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Stacey's Happily Ever After

Her ears still rang from the explosions. Regret started to creep up on her like a shadow, byt she shook it off; she wasn’t going to let him kill himself for this damn war. The Confederacy just had to declare war on the North, didn’t they? Another gunshot, louder this time, scared her. Where was Will? They all looked the same in the smoky air, mere blue and grey shadows bursting into view and receding.

Stacey’s fiancé signed up for the war, saying that the South would lose immediately, that Lincoln was a great president, that he would turn this around quickly. She’d begged him not to join. “We just got engaged! Will, I do not want to see you get blown to bits before our wedding!”

“You know how nimble I am,” he’d said. “I doubt some redneck Confederate could ever slay me with a bullet. I would never let them take me from you.”

“Oh, I know… a girl cannot help but be nervous for her beau.”

He had kissed her forehead. “Darling, I promise I will not die before our wedding.”

“Are you saying you will die after the wedding?” she had joked halfheartedly.

He’d chuckled and kissed her again. “I promise I will not leave you. I am not going anywhere.”

Stacey started to circle the battlefield. “Will! William Bruckheimer!” she yelled into the smoke, which darkened with another cannon blast ahead of her. The only thing that was visible was the diamond ring, reflecting dusty reds, blues, and yellows into the blackness.

She was suddenly rammed into the ground, a bullet slicing the air right where her face had been. “Are you trying to git yerself killed, lady?” a man yelled. “Wait… you Willie’s girl?”

“Yes! Is he here?” she shouted back.

“How dumb are you to go into the middle of a battle?! This is no place for a lady!”

“Where is Will?”

“Last I saw--,” the blue-clad figure said, his voice faltering as another cannon shook the air, “Last I saw, ‘e was over by General McDowell!”

“Well, where’s General McDowell?”

There was a flash of blinding scarlet light that illuminated the shadowy scene: Stacey could finally see all the mangled bodies around her. Stifling a shriek with her fist, she was pulled back to her feet. “C’mon!” The man took her hand and they ran, ducking and dodging bayonets and Confederates, most of whom turned to look in surprise at Stacey and her billowing white (or what used to be white, but was now a mess of crimson, browns, and greys) dress. “Will!” she wailed. Oh Lord, please don’t let him be one of those grotesque bodies…

They ran for what seemed like hours before she bumped into someone. “I am sorry,” she apologized.

“Stacey?! What in God’s name are you doing here?”

Her pounding heart skipped a beat or two as she realized whose voice bellowed at her. “WILL!” They were one mass of arms and lips on the battlefield. “I th-thought I lost you!”

He kissed her back and they dropped to the ground s an explosive soared overhead. The man that escorted Stacey tipped his ragged hat, said, “I’ll leave you two crazy kids alone!” and barreled off into the battle.

“I cannot let you do this! Please, leave with me!” Stacey implored.

“I wish it was that simple, Stace! I signed up for this and I must fight for my country!”

“We’ll get you a new name, a new identity, we’ll dye your hair,” she continued, deaf to his protests.

He looked into her eyes for a long moment of eternity. I wonder if he can see the desperation in me, she thought. “Fine.”

The fair-haired, blue-eyed, angel of a girl squealed with happiness as a bullet whizzed past somewhere by her left ear. Oh, yes! Now they could get married, they would have a baby who would have a father, and they would live happily ever after.

It took her a few moments to realize he hadn’t gotten up from his crouch to hug her. In fact, he wasn’t moving… and there a black pool growing from his abdomen.

“WILL!” She shook him. A quiet gurgling sound emitted from his lips.

“I…love…you.” His bloodshot eyes met hers for one final time, and then went dark.

Stacey stood up. Stayed. Planted in that one spot. He had kept one of his promises. Now, it was Stacey’s turn not to leave him. They would stay together and live happily ever after. She would make sure of it.

The next thing she knew, she heard a gunshot split the air close by and something spread through her body. It was hard to name it; relief, or pain?

She collapsed, already dead, and landed on Will.

They lived happily ever after.




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