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2005.07.22

[In_Dreams: The_Wedding]

by Mimi Jones-Taylor

           “I do.”

            The crowd applauded with glee as the groom kissed the bride with all of his passion.

            “I now pronounce you man and wife.”

            Siobhan smiled with loving grace, as he led her by the hand through the parted crowd.

            It was an informal ceremony, not too many people.  Just enough, they had both said.  They didn’t want a zoo like most of the other weddings they had attended.  This was their special day, and nobody was going to ruin it for them.  The conspicuous bodyguards along the perimeter in their form-fitted tuxedos would make sure of that.

            As she leaned in to kiss her new husband, a breeze blew his hair from his face, reminding her of the day they first met in Central Park.

            The November day had been exceptionally warm, and she had decided to walk through the Park instead of down her customary commuter path.  She saw the orange pylons blocking her way, but she was a native New Yorker.  She had to get to work, and she lived in Central Park West.  Who were these snooty film crews that thought they owned the rights to Strawberry Fields?

            He had spotted her right away.  He thought she was the model for the video.

            “Finally, you guys picked a hottie,” he said, eyeing her like a salacious wolf.

            A shudder went up her spine as his intense hazel eyes pierced through her vulnerabilities.  She narrowed her eyes in return.  Who the fuck was this guy, she thought, and why the fuck did he think he owned her?

            “I’m sorry, miss, but you’re going to have to show us your pass.”      

            Between the attitude of Security and the creep factor of the gawker (though she had to admit the gawker was better looking by leagues), she did what New Yorkers did best.

            “I have to show a pass to walk to work?  Fuck you.  This is my park where I pay taxes.  I can walk wherever the fuck I choose.”

            Before Security could grab her, she whisked past, down the hill, towards the path leading to the zoo.

            “Wait!”

            She didn’t want to turn around.  She knew it was the creep.  The rather handsome creep. 

            “Please.  We’ll pay you.”   

            He had piqued her curiosity.

            “Pay?”

            “Yeah, this is a video shoot.  Sorry, I thought you were the actress we hired.”

            Siobhan snickered in his face.

            “Look, buddy, I’ve heard a lot of lines, but that’s got to be one of the better ones.”

            “I’m serious.”

            He was standing in her personal space now.

            “You’re gorgeous. We could really use you in the video.”

            She tried to bite the inside of her cheeks, but outside, they had already filled with blood.

            “Fine.”

            She looked down at his combat boots. "Is this an army video?"

            He followed her gaze to his feet.  “No, I wear these all the time.”

            “They must be heavy.”

            She remembered hearing him laugh for the first time; it shattered all of the misconceptions she had gathered about him, and for the first time, she thought she might allow herself to find him attractive.

*  *   *  *

            It had been crazy after that – interviews, paparazzi, fake clippings of her hair for sale on e-Bay, press photo sessions (which he never did like, and she ended up hating, even though Annie had done a great job capturing their natural ease with each other). 

            And then, they had to deal with the backlash from his fans.  She had never been a fanatic for anyone – she only knew one song by his band.  She didn’t need to know about that life, because he had brought her past the persona, behind the barrier, into his heart, showing her his true essence, his strengths, his vulnerabilities.  She understood that he had to “be” someone else when he was onstage, but could not fathom the depths of the passionate obsession of his worshippers.

            It started out as simple, almost harmless hate e-mails sent to the fan Access page.  They multiplied by thousands.  Then someone had posted a threat about a car bomb, and Siobhan was banned from driving for three months. 

The final straw, the day she saw his full anger and hurt explode, was the day that the pig’s head arrived via FedEx at the record label’s office.  The heads had called him in; there were talks of dismantling the website, the fan club, even the band; the whole package he had spent his life building, and nearly lost his life rebuilding.  She had spoken to him on the phone, trying to understand who could do such a thing.

“I know who it was,” Trent cried.  “It’s those damned message board fuckers.  They can’t handle reality, they can’t stand to see me happy on my own.  It’s written all over their bad poetry postings.  I guess they thought they would show me their art on a new level.  Fucking psycho bitches.  Even I didn’t think they could sink so low. After all I’ve done for them, and this is how they show their gratitude?  They don’t deserve my music.”

She had been lucky enough to avoid seeing it, though she couldn’t stop shaking. 

But in spite of the threats, the hatred, and even the dead animals, she flew over the moon the day he presented her with the Emerald Cut Harry Winston.  She couldn’t imagine being with anyone else, and would willingly fight each psycho stalker, hand-to-hand, in order to spend the rest of her life beside him. 

*   *  *   *

           It’s 10:30 AM, local Paris time.  Trent Reznor is scheduled for an interview with TV2 France.  The host hands him a microphone pack, and he hooks it through his shirt.  It’s a routine he’s repeated a million times during this promotional tour, and he’s grateful that this is the last interview of the European leg.

            The cameras begin to roll.

            “We are very pleased to have you here with us,” the interviewer says in perfect English, hinted with a Parisien accent.  “First of all, let me offer my congratulations.”

            “Thank you,” says Trent, unsure of the reference.

            “But, in my notes here, it says that you are single.  Did you elope?  Is this an exclusive for TV2 France?”

            Trent looks at the interviewer.

            “I am single.”

            “Oh, pardon me, Trent, but when a gentleman wears a ring on his left hand, in France we assume that he is married.”

            “Ring?”

            Trent looks down at his left ringfinger.  A band of gold is fitted perfectly at its base.

            “What the fuck?”

            He attempts to slip it off; the ring sticks as if it has been there for years.

            "What the fuck is going on?"

Posted by Mimi Jones-Taylor in tales_of_terror | Permalink

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Comments

The paragraph where Trent is talking about the "message board fuckers"... I couldn't stop laughing. I think I hurt my new labret piercing from laughing so much. I don't know why I found it so funny, but I did.

ANYWAY. Thank you for another wonderful installment! I assume the continuous theme is going to be alternate realities/dreams leaking into real life, yeah? That's such a great concept that I haven't seen explored before, at least in fan writings.

Already eagerly awaiting the next installment...

Posted by: Kim | Jul 22, 2005 12:38:48 PM

Merci beaucoup, Kim. I had already come up with the idea of the story before all of the piss rained down at that place (the acronym for which shall not be uttered here), but I think that last weekend's events may have influenced some of the dialogue. Stay tuned to see how it all resolves itself!!

Posted by: Mimi | Jul 22, 2005 1:42:06 PM

CREEPY! BRILLIANT! CHAPEAU!

Posted by: Dierdre | Jul 23, 2005 1:58:57 AM

EXCELLENT!! i REALLY can't wait for more!

Posted by: Jen | Jul 23, 2005 9:12:39 AM

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