|Only The Red of Roses
Author: JemimaPearl PM
Tale of Two Cities one shot. Wrote it for a class and did pretty well on it. It's the actual wedding scene of Lucie Manette and Charles Darnay. Many different character's pov. Constructive Criticism is welcome, but no extreme flames please.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Angst - Words: 1,198 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 03-05-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2830496
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
a/n- I do not have any rights to any Tale of Two Cities Characters. If I did, I'd wouldn't be writing this, because I'd be rich, living off of all the royalty money Charles Dickens made from writing A Tale of Two Cities and everything else
The carriage that carried the bride and her father arrived at the aging Parisian church with impeccable timing. The bells of the church rang clearly through the streets of Paris. Lucie Manette stepped out of the carriage, ever so lightly, first. Then, her father took heavier steps to exit the carriage. Mr. Lorry and the small group of attendants, dressed in simple, yet elegant garments, arrived within the five minutes after the bride's arrival. Lucie caught a glimpse of the man she was to marry that day rushing into the religious building, before Miss Pross and Doctor Manette took her to another entrance.
The inside of the church was grander and more splendid than one could imagine from only looking at its dull, gray exterior. Miss Pross left the father and daughter upon entrance to the building to take her seat in the front row. Some of the spectators at the wedding heard the woman muttering bits like, "If only Solomon was the bridegroom," or "My dear brother, you should have been the one up there, if only you didn't." The woman kept fading in and out of these words until the stern-faced Priest began to speak.
He spoke of the times and how everyone should be grateful for a reason to be happy, and no-one doubted him. The revolution was all around them, but it could not pierce the protection that the church provided. When the wedding was over, Mr. Lorry made an observance that he never forgot. The only red in the room was the ruby-colored roses that the bride daintily held in her hands, as she waited for the music that cued her and her father to walk down the isle.
When that time finally came, Doctor Manette could hardly bare to think of what would become of his life after this day, but by the time they were within three meters of the flower-covered alter, he pushed the thoughts aside for his child's sake. Upon looking at Lucie, the father truly saw the how beautiful his daughter was. Her pale skin glowed from the dim yellow light of the chandelier. The snow-white dress she wore made her look like an angel from heaven, which she was, in her father's eyes. Even though the father tried to push the thought away again, he could not help but to consciously lament the loss of his daughter.
Mr. Lorry, from the front row, saw this, just by looking at the Doctor's face. This event could easily trigger a relapse in Doctor Manette's memory. Jarvis Lorry made a mental note to check on the Doctor's condition after the wedding was over.
The organ player stopped playing, yet some faint chords were still exiting the tall, golden pipes of the probably ancient instrument. The priest started speaking again.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony." His voice would be monotonous to nearly anyone who heard it, yet it was one of the sweetest sounds Lucie had heard in her lifetime. It was the sound of the voice that would legally bind her to Charles Darnay for life. The Priest continued speaking in the single-toned voice that he had spent the ceremony speaking with.
"Therefore if any man can show any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace." The priest said this in his same droning voice, yet there was a more serious undertone to it, and the Priest looked as though he was daring someone to utter a whispered doubt of the marriage.
Even with the sharp, cold stare of the priest, that word of doubt was nearly spoken. Sidney Carton attended the wedding as a loyal friend of both bride and groom should, yet every second he feared he would either become sick and involuntarily empty his stomach of its contents, lose consciousness, or simply lose any form of sanity within himself. Lucie, the one person that he had desired for marriage was marrying another man. Most likely without conscious knowledge of it, Carton looked as though tears were going to pour out of his dark eyes, which did happen when Sidney Carton reached the privacy of his own, small flat in the slums of Paris.
He could not bear to watch the kiss that would shred his heart into thin ribbons of muscle. The heavy-hearted man stood up to leave, when a face he could recognize in the most pitch-black of nights stopped him. Stryver, his life-long friend, business partner, and polar opposite, stood before him.
"You are doing nothing beneficial by running, my friend," The wiser, and more often than not, soberer man said. "Do not try to tell me that is not what you are attempting to do. I know you far better than that." Nothing truer had been uttered since the proclamation that the world is rotund, and not flat. Yet, Carton had no desire to admit it, even if it were to be to Stryver.
"It is not of my care anymore. 'Tis a lost cause, correct?" For each syllable, Carton's face had begun to show the same torment that Othello experienced when learning of his beloved's affair with Iago, the only difference being Othello was at least with Desdemona for some time. Carton would never know that with Lucie. "Why should it matter anyway? It was hopeless, was it not?" Carton continued to quietly whisper. Yet, Stryver's plan worked. The priest had said the words, "You may kiss the bride." Stryver wished for his friend to see that this woman could be in love with another man, and know that the simple sight of it would not cause Carton a brutally painful death.
Within seconds after seeing the symbolic gesture of love, Carton left. He had been forced to acknowledge the loss of something that was never his to begin with. That thought was the one that caused him to flee the antique church. Stryver saw this, and after giving Doctor Manette an apologetic look, followed.
Both men stumbled, and nearly fell on the dark, cobble-stone street. Old, reddish-brown blood stained the streets. The red flags of the revolutionaries could be seen in a miniscule window here, and a crooked doorway there. Stryver paused for a moment. He felt an urge to simply remember the scene at the old church. There were many differences between that one and this, but one stood out to anyone present at the wedding. No flags and no blood were part of the ceremony. Only the red of the roses that were pretty enough to place on a grave of royalty was in the church.