The Honor Code, Short Story, by Colt Morgan

Fall 2017, CP#2, Global Moral Issues Creative Project
Colt Morgan
Creative Project
Nov. 4, 2017
The Honor Code 
Michael sat in his dressing room and hung his head. His eyes were closed, so he could watch his entire life, his future flash and disappear before his eyes. An Elliot Smith song came to mind. There’s a riot coming, like a drug in the water. Most people would just call it a wedding though. An arranged marriage, with a woman he hated.
Michael thought back to his first meeting with “Kourtney with a hard k.” It was last night, as is custom with an arranged marriage. Kourtney was very attractive, but pretty much the opposite of his type. His family allowed him to talk to her for an hour, and his hope for the future had fallen by the second. Kourtney was a perfectly nice woman. The kind that is too nice, and she made sure that he knew about it. She was all too happy to regale him with stories of her time with charities, working with children in the inner cities. She had plenty of pictures as well, but the pictures were more focused on her than anyone else. Kourtney was a vegan, and she let him know she was better than him for it. She did not spend the whole time talking about herself though, she was perfectly happy to hear about him. She had a terrible habit of one upping him though. He went for a hike, she climbed a mountain. He told her about his time in college, and she told him about her slightly better time at a slightly better college. Kourtney was your everyday holier than though douche bag.
Michael raised his head when he heard a knock on the door. He walked over and pulled it open. “It is time.” Michael’s father stood in the doorway, there to march him to his doom. Michael nodded and followed along. The walk down the aisle was the longest walk of his life, that fifty feet felt like fifty miles. He stood at the altar flanked by his groomsmen, just a bunch of guys who his father picked. He did not know any of them, he did not like any of them. He heard Wagner’s bridal chorus start, and everyone in the church stood. He turned and watched his new bride march down the aisle, Wagner ringing in his ears. His Bridal Chorus sounded more like Mozart’s Requiem. Every step Kourtney took down the aisle got louder and louder, sounding like artillery explosions as she reached him.
This all started six months ago, during Michael’s coming of age ceremony. He was promised to be married to a powerful friend of his fathers. He liked the girl well enough, but he was not in love with her. That honor was reserved for a girl who worked at the country club that his family frequented, and where his ceremony was taking place. He was caught in a backroom, en flagrante with his true love. His father was furious, his arranged marriage was called off, and his family’s honor was tarnished. This new marriage was meant to make up for it.
He stood at the altar and took Kourtney’s hands. He did not hear a word of what was said, he just repeated what was said by the priest on autopilot. “You may kiss the bride.” Michael looked at the priest, and slowly turned back to face Kourtney. If he kissed her then they would be married forever. He would hate being with her, but for his honor and that of his family, he would do it. He leaned in and kissed his new bride, as slowly as he could manage, hoping the whole time someone would call it off. No one did. As Michael pulled away there was a loud banging. It was the doors of the church banging open. An official of the government came running up the aisle. “Stop… there has been… a… moral revolution… a change in the… the honor code… arranged marriages are no longer honorable.” There was an audible gasp through the church.“What does this mean?” asked Michael. “Well it means that you have dishonored your family with this marriage.” Replied the priest. “How can we fix it?” asked Michael’s father. “The groom must kill himself by hanging upside down by his feet from the highest branch of an ash tree, using the twisted-up sheets from the marriage bed.” The entire church turned to look at Michael as one. He did not want to kill himself, but he had to honor his family. “Anyone know where I can find an ash tree?”
Written Justification for the story: As is said on pg. 175, having honor is being entitled to respect. My character in this story hasdishonored his family by being with a woman other than the one he was promised to inmarriage. I got the idea from the red wedding in Game of Thrones, where Robb Stark Dishonorshis family by doing the same thing. My story is about a man who will do anything to get hisfamilies honor back. He will marry a woman he hates, and does not love. He will even killhimself. The reason for the ridiculous way that Michael must kill himself is that I wanted toshow how crazy people can be in the name of protecting their honor.