Character Study: Death at a Wedding

Everything was sweetness and light at the reception. Until the bang. Nothing ruins a day better than a death at a wedding.

Bullet through the heart, the groom fell at my feet. I was friends with the bride’s side of the family so had only just met him in the receiving line two hours ago. His handshake was firm. His smile was big. He was genuinely happy. Arm around the little lady by his side. She seemed genuinely happy, too, but it’s a well-known fact that women can fake satisfaction so well that men have no clue. His bleeding body was clear evidence he fell short. In which department? That I would have to ascertain.

Like any decent private eye-slash-former-city cop-slash-Military popo would have, my business card and weapon were with me at all times; that included today. Seeing as how the bride was holding the gun, smoke from the barrel curling around her eyes, and GSR all over her white wedding dress, it wouldn’t take a genuis to tell you this case was open and shut, now would it?

death at a wedding
Screenshot of Google Search for Film Noir Wedding Cakes

From the bang to the groom’s fall to the completion of my OODA loop, maybe five seconds passed. Two more and I was across the floor. Two more and I locked her hand so she could not pull the trigger a second time. One more and I was catching her falling body.

Her father rushed to his daughter. I let him take over that chore. Not letting go of her hand, I snatched a linen napkin from a table close by, used it to pry the gun from her hand, and went looking for a plastic bag to secure the weapon and preserve any evidence. In this case, leaving the weapon in situ was not apropos. Look, I’m not saying she didn’t do it, but there could be more to the story here.

Motivation. What was her’s?

Maybe there was a good reason for this. Maybe, just maybe, this was a Manchurian Candidate situation. Maybe she just found out he was the one who killed her baby sister. I don’t know. But within five minutes, the bride’s brother hired me. I knew he was good for the retainer. After all, we’d known each other for years, and when he said he’d do something, he damn well did it.