“There was so many moments d-during all this t-t-that I truly thought I wouldn’t make it back home, b-b-back to you. I-I-I, I thought after risking everything and anything I had to a-along the way, i-it would e-ensure m-my destiny w-w-would bring m-me home. B-B-But,” he stammers as he looks towards the ground in awkward fashion, staring with wide sorrowful eyes at the ever-growing pool of blood, as it soaks into the wet earth beneath him.
She grips his hands tightly and squeezes them as she kneels beside him. “Don’t you see that to be true? Don’t you see the world before you! You did make it back! You made it all the way here on your own! You survived everything that this wicked world threw at you, and you made it home, you did everything you needed to, and you won!” she says as tears cascade down her cheeks.
He turns his gaze up towards her as a faint smile grows across his charred flesh. “I-I-I, I did, d-didn’t I? I m-made it h-home. I-I-I, I made it b-back t-to you, m-m-my beautiful.” he says softly as he tenses up like a spring that just snapped, and stares at her with a faraway gaze as his face twists and winds its way through several emotions all at once, and then his hands fall limp in hers. With panicked arms she pulls him up onto her lap and grips him tightly against her.
“P-P-Please STAY with me j-just a l-little longer! Y-Y-You made it thi-this far, y-y-you made it b-back to me! C-Can’t you spend a few moments longer, here, just you and I?”
His gaze turns back to hers, and he smiles wearily. “N-Nothing sounds s-so much b-better than that, a-and I-I, I wish I could, f-f-for I’d d-do anything f-for you. B-But I a-a-already gave everything I-I, I had to m-make it h-here, a-and now I-I-I, and now I-I, I know your safe, a-all I w-want to do i-is sleep,” he says softly as he closes his eyes.
“NO!” she screams as she shakes him violently. “YOU CAN’T COME BACK TO ME, JUST TO LEAVE ME AGAIN! YOU CAN’T!”
His eyes open as tears of red run down his cheeks, and he smiles once more, looking up into her wondrous eyes. “D-Do you th-think I’d come a-all thi-this way j-just to leave y-you again? I-I’m never going to leave your side, n-n-not now, n-not forever! T-That’s why I-I, I n-needed to make i-it home. T-That’s why I-I, I needed to m-make it b-back to y-you, even if it was o-only j-just t-to s-say go-goodbye…” he whispers through clenched teeth as he falls helplessly in her arms. For several silent moments she sits clutching his motionless body, and then her eyes widen in terror as his flesh dissolves away until all she is left cradling is the final remains of the man she loved, and as her tears splash against the cold metal frame of the tin soldier, she knows he will never truly leave her again.
Follow the below link to purchase A Twistedly Jolly Christmas 2021 and read all 31 five minute short stories from smashwords, or look up A Twisterdly Jolly Christmas 2021 or Matthew Tonks on Amazon to purchase there.
Before you lies a piece of a puzzle far grander than you could ever know or imagine. For scrawled in blood upon the pages hidden within the above tome is stories twisted thirty-one in all, soaked in the embers of my insanity. Five minutes to glimpse inside the eyes of someone new, five minutes to answer, five minutes to sin, five minutes to do almost anything. A god, a demon, a harlot, a whore. A fascist, a killer, a sinner, a door. Death and division, humanity askew. A belfry of bats, a sea of black cats, so many moments out there to see, so many things you could see with me. So take a seat beside me and call it voodoo, because now you ride with me too…
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