After dabbling in a few other categories, I decided to return to my favourite genre. Nothing quite beats a brother-sister romance eh? I hope you like this effort. It’s also my entry for the Winter Holidays Contest so do leave your votes and comments on the way out.
Happy Holidays folks!
“The love that lasts the longest is the love that can never be. ”
– S Maugh
“You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town.”
How many times can you hear that song without being sick of it? Every mall, every shop, irrespective of size plays the same thing over and over again until you want to throw something at the damn loudspeaker.
Carol Delancey chose to simply ignore it. The blaring music and the obscenely garish decoration on all sides were not in the least bit important. She had a lot more on her mind. Right now, all that mattered was getting some food and some first aid. She purposefully cut her way through the throng of people on all sides of her.
Her clothes weren’t nearly good enough to deal with the biting cold. The soft snow fell in tiny flakes all around her, swirling in the night air. Finally, she saw a small mobile sandwich van. There were several people around it, but she was on a mission.
“Hang in there, Matt,” she whispered. “I’m coming.”
Carol jostled through the cursing crowd and held up some notes. They fetched her a handful of sandwiches and two hot mochas. Just what she needed. Now for the other part.
There was a pharmacy on the same block. She rushed in, alarming the pharmacist who was getting ready to close up for the night.
“I need some antiseptic and gauze,” she said breathlessly. “.. and also some sutures if you have them.”
The surly man behind the counter handed over the necessary supplies, clearly unhappy to be disturbed. It was the festive season for cryin’ out loud! Before he could begin grumbling to himself, she was out the door and racing towards her car.
People in scarves and mufflers stared at this under-dressed beauty running frantically with a large package in her hand. She did not care in the least bit, she was not even aware. Past the main road, the crowd thinned. No one wanted to be caught in the blizzard the Met office promised.
The adrenaline rush kept her warm enough. The crowds thinned as she raced off the main roads. The texture underneath her feet changed from smooth asphalt to uneven gravel. She approached her car, on the green, a little way off from the main road. She looked around herself once, making sure no cop was following her.
The Buick was already covered in a thin layer of white from the light snowfall. It was far enough from the milling shoppers to go unnoticed. The observant few might think it to be a smart ploy for free parking, but it was far from that.
Carol opened the door to the backseat and slid in beside her brother. He had taken the portable seat cover and made a makeshift blanket for himself. His shivering lips split into a smile when she took out the contents of her packet.
“Here,” she said, handing him the coffee. The gash on the left side of his forehead was still visible. At least the bleeding had stopped. The warm brown brew imparted some much needed heat to Matt’s system.
“Thanks,” he said, white vapour coming out of his shivering lips. There was a large bruised patch on the side of his cheek, above the cheekbone, and a small rivulet of blood came down from the corner of his lip. Carol reached out and wiped the thin, red trail. Her fingers lingered to trace out his lips, lips that she yearned to feel on every part of her body.
“Does it hurt?” she asked quietly, her eyes fixed on the gash.
“No,” Matt lied and sipped some of the coffee. The windows were frosted to the point they could not see anything.
“Have I ever told you how terrible a liar you are?”
He forced his numb lips into a smile and said. “Yes you have. When I said I saw as you as nothing more than my sister. You told me right then and you were right, as always.”
Carol smiled and pressed her lips against his. Her tongue explored his lips and gently pushed inside, chilled by his mouth. Her soft lips pressed against his and her tongue duelled with his. They wrapped and slurped against each other for some time before she drew out.
He took another sip from the hot brew in his hand and she did likewise. The rush of their flight was wearing off and the realization of their situation was beginning to set in. The heater of the car was beginning to splutter, the gas running low.
“How much money do you have?” asked Matt.
“Not much,” came the morose reply. “I took whatever I had at the moment. I’m sorry, I panicked.”
“It’s all right,” he said reassuringly, kissing her forehead. “It’s going to be all right.”
“Your lying skills are not getting any better,” she said, forcing some humour into their grim reality.
“Hey! We have each other and that’s what really matters, right?”
She nodded, her eyes unable to tear themselves away from her brother’s face. It was battered, bruised and looked hideous by any impartial standard. Yet, to her, it was the most beautiful sight imaginable.
“This ‘running away together’ thing was essentially the worst plan ever.. eh?” he said, opening a sandwich.
“Not exactly a plan, given that it was made in five minutes,” she said. “We had no other choice.”
The icy wind picked up outside. More snow fell all around them, covering the car entirely.
TWO HOURS EARLIER
Carol held the headboard on her bed as tightly as she could. Her knuckles were white, tightly wrapped around the cylindrical bars. Her eyes were clamped shut and her legs twisted and turned from side to side. She was barely aware of the moans escaping her lips, her senses overloaded by the scalding pleasure sweeping over her body.
Matt did well to hold onto her hips and keep his mouth on her inflamed sex. She was leaking copiously and he lapped her nectar hungrily. Each lick went from the bottom of her labia right to the top, caressing the vulva intermittently. Soon, his tongue stopped at the opening and plunged deep within her.
“FUCK!” she groaned. “Matt! FUCK!”
He was not easily distracted, letting the flat of his tongue rest against her clit. Two of his fingers parted her lips and probed her. His tongue scrubbed her nubbin, making her squeal with ecstasy. His fingers rained havoc inside her, making her slick walls clamp down on them.
She arched her back up, pushing herself into his mouth and his fingers. Unable to hold back, she held his head in a tight grip between her thighs, her hands gripping his hair and forcing him down into her warm, wet folds.
“Fuck me, Matt. Fuck me for all you’re worth.”
Matt always listened to his elder sister. Elder by all of two minutes, but someone he always looked up to for advice and guidance. She was the “instigator”, so to speak, but he knew that he was in love with her. He just needed that little push to realize it.
“Little push, wet kiss, same thing,” he thought.
“Lost in your thoughts down there?”
“Huh?” he said, focusing back on the dripping nether lips. Broken out of thought, he proceeded to break out of her thigh choke hold and climb up her body. His palms rested on either side of her head. He lifted his body up, supporting himself on them.
Carol admired his face, rugged and manly with a rough layer of stubble. One of her dainty hands rested against the grey cheek, scraping back and forth on the sand-paper surface. It tickled her. His face was mere millimetres from hers, his eyes absorbing every beautiful bit. Her arched eyebrows, her sharp, blue eyes and those red sumptuous lips. Every part of her face was utterly beautiful. There was a scarlet tinge on her fair complexion, like rosy porcelain. She was so delicate under him, it felt like she would break at the mere hint of force.
He stayed in this push-up stance for an eternity before dropping softly. Her voluptuous breasts pressed against his sculpted torso and his lips found hers with a fiery passion. She tasted her own fluids off his mouth, her tongue wrapped around his.
The kiss went on, each tongue entwining the other. His palms went to hers and interlaced her fingers. They moved in unison, her arms led to his back by his. His powerful hands pinned her down and he rose off her sweaty body.
Swiftly, she flipped Matt over to his back and straddled him. Her gaze lingered on his muscular skin, tanned from a tour of Iraq. Hours in the gym gave him those delectable abs and pecs, but it was his heart, nestled away behind them that she loved. He was handsome, by any definition, but she couldn’t care less if he looked like a leper.
Carol loved her little brother. Little by just over 120 seconds, but so insecure and scared that he still slept with the lights on. Beneath that musculature, buried under all those hours in the gym, was a scared little boy whom she comforted when lightning flashed.
The snow fell in a light sprinkle outside the window. Yet, with the raw erotic heat inside, no one would have known.
She leaned forward, nestling his hardness along the length of her slit. Her mouth came down to his chest and her lips planted a long kiss. Those lips moved to each nipple and teased him with her tongue. Locking her legs on either side of his waist, she scooted forwards, putting her breasts within reach of his mouth.
Matt craned his neck forward until he could take one of her nipples between his lips. Her eyes opened wide and she gasped as a pleasurable current radiated outwards. His tongue toyed with the engorged bud, rubbing it and teasing it in equal measure. Three of his fingers sought out her free nipple and tweaked it gently, causing a sharp yelp.
She moved sideways, putting her other nipple near her lips. He obliged by greedily sucking on it, nursing almost. Her tongue swirled over the tip and she could feel the hint of teeth. Nothing even remotely rough or painful.
His entire length still lined her wet slit, but just poked inside with her leaning forward. The mushroom crown teased her sensitive clit, making her swoon inwardly. She sat on his thighs and held his gaze. The lust was wrapped in an aura of pure love which no one could fight. It could not be delayed.
Her hips rocked back once, then thrust forwards, pushing his entire length inside her. It took a bit for her muscles to rearrange themselves to accommodate the welcome intruder. When he was inside her, it felt right. Like she was a puzzle and he was the missing piece which fit right in the centre.
When he was inside her, she felt complete. Concepts of right and wrong, flesh and blood were flung into the wind and melted in the sheer heat between them. It was love, love like Carol had never known outside of her brother.
Her reflections were interrupted by a forceful thrust. Her shocked eyes went wider as Matt began to move back and forth, pushing himself in and out of her vagina. He pushed upwards, pushing himself further into her. Carol’s wet, fleshy walls clamped around him, magnifying his pleasure several times.
“I love you, my Christmas Carol,” groaned Matt.
She smiled. This holiday held a special place in their hearts. Their hips bucked in harmony, driving his throbbing shaft deep inside her. She moaned and increased the speed of her motion, pressing her against her G spot. Every thrust sent a bolt of pleasure through her nervous system. Her hands grabbed his chest, her nails drawing blood.
Now, there was no restraint. She impaled herself on his erection, the gleam of wanton lust shining in her eyes. Her pace suddenly increased and took Matt by surprise. He earnestly matched her pace, driving deep inside her. The frenzy of lust brought her ever-closer to a powerful climax.
Carol closed her eyes, blocking out all her senses in anticipation of a volcanic eruption. Her body was sweating and tight, waiting to give in to the addictive pleasure ahead. His hands reached up and pinched her elongated nipples at the precise moment of her climax. It rocked through her body, flaring up her entire being. Her skin tingled and her senses went into overload as the feeling engulfed her being.
The hardness inside her ejected several bursts of semen. She reciprocated by gushing out onto his hard cock. She rolled off and curled up beside him, snuggling with the sweaty heap that she loved more than anything in the world.
“How long have you felt this way?” he asked between gasps.
“Too long,” she said, tracing a long line on his torso. “I’d say I loved you from when we shared a uterus.”
Matt smiled at her. The last year had been the happiest of his life. He had seen more death and destruction in the deserts of Iraq than he wanted, but the love that Carol felt for him made it all seem like a bad dream.
“It’s all a bad dream,” he thought. “Carol will always comfort me.”
For the last year he had been in love. Actually, he had been in love much longer, but he had been aware of it only over the last year. That love helped him tide over everything that life flung at him.
“Why do people say it is wrong?” he asked her gently. “How can the way we feel for each other be wrong?”
“It isn’t wrong, sweetie,” she purred. “One day the world will get their perspective of right and wrong correct. Till then, we have to hide our love.”
“It isn’t fair,” he whined. “We love each other more than life itself.”
“Some day,” she said, caressing his hair softly. “Some day we will not have to hide it any more. I promise.”
“You’re a terrible liar.”
“Takes one to know one,” she said, kissing him.
He returned the kiss with interest, his tongue moving on her lips. She drew him in once more for a kiss and rolled on top of him. Just as he was about to lose himself in the kiss, he saw a dark flicker out the corner of his eye.
Matt rolled the puzzled Carol of him and sat up to face the hulking form of their father. His icy eyes bored into them, hatred sizzling behind those blue irises. In his hands, he held a baseball bat, which he smacked onto his open palm menacingly.
“I thought it was a one time thing,” he said with a sinister edge to his voice. “The two of you swore never to touch each other again.”
He took a step into the room, his bat still clenched tightly.
Matt hurriedly got off the bed, slipping on his pants. Carol held the comforter tightly, her eyes filled with dread.
“How did you find us?”
“I put an APB out on her car,” he said, taking another step. “Under the radar with some cops who are loyal to me.”
He held the bat out towards Matt, accusingly.
“The two of you are vile degenerates of the worst kind. How dare you carry on this affair?” he boomed against the empty walls.
Matt wanted to reply, but he was scared. He was always scared. Words refused to form in his throat and his hands shivered. He turned around to see his pillar of strength smiling. That smile transferred a profound strength over the void between them. He turned to face is father with purpose.
“Don’t you dare insult the love we feel,” he said, forcing an even tone into his voice.
“The love you feel?” his father snarled. “You are brother and sister for God’s sake.”
“So what?” he replied indignantly. “We love each other and that’s all that matters.”
“I should have known,” his father muttered. “I should have known the ungodly children I was raising. The two of you began your lives by killing Maureen. Right then, I should have seen you for the hell spawn you were.”
“No we are not,” Carol cried from the bed. “We did not kill Mom. She died from complications during childbirth. You can’t keep blaming us.”
“Liar,” he yelled, shifting the bat towards her. “The two of you were sent by the devil to kill her. I should have known right then, but I still brought you up like my own. Now I see the error of my ways.”
The crucifix pendant around his neck glinted brightly.
“I sent you to Iraq to keep you away from her, but you found a way to return behind my back and carry on with your filthy fornications. God shall send both of you to Hell to burn for your misdeeds.”
“I don’t care. I don’t care if I’m in Hell, as long as she is with me.”
Matt took a deep breath before saying the next sentence. It would take more strength than he thought he had.
“I am not afraid of you any longer.”
He glared at Matt, willing him to back down. But Matt was steadfast in his conviction. He had never been more sure of anything in his life.
“The two of you shall pay dearly,” he said.
On an impulse, Matt lunged in his father’s direction. His father expected it and dodged the forearm. Matt was on the verge of falling, when he felt the round end of the bat meeting his gut with a sickening splat. His momentum made him fall over anyway, writhing on the ground in agony.
“Get up,” his father barked. “Get up, you cretin.”
Carol was stunned from the shock. Her body refused to react to what she saw in front of her. She numbly stared on at the macabre spectacle before her. Matt gasped for air, struggling to take a breath through the powerful impact.
“Die, scum. Die”
A sharp kick to the solar plexus made Matt turn over. The next kick was against his spine. Soon, he just lay there, unable to resist the blows which rained down on him. His father held his chin and raised his face to meet his.
“You have fucked your sister for the last time.”
The round end hit his temple and he dropped to the floor, a small pool of blood forming near his hair.
Carol had seen enough to have some feeling back in her. The petrified look was replaced by a piercing scream. She jumped from the bed and tried to rush to her prone brother, but was cut off by a large hairy hand.
“You,” said her father. “You urged him on.”
She was flung onto the bed. The next thing she saw was her father’s bloodshot eyes inches from her face. She tried to move, but her hands were twisted behind her back by his. The eyes looked down at her breasts and flat stomach.
“You whore. You tempted your brother into this unspeakable sin, and now you seek to tempt me?”
Her eyes went wide as she realized what he said. She struggled and shrieked, hearing the tell-tale sound of a zipper opening.
“No one can hear you scream, Carol. No one will save you.”
An obscenely large head prodded her tender lower lips. Carol closed her eyes and prayed for strength to take it and show no fear. She failed.
The sentence remained incomplete. A tanned, muscular arm wrapped around her father’s neck and yanked him off her. He choked and spluttered while Matt clambered onto his back, holding on for dear life. His biceps flexed, constricting his father’s airway.
Mr Delancey tried to swing him off, but he kept his hold intact. The pain was overwhelmed by a greater need to save his sister from a monster. His father kept fighting, but the lack of oxygen was getting to him. His movements became weaker with every passing second.
Now his limbs were flailing around aimlessly. His eyes drooped and he fell to his knees. Matt released the hold only after the struggling stopped. The limp body of his father immediately fell to the floor in a heap.
Matt stepped back, the exertion leaving him tired. The acute pain returned to his midsection, causing him to double up. He grimaced and leant against the wall. Carol slowly slid of the bed and sat beside her father’s body. Her trained hand went to his neck.
“Is he…alive?” Matt managed to say, still hurting.
“Yes, I can feel a weak pulse. But he should be out for a couple of hours,” she said, rushing to his side and looking at his face. “Oh my God! What have we done?”
“I did what I had to,” he gritted through the haze of pain. “I will protect my sister from whoever tries to hurt her.”
She clasped her hand around his neck. Her eyes looked over each bloody scar on his face. “You’re bleeding!”
“I’ll be okay,” he gasped. “Look out the window. Do you see any cops?”
“No,” she said, scanning the street outside. “Dad came alone.”
“We don’t have much time,” he said urgently. “Find Dad’s keys. There is an APB out on our car.”
She rummaged through the pockets of the still body, finding what she needed. Matt put his arm around her gingerly and she led him down the stairs of the ratty motel. They thought they had all their bases covered.
“Never underestimate the extremely Evangelical Deputy Chief of Police,” she thought, helping her wounded brother into the backseat where he could lie down.
Carol hopped into the driver’s seat and revved up the Buick. Her mind was already planning out a course of action. She would stop by the house and get whatever cash was in the open and then…
“There is no other option,” she rued. “Just run and never look back.”
“We’ll make it, Carol,” said a weak voice from the back. “I know we will.”
As much as he forced some conviction into his words, she still knew he was lying.
“Not getting any better at it,” she thought wistfully.
Carol finished applying the stitches on his forehead. The gash remained, bound together by the fibre thread. The bruise on his cheek turned a darker shade and the bleeding from his lips ceased. She tenderly traced his lips with one finger.
“I love you so much it hurts,” she confessed, her tone quivering with grief.
“I love you too.”
The blizzard was easing around them, but no one was crazy enough to be caught outdoors. The light inside the car was dim from the perilously low gasoline. She wrapped her arm around his head and drew him to her for a kiss. He moved a few inches forward and then stopped abruptly, his face clenched in pain.
“What’s wrong, Matt?” she asked, her face ashen with concern.
“Nothing,” he lied through gritted teeth. She turned her head and stared at him obliquely.
“Show me your stomach,” she said.
“It’s nothing,” he persisted, “… just still sore from the blow.”
Carol leaned over and grabbed two handfuls of his shirt. She raised the hem to his chest and gasped out loud. Even in the dim light, she could see a large patch of bluish-black extending from under his ribs to his abdomen.
“Oh God! You’re haemorrhaging,” she screamed. “We need to get you to a hospital.”
“No,” he choked out. “No hospitals. He’ll find us.”
“I’m a med student, Matt,” she said, cradling his head in her hands. “I know what happens if you don’t get to a hospital right now.”
He looked down, unable to meet her gaze. She placed a palm under his chin and lifted his face to his. The scars looked blurry through her tears, even as she pleaded with him.
“Please. For me. I don’t care if he finds us.”
Each word was punctuated by a heart-wrenching sob.
“I don’t care what he does to me, but I can’t let him get near you again,” he said solemnly. “Not after what he tried to do.”
“Please let’s go, Matt. I can’t live without you. Can’t you see that?”
“You won’t have to,” he smiled.
The look of surprise on Carol’s face was momentary before she sighed. He knew. She had obviously not disposed of the pregnancy test properly in her hurry.
“You will have your own little piece of me, always,” he said, patting her stomach.
“Do you want our child to grow up without a father?” she said, emboldened by the new discovery.
“I want our child to grow up far away from all this,” he said. “And I’m sure his mother can give him enough love for two parents and then some.”
“Please come with me,” she reiterated.
“Carol, half the cops in this city are looking for us right now. You know how much influence Dad has. They will report back only to him so that he can handle it without staining his name and political ambitions,” he said, adding. “What do you think will happen to us then?”
He paused, the pain knifing through his chest. His next sentence was a mere whisper.
“What do you think will happen to our baby then?”
Words did not come out of the jumbled mass of thoughts in Carol’s head. She looked into his eyes, seeing the hope die out in them. It broke her heart into a million little pieces.
“Can you get out of the city?” he asked.
She shook her head sadly, using every ounce of willpower to prevent herself from breaking down in a flood of tears. As much as she wanted to believe there was a ray of hope, all her eyes saw was a murky darkness.
Matt looked at her quietly, unsure of what to say. She spoke first.
“No one will ever understand the way we feel about each other, Matt. We will always be misunderstood and hated for the way we feel.”
He nodded in silent agreement. The blizzard was beginning to pick up again outside. A splatter of snow hit the windscreen and swept off in the wind.
“If you don’t want to live, I don’t want to either.”
He opened his mouth wide in shock, but she put her palm over it and continued speaking.
“I admit I haven’t thought this through entirely, but I can’t bear the thought of carrying on without you.”
“You have to,” he said, ignoring the pain for a moment. “For our baby.”
“Why?” she said, finally ceding her battle to tears. “So we can live our lives looking over our shoulders, hunted like animals? I don’t want that life for our child.”
She stopped to let out the sob choked in her throat. Matt softly caressed her hair, the very present pain was not important any more. His angel was crying and that hurt him more than any silly haemorrhage ever could.
“This world is a dark and evil place and our baby deserves better,” she said, having completely broken down now. “As far as the world goes, our baby is a symbol of our grotesque love.”
He slumped back in his seat, a deeper pain than internal bleeding searing through him. Carol wiped her eyes and was surprised to see a small, clear tear drop sitting on her beloved brother’s cheek.
“It’s not fair,” he bawled. “It’s just not fair.”
“Shhh… don’t cry,” she said, wiping the tear away. “Be strong, honey. You know what we have to do.”
An unsaid understanding passed in their gaze. He nodded his head slowly.
“I’m scared, Carol.”
“I know,” she said, stroking his jaw. “I’m scared too.”
“What do we do with the money?”
The blizzard promised to get intensely heavier. Carol opened the door and stepped out. She supported her brother’s arm around her shoulder. There was hardly anyone left on the streets, but the doors of a large church were open nearby. A large throng of people had gathered inside.
They slowly made their way through the biting cold and the ornate entrance. There was an air of joy for the holidays. The inside of the church was brightly lit and laurel wreaths hung along the walls, decorated with ribbons. People laughed and mingled freely. An elderly man sat beside the donations box, blessing those kind enough to spare some money.
“Bless you, my children,” he said, his eyes as large as saucers at the wad of bills Carol put down. “May the Lord bless you for the rest of your lives.”
They smiled and turned to leave.
“Won’t you be staying for the service?” he asked. “The snowstorm outside is getting worse.”
“Don’t worry,” said Matt, forcing a grin. “We know where we’re going.”
At the far end of the church, the colossal organ rang out the opening notes of “Silent Night”. The choir puffed their chests out, ready for their big moment. All eyes turned to the front and they held hands. The pews were lined with folks from all walks of life, swaying to the tune. The cheery pastor took his place on the rostrum in front.
Carol tucked Matt’s head under her arm. He buried his face in her side, unable to look in any other direction. Their lives had unravelled faster than they imagined. All that remained now was the formality of ending it.
She led her brother out of the church doors. The snow had covered the grass in a soft white layer. Leaving his side, she ran and fell flat on the cold layer. He limped along till he reached her.
“Look at me,” she squealed, waving her arms and legs in the snow. “I made a snow angel.”
He lay down beside her, smiling. The blizzard was getting stronger by the second.
“You are a snow angel. You are always, my angel.”
She turned on her side and faced him, her lips changing colour from the cold and her skin unnaturally pale. Flecks of white littered her face.
“Do you think we would have had a boy or a girl?” she giggled, hysteria setting in.
Matt looked thoughtful for a moment, then said softly, “I think it would have been a girl. Little Elizabeth Delancey.”
“Only her dumbass father could think of such a dorky name,” she said, playfully.
“I bet our little Elizabeth would have your eyes,” he said.
“And hopefully not my taste in men,” came the snide reply. “Her father was such a wuss. Do you know how much I had to persuade to get him in the sack?”
“Okay, what do you think about our hypothetical baby?” said Matt, throwing a small fluff of snow at her.
“You mean our son Matthew Jr.? MJ?”
“MJ?” he said incredulously, adding an eye roll. “He’s not even born and you’ve made him into a pop star?”
“Hey!” Carol said, smacking his arm. “I liked him.”
The cold was already getting to her. She could not feel her legs. Her senses were slowly giving in, touch being the first casualty.
“So tell me about MJ Delancey,” asked Matt.
“MJ would have been remarkably intelligent. Valedictorian for sure. I think he would want to be a scientist. Nothing less than the top of his class in MIT for our little MJ.”
“Elizabeth would have been smart too, you know?” he shot back between peals of laughter. “Might have gone on to become the CEO of one of those big Silicon Valley startups. Probably the next Google or Facebook.”
“So it’s settled then, we’d have two children. MJ and Elizabeth.”
They laughed for a while, the cold driving them delirious. The singing had begun and the notes of every hymn floated out to them. They could make out snatches through the whistling wind an sang along, horribly out of rhythm.
The giggles stopped and Matt looked at Carol again. Her skin was deathly pale, the blood having retreated deep within her in a last gasp effort to keep the internal organs warm. Her body was still trying to keep her alive.
“Do you believe in the afterlife?” he asked, his voice growing weaker.
“I do,” she replied.
“What do you think it looks like?”
There was a contemplative pause. The snow was falling in cascading torrents, covering them in a multitude of snowflakes. Her face was still visible under the cloud of white. Her lips had turned blue from the cold. Matt craned his neck forward and kissed the cold blue skin.
“I think,” she said, her body beginning to lose the fight to the bitter chill. “I think there is a meadow, filled with flowers. It rolls and spreads, over hills over land and never ends.”
“Wait for me behind the hill,” said Matt, barely sentient, his fingers interlaced in hers. “I’ll find you there.”
“Do you think our love will be accepted in the afterlife?” he asked after a pause, having difficulty forming words through the cold which had spread to his lungs.
She opened her mouth to answer, but only wisps of vapour came out. The relentless snow was starting to bury them under an icy sheath.
Carol had completely lost feeling in her limbs. Her breathing was laboured, a dreadful chore which would come to an end soon. The numbness spread through her body, replacing the icy chill with a feeling of nothingness.
She looked at him one last time, admiring every scar on his face.
“Does it still hurt?” her throat managed to squeeze out before finally giving in.
“No,” he said with his widest smile.
This time he did not lie. It really did not hurt. He could not feel pain anymore. He could not feel anything anymore.
Strains of the hymn floated through the air.
“Sleep… in heaaaavenly peeeeace
Sleep in heavenly peace”
A park employee found the cold, blue corpses the next morning while he was shovelling the snow away. Their hands were still locked together.