Word Count: 499
The Magnificent Moustache
By Maggie Robertson
The moustache tickled Debbie’s nose and she stirred awake. Wait… she had a moustache?
Debbie had met Frederick a couple months before. She was attempting to have a few quiet moments to herself over lunch, but he made himself welcome at her table and struck up a conversation. She was so enchanted by his magnificent moustache that she could not recall what the rest of him looked like until after their second or third date. There was something kind of magical about him; a splash of whimsy and a hint of mischief. Still, he was devoted and loving, and treated her well.
Frederick had left the day before to tend to some family business for a few weeks. He asked her what she wanted as a remembrance of him. Debbie thought that rather silly, so she jokingly told him she wanted his moustache. After all, without that moustache she would not have given him the time of day.
Now, it seemed, it was hers. She grabbed his razor, shaved it off, and bent over the sink to wash the remaining shaving cream from her face. When she straightened back up and looked in the mirror, there it was again, now twice as thick and twice as bushy. Each time she shaved it off it reappeared, thicker and bushier, so she quickly gave up on that effort.
This was a particularly bad day for this to happen. There was no calling off sick from her sister’s wedding, not when she was the Maid of Honor! What was worse, Debbie had a reputation for upstaging her sister, Diane. It wasn’t intentional; she didn’t mean to break her ankle on Diane’s 10th birthday, or knock out her front teeth on the day of Diane’s senior recital, or have an emergency appendectomy on Diane’s college graduation with honors.
Debbie was going to have to face the wedding guests, her family, her sister, her sister’s new husband, who she hadn’t even met yet. Maybe she could hide it… Makeup? No. Bandage? No. Turtleneck? No. Scarf? No. Veil? No.
Finally, she decided on taking an evasive tactic. Her sister and everybody else would be distracted, maybe Debbie could keep her face out of sight. Remarkably, this worked. Seemingly the devoted Maid of Honor, Debbie kept her head down, tending to preparations while directing attention to the Bride. The bridesmaids, the dresses, the flowers, the rings, there was always some fortuitous opportunity to be looking the other way. During the procession and at the altar she kept the lower half of her face hidden behind the bouquet of flowers she carried.
At one moment the minister caught view of her face and froze, but recovered quickly and carried on, stealing glances at her in spite of himself.
Diane was a stunning bride and all eyes were on her. When she reached the altar and turned to face the groom, Debbie was the only one close enough to hear her whisper:
“Frederick, what happened to your moustache?”