Skyedive - Chapter 10, A Wedding After All

The Skylark Bell

Apr 14 2023 • 16 mins

In today’s episode we read the chapter 10 – A Wedding After All, in which James and Farfalla marry, but things don’t go quite as planned...

This week's podcast partner is The Grim Cities:

This episode features the song The Wedding Dress originally composed by Cannelle for Fantôme Friday #11 in Season 1. This version has been remixed and remastered by Pink Flamingo Music Productions:

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The Skylark Bell is brought to you by: Phaeton Starling Publishing and Things with Wings Productions.


Things with Wings Productions presents: Chapter 11 of The Skylark Bell, Skyedive. I am your host, Melissa Oliveri.

In last week’s episode, James Carnifex came back into Farfalla’s life and the two fell in love.

In today’s episode we read the chapter 10 – A Wedding After All, in which James and Farfalla marry, but things don’t go quite as planned...

Today’s podcast partner is The Grim Cities. I discovered this podcast by accident, and I’m so glad I did! The Grim Cities covers paranormal stories from the Twin Cities area and beyond, often covering stories even I, who has lived in the Twin Cities for years, hadn’t heard of. Even if you’re not familiar with the area, the podcast is absolutely worthwhile with great research and entertaining delivery. Just check the show notes for a link.

Now, it’s time to settle in… grab a blanket, and a warm drink… and let’s get started.

March 22nd, 1929

Today is my wedding day.

I never thought I would write those words. After Marius disappeared, the thought of falling in love again or being in a relationship seemed so foreign to me. Impossible. I had accepted the reality of living out my life on my own, quietly, shunned by everyone in town. But life is funny sometimes, it weaves joy and sadness in and out like the creek that flows into Pine River.

The day James Carnifex came back into town was the happiest day I’d had in a long time. The following day we went for a picnic by the fountain in Brighthaven. I made us some sandwiches and James bought some pastries from Tourtereaux’s Bakery downstairs before we left. We talked and laughed, and I felt freer and happier than I had in years. We saw one another the following day, too. Then he had to travel for business, but upon his return he came to me. We’ve spent nearly every waking moment together ever since. I relish the company. I had unknowingly swallowed my loneliness down so deeply I had all but forgotten about it, but the moment he left on that trip it came roaring back up from the depths of my being and I realized I don’t want to be lonely. I don’t want to be alone.

I spend as much time with James as possible, and it’s lovely, but I’ve surprised myself in that the thing that has brought me the greatest joy, the greatest pleasure, is the look of shock (and, dare I say, horror?) on the faces of every single person in Pocket who turned on me when the silence fell on Meadow Lane. Every person who blamed me, pushed me to the fringes of their community, treated me as a lesser person, as something to be shunned and feared and loathed. Every person who crossed the street when they saw me coming their way, or who pretended I wasn’t there when waiting in line at the store or the post office. I am finding great pleasure in shocking them, perhaps even angering them. Those who don’t think I deserve happiness. I have gone out about town with James again and again, relishing their wide eyed, open mouthed disbelief that someone would be kind to me, perhaps even love me.

So, naturally, when James asked me to marry him, I said yes.


“I will,” says Farfalla, her voice echoing in the vast, mostly empty room. She looks up at James and smiles.

“Then, it is my honour to pronounce you husband and wife,” says the officiant, sealing their fates together with a clasp of his hands. With a swish of his robes, he fades to the back of the room, leaving James and Farfalla officially married. They turn to face the hall where Mr. and Mrs. Shearwater, Paloma, Isadora Finch, Isadora’s husband Eric and their daughter Sarah are sitting, immediately causing everyone to hop to their feet and clap with joy. James takes Farfalla’s hand and leads her down the aisle to the door, her sleek white lace dress trailing to the floor. It had been Mrs. Shearwater’s wedding dress originally, and Paloma helped alter it to give it a more modern fit. Farfalla’s hair is covered with a long veil, the top of which is attached to a simple tiara that Isadora gifted her when she found out about Farfalla’s engagement. In her hands Farfalla holds a bouquet of dried hydrangeas, having been unable to come by any live flowers so early in the year.

The group walks out onto the stone steps of the hall facing the Brighthaven Town Square. “Everyone, line up, Eric will take a photo!” says Isadora with excitement. James, Farfalla and Farfalla’s family line up on the stone steps as Isadora’s husband sets up his camera.

“Isadora, you must be in the photo as well!” shouts Farfalla, gesturing for Isadora to join them on the steps. Isadora grabs Sarah and sets the toddler on her hip as she joins the group. A fortuitous break in the clouds sends delicate rays of sunshine down on the happy couple just as Eric takes their photograph. Farfalla smiles. Everything is going to be just fine.

“Is everyone ready to go?” asks James. The group nods in unison. Their joyful chatter carries over the town square as they walk to their cars.

“Great! We’ll meet you at the diner!” shouts Farfalla over her shoulder as she gets into the car. James closes the door gently behind her then runs around the front of the car to the driver’s seat. They take a moment to catch their breath.

“Can you believe it?” he asks.

“It feels surreal, doesn’t it?” says Farfalla, feeling a childlike giddiness rising in her. She and James had been friends for many years prior to the Carnifex family leaving Pocket, but she never imagined for a moment that she would one day be his wife. Then again, she never imagined that her first love, her true love, would suddenly disappear, and that she would be forced to move away from Meadow Lane, and that the people of Pocket, the town she had lived in her entire life, would turn against her.

“Is everything alright, Falla?” asks James, noting the crease in her brow.

Farfalla shakes her head, ridding herself of the negative thoughts. She reminds herself that today is her wedding day, and she refuses to let anything ruin it. “Yes, everything is great,” she says, taking a hold of his hand. James smiles at her, gives her hand a gentle squeeze, then starts the car and pulls away from the curb. They turn onto the main road and head back towards Pocket. James parks the car on Main Street, just outside Bunting’s General Store, across from The Early Bird diner.

“And now, Mrs. Carnifex, we celebrate!” he says playfully as he grabs Farfalla’s hand and helps her out of the car. Farfalla stands up and grins at James before planting a kiss on his cheek, then they scurry across the street to meet the Shearwaters and Isadora in front of the early bird.

“Eric has gone home with Sarah so we can enjoy our lunch,” says Isadora. “Shall we?” she asks, gesturing toward the door.

Farfalla takes the lead and walks up the short walkway to the restaurant entrance. Just as she is reaching for the door handle Mrs. Kestrel turns the key in the lock. Farfalla stands on the opposite side of the door, a look of confusion on her face. She knocks gently and says, “Mrs. Kestrel, we’re here for lunch to celebrate my wedding.”

Mrs. Kestrel’s eyes narrow and her sharp voice cuts through the glass, “We’re closing due to unforeseen circumstances,” she says. With that, she turns the “open” sign to “closed” and walks away.

Farfalla stands in front of the door, shellshocked. At that precise moment, a thick cloud blows in, covering the sun and sending heavy rain drops pouring from the sky. Farfalla looks up, grateful for the rain that will camouflage her tears. She laughs then, a harsh, bitter sound that sends shivers down Isadora’s spine.

“Come on, Farfalla, let’s leave,” says Mr. Shearwater, grabbing her by the elbow. James stands on Farfalla’s other side, ready to catch her should she stumble.

“We’ll have lunch tomorrow, I’ll prepare your favourite dishes and we’ll bring them over to your new house,” says Mrs. Shearwater in the most comforting tone she can muster.

“Chin up, Falla,” says Paloma, giving her sister a hug, “this was just back luck, it’ll be all blue skies from here on out!”

Farfalla imagines what a mess she must look like. The bottom of her dress is quickly getting covered in mud, just like when she was a child wading into Mirror Pond. Her veil is soaked and clinging to the sides of her face, and she can feel eye makeup running down her cheeks in black streaks. The people of Pocket have accused her of being a witch for years, and today she looks the part. Farfalla lets out another bitter laugh, then turns to look at the people standing around her. The only five people in the world who treat her with kindness, love, respect. The only people who speak to her, touch her, love her. She notes how their clothes are getting soaked and their wet hair is sticking to their faces as they stay out in the rain trying to comfort her. She should be feeling love for them, gratitude.

But the only emotion running through her body at this very moment is rage.

Thank you so much for listening.  Join me next week for Chapter 11 – Elisabeth, in which we meet James and Farfalla’s daughter, Magpie’s Great-Grandmother, Elisabeth.

The Skylark Bell is brought to you by Phaeton Starling Publishing and features original music by Cannelle. If you are enjoying this story, please consider leaving a rating or a review, they are both greatly appreciated. You can also support my work by subscribing to Patreon or Ko-Fi, where you get early access to episodes as well as MP3 downloads of the music, artwork, behind the scenes videos and more! You can also find The Skylark Bell exclusive merch on my website, Just check the show notes for all necessary links.

Once again, thank you for listening – I’m Melissa Oliveri, writer, host and producer of The Skylark Bell Podcast.

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