Shelter In the Storm

Reading Time: 2 minutes

(Taco Bell Quarterly rejected this marvelous little story, so you know their shit is gonna be FIRE! Read this, then read their next issue when it comes out.)

Flooded out, car stalled, storm of the decade, I’m on foot and awash. I take shelter in the nearest church which turns out to be a Taco Bell. It was the bell that clued me in, that and the wedding ceremony I could see through the windows before I burst through the door, just as they reached that moment of The Question. Not the “I do” one but the one asking if anyone has reason why the marriage should not take place. Ha. I recognize the groom. It’s my missing husband but I keep my mouth shut. Maybe this gal will have better luck with him than I did.

Afterward he orders a Taco Supreme for everyone in the house. Yeah, maybe he’s turned a corner. Then I realize it’s my missing credit card he’s flashing to pay with. I slink off, before anyone realizes the card’s no good.

The rain has stopped but the bell remains silent. (Do they ever ring?)

At least I got a meal. I slog back to my car, which starts this time. In the headlights, I see the wedding party trooping out of the building, carrying bags and boxes of takeout. I feel bad for the owner but not much I can do. He comes out and stands in the door of the restaurant, a funny little smile on his face. Then I hear sirens approaching from several directions and before I can pull away about seven or eight cop cars surround the wedding party, none of whom has made it to their cars yet. They cuff the groom — my erstwhile life partner — and put him in a squad car.

The bride? She’s laughing, cracking jokes with two of the uniforms. I guess she must have been in on it. I guess it was a sting. Most of the rest of the wedding party seem to be in the know as well, standing around, eating tacos. My ex? He’ll be okay; I hear prison is not a bad place for con artists. He’ll make out like a (sorry) bandit.

Some church. So much for forgiveness. But I have to say, justice is a very fine sauce on my taco supreme.

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