Flash Fiction: Arousal on the Canvas of the Surreal

Source: Nature's Path, a rendering

by LJ Frank

“Felicitations my friend! It’s been a few weeks. You made it through the trial…relatively unscathed.”

“Trial? It was my first and last. I felt like a virgin.”

“Virgin? Interesting choice of words considering the theology of it with eyes staring at you from all directions as if in spiritual like wonder.”

“True. After the opening prayer, blessing and associated rituals I thought I heard the sound of a gavel behind me and I found the entire affair…well,  it was like I was floating above and being a spectator to an ancient ceremony where the results had already been decided. Perhaps it’s the nature of my position.”

“Hm. My experience suggests a spectator can be a participant. Depends on what you are doing with your hands and head at the time. Personally, I had to get up and move around and go to the restroom. I’m not one to sit still for any amount of time even when there’s obligatory foreplay.”

“Obligatory foreplay?”

“Yeah, wasn’t that what it was, philosophically speaking?”

“Some prefatory words were needed I thought. Perhaps for the sake of rationalization.”

“I  like moderate rationalizations. At least every other day.  For me they are a form of…well you know.”

“Good grief. I suppose if you’re into it. Well what do people expect. I was trying to avoid any sense of malpractice so I had to do what I had to do. Such ceremonies can be emotionally distressful.”

“I wondered about what you were doing towards the end. I guess everything was a done deal before the event even began. You know how one side likes to work out everything in advance.”

“Well in many such instances audiences see themselves as jurors at such occurrences. But really who are they to judge?”

“The first time for you. Interesting how things turn out.”

I nodded. “Not sure what I was expecting. And there’s the defense of passion.”

“Defense of Passion?”

“The arousal of one mind and body embracing a woman of greatness can make one feel immortal at least for that moment…if I might paraphrase a certain American author from the last century.”

“Hemingway? Amusing. I noticed the bride hurried out before saying…I do, and the groom fell over and was left lying on the steps leading up to the altar and you were leaning over him.”

“He was awake. His face was flush. He asked me for his forgiveness.”

“His forgiveness?”

“It’s a long story. Be that as it may, I blessed him and hurried to the Confessional.”

“Why the Confessional?”

“The bride was waiting for me in the stall.”


“She said, Father, forgive me, I have sinned…”


“She was the twin sister of the bride.”

“You mean to tell me…”

“It appears the real bride had second thoughts and asked her sister to fill in for her.”

“My God!”

“I’d rather not have you invoke His Name. Anyways, the sister, who was at the altar whispered who she really was to the groom out of guilt prior to the words… I do.”

“And that’s when the groom fainted?”


“Well…I noticed she then…returned to the altar.”

I nodded. “The spectators were all whispering and muttering and so I said a few words to calm emotions. Meanwhile, the groom uttered something to the sister posing as the bride when she replied, ‘whoops!’…that’s when I followed with the benediction, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and so forth and then I excused everyone.”


“That’s another story.”

“And then you ran out the side door.”

“She was waiting in the car for me…with the motor running.”

“What? Who?”

“I thought you’d have guessed by now.”