Clown World: Book One, Chapter Six…the conclusion…unedited…

“Okay. Let’s do it.”
From behind us, the sound of heavy footfalls came toward us. Jonah and Francis walked out and joined us at the table that had seen better days.
“What did I tell you, Jonah? I told you they wanted to get married.”
They smiled at us, and I must admit my heart fluttered for a minute. Emily blushed crimson, adding a touch of authenticity to the term ‘blushing bride’, while I grinned like a moron.
“If you guys don’t have someone specific in mind, Francis can serve as your witness,” Jonah said, as he penned his name at the bottom of the marriage certificate.
“Sure, that’s fine Jonah. One question though,” I said as I laced my fingers with Emily’s. “Where did you find an authentic marriage certificate?”
“We scrounged through the remnants of an old courthouse not far from here. There were boxes full of them, right next to closets filled with pre-filled absentee voting ballots.”
“I see.”
“Are you two ready to commence?”
“We are,” Emily said.
Jonah cleared his throat and began. “Do you Emily take Jake to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold, to love and cherish, in good times and bad, from this day forth?”
“I do.”
“And do you Jake take Emily, to have and to hold, to love and cherish, from this day until the passing of time?”
“I do, Reverend.”
“Then in the sight of Almighty God, and in the presence of these witnesses, I pronounce you man and wife. Son, you may kiss your bride.”
I wrapped my right arm around my wife’s waist and pulled her to me. Then, I leaned in to kiss her, not to be outdone, Emily met me halfway and our lips touched. When I came up for air, Francis and Jonah were kissing.
“Come on, Jake. Let’s go get to know one another.”
It was just after three in the morning. We walked to the central tower that was unmanned and climbed inside. Emily sighed and leaned against me. We spoke of our hopes and dreams, of owning our own place someday, and how many kids we wanted to have.
“I want my own football team, Jake. So, you’re gonna be a busy man.”
“Why stop there?”
For the first time since the world ended, I felt the gentle touch of hope. We sat in that tower alive in this moment, as the first rays of light touched the sky and changed the black to a light shade of pink. It was a helluva time to be alive. Emily and I stood to greet the sun as it rose from its bed.
I sighed, and wrapped my arms around my wife, and hoped that her womb held the first of the many innocent lives we hoped to add to humanity’s population.
Below us, the Lurkers howled their fury.

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