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Till Death do us Part

I stood on the hillside, rough bark of the tree pressing into my skin, pulling on the handcuffs so desperately my wrists were sore and bleeding, the icy rain cutting through my clothes, my skin, my bones. I stood there screaming, begging God or any higher being that may be listening not to let this happen. Not to let the destruction rain down like the ice soaking me all the way through. Not to let all these innocent people die. Not to let him die.

The thought of him made me yank even harder on my restraints until they were slick with blood. I pulled so hard the young tree began to bend over and crack. But it wasn’t fast enough, and pretty soon the show had already started.

At first I ignored the flashes of light as fire rained down on the earth. I pretended I didn’t see them that there was still time, there had to still be time. But soon I stopped struggling, stopped fighting, and stood still, admiring my sister’s handiwork. I suppose it was beautiful, in the way the light fell and created darkness, stillness after it. It was peaceful, pretty in the silent chaos it created. I could almost forget the thousands of people whose lives were being sacrificed for my sister to put on an elaborate fireworks show, for some extra-terrestrial beings that may, or may not exist. Almost. But then I heard the screaming. The tortured cry of thousands of people in agony. The moaning of a population shocked senseless, then slowly realizing the pain, the fire, the utter chaos. All I could think was that one of those thousands of tortured voices was him. I could almost see his face, forever masked in a mangled expression of pain. The missile would not miss. His eyes unmoving, unseeing. And so I leaned my head back and let my strangled voice entangle itself with the very people I failed.

Till death do us part.

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The next morning, I wake up slumped on the muddy ground. Beside me lays a small key. I laugh, because what else is there to do when you’ve lost everything you’ve ever cared about and you’ve shed every tear and screamed every scream you have. The laugh sounds hoarse, foreign, my voice rough from screaming until I passed out. I slide out my foot, and get the key, after a few minutes I’ve unlocked the handcuffs. Only now do I look up to face the wreckage.

I walk closer to the edge, fascinated by what I see. Where there was once a thriving, proud city, now lies a bowl of ash and dust. There is nothing left. It’s as if the entire city was a huge bonfire that someone left going overnight. I suppose, essentially that’s what it is.

I slide down the hill, and begin my walk through my own personal ghost town. I can’t even see any landmarks, and it’s a wonder that I’m even able to find the house at all. But find it I do and I crunch through the remains until I see what I’m looking for. It glimmers in the pale light cast by the downcast sky. I smooth away the ash and pull out the gold ring. I run my thumb over the inscribed letters: till death do us part.

I feel a scream build up inside, a primal yell over a lost mate. At first I hold it back, afraid that if I let it out there will be nothing left inside, but I let it out anyway, because without him there is nothing inside me, nothing holding me in this world, nothing keeping me sane. So I just let go, after all what else is there to do.




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