Pose on

He broke his back the usual way by falling down some stairs. His coccyx, or tail bone had been a source of some pain for months after landing awkwardly the day of Anne and Pete’s wedding.

He’d been polishing cutlery in the main dining hall and been asked to deliver them outside, out through reception. After an hour of polishing he’d slipped on the thick maroon carpet and thrown glittering blades of polished metal clattering off the walls.

He’d landed plumb on his buttocks and had the wind knocked out of him, sliding once and then rolling into face down position. Knives and forks gently poking into him as he moaned an inward breath and pressed his face into the cold marble floors.

The cutlery that he had laced with poison was somewhere among the jumbled reflective metal. He worried that perhaps he was laying on them and that he may have opened himself up in falling.

In the time it took to worry, people emerged from some of the adjoining rooms. He was helped to his feet, though the stood at an obtuse angle, bent at the tail like a poor impersonation of a duck.

He waddled from the room, after unbinding himself from the helpful arms and white gloved hands that had picked him from the floor. Swiftly he escaped somehow managing to prop himself in such a way that he could drive.

Phyllis and Errol both guest of the groom experienced heart attacks that evening and subsequently passed away. A strange occurrence of misfortune, especially bizarre to the guests, as they had all eaten and drank much the same contents, from much the same utensils. And so the coincidence stood and the marriage went ahead.

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