Brenna R. Singman
"And do you, Sabrina, take Griffin, to be your lawfully wedded husband?" Father Holden bellowed with a grand smile. "To have-"
"I do!" Sabrina squealed. A hum of laughter filled the church, and she blushed. The Priest chuckled, but Sabrina turned to Griffin gently squeezing her hands. His gray eyes sparkled with the golden light reflecting from the sturdy cross bolted to the altar. The excitement bubbling up her throat settled into the same butterflies she fought all day.
"Ahem. As we were," Father Holden said. "To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, 'til death do you part?"
A thunderous crash brought a cacophony of screams that outweighed even Sabrina's giddy declaration. Chunks of stone, plaster, and glass showered the congregation. They began running like frenzied prey. Women tripped over their gowns and suited men hovered over the fallen or pulled others from beneath broken pews or panes of stained glass. Sabrina seethed as she locked eyes with enormous yellow orbs. The green scaled beast towered another two stories over the church with its maw gaping in what Sabrina could only translate as a mocking laugh.
"Son of a-damn it!" She pulled her hands free of Griffin's grip, hiked up her trumpeted satin skirt, and ran to a small room just behind the statue of Mary. In a purse tucked beside a candelabra, Sabrina removed a glinting silver pen. The nib sparkled like a diamond arrow and the head of the pen was ruby engraved with an old rune. She held it up to the sky and instantly felt the thrum of building power just waiting for her to release it.
The gemstone lit up with a roiling fire that spilled across the room. It took on a life of its own and folded back from the walls to envelope Sabrina in a shroud of thin red film. Wherever it touched, the fabric of her gown glowed or her skin brimmed with a halo of energy. The dress shortened into trickling threads that rewrapped around her, hardened into armor plates over tightly stitched fabric that was once a beaded, heart-shaped neckline. Her heels became pools of light that stretched up to her knees while the jewelry melted into a swath of blinding motes to her upper arm. Sabrina closed her eyes as she felt one pinpoint of coolness in the center of her forehead and then a band of crackling energy wrapping past her coiled brown hair.
When she opened her eyes again, Sabrina was transformed. Gleaming red boots stomped back down to the floor. Her red dress swished above her knees in the front and spilled towards her ankles. Gold trim shimmered like threads of precious metal. It fit snugly around her body at the bodice that continued up to her neck. Her arms were posed to fight, now fit perfectly in matching gloves. In the center of her forehead, at the heart of the golden band wrapping around to her flouncing red curls, was the ruby from atop her pen. The rune burned with her fire.
"You're not ruining my wedding day, scumbag!" she called out. As she raced for the door, someone blocked the way and she skidded to a halt. Griffon stood in front of her with a thin device in his arms and a clear panel stretching over his eyes. Behind him she could see more debris falling and the entire front face of the church demolished. A thick scaly tail rested in the wreckage, and an unholy roar shook the earth. Sabrina and Griffon ducked their heads until the roaring stopped.
"Move, Griffon!" Sabrina cried. "If the monster made it this far, the girls couldn't hold it back! It's dangerous!"
"You're not going anywhere yet," Griffon said, taking her hand again. She pulled loose.
"There isn't time! He's going down right now!"
Sabrina felt power welling in her chest as Griffon remained firm. All she had to do was aim her wand at him. It would be for his own good. Instead her knuckles tightened as Griffon stood with a calm raised eyebrow.
"Are you done whining?" he said. Sabrina gaped at him. "You're gonna fly up there without a plan and get yourself killed. You're pissed that the Gemmites didn't do their job. You're pissed the monster showed up today of all days."
"Like I knew it would!"
"Okay. Well now's the time to deal with it. Our plans don't go out the window just because you need to suit up on your wedding day. So get into formation."
Sabrina opened her mouth to scream at him, but her words fell flat. Her face continued to flush in anger and she rolled her eyes, but she waited for him to speak. He tipped her chin up with his finger.
"Atta girl. It's time to save the day."
"Our day," she mumbled indignantly, but all of her cares melted when he pressed his lips to hers. Their first kiss as husband and wife. Under the watchful gaze of god and country, she would keep him safe and she would do it the right way. "What's the weak spot?"
Griffon looked at the tablet in his arms and swiped through a few applications. The glass over his eyes flashed with number sequences and parameters that Sabrina couldn't translate. That wasn't her power. Then a crystal clear videofeed appeared on Griffon's screen. The monster's spine had patches missing where the razor sharp deposits had jettisoned into buildings and fighter jets. "Satellites are showing he's a fat clunker with a sore back. Sweep him off his feet."
"You got it, babe!"
Griffon wrapped an arm around her waist, pulled her close for their official second kiss, and spun her out of the room where she raced towards the wreckage. With their two minds together, they would be done in time for the reception. Then all she had to worry about was her father's two left feet.