Part 5

The following day, Avarice appeared again in the village, carrying a large bouquet of flowers in his hand, when he saw that the Smurfs have prepared a wedding ceremony near the outskirts in the open field, with all the Smurfs in attendance, the male Smurfs all wearing ties, Tapper and Duncan wearing kilts, and Smurfette and Sassette dressed in their best clothes. Empath was standing at the altar they erected, wearing a priestly robe and sash, prepared to marry Flowerbell to her prospective groom.
"Well, you Smurfs sure know how to put together a wedding on such short notice," Avarice said, sounding impressed. "I didn't know that you have done it all for me and my sweetheart." And then he noticed that Flowerbell was already standing at the altar with Smurfette and Sassette beside her.
"Come to see me upon my wedding day, Avarice?" Flowerbell greeted with a smile.
"Honey, I'm so glad that you have come to your senses and decided that I'm going to be the one that you're going to marry," Avarice said with a smug grin as he tried to take his place beside Flowerbell at the altar.
"I'm afraid that you're only the guest here at this wedding, because I'm already planning on marrying someone else," Flowerbell said.
"And just who is that lucky groom that you're going to be marrying?" Avarice asked, already sounding suspicious.
"Just wait, and you'll see," Flowerbell replied, still smiling.
Then the Smurf orchestra started playing the wedding music, and as Avarice, Flowerbell, and all the Smurfs watched, Papa Smurf proceeded down the aisle with Hefty, Handy, and Grouchy following right behind him. Papa Smurf was dressed in a tuxedo jacket and tie with a cummerbund around his waist, smiling as if this was going to be the best day in the world for the rest of his life.
"Well, this is certainly different, Handy," Hefty commented, speaking low. "I didn't expect to be smurfing with the groom down the aisle to smurf with his bride."
"Me neither, but if this will help smurf rid of Avarice, why should we complain about it?" Handy responded, also speaking low.
"I hate smurfing down the aisle with the groom," Grouchy said.
"Excuse me, Avarice, but you're smurfing in the spot that the groom is supposed to smurf in, so you need to smurf over here," Brainy said as he escorted Avarice to an unoccupied seat while Papa Smurf and his groomsmen joined Flowerbell, Smurfette, and Sassette at the altar.
As soon as the wedding music ended, Empath began. "My fellow Smurfs, as the guardian of the Smurf Village, it gives me great pleasure to have the privilege of joining this Smurf and this woodnymph together in the bonds of smurfy matrimony. As it was said in the beginning, so shall it be said by the decree of nature, that male and female shall be united together as one so that they may be fruitful with the blessings of love and family. I know that the two of them must be eager in wanting to share eternity with each other. However, if there is any Smurf or being who feels that these two should not be united together in marriage, please speak now or forever hold your peace!"
Avarice tried to speak, but the instant he opened his mouth, a sour horn sound came out of his mouth. Everybody but Avarice knew that it came from Harmony's horn on purpose, but they said nothing about it.
"Excuse this smurf, Avarice, but are you trying to say something?" Empath asked.
Avarice tried to speak again, but this time words in his own voice came out before his lips even moved. "Yes, I would like to say that I wish Papa Smurf and Flowerbell the best of fortunes for their marriage together."
Avarice looked around with a mean look on his face to see who among the Smurfs was trying to play a trick on him, but all of them just looked innocent, including Jokey, who was using ventriloquism and an excellent imitation of Avarice's voice to make him say something else other than an objection.
"Thank you for your sincere thoughts, Avarice," Empath said. "Now if there aren't any more objections, then let us proceed. Papa Smurf, do you take Flowerbell to be your smurfully-wedded wife, to cherish, honor, and obey, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for better and for worse, to love her as long as you both shall live?"
"I do, Empath," Papa Smurf said.
"And Flowerbell, do you take Papa Smurf to be your smurfully-wedded husband, to cherish, honor, and obey, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for better and for worse, to love him as long as you both shall live?"
"I do, Empath," Flowerbell said.
"Normally in this type of wedding, this smurf would be calling for the ringbearer to bring forth the rings that will symbolize that these two will be bound together for all time as soul mates," Empath continued. "Instead, this smurf will let these two make their sacred vows together as they drink together from the same cup."
Papa Smurf was the first to take the cup. "Flowerbell, from the first day that I smurfed you, you made me feel like a young Smurf again, and you made me know that I am still worthy of being loved by somebody at my age. With this cup, I vow that, from the smurfs of my own soul, to be the kind of Smurf that you want me to be, to smurf you everything that your heart desires no matter the cost, to make you the one and only woodnymph that I will always love above all others." With that, he took a sip and passed it to Flowerbell.
"Papa Smurf, you have given up a lot for me, and you have shown me what true love is, even if I haven't shown that same love back to you. With this cup, I vow that, from everything that I have within me, I will be the woodnymph that you want me to be, that will give you a home and a family that will always love you, and to have you as the one and only Smurf that I will always love above all others." With that, she also took a sip.
"Then, by the powers vested in me by Mother Nature and Father Time, who stand before us as witnesses, and by all the Smurfs who have smurfed throughout the ages, I shall pronounce that Papa Smurf and Flowerbell are now husband and wife," Empath said. "May this bond between them stand for all time!"
Every Smurf in the audience cheered wildly at the pronouncement, while Tapper and Duncan McSmurf thrust their fists in the air to show their approval.
"And now you may kiss the bride," Empath said to Papa Smurf.
Again the audience cheered and clapped their hands as they saw Papa Smurf kiss Flowerbell with a very passionate kiss.
"This is just so beautiful, I can't stop crying," Weepy said.
"I hate crying at weddings," Grouchy said.
"NO! NO! NO! THIS CAN'T BE! THIS ISN'T HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!" Avarice cried out. "YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO MARRY ME, NOT PAPA SMURF!"
"Sorry, Avarice, but it looks like you're going to have to find someone else to marry in order to get your treasure," Flowerbell said.
"Too bad the good one just smurfed away from you, laddie," Duncan said. "Better luck next time."
"Oooooh...you've made me so mad, you miserable Smurfs," Avarice growled in fury. "One of these days, you're going to regret crossing my path, and then I will finally have my way. I'll get my hands on that treasure just yet...you wait and see!" With that, he just disappeared from the village.
"Oh dear, smurf about an upset loser in love," Vanity said.
"I hate being a loser in love," Grouchy said.
"Well, at least we're finally rid of that imp," Hefty said.
"That wedding is making me feel so hungry, I wish that I could have smurfed up a big cake for everybody," Greedy said.
"Yeah, but there wouldn't be any cake left for anybody once I'm through with it," Nabby said, licking his lips at the thought of cake.
"Now that you're finally a married Smurf, Papa Smurf, we're going to need to start smurfing arrangements for the two of you as far as where you're going to be smurfing together," Brainy said. "After all, your laboratory is only big enough for..."
"I'm afraid that we won't be staying together, Brainy," Flowerbell confessed. "Papa Smurf and I agreed only to be married so we can be rid of that greedy imp. But now that he's gone from my life, I need to have my own life again."
"Flowerbell is right, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said. "This marriage is only to free her from being married to Avarice, so that he doesn't smurf after her anymore."
"You won't be smurfing together?" Duncan said, sounding surprised. "Michty me, I think you're smurfing a big mistake there, Papa."
"I'm not sure I like how this marriage is being used myself, but I wouldn't want Flowerbell be smurfed in an unhappy union with that imp," Tapper said.
"Please, Flowerbell, reconsider what you're smurfing here," Smurfette said passionately. "Who are you going to love out there in the forest who isn't going to hurt you?"
"I'll be fine on my own, darling, believe me," Flowerbell said. "Besides, I don't want Papa Smurf to feel like he's only being used by my love to save me yet again."
"Then please stay with us, Flowerbell," Sassette pleaded.
Flowerbell smiled. "Go watch after your big sister now, ginger," she said while playfully mussing up Sassette's hair.
Papa Smurf escorted Flowerbell to the edge of the forest while the rest of the Smurfs watched. "We will always welcome you back to the village if you need a place to smurf, Flowerbell," Papa Smurf said while looking into her eyes.
"The Smurfs need you more than I do now, Pops," Flowerbell said. "I'm just going to be in the way of what you already have here with your family. I'm not cut out to be a Mama Smurf in anybody's life."
Papa Smurf and Flowerbell shared one last kiss before she flew away. "Goodbye, Flowerbell," he said as he watched her fly off.

As the Smurfs cleaned up from the wedding ceremony, Empath and Polaris joined Papa Smurf as he walked off on his own to meditate on the events of the morning.
"It's such a shame that Flowerbell couldn't stay with us in the village, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "We would have accepted her as one of our own, seeing you with her as a married couple day by day."
"I know, Empath, but if you truly love someone, you've got to smurf them free," Papa Smurf said. "She'll never replace the feelings that I have for my wife now that she's gone to the smurfy hereafter."
"But perhaps in time Flowerbell could have given you better memories than those you had of being married with your first wife, Papa Smurf," Polaris said.
"Who really knows, Polaris?" Papa Smurf said. "Anyway, I already have enough smurfing on in the village that I need to focus on."
"But there's only one life that you can live, Papa Smurf, so you might as well enjoy the happiness that you can get while you're still living," Empath said.
Papa Smurf smiled at that thought. "Anyway, I'm going to smurf myself a break for the rest of the day, Empath. You're in charge of the village until further notice."
"This smurf understands and acknowledges, Papa Smurf," Empath said as he and Polaris watched Papa Smurf walk off toward the Imaginarium.
Just then, Smurfette appeared as she came toward Empath and Polaris. "Are you two thinking of who you're going to love when I'm smurfed away from this earth?" she asked.
"That thought has not entered into this one's mind to meditate upon, Smurfette," Polaris answered.
"Great Ancestors, Smurfette, why would I think about that now?" Empath asked. "You and this smurf haven't even gotten married yet."
Smurfette snorted. "I guess I won't know what pretty female's going to smurf your heart when I'm gone from this world, Empath, especially someone as handsome to smurf at every day as you are."
"This smurf is more worried about who's going to steal your heart away, Smurfette, since there's more of us than there are of you," Empath said.
"I can't help it if I'm the most popular Smurfette in this village, even if I am the only adult Smurfette in the village," Smurfette said.
"But would you still love this smurf when I get to be the same age as Papa Smurf?" Empath asked.
Smurfette kissed Empath on the mouth. "Ask me that question again tomorrow and I will tell you."
"But why tomorrow, Smurfette?" Empath asked.
"Just ask me then," Smurfette said with a giggle.
"Oh, please, Smurfette, you've got to let this smurf know the answer," Empath said as he walked after her.
"You can wait for tomorrow," Smurfette said.
Polaris watched as Empath and Smurfette walked off together before he was joined by Tapper and Duncan. "How are you feeling after the wedding, my friend?" Tapper asked.
"This one understands the reason for Papa Smurf's wedding to Flowerbell, though this one is still trying to process in this one's mind why the resulting marital relationship wasn't meant to last," Polaris answered.
"You're not the only one, laddie," Duncan said. "I guess that was one relationship that was too good to even last."
"I'm afraid that's the sad part of what weddings have become in this world, my fellow Polaris, a matter of convenience instead of a committed loving relationship between two people," Tapper said. "We may never know how the marriage between those two would smurf out if they chose to remain with each other after Avarice has smurfed his exit."
"But that leaves the two individuals in that marriage alone again," Polaris said.
"Aye, that's very much the truth of it," Tapper said. "Only the Almighty can fully satisfy their hearts and smurf them the peace and comfort that they sorely desire in a world of people seeking it in everything else but in the One who created them."
"At the very least, we've still got each other as family," Duncan said. "And as long as we still have that, we'll never be alone in this world."
"Come, my friends, let's smurf a toast in my tavern for the continued happiness of our beloved leader and his esmurfed wife, even if they won't smurf their happiness together," Tapper said.
"This one will have to settle for seltzer in the 'toast', since this one is still unable to drink fermented beverages," Polaris requested.
"Whatever your pleasure, laddie, I'll smurf the toast with you," Duncan said as the three of them walked off together.