Defining Moments – Flash Fiction

Defining Moments.

I waited in the foyer for the wedding march to start.

“Friend of the groom or bride?” The usher asked as he held out his arm to walk me to my seat.

“Neither” I responded. I’m here for the father of the bride.” He looked confused but didn’t argue. I moved back to let him know I wouldn’t be taking a seat. He turned his attention to another guest.

His confusion was understandable, the bride’s father had passed away ten years ago. I guess in a way; I was here for the bride. My employee Harold was going to be a host body for her deceased father, Jeff Patterson, so he could attend his daughter’s wedding and walk her down the aisle. I thought back to my wedding and the picture of my mother holding space in the front of the church as a poor substitution for the woman that raised and loved me. Mom had passed when I was twelve. Her photo was the only way I could involve her in my wedding.

I hoped that the photo would somehow hold some part of her. That her essence would fill the church and she would be with me in spirit. I dabbed at the tears forming, threatening to spill over and ruin my makeup. Get it together Kate, that is why we are here, so one more daughter doesn’t have to experience a photo in place of her mother or father.

Of my staff, Harold most closely resembled the bride’s father. It was important to me to have a significant team so that we can make the experience as realistic as possible. Same height, build, eye color. It was perfect.

Jeff cleared his throat a little too loudly, and it echoed across the room. I could only imagine it was his 2nd or 3rd attempt at getting my attention. I gave him my best smile. Jeff’s soul was fully integrated into Harold’s body, and he looked a bit unsettled.

“The first time is the hardest,” I share. Hoping to put him at ease. “Hold your pinky with your thumb. It will help ground you.”

“It’s working. Thanks.” He seemed relieved but still nervous.

“You okay?” I ask.

“How is this possible? I mean, how much is this costing her? She doesn’t have money.”

“Don’t worry; this one is on the house. My company has a monthly drawing. We review letters asking for one of our mediums to volunteer as host to let the spirit of a deceased loved one share in an upcoming special event. Your daughter won. Her letter brought us all to tears.”

“What did it say?” He asked.

“She shared how together you had planned her wedding and talked about the father-daughter dance since she was five. She did not doubt that you would be there in spirit because she felt your presence in her life daily. She was blessed to connect with you in dreams. She was certain which dreams were visits, and which ones were merely her mind keeping your memory alive. She wanted more than anything to experience the father-daughter dance you practiced when she was young, first balancing her feet on yours, twirling her around the room until you both collapsed in laughter and later as a teen when you taught her the Walz for her prom. She wanted that feeling of dancing in your arms one last time.”

“I do visit her in dreams. I didn’t realize she knew I was watching over her, I was hopeful, but wasn’t sure.”

In this moment I was never happier that I created Defining Moments, a niche business for psychic mediums. My technique is much more than channeling. In fact, my tagline is “This isn’t your mother’s channeling.”

“I know it sounds crazy,” I tell him. “But it is simple really if you think about it. Mediums have been channeling the dead for centuries. I decided to take it one step further and let the spirit stay a bit longer.”

“I’ve heard of channeling, seen it in the movies. It seemed like channeling was just a jumbled mix of words, nothing as full on as me standing here looking out the eyes of someone else, but feeling my heart burst with pride as surely as if I were still alive.” His voice trembles with emotion.

“It’s just like in the past,” I tell him. “You can enter a medium to share your message and give your loved ones closure. But since the year 2035, with the thinning veils into other dimensions, we can stream your entire soul, much like streaming a movie or your favorite TV series.”

“Thank heavens for thinning veils,” he says.

“What better use of our gifts could there be then streaming a loved one and allowing them to attend the birth of their grandchild or walk their daughter down the aisle?” I ask.

“No better gift.” He says.  “I’m so glad to be here, to share this moment with my baby girl.”

We both turned to face the commotion in the foyer. Jennifer had arrived, and there was a flurry of activity. Bridesmaids were arranging her dress, the mother of the bride barking orders. “Places everyone.” The photographer moved to the front to capture everything for prosperity.

Jennifer looked beautiful.

“Are you ready to walk your daughter down the aisle?” I asked as I straightened his tie.

Jennifer’s smile brightened at the sight of Jeff. She held out her hand for him to take.

“You’re on,” I pat his shoulder.

Jeff walked forward and placed Jennifer’s arm in his. The wedding march began.

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