne would appreciate him photographing those souls, whoever they were. At least they knew now that this life wasn't the last juncture and that there were more mysteries in the world to solve.

* Jumping the broom comes from African custom to sweep away bad spirits, or the wife's willingness to clean the courtyard she had joined once she was married. It also comes from the time (I believe it was pre-revolutionary) that couples had to have themselves registered before the marriage. They were separated from singles by jumping over a broom and that signified that this couple was no longer available to anyone else and they were exclusive, as well as legally wed.

Written by Angie Y. and FlowerofAdversity