Categories > Movies > Corpse Bride > Till Death Do We Part

Tell No Tales

by RapunzelK 0 reviews

They say dead men tell no tales, but a pair of dead brides have plenty to say to their former fiance.

Category: Corpse Bride - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Warnings: [V] [?] - Published: 2007-08-15 - Updated: 2007-08-15 - 897 words

Inside the pub it was still as noisy and rowdy as ever. No one even looked up as the old driver escorted the young bride through the swinging shuttered doors and into the warm, yellow lamplight. Victor and the corpse bride were accepting handshakes and congratulations from a long line of guests, smiling and nodding happily. It set a muddled twinge of sadness and envy in Victoria’s still heart. Victor seemed so happy… Perhaps that was the only important part. Deciding that good manners and good sportsmanship ought to take precedence over her own personal difficulties, Victoria stepped up to the end of the line pulling Mayhew with her.

“Congratulations,” she said politely, forcing as much of a smile as she could.

“Thank you, Mrs…?” the Corpse Bride returned, delicately shaking Victoria’s hand with boney fingers.

“Barkis, I suppose,” Victoria answered, “Lady Barkis.”

“Lady Barkis?” The Corpse Bride echoed, vague confusion stealing across her desiccated features.

“Yes, the late wife of a Lord Barkis Bittern.”

The Corpse Bride blinked and, for the first time, seemed to notice her guest’s water-logged wedding dress.

“I’m so sorry…” she stated, her words as blank as Victor’s had been earlier. “How did it happen, if I may ask? I’m afraid I wasn’t paying as close attention as I might have been.”

“Not at all, I’m glad to be rid of him, though I would have preferred he be the one to go over the edge.” The bitter words flared something hot and snapping inside her, the spark of anger giving her courage. “I didn’t fancy drowning in the Welbourne.”

“I thought that’s what you'd said!” Victor chimed in abruptly.

“Why that’s terrible!” the Corpse Bride exclaimed, genuinely shocked.

“Actually, that’s what we come to talk to you about, beggin’ your pardon,” Mayhew added, tipping his hat and shaking hands with the bewildered couple. “Ms. Victoria’s folks are in quite a spot, if you take my meaning.”

“Yes, you see, Lord Barkis only married me for my money,” Victoria explained. Heads swiveled within the ghostly crowd as the well-wishers attended to her story.

“Except you haven’t any,” Victor finished. “That’s why you were supposed to marry me.”

“Exactly,” Victoria nodded, “but when you went missing, mother and father decided having another lord in the family might be more profitable.”

“’Cept he hasn’t got any money either, the thievin’ cad,” Mayhew finished. Horrified gasps and whispers echoed around the henceforth silent pub as the ghoulish partygoers chattered amongst each other.




“That’s two dead brides we have now.”

Victoria cast about the crowded room searching for the latest speaker before her gaze came to rest on a hunched and yellowed skeleton; spectacles perched on his nose bridge and the remains of a long white beard clinging to his jaw.

“Tell me, my dear,” he asked, voice as dry and aged as his bowed bones, “just who is this Lord Barkis?”

“Actually…I hardly know him at all,” Victoria admitted. “He arrived the day before the wedding and was present at…” At this she cast a nervous glance at Victor, whose pallid cheeks colored slightly as he looked away to study the ceiling. “At the wedding rehearsal,” she finished. “I thought he might be some distant relative of mother or father’s.”

“Not a very good judge of character, your parents,” the old skeleton remarked.

“Come now, /Monsieur/,” the barkeep- a severed head ferried about by a contingent of cockroaches- spoke up, “it is not proper to speak ill of ze living.”

The Corpse Bride, who had remained silent through all of this, at length looked up and spoke.

“What did he look like?”

“Well,” Victoria began, "he was tall, though not so much as Victor, a bit broader in the shoulders and around the middle, a wide jaw and a strong nose, and fair hair pushed back.” She gestured with her hands to indicate Lord Barkis’ winglet hairstyle. The corpse bride was silent for a long moment before reaching into the rags of her wedding gown and producing a small brass case.

“Something like this?” she asked, opening the capsule and displaying the daguerreotype inside. Victoria stared, Victor gawked, the entire pub gasped and several jawbones fell to the floor with a clack.

“Lord Barkis…” Victoria whispered.

“He’s gotten a bit fat, hasn’t he?” Victor observed.

“I asked for this when we were courting,” the Corpse Bride remarked, voice grown distant as her memories wandered back. “I had agreed to elope with him, but instead he strangled me and vanished with my dowry. He left my family impoverished as well.”

The appalled whispers had turned to mutterings of rage. Around them, the corpse citizens grew agitated and Victoria found herself becoming nervous.

“Two lives come to an unfortunate and early end,” the old skeleton shook his cracked skull. “What a shame.”

“Four, actually,” Victoria corrected. “Without anyone’s fortune to support them, my parents will be cast out into the streets. They’ll have to go to the poor house.”

The mutters turned to angry growls of conversation, yet Victoria waited patiently while the old skeleton stroked his ragged beard in thought.

“A thief as well as a murderer, then,” he remarked. “You three, come with me. We have work to do.”
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